March 13, 2014

On Toddler “Help” (and how I’m a toddler)

Posted in Watermarks in Progress tagged , , , , , , at 2:05 pm by Tamara

Little Bear is in the phase where he loves to help me, and I’m doing whatever I can to encourage it. He especially loves baking with me, which I find absolutely ADORABLE. Of course the downside is that everything takes 3x as long with a toddler helping, but I try to let him anyway because I want to encourage that considerate and helpful spirit of his!

The other day I was having an “Ahk-I’m-not-accomplishing-anything-in-life” sort of day, and desperately wanted to get some stuff done to make myself feel better. Bear was trying to help me clean, but Baby Songbird was quite indignant that I thought a broom was more interesting than her. She is SO social; Bear has always been able to amuse himself for quite a while alone, but she wants interaction all-the-time. At one point I told Bear, “You know, the way you could help me the most would be to keep your sister happy for a bit.” He gave me a dubious look, but, sweet boy that he is, trotted off to entertain his fussing sister (who perked up the minute he was paying attention to her).

Bear really seemed skeptical that he could be more helpful playing with Songbird than hanging on to the bottom of the broom for me, but as I swept and mopped as quickly as I could, I thought how that REALLY WAS the absolute best thing he could do to help me and how much I appreciated it. And suddenly it occurred to me that God probably often tries to tell me the same thing, and I often give him the same ‘Not-sure-you-know-what-you’re-talking-about’ look Bear gave me.  Sometimes I’m so busy looking for “BIG THINGS TO DO FOR GOD,” and frustrated that he doesn’t seem to be letting me “help” him as much as I want to. But I wonder if he’s telling me, “Honestly, what would be the most wonderful is if you would just love and care for the people I’ve put around you.” He did say, after all, that the two things he wanted most from us are to love him and love our neighbors.

Shortly afterwards I got a chance to choose to practice this conviction, because Bear got tired of playing with Songbird and she decided she was going to cry until I rescued her. So, I abandoned my mop in the laundry room sink and scooped her up. I told her teasingly, “You know, how YOU could help me the most would be to fall asleep.” And right away there was God’s whisper to me: “You could ‘help’ me by being still too, you know. By choosing to rest in me, and to peacefully enjoy and love the little ones I’ve given you to love, even if you don’t feel like you’re ‘accomplishing’ much.”

Now, I’m not saying I plan to let our house fall to complete shambles, because I know I can honor God by doing those practical things, but I realized that I probably have no idea how thrilled God is with the moments when I’m just sitting on the floor, showing my precious kiddos that I love them and God loves them too. If it gives me warm fuzzies to see my little boy sweetly loving and caring for his baby sister, how much more delighted must God be when we love and take care of the family, friends, and even strangers he’s put in our lives?

“Little children…a new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35

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January 27, 2014

Snuggles and the Tug of Heaven

Posted in Watermarks in Progress tagged , , at 3:31 pm by Tamara

My son woke up crying in the middle of the night last night.  I sat and snuggled him in the rocker and he fell back asleep, his head snuggled on my shoulder and gentle light from the snowy night outside caressing his smooth cheeks.

There are no words for the overflowing sense of heart-fullness that I have when I’m snuggling one of my sleeping kids and staring into their peaceful face. Does it sound weird to say I feel the tug of heaven in those moments? Because I sense so keenly that I’m experiencing something that my heart just can’t contain and words certainly can’t confine into sentences. Such a sense of awe to have this inexplicable, spiritual, life-strong bond of love (what an inadequate word that feels like) with this precious little soul God entrusted to me. I marvel at it and my heart fumbles to wrap around the realization that we were made for a different world, designed to experience a bond with our savior that we can’t even imagine. And experiencing just a little tendril of that relationship through the all-consuming love I feel for my kids just about sends me to my knees with awe of how deep Christ’s love for us must be and how little I must grasp it.

