Monthly Archives: June 2014

Abide in Me…

This season has a lot to take in for this recovering perfectionist.  I find myself wondering quite often what my purpose is.  We moved to Orlando, knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that we were supposed to be in Orlando, we knew that the reason wasn’t clear, but the call was.  So we packed up everything, sold our house and moved.  In the midst of the busyness that accompanies a big move, I was pushing aside the feelings of uselessness that come with “only” being a full-time wife.  I don’t say only in the sense that a full-time mom says “only” because they have a LOT on their plates.  I say “only” in the terms of the fact that I want to do more and I don’t know what that is.  Really, in all reality until I know what “that” is… I probably should pursue any sort of job option.  I know more what I don’t want to do rather than what I do want to do… and that makes things pretty fuzzy….

Anyway, in the midst of all the planning and moving and new-ness it has been a conscious decision to not let panic set in.  Will I ever have a purpose?  Will I ever belong here?  What is my place here?  Who will I be with?  And in the midst of each question has been the simple, small peace-filled phrase “Abide in Me.”  Over and over again in my spirit I felt these words speaking to my soul and healing my fear.  I remembered that my first and foremost purpose is to be in love with God.  I remembered that without abiding in Him, no matter what I do will fail.  I have been dwelling on these two Scriptures as my source of remembering my purpose.  Before I can do anything, I need to be deeply rooted in God.

John 15:4-5 (ESV)

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.

I don’t really care (or am trying not to care) what people think of how I dress, how I look, what I do (or don’t do) with my free time, and focus on becoming who I am supposed to be as a follower of Christ.  That is my first priority.  I write this more as a note to myself to come back to when I feel attacked for not “doing anything” or when I feel like I will never belong, I always have a place… I will abide in Him.

Jellyfish, Sunburns, and Sandcrabs… Things People Don’t Tell You About Beach Life.

I can’t say that Gidget was my favorite movie growing up, or even one of my most watched, But what I can tell you is that I used to love the idea of being able to go to the beach everyday if I wanted.  Even last year, as I would go to our neighborhood pool to lay out read for gradschool, I would always turn on the pools kiddie features.  The features included a bucket that would fill with water and then dump out into the pool.  If I closed my eyes and wished really hard, I could pretend I wasn’t in the middle of Jenks Oklahoma, but rather sitting on the beach.

Well guess what now I can sit on the beach, pretty much any time I want, and it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.  So I thought I would write up a quick set of beach lessons that will help you get over your eagerness for beach life.

Lesson 1:  Sandcrabs are EVERYWHERE, you just might not realize it.

This tiny, scurrying almost imperceptible creatures ruined my morning on the beach the other day.  My husband and I had been going out to watch the sunrise quite frequently while simultaneously walking on the beach (this part is fine by the way).  But then the other day, we decided to just sit on the beach and that was a terrible choice as we quickly realized that sandcrabs were EVERYWHERE.  And not just sand crabs, bigger crabs too.  I believe I have developed a new distain for crustaceans that are not sitting on my plate.

Lesson 2:  Sand.  It’s the herpes of the ocean.

Sand is basically dirt.  It gets everywhere.  EVERYWHERE.  I basically don’t even bother trying to sweep/mop/vacuum frequently b/c living by the beach, sand is just a reality.  But I really hate it.  Who decided that sitting on white sandy beached was not only ok, but a thing to be coveted is beyond me.

Lesson 3:  Jellyfish are not cute and bouncy like demonstrated in certain children’s movies.

Ok, so we all learned in “Finding Nemo” that you can’t and shouldn’t touch jellyfish, but I’m pretty sure you also should bounce on the tops of the *cough DORI! cough*.  We have found several lying in wait for their demise up on the beach where we can laugh at their misery.  But the other day we were sitting in the waves in our lounge chairs going “Ahhhh… this is the life” when suddenly I spotted somethings dark and blobby about a foot from me and said in my calmest most rational voice “That is a Jellyfish!”  And I proceeded to pull my legs onto the chair and not move at all until it had passed.  I survived, but am now traumatized to get back in.

