Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Yesterday I was having a major pity party.  The "no one likes me, everybody hates me, I think I'll eat a can of worms" kind-of party.  I'm not sure exactly why, but it just kind-of consumed me for the day.  I knew what I had to do, but I kept putting it off until laying in bed last night.  I know that when I get into those funks, the best medicine is to make a "Thankful" list to remind myself how much God has blessed me.  So here's the list I came up with.

Things I'm thankful for:
1. My 3 healthy boys. Luke's heart defect corrected itself in the womb, Jonah wasn't hit by that car, and Gideon didn't crack his skull when he fell off the playground.  I mean, really, I could probably just stop right here.
2. A husband that loves me. And doesn't beat me. Doesn't take advantage of or lie to me. Doesn't grow tired of playing "monster" with the boys. Doesn't schedule anything on our date night.  And doesn't complain too much when he has to attend my pity parties.
3. My Tennessee life. This includes my family that loves me dearly, my soul sisters that I can call at a moments notice, southern nature (thunder, lightening bugs, cardinals, etc.) & Chick-fil-a (that I know is secretly dying to open up a store just down from my house).  I will probably never have that life again, but it's safely stored in my heart forever.
4. Food. I have yet to miss a meal because I had to. Even if it's leftovers of leftovers, I always have something to eat.
5. Hot water. Anyone that has done any kind of mission work knows what a luxary this is.
6. Sight. Even if I go blind tomorrow, think of all the wonderful things I have seen in my lifetime! Babies, rainbows, mountains, faces, flowers, oceans, unicorns, well, you get the picture.
7. Technology. Not sure which is my favorite, but I would be lost without my washing machine, dishwasher, indoor plumbing, wi-fi & minivan!

Wow! I'm feeling better already. I was shooting for 10, but I don't think I need to go a bit further. I AM SO RICH! I think I might be the richest girl on earth.

Thank you, God, for reminding me that all good things come from you.
"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows"  .James 1:17

Taken this spring at the Washington Arboretum

Sunday, June 10, 2012

# 4

No, I'm not announcing that we are expecting our fourth child (don't lie, I know you were thinking that!)  I'm referring to the fourth commandment, as in Charlton Heston with the stone tablets commandments.  Do you remember which one that is?  Murder?  Nope.  Stealing?  Nope.  It's the one about the Sabbath.
"Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.  Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God.  On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner (alien) who is within your gates.  For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day.  Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy."  Exodus 20:8-11
Wow!  Did you remember it was that long?  I didn't.  In fact, that commandment gets more words dedicated to it that any of the other commandments do.  I'm not at all saying the fourth commandment is more important than any of the others, but if God dedicated that much space to it, then He must want me to take notice.

Unfortunately, I never really have.  Don't get me wrong, I pitch a fit if I have to miss my Sunday afternoon nap for any reason, but I don't think naps are exactly what God had in mind.  For whatever reason, I started thinking about my response to this commandment.  I decided I wanted to change what my response was to  Sunday.  (Which is a whole other discussion; so if you don't know why Christians celebrate the Sabbath on Sunday, I think this link gives a pretty accurate description:  http://christianity.about.com/od/whatdoesthebiblesay/f/sundayworship.htm)

About a month ago, I actively started trying to make changes.  After about week two, I shared this with my friend Jennie.  She asked "What does that exactly mean?"  Since I was still fleshing out the logistics of it, I didn't give a very good answer, but it made me think harder about what & why I was doing this.  For me, I decided observing the Sabbath meant that I would take a break from the things that I do most.  What I needed to "rest" from.  I have added a thing or to each week, but this is my list so far:
1.  No laundry.
2.  No dishes.
3.  No e-mail.
4.  No craigslist or e-bay.
5.  No checking to see what Kate Middleton wore or what crazy celebrity baby name came out this week.
6.  No Facebook.

