Sunday, March 24, 2013

I love to tell His story... part 4

Having a baby is hard.  
I mean -- overwhelming and makes you crazy hard.
Even though most of my friends had babies -- and I was around babies nearly everyday for the last five years -- there is absolutely NOTHING that can prepare you for having your very first and very own tiny little baby.

We were on our own, mostly, and didn't have much help.  Looking back, though, it only made us stronger and closer.  Benjamin was a sweet baby who did not like to sleep and loved to eat.  Having a newborn brought me into a season of selflessness like I had never, ever known -- learning to thrive and function on very little sleep,       mastering the art of one-handed everything and try to enjoy each moment, good and hard.  All while fighting my sinful nature and trying to get over myself.

But I do love the kindness of the Lord.  When you are so unaware and feel so inadequate -- He comes and sweeps you off your feet and reminds you {again} that it's Him.  It's always Him.  And He is always enough and good and more than capable and willing to carry you.  I love being in the tender arms of a loving God.

Nothing has brought me to my knees more or caused me to seek the face of the Lord more consistently than motherhood.  And I'm confident that motherhood is a great method of constant sanctification.  I remember when Benjamin was about six weeks old, I finally got him to sleep. Then I laid him down, walked into the kitchen, fell to my knees and cried deeply and hysterically -- all because I realized how little I could do and how much I could not handle without relying on the Lord. I was so tired and being a mom was so hard.
Praise God for grace and patience!

God grew all of us, just as He does, over the first year of Benjamin's little life. 
We learned how to live and love and be a little family. 
We started realizing how special and precious and beautiful this was 
-- our own little family. 
We still explored and had fun and laughed.  
We cried and struggled and made mistakes.
You know, we just lived life.

I don't know if I would have survived the first year without my friend Meghan.  We were both new moms -- within 3 weeks -- and both lonely and overwhelmed.  We went so many places together.  We grew together and changed together.  We walked around the mall more time than I can count.  And we walked to town together more times than that. I'm forever grateful that God placed her in my life right then and there.

In fact, I wish I could go through each season of my life and mention each friend that changed me forever.  It seems that God always provided a friend {or a few} that have been more like family and cared deeply for us.  I will forever be thankful that God has allowed me to see the beauty of authentic friendships. And I can only pray that God used me to bless them as they have blessed me!

As the year went on, we had lived in Indiana longer than anywhere else in our marriage.  But it seemed God was doing something bigger than both of us.  Our hearts were becoming unsettled and our perspectives were starting to change.  We were recognizing and realizing things that we needed to do -- for us, for our little family.  One thing we felt strongly about was this: "Seek first my kingdom and my righteousness..." Especially Patrick.  God was changing him and moving in him in great ways to care for all of us spiritually and emotionally.

Things were changing even more at Patrick's job and he decided that he would start looking for another job.  He looked in the area surrounding us, but found nothing.  And late one night -- on a whim -- he submitted his resume to Chesapeake.  I came out of Benjamin's room and Patrick said, "I just put my resume in at Chesapeake,  in Oklahoma." 


I know this, if ever I have been anything as a wife -- it has been willing to go wherever God has lead my husband.  Wherever  my husband may go, I will always go too. So I smiled {maybe with shock and wide eyes} and prayed and waited.

God moved quickly.  Patrick had an interview scheduled within two days of submitting his resume and a week later flew down to Oklahoma.  He went down on a Wednesday and came home on a Friday.  And by the time he got home, he had an offer.  After much prayer and conversation we knew that God wanted this to happen and we felt so excited about it.  Job accepted and the whirlwind began!

Two weeks before Benjamin's first birthday we flew to OKC for four days to look for a home.  I had never been to Oklahoma and being around a bigger city was somewhat intimidating after living in a small town for three and half years.  We looked at nearly 40 homes {in person and on paper} in four days.  We toured the Chesapeake campus and got to know OKC and Edmond a little more. 

One of the last houses we looked at was great.  A good price and size and we both liked it! They accepted our offer and needed to move out as soon as we need to get in! Things were falling into place in only ways that the Lord could provide.  Our house in Indiana sold after only six days on the market.  

Then it became real -- and we knew that just five weeks later, we would be living in Oklahoma.

We got home and started packing and making phone calls, all while preparing and planning Benjamin's first birthday party.  The Lord cared diligently for my heart and mind during this time.  It was hard to leave and hard to think about not living in this place we thought we would call home forever.  But as I prayed and sought Him, He grew my excitement and allowed me to really make the most of the last five weeks we had in Indiana.

And of all the places we live, I miss Indiana the most when I let myself think about it.  I really grew to love that city and got to know so many people and places there.

We joyfully celebrated Benjamin's first year of life with our friends and family.  And then, two weeks later we watched the movers pack our home and we drove to Morgantown for Easter.  Two days later, we jumped into our car with Benjamin fast asleep in his carseat and Piper in the back -- and drove through the night to Tulsa.  We stayed with friends in Tulsa and got up the next morning and made our way to Edmond.  The hour and a half drive felt like the longest part of the trip.

When we drove into Edmond, we stopped by a friend's house {isn't God sweet to provide people we knew in OKC!?} and they watched Benjamin.  We drove to closing, signed papers and then went to buy a truck for Patrick.  We like to call that "one-of-the-most-expensive-days-of-our-lives".  The next day the movers came and unloaded our stuff. 

And then, we made a new a place that has never, ever felt like anything other than "home".  The moment we moved here, Edmond just felt like the place we were always meant to be.  And I can't tell you how sweet that feeling is to us!

To be continued.... :)

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