Something Other Than Books?!

It’s been a long time since I’ve really blogged. I mainly stopped because of things c0nnected to parenting a stepchild. There’s a lot of isses to consider that come with that. However, I discovered that a new friend is a blogger and reading through hers kind of wet my appetite to get back in. I don’t really even know where to start so leave some questions if you have an idea. 🙂

For starters…

We had our first wedding anniversary in June. I finally…FINALLY…made it to a first wedding anniversary. That was cool in itself. We very spontaneously ended up back spending the night in the country club where we got married–with a newborn in tow. 🙂 We spent most of Saturday and Sunday driving in order to stay overnight on the Saturday but it was really speial to be able to do that. The weather was beautiful for a day driving in the country so, for me, it was just nice to get out. We were very glad we took the risk! (And it was a risk because I hadn’t been comfortable driving in the car for even an hour since my Caesarean!!!)

One of my younger sisters got married in March and then one of my younger brothers got married in July. My brother married a Brazilian girl that he met when she was an exchange student out here. 🙂 I now have a married-to-my-brother sister-in-law and a sister-to-my-husband sister-in-law with the same name. 😛 My brother both got married and had his reception in the same place that Steve and I had our reception. Then I found out that the wedding coordinator for my wedding to Kallon had been transferred and was now the wedding coordinator at this other venue–she did my brother’s wedding, too! That was both bizarre and cool. I hadn’t been back there since my first wedding so that was a kind of weird feeling but not a problem.

My angel-baby has been rather challenging. She was easy-as for the first 6 weeks and I guess that’s when I really needed it. We have had a few issues to work through but love her to bits anyway. 🙂 I started off doing Babywise and it’s the one thing I wish most that I could change. Never again. She has also had a few issues with reflux and now colic but I know she could be a lot worse than she is so I’m grateful for that. Right at this very moment, she has been asleep for 3 hours (in the middle of the day) which has been rarer lately but makes so much difference for both of us. We are gradually figuring things out that help with her problems. That said, she is great at night and sometimes I prefer the night shift to the day shift!!! I have become a bit of an Ergo-wearer and even Kallon gets it on sometimes. 🙂 Katelyn smiles a lot and it’s absolutely beautiful. She started laughing yesterday and I can’t wait to see that grow! She has both smiled and laughed from a couple of weeks old (earliest I have ever seen in a baby for laughing) but yesterday was the first real time that you could say she knew what she was doing and was more than the “trying to” chuckle.

We have moved from the town we lived in when first married to a town about 40 mins away. Kallon’s mum and sister (and her boys) live here and we are loving it here. It wasn’t something we had planned but it definitely has been a good thing. We have no more moves planned for quite a while!!! Since we have bought this house, we should be good for a bit. 🙂

We have become part of an awesome country church. We felt really welcomed there from the first time we visited and are slowly starting to feel like we “belong”. There are lots of kids which is fantastic for Lukas and they are really intentional about the involvement of the kids in the church services and activities. They have a really great emphasis on Scripture memory too.

We are now 15-20 minutes from the beach which is the closest I have ever lived which is pretty cool. We are looking forward to taking advantage of that when the warmer weather comes, although we have been a couple of times through the year already!

For now, I think that’s about all that’s at the forefront of my mind. Comment away if you want something written about. 🙂

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Big Moves – Part One

I knew it was a while since I'd blogged but I didn't realise it was nearly two weeks! Things have been crazy around here…

Back in January, I wasn't really sure what to do with myself. I didn't feel like I fit anywhere and I wasn't really sure where I wanted to be. There were pros for my current location, Texas, and the city where my family is. There were also cons for all of them. 🙂 I started seriously considering moving back to A-town to be closer to my family. Given that I would be moving from a country town back to the city (something that didn't actually appeal much to me), I really wanted to know that it was the right decision and so…I started really praying about it.

Back when I moved off the farm, it was a hard thing to do but I knew it was the right thing for me. That surety has never left me. I told the Lord that I just wanted the same thing to be the case if I left the country to move back to the city. Well…!!!

I started putting out a few feelers while I kept thinking and praying. The more I thought about it, the more A-town seemed to feel like the right thing to do. In the later part of February, I put my house here on the market. TWO WEEKS to the day after signing the marketing agreement, I had an offer on the place. I countered and they agreed–to EXACTLY (to the dollar) what I had wanted to walk away with. One week to the day after that, the contract had cooled and become unconditional.