Those last three are the hardest!  I have decided that I'm not going to be legalistic about this, though.  I got on FB today to wish a "Happy Anniversary" to 2 dear friends (and to post this blog!), but I did struggle to resist clicking on my messages or scrolling through the newsfeed.  (Ahh, unchecked messages!)  On the other hand, I have thoroughly enjoyed divorcing the dishes & leaving the laundry for a day.  I have to bust my tail until late on Saturday night to get all my chores done, but isn't God worth it.  I mean, I always do that when dinner guests come over, so why can't I do that for my God?

Now be warned, that if you, too, decide to try to make a change to your Sabbath, that doesn't mean that the world is going to rest, too.  The baby will still throw up, the car will still get a flat tire, the neighbor's dog will still poop by your front door, or whatever else Satan can think to throw at you.  But I'm determined to not give up that easily!  I want to learn to "guard" my Lord's day and somehow figure out how to "keep it holy".  Philippians 4:13!!

Probably NOTHING at all what Moses looked like, but, eh,  you get the picture.

Monday, June 4, 2012

One Year

It's hard for me to believe, but yes, we have now lived in Seattle for one year.  Has it flown by? Yes.  Does it seem like we've been here forever?  Yes.  Am I still homesick?  Yes.  Do I still cry?  Yes..but not as often.

Those first few hours & days here are, quite honestly, a blur.  Much of it was so raw that I think I've just chosen to forget details.  It's good, though, to reflect on the past and remember some of those hard-to-live-through details.

After a last meal at, you guessed it, Chick-fil-A, we flew out of Nashville on our non-stop flight to Sea-Tac.  Five long hours (plus a two hour time difference) with 3 small boys is enough to make anyone crazy!  But the big boys enjoyed most of the plane ride and were excited as we started to land.
I, on the other hand, was nowhere near as cute or excited.  As the pilot said, "We are now approaching Seattle.  Please return to your seats & prepare for landing", I was very close to having a panic attack.  I wanted to scream, "TURN AROUND!!  Don't land this plane. TURN AROUND NOW!!"  Thankfully, to Jason, I didn't and managed to exit the plane that had been a hell hole for the past five hours (non-stop flight with a 15 month old, need I say more?).

As we emerged from the airport, the boys got to see Seattle in all it's glory for the first time.  It was 50°ish & drizzling.  Since the raindrops were so light & large , Luke said "Is it snowing?"  Tears in check, I got into the van that was to be our vehicle for the next few weeks.  A church member had sweetly let us borrow his 1980s carpeted van.  It was fully functional and was big enough for all of us, but you can imagine it only added to my emotional state.

We had arranged to stay with 2 church members until we could find a place to live (that's right, we DID move across the country without knowing where we were going to live).  Mike & Nicolle, whom are now some of our dearest friends/almost family, were the ones that took us in during those first few weeks in June.  Luke later referred to their house as "our first house" here, which delighted Nicolle.

Nicolle had dinner ready for us when we arrived to their house from the airport.  We just sat down at the table when Luke said, "When are we going home?"  Yep.  You guessed it.  That's.When. I. LOST. it.  I ran to the bathroom and sobbed my eyes out for the next 10 minutes or so.  Jason later said that Luke wasn't confused, he just knew that Mike & Nicolle's house wasn't going to be our new home and wanted to know when were we going there.

The cake that was made for us at our "Meet Martha Lake" party.  When Jonah saw it, he said "Is it my birthday?!"

The next days and weeks were about the same as that night.  It didn't take much to set off the waterworks.  Our first Sunday at Martha Lake, I sat in the ladies Sunday School class.  About half way through the class, I looked around and thought, "This isn't MY class.  These aren't MY friends.  I'm supposed to be in Tennessee.  What am I doing here?!"  My now dear friend, Jennie, followed me out of the class and walked around the church with me, while I tried to get it together before Jason's first sermon.

Whew!  I'm certainly thankful to past all that drama.  Am I sure that this was the right move for our family?  Yes.  Do I know without a shadow of a doubt that this is where God wants us to be?  Absolutely.  Do I still cry?  Yes...just not as often.