lend me your hand

Time spent just with my husband seems to diminish with every passing week. We both spend most our time working, and when the weekends fall, we do our best to fit in everything we possibly can. The memories are wonderful and the friendships invaluable, but we also know we need time spent just with each other.

That's how we spent the majority of the weekend. Just him and I. We both had to work for several hours on Saturday, but once we were done working, we left the city as quickly as possible.
I feel so refreshed now. It's amazing what 24 hours in Oklahoma paradise can acomplish.

The getaway was at a local bed and breakfast called The Guest House. The owners advertise it as Norman, OK's most comlete bed and breakfast. And it is. There's a pool, a wooded trail to explore, a full kitchen, an amazing walk-in shower and jacuzzi tub, and the Oklahoma paradise.

We enjoyed every square inch of the bed and breakfast - starting the weekend off with a dip in the pool and then finishing it this afternoon with a hike through the wooded trail.

We contemplated going out for dinner, and I went so far as to pack a nice dress. But settling onto the couch to watch a movie, eat pizza, and drink beer sounded better than dinner and drinks at a local wine bar. So we did the one thing we never seem to do at home: relax.

The time spent in Oklahoma paradise provided a perfect backdrop for us to reconnect and discuss the future. So much is up in the air as we work to put our current house on the market and contemplate where we want to live next and what we want next out of our life.

We know that no matter what happens it will be God's plan. I have so much more faith and confidence in that. Because while we do want to move on from this house, we can also take comfort in staying here if that is the plan. We've put a lot of work into the house recently, and it's made the house feel so much more like a home. Crazy what lots of elbow grease and focused attention can do.

Spending the weekend with my husband made me appreciate the life we have now and also made me appreciate the life we will have in a year or two or twenty.

We laughed more this weekend that we have in quite some time. We cuddled more and held hands more. We kissed more. And we talked so much more.

Our dreams are the same in many ways. The future we want is the same. How we both want to get there might be different, and there are lots of discussions currently happening (and also waiting to happen) about where we want our future to occur. But the gist of it all is in line with both of our wants and needs.

During many of our talks, he asked about timelines. How quickly would I want to pursue adoption or foster care? My answer was when I am 30 - so in three years. Because while we are much closer to where we need to be, we still have so much left to figure out. I feel like we're getting closer each and every day but need to survive our 20's before adding more to it all.

We'll get there. Whether there includes a new house in 2012 or not. Whether there means staying here or moving miles away. Whether there means writing for money or not yet pursuing that dream. Whether there entails hectic weeks of work or somehow diminishing the time spent working. We'll get there - just he and I and our two dogs (who stayed at home while we discovered Oklahoma paradise).

(title from "awake my soul" by mumford and sons)


you know my every move

I have been in a constant transition since February. It began as a transition from working one 40-hour a week job to working two jobs: a 40-hour a week job and then a second 20-hour a week job. Near the end of February, the transition changed to working a new 40-our a week job and the second 20-hour a week job. After I figured out how to survive working 60 hours a week, I reintroduced exercise into my life and began that transition. I haven't quite conquered exercising and working such a large number of hours, but I am getting there.

Currently I am learning how to take care of myself while working and exeercising so many hours of the week. This includes beginning quiet time again. The group of women who breathe spiritual life into me started a study on Esther several months ago. It was put on hold when our church began a sermon series on marriage, and then we picked the study back up a few weeks ago. I started with the intention of following along weekly, but I haven't been intentional with reading and participating in the study. And my soul has been ever so dry because of it.

Tuesday night, the girls shared three couches and watched the most recent video in the study. The topic of the night was timing - and it hit me in the heart in a million different ways.

My husband and I are in a season of transition together. It's not just the transition of work but also the transition of me from healthy to unhealthy, the transition of three years of marriage to four years of marriage this September, and the transition of readying our house to be listed for sale and then following through with selling it and moving elsewhere.

I've been so focused on those transitions. And on how long it seems everything is taking. And on how there just are not enough hours in the day for me to do everything I feel like I have to do. During Tuesday night's video session, Beth Moore said that we should be focused on God and His timing - not the thing or event we are waiting for/praying over. Focusing on that thing or event is exhausting but focusing on God gives un renewed strength and energy.

I needed to hear that. To be reminded, yet again, to focus on God and His plan for my life - not on the things that I deem to be the most important. So I did just that early Wednesday morning (and again this morning). My alarm went off for the gym, but I spent 45 minutes praying and reading my Bible - another 20 minutes spent doing the same thing later in the day.

And already I feel lighter. Already I feel like truths are being revealed to me. Already I see that God is working through all of these situations - a truth that I couldn't see just days before because I was so consumed by the transition and by what I wanted to happen.

I think this is my newest transition - the transition of turning my vision away from myself and the things I am doing and turning my vision towards the whole of life. I am busy, yes, but I can still live a full life and make the time for all the things I need to survive - a balanced diet, exercise, time with my husband, quiet time, and authentic friendships.

My other transition is more inward. It's a transition of making and meeting goals - like completing the Color Run in Tulsa June with my mom and then being able to run even more of The Color Me Rad Run in Oklahoma a few weeks later in July. It's a transition of focusing on eating good food and seeing how much better I feel instead of just eating what is easy and cheap. It's a transition of making sure my needs are met so that I can then turn around and meet the needs of others.

Through all of this, I know that I need to trust and not to be overcome with fear. I need to trust the process of losing weight. I need to trust God in His timing and His method. I need to trust that it will be okay - that I won't be in a state of unrest and worry and uncertainty forever. And so I am. I am holding onto truth and doing my best to trust - and to pray when trust feels so far away.

And I need to push myself. I need to run faster than I thought I could. I need to dive into the pool and swim faster than I thought I could and for longer than I thought possible. So I am. I ran Tuesday at a 4.7 on the treadmill, and I swam in a race on Saturday - something I haven't done for years.

Through all of these transitions and all of this pushing myself, I am finding myself. More than that, though, I am allowing myself to find God (or see Him as He has never been lost and in need of finding). And it's really only in seeing God and His place in my life that I feel everything else is worth it. It's really only in seeing God and asking Him to be present with me that I can even attempt any of these transitions.

(title from "you are for me" by kari jobe)


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