Wednesday, September 25, 2013

A New Season:10 Days {Part 3}

Having to move in a 10 day period is insane.

However, I wouldn't have done it any other way.

The best part: We were forced to quickly get rid of a lot of our belongings, which felt soooo good. I didn't have much time to think or become sentimental about things. We had to fit everything in the moving truck, and I'm pretty sure that if we had not given away or pitched a lot of our things, that would not have happened. Moving quickly didn't give me much time to think about anything, which I'm sure was a good thing.

The hardest part: We were not able to say good-bye to a lot of people. It was difficult to find time to do any kind of good-bye dinners or "one last" meet ups with a lot of people, and that part kind of kills me. I knew that leaving people was going to be the hardest part of the move. I worked up until one day before moving day, as did Tim. We were either working, furiously trying to find a place to live, cleaning the duplex, tying up loose ends or packing. Insane.

Throughout those 10 days, I'm sure I had some moments of panic (things are a blur now). However, I was able to stay calm, cool, and collective most of the time. I felt a weird peace in the midst of the chaos. God's grace at work again. God provided in so many ways during this time to sustain us through the crazy. We had help from friends. One of my biggest issues was food. I did not have time to cook meals, plus I had to pack up most of the kitchen. I was worried about how that was going to go at first, but I finally started to just present that as a need to friends/neighbors, and you know what? They delivered. Sometimes it's hard for me to ask for help, but I'm learning that it's OK to ask for help and that people are more than willing to help. We could not have made it those 10 days without our friends and family. My family in Lincoln helped us so much with trying to find a place for us to move into immediately when we arrived. I wasn't sure if it would happen, but, we were able to secure a nice duplex just a few days before we moved. It was a huge answer to prayer, and we are thankful that God held that place for us. He truly does provide.

The night before we left was crazy. My anxiety level was super high. I am thankful for good friends that came to help finish cleaning our place and help with doing minor cosmetic fixes. I probably would've had a major meltdown without them there. Since our bedroom was packed up, we had to sleep on a air mattress. I'm convinced that queen air mattresses are pointless, unless there is just one person sleeping on it. I could not sleep for anything, which gave me more anxiety because I had to drive 10 hours the next day with 3 cats in the car, which at that point, I was worried about how that was going to go. Lots of anxiety. I was so thankful that my sister, Beth, was going to be riding up with me so she could keep me awake!

August 2. Last morning in TX. We scrambled to get the remaining items packed up in our cars and the moving truck. My neighbor prayed over us and then we said our good-byes. We were off! The only issue we had on the road was when we first got on the highway. My vehicle was hitched to the back of the moving truck, and Tim forgot to take the emergency brake off. So, I was driving his car behind the truck and noticed that there was smoke coming from my car!! I was like...oh crap. I quickly called Tim and told him to pull over. He took the brake off, and that solved the issue. I almost got hit by a semi trying to get back on the highway, but after that, everything went smoothly! I was so worried about how the cats were going to do, and I prayed a lot about it. They did GREAT! They pretty much slept the entire 10 hours. It was glorious.

Once we crossed the Red River from Texas over to Oklahoma, I felt a huge weight lift off of my shoulders. I could breathe again. It was happening. All that we prayed for over the years was really coming to fruition. I'm thankful that Beth was with me, not only for great conversation and sister time, but she was able to drive us from Oklahoma City to Lincoln. I was so tired from the craziness of the previous 10 days, but also from not having slept much the night before. I'm not sure how I would've pulled it off without her there.

We pulled up to our new duplex around 7:45. We were greeted by my sister, Holly and my parents who gifted us with a new welcome mat and a little welcome flag for our yard. They're sweet like that. I loved our duplex from the moment we pulled up. We had to quickly run to the property management office to sign papers and get our keys. We got back to the duplex, walked in, and loved it. I couldn't believe how much room we had. Truly a blessing.

We spent that weekend moving in and trying to get as settled as possible before Tim started his new job that Monday. I woke up early on Saturday morning before we started moving everything in and sat in front of the picture window in the living room and looked at the beauty outside. I sat there thinking - We didn't deserve any of this. But God, in His kindness, delivered us out of a difficult season, and brought us into a fresh new one. I know there will be difficulties in this new season (there already have been), and that is just a part of life on this earth. I'm excited about what God has in store for us here. I look forward to forming new relationships and I pray for a growing desire and heart for the people in Lincoln.

