Saturday, September 27, 2008

Lord, Make Me a Good Steward of Now

This week I went with a friend to her ultrasound appointment. There had been slight concern and she was just getting everything checked out. As we were waiting in the room for the doctor I realized that this would be my first ultrasound with a living baby. This also happened to be very near the one-year mark of my own miscarriage, so I felt a little emotional as it was, and I was hoping and praying everything was OK with this baby.

As soon as we saw the heartbeat on the monitor I began to weep. Tears were streaming down my face and I just got all blubbery. I knew I might cry a little, but my emotions just flooded down my face. I was so thankful the baby was healthy, and to see the heartbeat of a tiny, tiny baby really is a miracle. I'm sure there was some element of me remembering my own single ultrasound when the screen was turned away from me and there was no heartbeat, and thus no joy in the moment.

So, the rest of the day I continued to feel extra emotional. Michael always knows just how to respond to me. We were reading our devotions together, and the chapter was called "Spring/Summer/Fall/Winter." The basic idea is predictable, that each season has different purposes. During the Spring we plant seeds. We are full of hope and anticipation. Spring is important because what happens in this season affects the rest of the year. Summer can be long and tests our perseverance. Fall is when we reap our harvests. This is when we receive blessings that we hoped for during the Springtime. Winter is a time to slow down and reflect on the previous three seasons. It's a time of rejuvenation.

The part that has been on my mind all week was in the prayer that followed:

Father God...May we realize that we must be good stewards of our seasons.

This is my prayer this week, that I may be a good steward of this season of my life. To be diligent and focused and to realize that I cannot skip ahead to the next season, but rather must wait patiently and be intentional in this one.

The final question: In which season of life do you find yourself in?

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Then and Now

One year ago today I was in shock.

One year ago today I felt that a part of my heart was missing.

One year ago today I was lying in a hospital bed, in a town I had been living in for only a couple weeks, awaiting an open time slot for surgery.

One year ago today I couldn't stop crying.

One year ago today my expectations changed.

One year ago today Michael and my relationship was strengthened.

One year ago today I had questions without answers.

One year ago today I was trying to understand.

One year ago today I discovered the importance of having a strong support system of family and friends.

One year ago today I found myself relying on Christ, because I didn't know what else to do.

One year ago today we lost Baby Chapman.

One year later I am hopeful.

One year later I am healing.

One year later I am still waiting.

One year later my expectations keep changing.

One year later my husband is still my best friend.

One year later I still have questions, but am at peace with not having all the answers.

One year later I realize I may never fully understand in this lifetime.

One year later I am thankful for friends and family, and getting to be close to some of them here in Oregon for a little while.

One year later I have to daily trust the Lord about our future, and must be patient and wait for His Perfect Timing.

Today, I am remembering our loss. Today, I am looking forward to the future.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Home Sweet Home

We're back to Oregon. I almost cried as we pulled through Portland, I was so excited. There's definitely a feeling of being home for us.

A few reasons I'm happy to be back to Oregon:

No humidity!
The Oregon coast...Twin Rocks
Reconnecting with friends and family
Seeing my nieces and nephews
Chapters Coffee...Stumptown!
Free wi-fi everywhere
Newberg Friends Church
Good pizza (especially Papa Murphy's)
Good Mexican food
I'll be working just one job
Time for scrapbooking
Fred Meyer-Oh, how we have missed one stop shopping!
Cost of living is much less than Wayne, PA
Our roommates for the next few months: (I took these pictures in July...April, Hudson, and Caleb...Luke is missing from the pics)

A few things I miss from PA:

White chocolate mochas from The Gryphon (where Michael worked)
Dunkin Donuts Coffee (not the same out here)
Being close to some exciting places
Being close to some of my family

Hmmm...that's all I can think of for now. I'm glad the first list is longer.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Road Trip!

Our car the morning we left. The rack is loaded and so is the inside as you can see in the next picture.

Chapman, Kansas near Abilene, hometown of Dwight Eisenhower (for you history buffs). Chapman Creek is right behind this sign also.

Driving into the west means we get to see the sunset.

We've been in Colorado Springs since Thursday.

Pike's Peak
(History Trivia: This is where the inspiration came for the song, "America the Beautiful.")

The famous donuts at the summit.

Isabelle didn't have donuts, but I think she enjoyed her sweet potatoes...

We decided to enjoy the nice weather and go on what we dubbed The Family Walk. We even brought the dogs.

I can't resist taking lots of pictures...Can you blame me?

Uncle Mike Time

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Driving Home

We're in Colorado Springs, CO. We arrived here late Thursday night after driving for 18 hours to get here from Indianapolis. We're excited to spend time with Tim and Amy, and our niece Isabelle.

Our last week in PA was crazy, as we were trying to pack up our apartment, take our stuff to Amtrak to send it all home to Oregon, sell all of our furniture on craigslist, tie up all the loose ends, and Michael was trying to work on his two online courses for the Fall (Yes, we keep saying he's done with classes, but he actually still has two more online until December). But we made it, and we are happy to be on on our way. Most of our friends from PA had already left, though not all, and it was sad to watch the community we had slowly erode. It is exciting too, to see our friends prepare for their own overseas adventures.

The next few days and weeks and months will be spent processing this last year as well as preparing for our upcoming time abroad. Michael and I are really looking forward to being back in Oregon and using it as a time to reconnect, reflect, and prepare.