You Remind Me of Home

Home. What is it? 

I spent the last weekend in Orlando. It was a wonderfully weekend and the last of its kind for a while.

It got me thinking though about the concept of home. I spent most of my childhood in Orlando, but I remember the almost immediate feeling that it was no longer home as soon as I came back from college one weekend that fall. Something had changed or maybe I had changed, but it didn’t possess the homey comfort it used to. Instead, the homey comfort had been replaced by nostalgia and suspicion that the location of home had changed.

Now, almost six years later home is Tallahassee. Taylor and I made our life there and it has all of the homey comforts we enjoy. Soon, Tallahassee will be replaced with the same glorious nostalgia. It will be of a time gone by – I’ll remember fondly so many memories and places and people, but it won’t be home. We’ll build a new home and eventually it too will possess the homey comforts we associate with home because home is not a place as much as it is a feeling and people.

Each time we move, we break apart a bit. We leave a piece of who we where behind. Pieces of my heart will always be in Orlando (with our family, with my childhood and high school self, with the smoke stacks of suburbia) and in Tallahassee (with our friends, with my college and young married self, with the brick buildings and the smell of Diffenbaugh Hall) and now onward to the next stage to find a new self to leave behind and a new place to make feel like home.

The day when it’s not going your way

Yesterday was a day that I’d rather not live over again. It wasn’t even one of the worst days of my life, but it was bad enough that all I wanted to do was go to sleep and awake to see a new morning.

Yesterday was one of those days when work felt longer and more arduous and more pointless than it has in a long while. I couldn’t wait to rush out of there into the balmy sun to sit in my inferno of a car. I needed escape.

Yesterday I felt the pains of living in community, of feel hurt and forgotten by people who don’t mean to hurt or forget. Feeling overwhelmed by mere thought of packing up my apartment. Feeling saddened by so much that’s going on.   It was another layer and all of it ended me up on my couch in my pajamas much earlier than normal. Broken out in hives from the stress of the day, I needed to stop and breath. I needed to refresh and renew.

These are the types of days when I become happy that each morning truly is new.

May 8, 2009

This is from my story of me series.

Have you ever planned a wedding? If yes, then you know it is absolutely bananas. So many conflicting opinions, so many tough conversations about money and so many details.

I happen to looooove planning and details so wedding planning  itself was actually a joy. I would totally love to plan a friend’s wedding – I seriously think it’s so fun. Maybe that’s weird. The stressful aspects of joining two families…. yeah, I might pass on that joy again. It was stressful. My family was not overjoyed and it was so sad to come to grips with, but it was good because I had the wedding I wanted and I became more of an adult in the process.  It just wasn’t going to be a movie magically familial celebration that I had in my head and I came to realize that’s okay too because I was still getting married. I used to have serious panic attacks about spending time with my in-laws too and anyone who has ever had a panic attack knows that is not cool. Brides shouldn’t get panic attacks but I had a good few during the time we were married.

Oh, yeah and the part where my photographer cancelled the day before my wedding – not awesome.

Our actual wedding was pretty perfect and perfectly us, well, us at the time – which is actually pretty far away from who we are now, but that’s life. There was dancing to our favorite jams, smashing cake in each others face and lots of people watching us kiss. It truly was a beautiful day and it is so crazy to think that this was four years ago. It seems like it was yesterday and yet it seems like so much has happened. Life is so much better than it was four years ago. Taylor and I are better. Everything with Taylor’s family got better with lots of time.

After our wedding, we basically took the best vacation of all time. Off to Europe for a week to visit Budapest, Vienna and Berlin. What a ridiculously fun trip!

wedding

The 25 List Update: May

I can’t believe this is already my fourth update. This year is going by so fast and I’m sure it’s about to pick up steam.

You can read my other 25 list updates here!

Let’s start.

1. I actually started my Spanish studies seriously this month. I bought an old textbook and got to work. I realized in the process my Spanish is unfortunately much worse than I thought, but I am making process and a lot of the grammar and conjugations are coming back quickly. It’s a good thing I like studying foreign languages so much or this could be a drag.

3. I’ve been running more (and exercising more in general). Hooray! I still haven’t made real plans to run a 5k yet. I’m thinking those won’t get made until after the move.

5. I’ve stalled out on my goal to do 5 unexpectedly nice things. I think it’s because everything I can think of requires money and I’m in super-saver mode. I’m going to get more creative with this goal soon.

7. I’ve been praying a lot more and trying to focus different parts of the day to pray about different things. I think this strategy is helping me.

