What a Difference a Year Can Make

Karen & Cason Maternity ShootWe are under 48 hours from holding our twin daughters in our arms and I have so many thoughts and emotions swirling inside. I am…

Nervous
Overwhelmed
Excited
In Awe
In Love Already
Emotional
Feeling unprepared
Feeling prepared as we’ll ever be
Amazed
Terrified

It has been quite a journey to get to this point.
It feels so long and somehow rather quick in hindsight.
Suddenly it’s now the end and it’s the beginning all in one.

One thing I’ve been marveling at in the last week or so is where we were at this time last year compared to where we are today.

August 1, 2014 – After the months of testing, consultations, switching insurance, trying acupuncture in the meantime, severely altering my diet, and waiting on the right timing, we did our first self-administered injection in our first round of IVF treatments. It was a terrible hour long process, where almost everything went wrong and I sat there wondering, how in the world will we ever do this…

August 4, 2015 (Tuesday of this week) – We will welcome our daughters into the world and everything will change, forever. Our daughters that we were not sure we’d ever have. Almost exactly a year to the day since that awful, first injection.

One takeaway for me from this story is that we have no idea what God has in store for us. What His plans are for our future. To remember how we were feeling this time last year and seeing how He worked out His specific plan for us.

What a difference a year can make.

And this is so true – in so many areas of life, for so many people.
For the person waiting on a job, a house, a move, an adoption, a relationship, a diagnosis…

God has a plan. And even though we may experience some pretty low times of desperation or questioning, we can look to how God has worked in our lives and in the lives of loved ones we know, and be reassured that there is a next chapter in our story. It may be one we never imagined, but His plans are far better than ours can ever be.

Today, I am grateful and marveling at how our lives have completely changed from where we were a year ago, and we never could have predicted how it would turn out.

What are you waiting for today? Trust that God does have a plan. And that His plans are perfect.
How have you seen this play out in your own life?

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Thinking back to our time in Haiti

One of the houses we built

One of the houses we built

Today marks the 3-year anniversary of the devastating earthquake in Haiti, and it’s been 2 and a half years since a group of us spent a week there building 2 houses. A week that changed me forever.

I am grateful for the reminder today to go back & read through the string of posts I wrote about our time there. I am sitting here on the verge of tears for so many different reasons.

It was the most consistent physically demanding week of my life. It was flat out really hard. But the people we encountered and the scenes that we saw are forever etched in my heart. Continue reading

Travel is Good for the Soul

(In front of the continental divide in Costa Rica.)

Travel is good for the soul.

Getting back from our 10-day trip through Costa Rica, I am already wondering where we can go next. There’s something about travel (especially international travel) that I find kind of addicting. It started for me when I studied abroad in Spain almost 10 years ago, and I’ve never been the same. My worldview was blown wide open and I’m very grateful.

There’s something that changes in you when you can experience the world through a different lens. When you explore new landscapes, foods, and experiences. When you interact with different types of people. When you let go & get out of your comfort zone. Continue reading

Some Perspective from Above the Clouds

Image

Moving is not glamorous, and it is definitely not easy. There are so many logistics to figure out that I can easily get overwhelmed these days. 

We spent much of our Christmas vacation trying to find a place to live in N. Virginia. It’s been a huge shock to the system what the cost of living is there. What we pay right now for our mortgage, for a lovely 3 bedroom house with a small yard in Nashville, would not even get us a tiny studio apartment in one of the bad parts of town. So that has been a huge adjustment. 

We did turn in an application on the Thursday after Christmas for a nice, little condo to rent. It had been on the market for 82 days and we were excited to have found an answer to at least one of our unanswered questions. The excitement did not last long, however. Two days later we got an email from the realtor saying there was a competing application and the owner chose the other couple. I was sent into a spiral of disappointment and panic. We were already back in Nashville. How would we find a place now? 

After I finished my moping, I pulled myself together as we decided that that must not have been the place where God wanted us. There must be something better. With a month still go to before moving, we decided to try our best to be patient and wait. Easier said than done, for me at least... 

The last couple of days have been kind of tough. I’ve started to really feel the clocking ticking on this move. I’m feeling more emotional about leaving our friends, our house, and everything else I deem comfortable. We have yet to find a place to live. We have yet to find renters for our house in Nashville. We have yet to find Cason a job. Without a place to live, we can’t arrange our movers or decide on a definite timeline. Without securing two jobs, we don’t know exactly what we can afford in rent. And without renters for our house in Nashville, we don’t know how long we’ll have to carry a mortgage and rent. It’s all very “chicken & the egg”. And it’s all just a little bit stressful.

As I type this, I’m on a plane to DC. I will be spending the week at International Justice Mission, for new employee training. It will be a jam-packed week of deep dive information, everything from spiritual foundations of the company, to human resources info, to the Child Protection Act, to spiritual warfare. We’re scheduled in sessions all day, Monday through Friday. I’m very excited about starting the learning process and meeting other people there. I’ve also been told that I’ll be brain-dead by the time it’s over each day.

But, all of that to say, I’m on this plane… It has been kind of gloomy in Nashville this weekend, weather-wise – kind of epitomizing how I’ve been feeling (as it relates to all of the overwhelming logistics). All of a sudden we just lifted above the clouds and it caught me off guard to see the sunshine and blue sky. Like where did that come from. It was beautiful and I literally just felt like a weight lifted off of me. I felt this sense of “it’s going to be okay, just keep trusting Me. 

Yes, it will be okay. Everything in due time. In God’s time. We are sure that this is God’s plan for us and He will see it all through. Down to the last detail. We’re not promised that it will be easy, but we do know that it’s all going to work out.

It’s nice to find some perspective in unexpected places. For now, I’ll sit back and enjoy the sun and beautiful view from up here.

And so, the adventure continues…