Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Mega-Post

"Terminal C16"

I'm writing this post from Terminal C16 at Chicago O'Hare airport.  We are waiting to board our flight to Frankfurt Germany.  My stomach is full of McDonalds (sorry Baby M, but Mama needed one more emotional binge meal) and my heart is full of ache over the grueling experience of saying 'goodbye' to my family. 

I've had so many things I've been thinking about and wanting to blog about, so I think I'm just going to sit here and write a bit.  This will probably end up being an exceptionally long post, but for once I will not consider that and merely write.  It also might be my last blog post ever (which hardly feels like something to cry over now).  I still haven't figured out what method I'm going to be using to continue writing, all I know is that I need to continue writing.  As I said before, I will probably continue writing in blog-post style, however it will most likely end up being just an email list that goes out to whoever wants it.  So, if you want it, please email me and let me know. (showthewonder@gmail.com).  I'm not expecting a huge response from this but I figured I might as well put the offer out there, yeah? 

"A Surprise Baby Shower"

Well, where to start?  I think I will start by telling you a lovely story about a time that I gave something up to God, but He decided to give it back to me.  Last summer, I attended the baby shower of my close friend Rachel.  I had a bit of a struggle with it, though, because as I sat there I realized that I would never get to have one for myself.  At least not one with my mom, sisters, aunts, cousins, grandma's etc etc.  I had a bit of a pout session where I allowed myself to feel sorry for myself and finally said, "Ok God. It's yours. I surrender my expectation and 'need' of a baby shower to You."  Well, two weeks ago, my very close friends threw me a surprise baby shower.  and I was genuinely surprised!  It was truly such a special experience.  My Mom, grandma's, one sister, cousins, aunts, and many friends made it.  I had friends there from Ohio, Ann Arbor, Lansing, and Frankenmuth.  It was incredible.  I felt so loved and cried twice over the course of the night.  What a treasure to have been given back something that I had 'given up'.  I am so thankful for friends like Emily and Nicole who love me enough to create an experience like that for me.  I mean, have you ever gone to a baby shower for someone who is only 10 weeks pregnant?  That's just, ricraycray. (Which is also my new favorite phrase.  It is a combo of 'ridiculous' and 'cray cray'.. which is slang for 'crazy'. Ricraycray.  Just say it once and you'll be hooked.)

Anywho, here are a few pictures Emily took of that night.





"Nurse Buddy"

The hardest part of my first trimester of pregnancy had to be the intense fatigue that I experienced.  My first trimester ends tomorrow and I am so thankful that I never once threw up!  Hooray!  I did experience feelings of nausea, though, and took many-a-nap to make myself feel better.  Our little dog Buddy, it turns out, is quite the little companion for anyone that's feeling sick.  He would come lay with me every single time I wasn't feeling well and he would stay with me until I finally got up.  Because of this, I started calling him, "Nurse Buddy".  Towards the end of my first trimester, every time I went to lay down I would just call out, "Nurse Buddy! Nurse Buddy! I need you!  Mama doesn't feel so good!" and he would come running right to my rescue. On our last day together, I needed a nap and called out to him and he came right away.  I asked Josh to get a picture of it and I am just so glad that he did.  Man, I'm gonna miss that little guy.



P.S. I don't usually sleep with flowers in my hair, but we had just gotten back from a wedding and sleeping was more important than the time it would take to remove a flower from my hair. 

"On Saying Goodbye"

In the process of leaving, there have been many (many many many many) goodbyes.  Until today, the hardest had been saying goodbye to Buddy and Emily who adopted Buddy with her husband, Mike on Sunday.  I cried so much that entire day that my contacts had a layer of salt on them, people. SALT. ON MY CONTACTS.  There was something about saying goodbye to him that felt so final.  I think that it wasn't just giving my dog away, but I think it was all that he represented in my life.  Stability.  Home.  Joy.  Consistency.  It was as if all of those things drove away from my life in the same car as that little dog.  I miss him a lot, but am thankful two of our best friends are going to give him such a wonderful home and life.  

Also, I have learned something interesting about saying goodbye the last few weeks, and that something interesting is that I think it is perfectly acceptable to hug men.  Now, many of you who are reading this are probably thinking, "Uh yeah of course it is" but if you're a part of the Christian community you might be thinking, "Well, only if its a side huge."  To that I say, hogwash!  I just realized that I do. not. care. about the expectation in parts of the Christian community that say men and women should never ever hug.  I have many good male friends that I am going to miss a lot and darn it, I gave them hugs before we left. and it was fine and my marriage is still awesome and Josh didn't feel weird about it either. So there. 