A few days after signing the marketing agreement, I was up at my parents' and a house came up for sale that was exactly what I was looking for. Back in January, I had seen one similar that I thought might be "the one for me" but it went under contract just before I could go and see it. Having seen God work everything together perfectly for me with the house I currently live in, I was determined to trust that it would all work out right again this time. So when this alternative came on the market, I was so excited. I would nearly have made an offer without seeing through it. 🙂

I organised to look through it before I travelled back home and it was perfect for me. Amazingly, the couple of issues with the house I'd missed out on weren't an issue with this new one. Unfortunately, though, the owners weren't willing to take any "subject to sale" contracts as they had already bought a new place. That was ok. I was disappointed but said that God knew and, if it was the right one for me, something would happen with my house. Later that week, my house went under offer. 🙂

So I called up and made an offer on the new house–for the exact amount I was selling my house here for. Apparently, there was another offer exactly the same as mine and one higher. The one higher was "subject to sale" so I didn't think it would be much competition. The offer the same as mine was by investors. Do you know why the owners accepted my offer? They didn't want to sell their house to investors to rent out!!!!! LOL

The settlement date for both houses is March 31st–which is 3 1/2 weeks from the time I knew  this house had sold and 3 weeks from the time I knew I was guaranteed of the one in A-town. So I have been living life in the whirlwind!

But you know what? I don't have any doubts abuot whether I'm making the right decision for me. 🙂

He’s Up to Something – Part One

Still wondering why I’m here / Still wrestling with my fear / But oh, He’s up to something / And the farther on I go / I’ve seen enough to know / That I’m, not here for nothing / He’s up to something

Those are the words in the section of the song I posted which sum up a lot for me lately. They have been going around and around in my head over the last few days. It probably has something to do with the fact that I’ve listened to the song dozens of times (lol) but also a lot to do with how much they resonate with me. God has really been doing something in me and it’s really hard to put into words.

Still wondering why I’m here

So true. I know since I’m the one that’s still here, there’s a reason for that–I just have no idea what it is. Trust me, a lot of thought and journalling has gone into that. For now, I’m just “doing the next thing” and hoping/trusting that He’ll give me a passion for something…put a dream in my heart…help me catch a vision to run with. I’ve always had a passion and dream for home and family. That has never changed but it’s one of the few things that you just can’t knuckle down and do. Only God knows if that will ever happen. All I can do is pick up the pieces and try to see something else in them.

Speaking of pieces…for my birthday, a friend gave me this vase/dish. What it looks like is that somebody threw it on the floor, picked up the kazillion pieces, then stuck them all back together again. When I opened it–in front of quite a few people–I said, “Wow, this looks like my life: smashed and stuck back together.” 🙂 The words just slipped out and I was hoping she didn’t take it the wrong way because I love it. It’s beautiful. It’s full of hope and promise and redemption. I don’t think I’ve ever had a birthday present speak to me the way this one did and still does. From what I gather, she was only thinking that it looked like something I’d like…but God knew.

Still wrestling with my fear

I am. But I have come such a long way. Lately, on a couple of firsts or big steps, I’ve “taken God with me” instead of somebody else or instead of as an extra person. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with taking people or utilising support and I think God gives us others for that very reason many times. He doesn’t expect us to be super-heroes in the middle of excruciating pain. Now, though, I am so much more stable and stronger. I operate within my everyday life quite ok but outside of those parameters can still be a challenge.

I wanted to start fighting some of these fears head-on. Realistically, I know there is nothing to be afraid of in the situation–it is merely that my mind/body have been conditioned to view them as risk. I’m not afraid of what might happen in the situation, but rather afraid of what will happen if I can’t COPE in the situation. Long-time readers know that is a very valid fear. It’s an old fear but a big monster and a harsh task-master and I’m tired of being ruled by it.

So lately, I’ve done some new things that were huge for me and I did them without another person and/or any backup nearby. And I survived. 🙂 Actually, not only did I survive, I did them well in the moment. That is some kind of elation, I tell you!! One the way to one thing, I was like, “Now, God, you know I’m trusting you solely to come through for me on this. If you let me down, it’s going to be so hard for me to ever contemplate doing it again…” That was the biggest one and I so nearly pulled out, deciding that I couldn’t do it, but He came through for me. The thing with that is it’s broken down a massive barrier now and my success in that one has paved the road for a lot of other firsts, rather than it being a stand-alone victory. There is freedom that comes with that…and the taste is sweet.

[To be continued…]

Old Thoughts on Risk

It's really hard to know where to start because I've had so much rolling around in my head. I had a blog post I wanted to write that never got written. The ball kept on rolling and now it feels obsolete–but really, it's not.