I could stare at this post for the rest of my life and I don’t think I’d get the words right to describe it. The blessing and fulfillment of motherhood is deeper than I ever could have imagined before I held my children’s little bodies and huge souls in my arms. What an undeserved, awe-inspiring gift. And how great must my God be to give gifts like that? And how will my heart explode when I get to heaven and get to experience the entirety of that love and relationship? I hope God gives me better words to worship him with then. In the meantime, I will snuggle my babies and marvel at the mystery.

June 14, 2013

THOSE Days

Posted in Watermarks in Progress tagged , , , , , at 7:40 pm by Tamara

Today was one of THOSE days.  I held it together by a thread until my husband got home, but shortly thereafter as I was angrily putting my 2 year old into a time out I became acutely aware that I should NOT be disciplining in the state I was in.  I snatched my keys off the counter, informed hubby that I needed to get out of there, and slammed the door behind me.

I stomped around our apartment complex until I found a quiet spot, where I sat down and sniffled and tried not to cry.  It was just.one.of.those.days.  When parenting and life and everything is just too much.  “Stop the merry-go-round, I want to get off.”  And then I felt terrible guilt for losing it over tiny things when I know so many people who are facing big things, and felt guilty for abandoning Hubby with the crazy toddler when he had a stressful day too, and I began to feel like the worst person/mother/Christian ever and despaired that I could ever accomplish any of the things I care about if I can’t even handle days like today and….  Then I just cried.

After a while I saw an elderly lady come out of the house across the street and start to peacefully water her flowers.  And *OH* the resentment that suddenly leapt into my heart.  I couldn’t decide if I wanted to yell at her for having it so easy or just beg her to switch lives with me.

Ironically, the last time I remember losing it on one of THOSE days, I fled the house, strapped the toddler into the stroller, and went for a walk.  As we walked, I saw an elderly couple rocking on their porch, peacefully reading their newspapers.  I felt the same thing then: total jealously at the unfairness of them rocking there while I’d had the worst morning ever, and a longing to leap their garden gate, fall on my knees in front of them and beg “Oh please won’t you switch lives with me??

But, I realized as I walked by, for all I knew, they were wistfully looking at me and thinking the same thing.  In all likelihood, that woman had once been just where I was and had her share of THOSE days.  For all I know, she was watching me and wishing for the days when she was a young mom, when her kids were close, when loved ones hadn’t passed away, when she wasn’t dealing with health problems or social security stress or whatever.  For all I know, my stroller-pushing walk in the middle of the day with my cute little man looked positively idyllic and gave her heart a pang of fond memories and longing.

To be honest, in general I’m really loving life right now.  I have a LOT of days as a stay-at-home mom that feel idyllic to me.  I love getting to witness all the little and monumental moments of Bear’s life, instead of wondering what the babysitter is seeing that I’m missing.  I love the freedom in my schedule that lets me decide on a whim to hop off to the park with him, or call a friend for a play date, or lounge around the house with him doing nothing.  I love that the effort and effects of my work directly impact my family, rather than some corporation or CEO I’ve never met.  Most days, I’m incredibly thankful that I can stay at home and be mom all day.

There are, unfortunately, also parts of our lives right now that I do not like at all.  I hate feeling like we are soooo far away from doing the ministry we want to be doing.  And there are other things, and when I’m just thinking about them, it’s easy to want to just be done with this phase, or think “Everything will be better when ____,” and just wish the time away.

So, what’s the point?  I don’t know exactly, but I do think it’s ironic that God seems to put the elderly in my path when I’m wanting out of my life.  Maybe it’s just about perspective, and realizing that in every phase of life, “This too shall pass.”  And that goes for both the good parts and bad parts.

Thankfully, I’d say the great days far outnumber THOSE days for me, but I do still have those days sometimes.  So, I’m glad for a little perspective, and a little reminder not to get fixated on the overwhelming days and wish away all the parts about this phase of life that I love.  And that will be a lesson worth remembering both now, and someday when I’m rocking on my porch watching other young moms pass by.  Someday I’ll probably be there, too, and I hope I’ll have lots of fond memories, a few wistful pangs, and the confidence that I’ve lived fully in every phase of life and have earned both the relaxing rocking and the longing for past things – and the freedom to pursue more and more of my goals until God takes me home.