"The last few weeks of life in Michigan"

We were so blessed to have a lot of fun experiences before we left for our next adventure.  We have a lot of wonderful people in our life and I feel very rich and full from the times that we have been able to share with them the last few weeks.


















Our flight is boarding, friends. So I've gotta go. Thanks for being on this journey with me!



  

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Let it be said of me.


"They say there is a young lady in [New Haven] who is beloved of that almighty Being, who made and rules the world, and that there are certain seasons in which this great Being, in some way or other invisible, comes to her and fills her mind with exceeding sweet delight, and that she hardly cares for anything, except to meditate on him--that she expects after a while to be received up where he is, to be raised out of the world and caught up into heaven; being assured that he loves her too well to let her remain at a distance from him always. There she is to dwell with him, and to be ravished with his love, favor and delight, forever. Therefore, if you present all the world before her, with the richest of its treasures, she disregards it and cares not for it, and is unmindful of any pain or affliction. She has a strange sweetness in her mind, and sweetness of temper, uncommon purity in her affections; is most just and praiseworthy in all her actions; and you could not persuade her to do anything thought wrong or sinful, if you would give her all the world, lest she should offend this great Being. She is of a wonderful sweetness, calmness and universal benevolence of mind; especially after those times in which this great God has manifested himself to her mind. She will sometimes go about, singing sweetly, from place to [place]; and seems to be always full of joy and pleasure, and no one knows for what. She loves to be alone, and to wander in the fields and on the mountains, and seems to have someone invisible always conversing with her." -Jonathan Edwards talking about his wife.

(Thank you to Rylie for posting this today on her blog and inspiring me!)

Sunday, May 6, 2012

A glimpse of where we'll be living.

In less than two weeks we will call this beautiful city full of beautiful people our home.  We are so excited!













Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Source of Others' Unhappiness.

Josh and I wrote our own wedding vows to each other.  (Posted here if you'd like to see them!)  One thing I specifically promised Josh was this:

 "By God's grace, I promise to fulfill your emotional and physical needs, and to never ever become a source of your unhappiness."  

This particular vow keeps popping into my mind lately, but not in relation to our marriage.  (Personally, I think I've kept that promise to Josh pretty well so far!)  The problem is that I am currently the source of a lot of unhappiness for a lot of people.  Primarily, the people I care about the most in the entire world. Not because I've been mean or cruel to them, but because we are moving away for three years and having our first child far away from friends and family. (Which is its own odd form of cruelty, now that I think about it.)  Despite the fact that I know our families and friends are happy for us and support us, I know that our pending departure is causing them a lot of pain, sadness, and unhappiness.  If I'm being completely honest with you, it is downright one of the most horrible things I have ever experienced.

Because my very nature is to be an encourager and to be positive.  So when my best friend's are crying and I am the source of their tears, I have no idea how to operate or navigate a situation like that.  What words do I say?  ("I'm sorry" feels shallow and insincere and "It's going to be okay" feels like I'm dismissive and lame.)  As excited as we are to go on this adventure, everyone else is staying behind.  We get to explore a new city, make new friends, meet new people, struggle, grow, have exciting new experiences, and learn a language.  Everyone we are leaving behind will continue living whatever adventure they are currently living, just minus Josh and Leslie.

So I'm left saying things like, "Well hey, we aren't leaving for two more weeks!" and "It's only three years!" and "We can Skype all the time!" and "Lifelong friends can handle three years apart!".  The truth is, though, that the distance sucks and we have a lot of people who are close to us who are going to have to mourn the fact that we will be absent from their lives.

and I hate it. I hate being the source of their pain. The coward in me wants to just leave unannounced; steal away in the middle of the night.  Skip the emotional goodbyes that are becoming increasingly difficult and increasingly closer every day.  The encourager in me wants to vanish and reappear on the other side of the planet and not face the fact that we are hurting a lot of people; people we love.

I just... I don't know how to navigate this.  I haven't read a book about relationships with any chapters titled, "Tips on How to Handle Being the Source of Your Loved One's Pain"or "How to Navigate Leaving and Comforting Those Who Are Being Left".  All I can do is try to stay positive and resort to speaking the truth.

"It's ok to cry. I've been crying too, and I'm really, really going to miss you."


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

"Parking for Expectant Mothers"


Ok so, I didn't actually park here.  The spot was already taken...  PLUS I don't' think I could've slept at night if my 11 week pregnant self took a spot and an 8 month pregnant lady had to walk a mile into the mall.

But I'm still glad I got a picture with it!