I took some big risks last year. You know what? They didn't all work out the way I thought they would (surprise, surprise). But that's ok. I ended the year proud of the fact that I'd been brave enough to try new things.

When a close friend heard about me contemplating trying one particular thing again in a similar manner, she asked if I hadn't learned anything. My reply basically was: "Yes, but it doesn't mean I wouldn't do it again. It just means I'd do it differently. At least I gave it a shot!!"

At the end of the day (or year), that's what had me holding my head up high. I'd taken risks. I'd walked outside my comfort zone. I'd given things a shot.

The cool thing about it is that it has a snowball effect. I found out that I'm stronger than I think and finding out you're stronger than you think makes you stronger than you thought you were. 🙂

Reap A Harvest

A long time ago, in another life, another girl that used to be me ran a Girls Group for the very small handful of girls that was at the very small church I then attended. It wasn't the easiest thing I ever did and, if I had have ever stopped to think about it, I probably would have wondered if it really had that much impact.

Around New Year's, my younger sister's best friend texted me asking if she could use the notes that I had created for that same Girls Group because she wanted to do something similar at her church. Quite taken aback that she even still had them, I easily agreed.

A couple of weeks later, one of my friends told me that she is helping this younger girl organise and run this new group. Chuckling, she told me that I would be proud because she kept hearing comments like, "Kristy did this…" and "Kristy did that…" Aww, that's sweet.

That next Sunday, I happened to visit their church and they just happened to be doing their little spiel up-front about the group which is soon to start. It was a strange feeling to sit there and listen to the younger generation taking up the baton for the girls under them. I felt really quite proud of her, almost like it was my daughter up there. I also felt quite honoured as I listened to her description of what their group is going to look like–it was a near-mirror image of what I had concocted so many years earlier. In fact, it reminded me of things that I'd forgotten. I told this young friend how I'd felt and she was equally touched in return and said that, "Of course things stuck!" 🙂

Well, that was encouraging and she also wrote me a beautiful birthday card that was very touching. If, again, I had have thought about it, I would have expected to hear no more about it.

Today, she hinted that I might light to check her blog if I hadn't done so lately. I hadn't and went over to see what she might want me to know. This is what I found and I bawled my eyes out…

More

Sweet Dreams

I dreamt about Steve last night. It's the first time in ages. I'm not the kind of person who tends to dream about the things I think about. I tend to dream about people and events that I never think about. 😛 I'd be lucky if I've even dreamed about Steve enough in the nearly-two years since he's been gone to break out two hands, let alone double digits.

So it's always a nice treat because it feels like a visit with him. I wake up happy to have been given that "gift", even though it's not reality. I woke up happy this morning. I'd got to run and meet the truck when he got home from somewhere and hug and hug and hug him. I guess that part of reality did come through in the dream somehow…it wasn't a regular "glad you're home" reaction…there was a definite sense of being ecstatic to see him and hug him after an absence.

Unlike usual, though, it was a little bit harder to take today. Maybe it was because it was so real and then I went to church and sat in a similar area to where we used to sit that I haven't sat in for a while. In remembering being there with him, I could almost feel it. That was a bit hard to take for a while. The old sick feelings of the permanence of his absence came back briefly. It's been quite a while since that has been a regular companion. I still miss him…probably always will…but I rarely feel the "sickness of death" that used to be my constant companion.

In some ways, it's a good reminder: of where I was and how far I've come. The dreams, however, are always a good reminder of good times with a good man. I was re-reading what I wrote for the funeral (under my "About Me" tab) last night–which is probably actually why I did have the dream I did–and was just thinking how thankful I am that I wrote so much down over the past couple of years. It's so easy for the details to get pushed aside by the stresses of life but I have these records in spite of what tricks my memory plays on me. I never knew when I first started blogging what a valuable resource it would be. 🙂

Happy Days

I seem to have shed the cement blocks the last couple of weeks which is nice.

I spent a week in Adelaide with my family from Australia Day which was really lovely. The week surrounding my birthday was full of friends and family spoiling me which was really special. If I get organised enough, I might put up a photo or two. Now, I'm back home and enjoying having my friend-housemate to hang out with. It was particularly nice to come home to company and a waiting dinner after a 5 hour drive home. 🙂

While I was in Adelaide, I re-enrolled in TAFE and will be studying again externally in a few weeks. My next subject is a legal module (kind of an introduction to business law) so that will be quite different and should be interesting!

My reading has picked up again so there should be a post or two of quotes coming. 🙂 Also, to whoever it was that read Gracia Burnham's book and recommended it to me, I read nearly the entire book today. I have two short chapters left which I plan to polish off before I go to sleep tonight!

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