I finally wandered home tonight, got down on the floor, and (still teary-eyed) apologized to Bear for disciplining him while I was angry.  He gave me a big grin, threw himself into my arms, and immediately began giggling and climbing all over me.  Oh, the grace and energy and living-in-the-moment capacity of a little boy.  Exhausting?  Yes.  Wonderful?  Yes.

June 30, 2012

I Will Get to You (Adoption Thoughts)

Posted in Watermarks in Progress tagged , , at 3:57 pm by Tamara

One of the things I want to do for my internship is interview adoptive/foster families, so I started with my supervisor at the non-profit I’ve been interning with.  At one point she said something that really struck me:

“I knew I had a child in China.”

I shared this with Adam and he said it struck him the same way it did me.  We generally talk in impersonal terms like “there are thousands of kids who need parents,” which sounds so overwhelming and abstract and unreal.  But to think that WE could have a one of OUR children in another country, waiting for us to come rescue them, pierces me in an entirely different way.

The first night after Bear was born, we stayed in the hospital and he slept in his bassinet at the food of my bed.  I had ended up needing a c-section and had only been in recovery a few hours, so I was still pretty much immobile in bed.  At some point during the night, Bear made a tiny sound that sounded a little like choking.  Within an instant I was on my hands and knees on the foot of the bed, scooping him up and checking to make sure everything was okay.  He was perfectly fine and I soon put him back down, and only then did I realize what I’d just done: I had been flat on my back with a major incision in my stomach, numb from pain killers and basically unable to use my abdominal muscles, tangled with 11 cords attached all over my body, yet the instant I’d thought my baby was in danger something had absolutely propelled me to his side.  I couldn’t even lie back down again without Adam’s help, but somehow I had gotten to my baby when he needed me.

I realized right then that with Bear’s birth an incredible protective force had been born in my heart.  Nothing—ever—was going to keep me away from my baby when he needed me.

This came to my mind today when Adam and I were talking about the possibility that we have a child in another country.  I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that if Bear was in an overwhelmed orphanage on the other side of the world, or being moved from foster home to foster home across the city, I would move heaven and earth to get to him.  I would stop at nothing—-nothing—-that was in my power to get to him.  I wouldn’t be stopped by money, or fear, or overwhelming amounts of paperwork, or how tiny our apartment is, or whether it seemed practical, or what other people thought about it.  I would Get. To. My. Child.    Period.

It’s admittedly a bit mind-boggling to think that one of our children might be in another country.  But, if God calls us to adopt, that child is our child, regardless of race or country or biology, and He has known it all along.  It just might take us a little longer to figure it out.  When I think about it that way, from God’s perspective, and wonder if one of my children is somewhere else, separated from me, it lights a fire under me.  If God is calling me to adopt, then I have a child far away who needs me and is waiting for me.  And nothing—nothing-–is going to keep me away from them.

All this can’t help but make me think about what God has done for me.  This fierce, passionate love and protectiveness in me for both the child in my arms and any children who are far away is a reflection of how He feels about us.

There’s a story in John, where Jesus is talking to the religious leaders of the Jews, who considered themselves the “true children” of God.  Yet, here is Jesus, stunning them by calling them blind sinners.  He starts telling a story about a flock of sheep, and how a hired hand will abandon the sheep when wolves come because he’s just an employee and doesn’t really care about the sheep.  But, Jesus says, He loves the sheep because He is the good shepherd.  In fact, He loves His sheep so passionately that He is going to give up his life for them.

Then He says an interesting thing: “I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me….  I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd” (John 10: 1-18).

Those “other sheep” that Jesus is talking about, are US–all of us who aren’t born Jews.  Even though we weren’t born into His own people group and family, Jesus considered us His children.  And, rather than moving heaven and earth to get to us, He moved himself across heaven and earth to come to us.  He “became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14).

That same passage says that Jesus’ own people rejected Him; in fact, they would later kill him.  But, to the people who did accept Him, “He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:2-14).