Monday, September 9, 2013

A New Season: 600 Miles Away {Part 2}

We knew we wanted to move. 

Lincoln was my home away from home. I have had connections there since before I was born since my family lived there for many years before I came along. We made trips up there every year, and even more so when my brother and sister both went to college near Lincoln. I have always had a special place in my heart for Lincoln and the Midwest in general. It's a city that doesn't feel like a city. It's a beautiful, it's slower paced than what I was used to in Dallas, and I knew I wanted to be a part of it at some point in my life. Thankfully, Tim felt the same way. And for the last few years, we have talked about it off and on and dreamed of the possibilities of picking up our lives and trying something new. We just weren't sure if that was what God wanted us to do. We knew, ultimately, that we wanted to be where God wanted us to be.

2013 had a lot of good times, but there seemed to be a lot more hard times. June came and it was one of the most difficult months we have had to face. Trial after trial -- physical, emotional, name it. It was during this time that we learned to go to God. Together. And pray the big prayers. The desperate prayers. It was our only option. We prayed for guidance, for wisdom, for direction, for clarity. We prayed that the Lord would use us where He wanted us, even if it meant staying in Dallas.

On the 4th of July, Tim came home from work and our neighbor was outside,so they started talking. He knew our story, and knew how unhappy we were, and that Lincoln had been on our hearts for awhile. He told Tim, just go for it. He told Tim to pick a date to move to Lincoln, whether he had a job or not. He said to maybe shoot for a month from now. That was August 4th. Tim came into the house and told me all of this, and I was like…yeah right! That would be absolutely crazy! But it had me intrigued. What did we have to lose?

Tim applied for several jobs in Lincoln. There was one in particular that he looked at that he was interested in but was highly doubtful that he qualified for the position. I encouraged him to apply anyways, so he did. He really didn't expect to hear back from them but guess what? They were the first ones to contact him. And it was the day after he applied!

They spoke on the phone and they wanted to meet Tim in person if possible. It just so happened that we were going to be in Lincoln that next week to visit family. They set a time for a face-to-face interview while we were in town -- exactly a week after the initial phone conversation. The kicker was that if he got the job, he would have to start on August 5th. That was only 3 1/2 weeks away and also the exact time that we were half-heartedly planning on moving whether he had a job or not. I thought, OK, don't get your hopes up, and don't worry, because it will all work out one way or another as crazy as that time frame is. God's good like that.

A week later we were in Lincoln. That morning, I walked Tim out to his car, we prayed, and he went downtown for his interview. He felt that the interview went well, and that he was to hear back the following day whether he got the job or not.

The next morning, Tim noticed that he had a message on his phone, but we had to drive closer to downtown to be able to get cell reception so that he could check the message. The message was from one of the guys who interviewed him. We decided to drive to our favorite coffee place in downtown Lincoln, which just so happened to be down the street from this companies offices. We parked on the street, got out of the car, and Tim called. It kind of felt like a scene in a movie. I stood there anxious, excited, trying not to get my hopes up (pfft, yeah right!), watching Tim to see his reaction. I could tell by the conversation and his smile that he was offered the job. I think I might of started hopping up & down a little with a huge grin on my face. Tim got off the phone, we smiled, I might of squealed a little, and we hugged -- in the middle of downtown Lincoln, the place we would return to in 14 days. Our new home.

God just completely blew us away with how he orchestrated every single thing that had happened at that point. We had many people praying for us over the years and encouraging us. There were so many confirmations that this was what God wanted us to do. There was absolutely no doubt this is where He wanted us to go, and that is such an amazing thing! And it was all in His timing. Even today, I continue to reflect on all that the Lord has done in in our lives -- through the good and the hard circumstances, and I see His hand in ALL of it. It truly is amazing and brings me to tears just thinking about it. He is incredible.

Stay tuned for Part 3!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

A New Season: Necessary Pruning {Part 1}

We finally did it!

We moved from our home in Dallas, Texas to our new home in Lincoln, Nebraska.

To some, this move might have seemed very sudden, maybe even impulsive.

To us, this was an answer to years of prayer & waiting.

I’ve been trying to figure out how best to sum up the last 5-6 years. The only thing I can come up with is that it was a time of pruning. There is a quote that I read a few months ago which I found as an encouragement during such a difficult season:

 God prunes us when He is about to take us into 
a new season of growth & expansion.” 
Christine Caine

So, what is pruning anyways?