8. New recipes and new foods galore! I knew this would be the easiest goal!

10. I only finished one novel this month. It was a slow read and a bit of a strain to get through. I do have a trip planned to the library to pick up steam on this goal.

11. My anxiety about the future (and the move) comes in waves. I am doing a lot better than I was a month ago and I’m praying against it getting worse as we get closer to July. I am truly trying to trust in God for this one.

16. I’ve been trying to plan something nice for the co-workers of my small office. I’m thinking I’ll start with baking something nice.

22. I need a new strategy for memorizing scripture because I’m really having trouble getting it to stick.

Mini-goals: 

  • Keep studying Spanish! 
  • Run more days each week. (My goal is 4 days)
  • Read more novels
  • Do something nice for my co-workers.

Going not knowing

This Sunday I was at church and the moment the pastor started preaching, I knew this sermon was for me. I could feel that these words were tailor-made for the season I’m heading into. Such a sweet, sweet thing to happen.

But, they were hard words about the future. The pastor made a point about “going forward not knowing.” The risk involved in our lives reminds us that we are not God, we are not omniscient. Most of us tend to live our lives to avoid risk, to enjoy comfort and to stay in our security zone. I know this is how I try to live: avoid risk, plan for everything, budget wisely…. the list goes on and some of these things can be a great good and a great blessing, but when God sends us forward not knowing what the future holds like he did in Acts 20:22 with Paul

“And now, behold, I am  going to Jerusalem, constrained by the Spirit, not knowing what will happen to me there.

or in Genesis 12:1 with Abram

“Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.

God does this repeatedly throughout scripture and this increases our dependence on God and forces us to walk by faith and not by sight. This is what is good for me.

God does not promise that this will be easy and actually difficulties are usually ahead, but this is for the glory of God.

So, I’m looking forward to the season ahead much more that I was, because even though sacrifices are ahead with difficulties and the distances from our families, God is calling us to go not knowing and to trust in Him. I’m looking forward to an even deeper, sweeter and richer time trusting more fully in God.

Sacrifice

We live in a selfish culture that tells us we are all individuals, we are all unique and we all deserve exactly what we want when we want it.

We (including me) bow to our idol of selfishness everyday. In small ways, like lazily staying in bed when we have chores to do or hoping someone else will do the dishes you are too lazy to do (ouch) and in big ways when society tells us that money and careers and stuff are all more important than marriages, kids and building a home.

Our society tells us that we should not sacrifice any part of the dreams we have for ourselves for anyone else. We can have it all. But in our hearts, don’t we all know that we can’t? Something has to give.

Like for me right now, I can’t have the comfort of staying close to family or staying at home full time to have the kids we don’t have yet. I make sacrifices for my husband’s vision for our family. I pack. I move. I try to stop pinning baby things and stop my jealousy when another of my friends announces their pregnancy.

My sacrifices do not make me weak. They do not make me less of a women. I sacrifice such a small speck of my life compared to the sacrifices of Christ. Nevertheless, I put others before myself. I don’t do this perfectly. I am selfish everyday but I try day by day to present my life as a living sacrifice. I’m working on it one day at a time because it is truly worth it.

It was a black and white spring

My story of me sections keep getting so spread out! Sorry, friends. If you’re looking to read them all from the beginning read from here.

Taylor and I officially started dating on January 8, 2008. Taylor had orchestrated the cutest way to ask me out which involved these three different colors of roses for each aspect of our relationship. It was adorable; I was over-the-moon and Taylor was super nervous.

Over the next week, I went from over-the-moon this-is-the-best-ever to pit of depression/anger. Taylor’s parent’s didn’t agree with our plans to start dating and made it a point to end our relationship fast. Needless to say, this didn’t really work out in the end. God had other plans for us to grow together and be strong and hold convictions quiet dearly. Of all the times in my little life thus far, this was the most challenging. I really became so depressed about who I was and what I had caused in this family I wanted so much to impress. I lost way too much weight and thought super unhealthy thoughts. Through it all, I had the most amazing roommate, friends and pastors who came around side me to love me through this season. Who fought for Taylor and I and who loved us.

But, it spite of challenging family circumstances, Taylor and I grew together. We spent a summer working hard and hardly working in Orlando. We drove back to school at the start of our sophomore year with new freedom and not long after that Taylor must have purchased a ring because on October 8, 2008 he proposed and I said yes. He proposed in a most equally cute way with a whole story through important moments in our relationship and like any good hipster – a perfectly timed playlist. And then we were off with plans to be hitched in the spring.

Black and White