So, in reality, *I* am an adopted child.  I wasn’t born into God’s family biologically, but He knew me and loved me and knew I would accept Him.  He gave everything He had, right down to His very life, to rescue me.  He didn’t let anything keep Him away from me, but came all the way into my world to save me and, eventually, will take me home with Him.

We don’t know what will happen with our family and adoption, but we are trusting God that, if one of our children has been or will be born in another country or across the city, He will get us to him or her, no matter what it takes.  Will you pray with us?

June 1, 2012

Child + Sniffles + Paranoia = Hypo-mom-driac

Posted in Watermarks in Progress tagged , , at 11:41 pm by Tamara

A couple nights ago Bear got a cold.  Nothing serious, just a stuffy/runny nose.  So I plugged in the humidifier when I put him in bed, hoping it would help him breathe.  In the morning it was stifling hot in there, so the next night I adjusted things.  Last night was night three of his cold, and the set up in his bedroom was as follows:

  • Humidifier to make it more humid
  • Door open to keep it from getting too humid
  • Window cracked to make it cooler
  • Space heater plugged in to keep it from getting too cold
  • Couple drops of tea tree oil in humidifier to help him breathe
  • Way fewer drops than recommended in case he has an allergic reaction and can’t breathe
  • Lightweight pajamas in case he gets too hot
  • Sleepsack in case he gets too cold
  • White noise machine on to keep it from being too quiet
  • Me, tiptoeing like a cat burglar to keep from being too loud as I check all this to make sure he’s still alive.

Parenting is funny.  ;)

January 1, 2012

Farewell, 2011!

Posted in Watermarks in Progress tagged , , , at 12:18 am by Tamara

What an eventful year 2011 has been!  Here are some highlights and some of my favorite pictures.

January: Six months pregnant, we flew to Wisconsin to visit Adam’s family and celebrate a late Christmas.  They threw us a baby shower while we were there, and it was so fun to see so many friends and family!  Next we flew straight to Arizona for a Larson family reunion.  Thanks to weather we almost didn’t make it, but finally rolled in a day late.  Again, it was so fun to see family!  About this time, Adam decided to switch his major from Pastoral Counseling to Bible Exposition, and we started to wonder if we should move.

Somehow this was the only family picture I got in Wisconsin!

Some (not all!) of my extended family at our Christmas reunion

Cousins!

February: Back in South Carolina, we celebrated Adam’s 25th birthday when I took him on a surprise weekend away in North Carolina.  We spent a day hiking around the waterfalls in the mountains (being careful not to get TOO far away from the car since I was almost eight months pregnant!)  Then we visited the Biltmore Estates in Ashville and wandered around downtown Ashville a bit (before the pouring rain started).

Looking Glass Falls, North Carolina

The Biltmore Estates

March: Nesting kicked into full gear as we anticipated our baby’s due date.  I still worked at the bookstore, spending all day bending down to shelve books.  Some days I felt like just staying down on the floor once I got all the way down there!  My mom came a few weeks before the due date, and we treated ourselves to pedicures, planted the garden, and waited for baby!

Nine months pregnant!

April: Baby’s due date came and went, and while I was thankful he wasn’t born on April Fool’s Day, I was so ready to meet him!  Finally, on April 11 they induced me, and on April 12 Bear  was born!  There are no words to say what a wonderful gift we received that day.  He is worth all the misery of pregnancy and labor a million times over.  And, we decided he was just waiting until both Grandmas could be there, because (thanks to his late arrival) Grandma H. arrived a couple hours before he was born!

First Family Picture!

Coming home from the hospital

May: Grandma H. and Grandma L. went home, and we settled in to life with a newborn.  We got our first smiles from Bear and fell more in love with him every day!  Adam proved to be wonder dad, and would get up in the middle of the night to change Rean and bring him to me as I stumbled out of bed.  Sleep deprivation and all, we LOVED being parents!

Smiles and Giggles!

Ready for safari!

