Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A time for gratitude, mourning and rejoicing

We are about three weeks from moving our family of four to a new home in a new state for a new job. We are also just under a month until our littlest one finally receives our last name and we can all breathe a sigh of relief and rejoice at the permanent-ness of her adoption.

Life has been strange lately. I don't know any other way of describing it simply.
In other words, life has been fun, chaotic, slow, structure-free, sad, scary, joyful and a tad stressful and nerve wracking.

I've been struggling with some of the 'same-old' stuff as well as some new hardships, and I know... I can tangibly feel the enemy's eye on us as we set off to do the hard work of ministry.

We are really excited about our calling. We are so ready and also so sad to leave seminary. It is so hard to explain but maybe it is easy to understand. Seminary has been full of deep friendships, hard loneliness, intense struggling, and a deeper understanding of grace, of the Lord's faithfulness and love. We have grown up here... in a lot of ways.

Three years ago, I came here thinking I was a very mature. I thought I was much more wise than my 28 years. But I wasn't, and I've been humbled here... but not harshly humbled by an unloving and disappointed Father.

I've been humbled because I've seen more grace than I ever thought was possible.

And it's kindness that brings me to repentance. I'm so thankful.

It's been incredibly strange to stay behind for the summer... to be living here while brand new students and their families move in... while friendships are starting and their time is just beginning... while ours has ended and we have set our hearts to move. It's hard to explain. I don't know if I'm doing it any justice.

Some of you may be asking why we have stayed this summer. The state of Missouri won't allow us to leave with Ruby until her adoption is finalized. And so we wait.
Chris has been support raising for his job (I could write for days about the hardships of raising money, but I'll spare us all that) and has taken a part-time job working for the seminary cleaning. I am staying home with the girls, trying to provide structure and stability when my heart feels so far from stable.

So life goes when change is imminent. The knowledge of more transition weighs heavy on my heart and the enemy takes advantage of my fears. But in all of this, the Lord is ever present. A faithful, true and gracious friend.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Summer lovin'

After a grand total of 45 hours in the car driving from Missouri to the mountains of Georgia, to the coast of Florida with a brief stop in Savannah, to northeast Georgia and then back again to our midwestern home... some of my favorite moments from our trip:

. Seeing Chris again after our longest time apart (17 days!!)
. Hannah Mae running through the crashing waves yelling, "This is so much fun!!"
. Spending the afternoon on the porch drinking coffee, listening to the roar of the ocean and feeling the warm beachy breeze
. Going on a date or two with my best friend
. Watching HM and Ruby play with their second cousins, Grandparents, Great Aunts and Uncles, Great-grandparents and Great-Great Aunt
. Eating much too much seafood
. Taking an impromptu break in Savannah and having a little adventure
. Discussing (at length) teen dystopian novels
. Dipping our youngest daughter's toes into the ocean for the first time
. Seeing one of my closest and dearest friends, and watching our girls play together
. Having my three year old pee on said closest and dearest friend's carpet
. Spending my birthday in Georgia
. Toes in the sand, book in hand, the sound of the waves crashing nearby

We had a lovely and tiring trip. It was a much needed break from the normal. Chris graduated from seminary in May and has been support raising since then. He took a 17 day trip down south to meet with potential supporters and churches to raise awareness and support for the church plant we are moving to IN to be a part of. The girls and I stayed home. It was a challenging time for us. But I'm thankful to be through it and to look back and see God's faithfulness to us through that time.

We have about five or so weeks left in our little seminary home before we move to our new home in IN. I am dreading the boxes, the chaos and the long nights packing, but I'm so looking forward to starting a new journey. AND Ruby's adoption will be finalized next month!!! Which means more freedom for us a family, and a great deal more posts about our sweet little girl as well as a picture or two (or twenty).