Pruning - to trim (a tree, shrub, or bush) by cutting away dead or overgrown branches or stems, esp. to increase fruitfulness and growth.

Not a comfortable process, for sure. But did you notice the end result? "to increase fruitfulness and growth". It  is a necessary process that God uses at different times in life in order to grow us. Even though it is hard, and it can be very painful, I have learned that God is doing it for my good and that it is NOT a punishment. My tendency is to think that there must be something I'm doing to displease God, and that is why things are not going the way I want them to. It's not true folks! It's not! The good news of the Gospel says that God loves me, despite of the sin in my heart. I mean, He gave His only son up for me + my messiness so that I can be reconciled to Him. Beautiful, right? And because He loves me so much, He does not let me sit where I am at...He pushes me into the uncomfortable, which helps me to remember my desperate need for a Savior -- for the One that gives me hope, guidance, and wisdom.

I would have never learned these lessons (& many more) had God not brought us through the hard, the good, and the oh so ugly. Because of all of what went down the last 5 years -- I have a much richer relationship with Jesus, a deeper understanding of His great love for me, and a desire to know Him more. During all of this he brought a wonderful church and amazing people into our lives -- people that loved us, challenged us, and supported us. And those are friendships that will last a lifetime. That, my friends, makes it all worth it.

So, how in the world did we end up in Lincoln, NE? 

stay tuned for part 2......

Thursday, December 20, 2012

{Christmas Favorites}

Smell: Real Christmas trees, the smell of fireplaces when walking outside, the smell of cold (yes, that smell exists)

Tradition: Tim and I always go to the store (usually Target) and each purchase at least one ornament for our tree. Then I usually write the year we purchased it on each ornament (somewhere inconspicuous).

I also make homemade cinnamon rolls on Christmas Day (yummmmm)

Movie: Elf! I have seen this movie a gazillion and one times, but I never get tired of it! We have it on every year when we decorate our home for Christmas.

Hymn: O' Holy Night -- my all time favorite. The lyrics are full of richness and bring glory to the Lord. I can't get through the song without crying. It is beautiful. 

O Holy Night! The stars are brightly shining, 

It is the night of the dear Saviour's birth. 
Long lay the world in sin and error pining. 
Till He appeared and the Spirit felt its worth. 
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn. 
Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices! 
O night divine, the night when Christ was born; 
O night, O Holy Night , O night divine! 
O night, O Holy Night , O night divine!  

Led by the light of faith serenely beaming, 
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand. 
O'er the world a star is sweetly gleaming, 
Now come the wisemen from out of the Orient land. 
The King of kings lay thus lowly manger; 
In all our trials born to be our friends. 
He knows our need, our weakness is no stranger
Behold your King! Before him lowly bend! 
Behold your King! Before him lowly bend!  

Truly He taught us to love one another, 
His law is love and His gospel is peace. 
Chains he shall break, for the slave is our brother. 
And in his name all oppression shall cease. 
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we, 
With all our hearts we praise His holy name. 
Christ is the Lord! Then ever, ever praise we
His power and glory ever more proclaim! 
His power and glory ever more proclaim!

Christmas Album: Sufjan Stevens - Songs for Christmas

Gift: A few Christmas' ago, my parents started to gift us parts of the Willow Tree Nativity set. Each year since they have continued to add on to it. I am so thankful for this set. It is beautiful and I love setting it out every year.

Sight: I love looking at Christmas lights and looking for that 'Griswold' home! I also love sitting in my living room, turning off all the lights except for the lights on the Christmas tree. I love our tree and looking at all of our special ornaments.

Dislikes: Crazy stores & full parking lots, elf on the shelf, the terrible drivers that seem to come out this time of year, Texas winters (thankfully it is cold today! But it's been spring like the past few weeks); I want some sweater weather!

Feel free to comment and tell me some of your favorite things at Christmas time!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

{30 Days of Thankfulness} Day 15: 3 Gifts Golden

Golden Christmas Decor
Twinkle lights. Ornaments. Tinsel. Sparkly, gold snowflakes. Wrapping paper. Ribbons. Adds a warmth to the season!

Golden Sunsets
Simply gorgeous. 


Golden Butternut Squash Soup
Warm. Creamy. Yummy. Homey.