June: We flew to Colorado for my sister’s wedding.  Bear was eight weeks old, and while I was apprehensive about flying alone, he did amazing!  Adam flew out a few days later and we had a blast at the wedding and loved introducing Bear to his Grandpa L., aunts, uncles, and old friends.  Back in South Carolina, we celebrated my 27th birthday.

At the wedding

My favorite birthday gift

July/August: We had been questioning our future direction ever since Adam decided to change his major, and having Bear made us miss being near family even more.  After a lot of prayer we decided that, since Adam was no longer pursuing a degree that was specific to the school in South Carolina, he wanted to transfer to a seminary closer to family.  There aren’t any seminaries near Adam’s family, so we decided on one in Colorado and started preparing to move.  We made sure to take Bear to the ocean (my favorite part of South Carolina!) and he was pretty impressed with the sand and waves.

Three months old

The ocean–one of my favorite places in the world

My favorite place, with my favorite boys!

September: We spent most of our “free time” working on projects around the house, getting it ready to sell.  I was still absolutely loving getting to be a stay at home mom with Bear, who got cuter every day!

Five months old, first solid food!

Date night

Time to say goodbye to our beloved little house.

October:  We said goodbye to our house and a few wonderful friends in South Carolina and hit the road.  We decided to visit Wisconsin “on the way” since Adam had a few weeks before he had to start his new job in Colorado and Bear still hadn’t met the H. side of the family.  We got to meet our new nieces and nephew who had been adopted from Colombia, South America in February.  We relished every moment spent with Adam’s family and our Wisconsin church family!

Six Months Old

Little Bear Meets Old Bear

Grandma and Grandpa H and the Grandkids

November: We arrived in Colorado!  For the first time since Bear was born we had family members close by to hug, cuddle, play with, babysit, and admire our sweet boy!

Playing piano with Grandma L

Thanksgiving Dinner, 2011

December: We celebrated Bear’s first Christmas, and the first time Adam has been in Colorado for Christmas with my family.  It was so fun to watch Christmas through the eyes of a baby, and to be near family!

Bear’s First Christmas

Christmas with a baby is so fun!

Cutest, sweetest little boy in the world. We are so blessed!

All in all, 2011 was a year full of new adventures and God’s care and faithfulness through it all.  I can’t wait to see what God has for us in 2012!

Happy New Year, Everyone!

December 31, 2011

The Blog Liveth! As do we: in our parents’ basement! (Wait. What?!?)

Posted in Watermarks in Progress tagged , , , , , , , , at 12:31 am by Tamara

What’s with the siren song tempting me to start every blog post with “Well”?!?  (Or, worse still, an apology for taking so long to post.)  Both options are about as exciting as watching grass grow.  I stop my ears, siren song of well/sorry!!

Anyway.

We’ve been in Colorado almost two months now, and life is still pretty up in the air.  We haven’t signed a lease on an apartment yet, mostly because Adam’s job situation is still in progress.  He’s been working two jobs, but we’re really hoping he can get one better paying job (and actually have time to do little things like, you know, sleep and eat).  He had a preliminary interview with a school bus company and they told him he has to do another interview in January, but if he passes the background check, etc, he’ll get hired.  That’s very good news, since they pay significantly better than his current job and he would have regular hours (YAY!) instead of never knowing what his schedule will be from week to week.  The only downside is that the training doesn’t start until February, and we won’t know until it ends in March whether he can get full time hours right away or only part time.  But, even if he’s only hired part time he’d make almost as much as he’s making full time at his job now, so we’re really praying it will work out!

At any rate, we’ve decided it’s best to wait and see what happens before we sign a lease.  The cost of living here is pretty high; we could afford a decent one bedroom off what Adam is making now, but we’d really prefer two.  He also could end up driving a route on the other side of town from where we are now, so we need to know that before we can decide on a location.  Or there’s always a small chance he wouldn’t get the job at all, so we don’t want to count our chickens before they hatch.  So many unknowns!  So, for the time being I am forcing myself to be patient and wait on God’s provision until we’re confident we’re making a wise decision.

