There’s a long stream of consciousness post ahead. You’ve been warned. You’re probably included somewhere so press on.
1. So, we switched churches. We’re terrible people. One of those statements of true. (If you think it’s the latter, I’ll pinch you.) I assure you this was not without a toddler-esque tantrum of epic proportions on my part but the reality that I was being presented with an opportunity to serve and submit well to my husband on an issue that, at first, I simply did not understand was overwhelming.
We’ve been at our “old” church for nearly three years. I could not ever utter a single negative about it, our experiences, their mission, or the like. Our reality that we live nearly 40 minutes from the campus was something I’d come to accept after spending years driving there no less than twice a week for a weekend corporate gathering, playgroup, work, serving, or attending one of their beautiful ministries. A year of Monday nights devoted to recovery, nearly a year of Wednesday nights devoted to marriage class, over a year of working at least once a week with the kiddos, and not enough trips to the area to spend time with the women that exemplify Christ in ways I thought only people like Beth Moore knew. That church hammers out authenticity in a way that makes me feel normal, in a way that is both comforting and eye opening. My thankfulness for the five years I spent being beat over the head in the most Liberal city in Kansas is exponential. The compassion for others and understanding that “their” and “my” sin are no different. This place was finally “home” after realizing that it was OK to cut the emotional cord of our first church home in Kansas before we decided to peace out on a whim and take a job that would allow our family the ability for me to stay home and raise our children.
So, we switched. There’s now a peace about accepting that you’re doing what God’s calling you to do even if at the time it literally doesn’t make a lick of sense.
I’ve spent the last five years with a man I adore, who loves me, cherishes me, and has made such strides in his passion for learning the Bible that I don’t have the space to build him up (or the ability to do so without sounding like a holier than thou wife as that would err on the side of appearing inauthentic). It’s easy to submit (Biblically) to a man who is daily walking the walk of the words he speaks. There’s a heart knowledge that has replaced a head knowledge that encourages me to step aside from my “I go to Bible Study every Wednesday and connect with Godly women on a daily basis. What’s your Christian claim to fame, buddy?” attitude and realize that out of nowhere I’ve became married to a different version of the same wonderful man. I don’t know when or how it happened (likely when I was nose deep into the interwebs of Facebook and the like paying zero to three percent attention to my family) but praise God it did. (I promise this isn’t a post about my husband, somehow my gratitude is overflowing and as someone who struggles with control and isn’t very nice sometimes perhaps a few words of blogging praise couldn’t hurt.)
The church is great. It’s smaller, it’s different, it’s not yet home, but it doesn’t feel off. The sincere love and hospitality that’s been shown to us is such a blessing and reminds me in many ways of where we used to worship in Kansas. We’re likely more left of Conservative than 98% of the congregation and certainly the youngest couple by 5-55 years. I exaggerate not. At first glance it would seem we’re out of our element but it just, well, kinda makes sense. The 2 minute drive from our house doesn’t hurt either. Or the fact that K tells us regularly how much she likes the “new church” and wants to paint pictures for her teacher. Not to put too much stock in what a three year old thinks, but it’s nice to know she’s being loved well.
2. We’ve been sick. Like super sick. No flu, no vomiting (thank you, sweet Jesus!) Just lots of sleep interrupted by a crazy need for Kleenex, and a sweetie sweetie with an ear infection in both ears requiring Motrin, a strong antibiotic, and numbing drops. Oh, and lots of popsicles/hot chocolate/anything but vegetables. I think she’s starting to milk the lack of nutrition a little bit and really become a master swindler of her case (example: offering Daddy four hugs instead of having to eat her broccoli. Daddy got the hugs. K ate the broccoli.Parenting win.) Given I’m a week or two or twelve from my due date and am planning a birth without an epidural I think there’s some benefit to being able to breathe out of my nose. Not entirely sure that’s a deal breaker but one would assume pain management is best done without the use of a tissue every minute and a half. We’ll see how the birth story pans out to make a final call on that guess. Given our many days of interrupted sleep thanks to our own sickness and little K’s I’m so thankful that it’s nearly 10AM and she’s still asleep after going to bed and waking once last night. Homegirl has newly developed the habit of not waking before 9. Mama is thrilled and optimistic this little trend can continue, well, forever.
3. Sometimes you realize how awesome-sauce your parents and homies are. Not just because they 1. birthed you and 2. talk you off the cliff (respectively) but because you often are high maintenance and put a little legalism in you relationships. To say I was a difficult teenager would be an understatement, and to say Elizabeth from 17-21 was a nightmare would be about accurate. My poor parents. One day I’ll buy ’em a house several miles away or send ’em on vacation as a well deserved “Thanks for tolerating me.” It’s lessons like learning your dad is pretty much the coolest guy known to man and your mama has a bigger heart that precisely 100% of those you know that teach you there’s no shame in some years of parenting a nincompoop as my behavior was in no way a reflection of them. (Perhaps I’ll remember that when K has a meltdown in public.No red faced “someone should really find that kid’s mom” looks from me!)
A few weeks ago I allowed two sets of friends to meet. One set has been part of the crazy with me for the past eight years and the other has been part of the less crazy for not quite three. Mixing “college friends” and “church friends” is either a completely loony tune thing to do or a stroke of genius. Because I choose my friends well the latter was what happened and my stories of college shame were kept to a minimum. It’s nice to have friends who know when to keep their mouth shut. I’m sorry I’m not one of them.
4. I have stretch marks. There. I said it. They won’t go away. Like, ever (ode to Taylor Swift, who I deeply dislike based on her approach to men as song material. That’s judgmental of me. Eesh.) Though there’s only three, K has decided to point them out to me along with reminding me entirely too often “Your tummy’s getting bigger.” Thanks, kid. She’s so observant. Maybe this will encourage me to never wear a two piece bathing suit again. My shame can transfer to modesty. *Que the comments where I need to embrace my beautiful post-baby body. I’ve embraced it, yo. Doesn’t mean I’m thrilled. I’ve accepted that Fox News is a legit source of information for people. Doesn’t make it a good thing. *Que the comments where Fox News isn’t biased and I should have
stopped never started the judgement at Ms.Swift.
As I stop for a second and think about what I’ve just rambled about I realize I’m just more blessed and overwhelmed and loved and the like than I realize during the chaos of the day. I’m also pretty sarcastic and, though I consider myself largely tolerant, out of nowhere some issues really irk me. I’ll include that issue in my Quiet Time later (along with how to not be a materialistic pregnant woman who spends money on 70% off jewelry at Dillard’s because there’s no reason to pretend like any of the clothes are gonna fit and how to structure my day in a more God-honoring way as opposed to our normal of “What does Elizabeth feel like doing today.” That’s for another post entirely).