Sunday, September 26, 2010

Great is Thy Faithfulness

About a month and a half ago, Chris came home from work looking pretty down.  I figured he'd just had a bad day, but turns out it was worse than that.  "I was laid off," he said after hugging and kissing me.  There was a lot of prayer, comforting (the lay-off wasn't his fault--the company just wasn't selling enough planes), tears (on my part) and discussion in our house that night.  Do we stay in Y-town? (That job was why we'd come here.)  What do we do about the fact that we're having a baby soon?  Can we afford to stay in our house?

As the title of this post says, His faithfulness is indeed amazing.  Within one week of being laid off, Chris got a temporary job (via, of all things, a post a former coworker saw on Facebook).  And once his new boss learned I was pregnant, he changed his temp status to permanent so we could get benefits.  Even though this wasn't a permanent solution (which Chris' new boss knew going into it), it would tide us over until we figured out what to do next.

Enter T-town, California.  Yep, the land of swimmin' pools and movie stars.  Also, the new home of us.  Chris applied for his dream job, figuring he wouldn't get it, but hey, it's worth a shot right?  Then he had a phone interview...then they contacted his references...and flew him down there for an interview.  The same day they offered him a job.  That's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to how God has shown that this is the right decision.  I'm not kidding...the miracles are never ending.

Chris will be working for a super cool company (if you want to know details and I know you're not a stalker, feel free to ask!) while I will be enjoying my dream job of stay at home mom (one of those aforementioned miracles!)

So we are facing changes yet again, but we're excited for where God is leading the three of us. :)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Putting My Money Where My Mouth Is

I'm frugal.  Call it my Scandinavian genes, my upbringing or what have you, but I love getting good deals on things. Now, there are some things I've learned the hard way to pay more money for (example: off brand Chex taste like cardboard, IMO), but overall, I'm an off-brand girl.  It's certainly a skill that has served me well, and I know Chris appreciates it.  (It's also fun and slightly addicting.)

A week or so ago, Andrew Peterson wrote a series on money at the Rabbit Room, and part three ("Suggestions to Chew Upon") really struck a chord with me.  (Forgive the poor musical pun.)  The second item on his list is to better what you can.  This plays into my frugal nature, because let's be honest, Amazon is pretty much the cheapest place to get anything.  But, if I buy Andrew's music from Rabbit Room, he gets more of that money.  Which means he can better support his family.  And I'd rather that my money went to help the Peterson family buy groceries rather than support Jeff Bezos' fourth house (slight exaggeration...I think).

Etsy is another great example.  I could go to Target and buy a purse for $20, or I could go to Etsy and get one for $30.  At Etsy, however, my money is going to the person who actually made it.  And as someone who would like to eventually sell things on Etsy, that's cool!

Is it possible to go overboard as a "locavore" in budgeting our money wisely?  Absolutely.  I do realize there needs to be a balance.  But when it comes to things I have more control over (like music that I buy), why not purchase it directly from the artist himself, and support him in his calling?  (Or her...I'm not sexist, promise!)  Especially as someone who has a great respect for Christian artists who are making quality music today, I feel it's my God-given duty to support those who are proclaiming truth, even if it costs me a bit more.

P.S. You really should read all of AP's series on music, found right here (you may need to scroll down).

Sunday, September 12, 2010

365

365 days ago, I stood (barefoot, of course!) and pledged my life and love to my very best friend.  It's been a year full of ups and downs neither of us could have ever imagined, but there's no one I'd rather have by my side leading and loving me.

Here's my favorite snapshot from that day (our first moments as husband and wife)...

Monday, September 06, 2010

Choosing Hope

The title for this post was shamelessly stolen from some written by Molly Piper (whose blog is fabulous).  Most of you probably don't know her story, but in 2007, her baby girl, Felicity, went home to be with Jesus when Molly was 39 weeks and 4 days pregnant.  39 weeks and 4 days.  As her bio says, "Saying goodbye to her has been the heartbreak of my life."  (Obviously, we haven't been through anything like that.)


I read her posts about choosing hope when we'd just found out I was pregnant and was, frankly, scared to death of a miscarriage.  For the first trimester, I was too afraid to think about colors for the baby's room, or talk about names (which we ended up picking before trimester number 2), etc.  I had to remind myself that God wants to give me good gifts.


This isn't the first time I've struggled with the concept.  Between the time I graduated from college and met Chris, I frequently wondered if I would ever get married, or if God would keep me single to increase my faith in Him.  But then, I met Chris and things moved (quickly!) to marriage.


Once we were married, I was sure we'd have problems getting pregnant.  Lo and behold, we got a positive pregnancy test less than a year after our wedding.  But then I was sure we'd have trouble keeping the baby (to build our faith, right?).  Granted, this pregnancy is still in progress, but each and every midwife appointment has brought a good report and strong, beating heart.  (Thank you, Jesus!)  It's been a huge lesson to place my trust in God and not in the kicks that I feel.


That's not to say that the rest of the pregnancy will progress smoothly or trouble free--although we certainly pray that it will--but God wants to give us good gifts.


I'm also reminded of this quote by C.S. Lewis: 

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket- safe, dark, motionless, airless--it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.”


Whatever happens, it's worth it to give my heart to this baby inside me despite all the heartbreaks of motherhood.  I have been called to mother this precious little one to the best of my ability, short time or long.  And you know what?  There's nothing else I'd rather do.