I have mixed emotions about the whole thing.  On the one hand, I am SO thankful that my parents are graciously letting us stay with them.  There’s a stereotypical horror story about staying with your parents, but our experience couldn’t be farther from that stereotype.  They’ve been gracious and encouraging and helpful and non-meddlesome, and have done their best to give us as much privacy as possible in a house that really wasn’t designed for two families.  I’m also thankful for a chance to pay off our moving expenses and save for a deposit on our apartment so we don’t have to take it out of our savings.

On the other hand, I still really, really miss having a place of our own to call home.  No matter how gracious your hosts are, living out of a suitcase in a room without four complete walls gets stressful.  I also get a lot of fulfillment from creating a homey home environment, and it’s discouraging to not have a place where I can do all the wife and mother things I enjoy so much.  I LOVED being a stay at home mom after Bear was born, and I just ache to have space where I can create order and beauty and functionality in our own little world with our own little routine.  And last but not least, no matter what the circumstances, telling people that you’re living with your parents never makes you feel like you’re doing especially well in life, so it’s a bit of a blow to my pride….

On a little side note here, I have to say how it still amazes me sometimes that I get so much joy and fulfillment out of being a stay at home mom.  I always knew I wanted to be a mom, but I was afraid I would chaff a little–miss “ministry” and “stimulating conversation” and “freedom” and all that jazz.  It’s not that I love those things any less than before or am any less passionate about them, but I think it’s that motherhood has been so much more wonderful and awe-inspiring and fulfilling than I ever dreamed possible.  There’s probably a whole other blog post in this topic, though, so I’ll just leave it at that for now.

Anyway.

I suppose I’m learning (or at least wrestling with) a lot: blessings, thankfulness, perspective, patience, humility, etc.  There was a picture that was all over Facebook this Christmas that put things in perspective:

I have to remind myself to mentally replace the right side of the picture with my “stresses” lately, whether that’s a picture of a home, new clothes, a computer that works better, or whatever.  It seems obvious, for example, that we “need” a two bedroom apartment, until I think of the thousands of families living in one room shacks or on the streets or running for their lives from war zones and genocide.  And I could make similar comparisons with all my issue right now.  I am definitely blessed.

So, all that to say, not much has changed, except (hopefully) some of my mindsets and attitudes.  I could probably get this tattooed on my forehead:  Colossians 3:15 “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.”

December 4, 2011

Bear’s First Thanksgiving

Posted in Watermarks in Progress tagged , , , at 1:57 am by Tamara

We celebrated Bear’s first Thanksgiving with my family a few weeks ago.  He was TOO cute in his little turkey shirt, as you can see.  He just bursts with personality, and I think I love him more every day!  He just got his second bottom tooth, which is also too adorable for words.  Love this little boy so much!

My mouth is open, bring on the food!!

What’s up? I’m just chillin’.  (Wink, wink)

I made sure to get these teeth before all the big holiday meals!

We had a glorious feast for Thanksgiving with all the traditional (at least for our family) foods: turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing with raisins, green bean casserole, sweet potatoes (plain and with marshmallows), corn, fruit salad, cranberry sauce, all sorts of pickles and olives, rolls, sparkling cider, and six kinds of pie: French apple, pumpkin, lemon meringue, chocolate French silk, cherry cheese cake, and plain cheesecake, with ice cream and whipped cream for topping.  I’m listing those for two reasons: 1) I’m curious if my grandchildren will someday read this and if the traditional foods will be the same or will have changed, and 2) because it’s really amazing to have so much food.

We started a tradition when I was a little girl where we would start the Thanksgiving meal with five kernels of corn on our plates.  This is reportedly what the Pilgrims lived on for daily rations before they were able to take in their first harvest, thanks to the help and friendship of the native Americans.  When they celebrated their Thanksgiving feast, they put five kernels on their plate to remind them of how far God had brought them.  It is always really sobering to look at those five tiny kernels on our plates and then look up at the incredible meal in front of us.  We take turns taking each kernel and saying one thing we are thankful for.  We are very, very blessed!