Lesson 4:  Sunburns.

Wear your sunscreen folks because it only takes about a half an hour in the sun to have to use an entire bottle of aloe.

Besides my current fear of both the water and the sand due to the creatures there-in, the view from my balcony is REALLY pretty.  I continue to be thankful that I CAN go out and walk the beach if I want to and I am so glad that I will always have this experience as part of my life.  If you ever have the chance to live directly on the beach for a month or more of your life DO IT, just take these small lessons to heart. 🙂

So Now I’m a Floridian…

We are officially in Florida.  After weeks of preparation and an equally difficult week of goodbyes, we are here.  There is an abundance of peace.  An abundance of relief and feelings of “ahhh we made it” and an abundance of… ummm… what now?  I have gone to the beach every day since we arrived on Saturday.  We have walked miles up and down the sand as we let the foamy waves crash against our ankles.  We eat pineapple so sweet that it rivals that which I have consumed in other countries.  We have eaten at our favorite Disney restaurant just because we had time and there was an open reservation.  Most significantly, we have met and enjoyed many of the Victory Orlando team who will soon become our ministry family.  They are tenacious, driven, God-honoring people who love the Lord and love people.  I truly can’t wait to get to know them more!

Now, just to get it out there, there are several aspects of the move that are not ideal.  I spend so much time posting coffee selfies on the beach to instagram that I fear that the perception is far from the reality.  So a short list of not-so-fabulous aspects…

-Bug Bites!  Seriously, where do these things even come from?  It’s awful.  I’m covered in tiny bug bites that I didn’t even realize we an issue.

-The smoke smell in our apartment.  Yes, we walked in and our “non-smoking” apartment smelled overwhelmingly like smoke.  BLEH! We have spent the past several days putting out baking soda, vinegar, coffee ground, pineapple rinds and anything else that might help to control the smell.  We bought a couple of air purifiers and spray odor reliever like it’s our J.O.B.  I’m not entirely sure it’s actually getting better.  We believe that there is a neighbor who smokes, coupled with the previous owners likely being smokers, coupled with the fact that the building is super old.  My biggest concern at this point is that our stuff will end up smelling like smoke, and that we will smell like smoke (gross!).  But, even if we both had to spend $300 getting new clothes, it would still be cheaper than our other housing options.  So, ya know, whatevs.

-Traffic.  It takes forever to get anywhere!  I’ve got a mental note to get some audio books.  I really don’t mind spending time in the car as long as 1. It’s not going to make me late. 2. The time is being used in some fashion.

-Getting a job.  I don’t even want to think about this one really.  I spent two hours looking and nothing is sounding too appealing.  I would like a job.  I mean, not having a job and working on my masters was plenty of down time for me.  I’m on the verge of feeling useless at this point.  But there are several factors that make getting a job difficult.  1. I don’t know what I wanna be when I grow up. 2. I would like something part time so that I can still be a wife effectively.  3.  I would like to do something that matters.  4.  I want the flexibility I would need in order to travel with Brandon when necessary.  5.  I don’t know when to actually get a job.  The “house before Job?” has become the new “chicken or egg?” question in my mind.  If we get a renovation, I will need to not be working.  6 (or something) We have to go back in Novemeber for Brandon’s Step dad’s birthday… so then, will we go again in December? If so, is it even realistic for me to get a job by the end of the year?  I’m just not gunna think about it right now….

So, there it is.  Not too bad, really.  In my quest to be more non-chalant in life and let the small things fall through the cracks (without attempting to pry open the floorboards later to pick them back up) I am choosing to focus on the happy.  But I’m realizing that focusing on the happy doesn’t mean to ignore the unhappy, it means choosing not to dwell on it.  Nothing will ever be perfect.  But dwelling on and trying to improve the imperfection will just be a waste.  Instead, I will find a good bug repellent and salve, I will continue to spray the odor releaser and realize that the condo is temporary, I will get some audio books, and I will wait to pursue the right job when it comes.

See?  Now that’s not so hard… right?