Friday, March 30, 2012

heart ramblings and VA pics

(warning: long post)
A few weeks ago we went back to visit some friends and family in VA. I am so thankful for them. We live in a very transient Seminary town. I've made several really close friendships to young wives and mothers my age, but they have all ended up moving away after their husband finished Seminary and God called them to other places. It has honestly been really tough for me. I'm thankful for the relationships I've made and excited to have friends in so many different places, but it is still tough not to have close friendships where I am. And I feel badly for my girls, especially Karis, who is old enough to want friends. She has her soccer and basketball buddies, and all her grown-up friends at church, but none her age that she gets to run and play with and make-up games and chat with with on a regular basis. We went to the park recently and she quickly made friends with a girl just a bit older. After having a blast with her, Karis joyfully ran up to me and said, "Mama, I'm so excited to have a real friend and not just imaginary ones!" So sweet but it brought tears to my eyes as well. We try to have various friends from church over for dinner about once a week, but none of them have children her age. We've been weekly getting together with one family that we love who has an almost 2 year old, but they are getting ready to move this summer. It will be so disappointing to my girls!

I've been holding on to a faint possibility that we might be moving back to VA soon, a beautiful place where we have long-time friends with children the same age as ours and grandparents who are super eager to help out with the little ones. This week we found out that the possibility had dissipated and I was amazed at how hard it hit me. I wasn't super excited about the job possibility that my husband had been exploring, but oh, how I wanted to move back to my friends and family! After a tearful phone call to my Mom and some serious heart-probing and talking to God, I realized that I had made moving back to VA an idol in my life and viewed it as the solution to all my problems. In reality, God has blessed me immensely right where I am in this Seminary town and I just need to be content and trust Him to provide what we need. I might still get teary-eyed when I think of how I'd love to have weekly play-dates with my dear friends and have the grandparents near-by to rescue me when I'm dreadfully sick or just need a night away with Mark, but I think for the first time in almost 7 years, I am choosing to be content where I am rather than always hoping and looking for the job that will move us back.

On this journey of thankfulness, I decided to write out some of the reasons that I am thankful to be in this place:

-- My husband has the absolute most perfect job for our family. He is doing something he enjoys, he pretty much sets his own schedule, I get to stay home with my girls, and we can spend time with him at his work as well. I mean, how many moms get to send their oldest 2 kids off to work with Daddy each week and they get to play with him for 2 hours while she does housework and the baby sleeps?

-- God always sends me a friend. Each time my closest friend has moved away, God has brought a new friend into my life. Every time. It might take several months and some initial effort on my part, (because I am a homebody whose tendency is to just focus on my family when I don't have a best friend to hang out with) but each friend that has moved on has opened up the door to a beautiful new friendship that I would have missed had my other friend not left.

-- I have amazing resources at my fingertips: A pediatrician who is friends with my awesome holistic doctor and understands my crazy natural tendencies and doesn't act like I am crazy or try to change my mind. A chiropractor who loves my girls and tries to help us pay her the least amount possible since our insurance doesn't cover anything. A large network of people who like to buy natural things in bulk so that we don't pay as much. A great source of fresh, grass-fed milk and friends who take turns going to pick it up. A great Farmer's Market where I can get good quality eggs and grass-fed beef and organic, pastured chicken. A grain mill store that carries every grain imaginable as well as other healthy stuff I can grab when I need it.

-- A wonderful, loving church family who will help us at the drop of a hat if I ever get over my pride and actually ask for it. It is probably good that I am not near my parents because then I would never learn to be humble :)

--Multiple homeschool co-ops and resources that are available if I ever take the plunge and actually join one. (Which I will definitely do this fall! My Karis will have lots of friends that are not imaginary!)

-- I have a super-sweet mother's helper who comes to play with my girls every other week and will soon be our #1 babysitter :)

-- Many friends back home in VA who drop everything to make time for us whenever we come to visit. Honestly, we probably see them as much now as when we lived there because we all went to different churches and had so much going on. But now whenever we visit, we all get together! My girls LOVE their children and talk about them all the time and look forward to our get-togethers with great excitement.

So obviously, I have absolutely no reason to complain. My God has given us over and beyond what I could ever ask for!

And now I have pictures of our most recent trip to VA:

We met our friends at the zoo! It is a very small zoo, but perfect for the girls to get excited about but not actually wear us out completely :)

There was a funny mirror that made them all look like midgets and they thought it was hilarious:

The older kids (who were not in the baby carriers :) What a sweet bunch of girls!!!
The cutest animal ever: a red panda!

The other girls were enamored with our Joovy stroller and they all took turns riding on it:
Excited about the tiger statue:
Climbing on the life-like tiger statue!
Visiting with Great-grandma Connie:

Abbi liked her hair:
Daddy and his girls!

1 comment:

Building Walls said...

I'm so thankful for you, and this post, and your example!!! I'm also so thankful to have such a glimpse into your heart and how to pray for you. I'm so sorry for the sad parts, and so thankful to see how God has blessed and encouraged and given you peace. Your family is SO blessed to have you! love, Mary