Thanksgiving Dinner, 2011

Thanksgiving night we watched “The Pursuit of Happyness.”  I love that movie and I’ve been wanting to watch it for a while now.  I love it because it reminds me how blessed we are to have family who love us and will always be there for us in hard times.  Every time I see the main character and his son sitting on the floor of the public bathroom in the middle of the night because they have nowhere else to go, cradling his sleeping son and crying, I think “There, but for the grace of God, go I.”  It’s easy to take good jobs, warm homes, and caring family and friends for granted.  We are so blessed.

November 14, 2011

Beautiful Things Out of Dust (A-la-carte life update)

Posted in Watermarks in Progress tagged , , , , , , , , at 3:28 am by Tamara

For those of you wondering if we fell off the face of the earth, the answer is yes.  Thankfully, (after a stop in Wisconsin) we landed in Colorado.  Whoo hoo!  I’m pretty sure my stress level was supposed to decrease after the move was over, but that has not been the case.  I’m not sure if it’s really exploded or if it’s just cumulative stress of the past six months, but I’m kind of freaking out about life.

We haven’t found an apartment yet, mostly because we’re trying to figure out exactly what our income is going to be.  Adam’s looking for a second job, and possibly a different first job.  We’re also, believe it or not, considering the possibility of (gulp) taking the leap into full time ministry, which would (gulp) require raising support.  Anyway, I feel kind of suspended in the air with no place to land.  I’ve heard husbands freak out without a job; I think wives freak out without a home.

School wise, I’m taking a rather difficult philosophy course right now.  I’m pretty sure that times in life where one is emotionally and mentally depleted are NOT good times to take challenging, thought-provoking philosophy courses.   It is definitely adding to my stress level.

As for NaNoWriMo…sigh.  I’ve managed to keep at it so far, in spite of great adversity (the day it began was the day we started driving to Colorado, so I wrote the day’s word quota that night in a dark hotel room with a husband, two dogs, and a crying baby in the background, in spite of a dead computer, a broken desk chair, and a semi-truck rumbling outside the window.  That’s dedication).  Unfortunately, I feel like I’m drowning in life right now, and the stress is brutally draining the life blood out of my creativity.  I’m not sure if I’m going to make it this year or not.  We’ll see.

The upside of life right now is wonderful, adorable Bear.  He just turned seven months old.  I can’t believe it!  Where has the time gone?  He has been an absolute angel through all the chaos of the past month.  He had his first cold while we were visiting Wisconsin (so traumatizing!  He didn’t like it much, either), and just got his first tooth a week ago (my baby is growing up too fast!!)  I can’t believe how sweet he was during the trip in spite of a cold, cutting a tooth, meeting a ton of new people, and having his entire life turned upside down.  He’s really been amazing.  He’s getting much more comfortable and confident meeting new people and being in new situations.  We LOVED getting to see family and friends in Wisconsin on the way here, and finally introducing them to Little Bear.

So, all that to say…I don’t know.  Adam and Bear are my parachutes in life right now.  I feel like I’m just hanging onto them as we fall through the air to land…who knows where.  But, as long as they’re wherever we end up, I’m sure it will be okay.  God has always come through for us in the past; I think maybe all this stress and uncertainty is a chance to put into practice what we’ve learned about Him in the past when He’s come through in fast, glorious ways that far exceeded our expectations.  Things don’t seem to be falling into place very well right now, but the story’s not over, and God hasn’t changed.  I have two mantras lately.  1) “Stress is pressure incorrectly handled,” and 2) this song:

October 13, 2011

Six Months Old

Posted in Water Droplets tagged , , , at 12:29 am by Tamara

Bear just turned six months old.  I can’t believe it–where did the months go?  We’re loving every day of discovery and development.  He lights up our lives in more ways than I could ever express.  I’m pretty convinced that he couldn’t get any cuter…and pretty convinced that he’s going to.  :)

Bear, Six Months Old

Loving life!  And boy do we love him!!

Praising God for our handsome, healthy, heaven-sent baby boy!

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