You can take the girl out of the country...

...but you can't take the country out of the girl. (Brooks & Dunn)

But we all live with the scars we choose
They might hurt like hell, but they all make us stronger
~ Sugarland, Take Me As I Am

These are all my babies
Lord knows how we survived.
The first one was hard and the last one wasn't planned
What a big surprise
That's him with his daddy's eyes

But if life stayed the way it was
And lovers never fell out of love
If memories didn't last so long
If nobody did nobody wrong
If we knew what we had before it was gone
If every road led back home
This would be
The very last country song.
~ Sugarland, Very Last Country Song

Country music has always resonated with me. It captures the cricket-song nights, the dew on the grass, late summer breezes, frogs singing in the spring, moments at camps, on rivers fishing with my Grandpa, sleeping outdoors. Not only that, it has heartache. Not the angst-ridden heartache of rock-n-roll, but the simple, deep throb in your chest over the bittersweetness of your life. I remember belting out Trisha Yearwood songs in the woods when I was a counselor at 4-H camp in my late teens, wrestling with my heart condition and the limits it put on my life, struggling to find that fine line between independence and dependence on God and my family. I used to sing Mary Chapin Carpenter in my little lavendar car on the way to visit David in West St. Paul, praying for clarity as I continued in a relationship that just never "fit right". I was in a bluegrass phase when I began spending time with Aaron, and made copies of CD's for him, filled with everything from Bob Wills to U2 and Johnny Cash.

I was singing along to this new Sugarland CD on the way home from St. Cloud last night. I bought the CD for Aaron for our 6th anniversary, because track 6 is called Genevieve, and speaks of a passionate love lost. Fitting for what we are facing right now. In Very Last Country Song, country music is a euphemism for life: without pain, there is no joy; without suffering, what lends beauty to our days? Sometimes I wish I could hold on to a moment forever - snuggling Caleb and breathing in the baby smells from the crook of his neck; watching Rosy walk down the aisle as a flowergirl - in just a few years, she will be the bride! Katy's silly little songs all day long, and the tender way she cares for Amelia and Caleb; Amy's stutter and deep need for "Mom". These moments are so fleeting, and will soon be gone. But to name them as my treasure, put my stock in those moments of passing beauty in the here and now, is to deny that a greater treasure lies ahead and sell heaven short for a fading glory here on earth.

For what was glorious has no glory now in comparison with the surpassing glory. And if what was fading away came with glory, how much greater is the glory of that which lasts! ~ II Corinthians 3:10-11