Two weeks after we tied the knot in ’08, Andrew and I packed a Uhaul, drove from my home state of Nebraska, and landed in Louisiana. New marriage, new state, a totally new culture, new jobs, new food (I’m hooked on Tony Chachere’s, sweet potatoes, and sweet tea). Eight years later and almost as quickly, we loaded up again and made the trip back up to stay. We think.
It was a year ago when Andrew launched his own production company and we took a big ol’ leap of faith in the spring, going full-time with Stella Productions – named for Stella Maris – Our Lady Star of the Sea, who became our family patroness by a hundred different ways. More discernment came when we made the call to move Stella Productions north to greener business pastures in Omaha.
BOOM – decision made. So let’s purge the house (bliss), put it on the market, pack up what we need, handle some unexpected Strep Throat, move in with my mom and stepdad because we opted for the midwest so fast that we needed a transitional landing, and maintain a marriage and family.
And that’s where I’ve been – not writing because my life, like yours, is nuts sometimes. This is just the surface.
So here we are in our new (H)omaha.
In addition to my mom and stepdad, my sister and her family are here, too. Praise. Because there’s nothing like being around your own brand of crazy.
And it’s fairly exciting to be back in the land of four seasons because my kids are going to go sledding this year and that’s never happened; although now I have to put them in shoes other than Crocs and I don’t know how I feel about that because no-socks/no-laces makes Mama’s life that much easier.
I’ve learned that manna is delish when it’s all you’ve got
But in all seriousness, God has seen us through a wild ride over the past year. Andrew and I have a hard-won, fantastic relationship after realizing that baring every bit of our souls was the key to legit love. I’m not kidding when I say Jesus saved our marriage from diving right off a cliff. Then there’s the business – terrifyingly thrilling stuff. And the kids, oh and the homeschooling that’s barely treading water.
So life is a touch unsteady, hence the reason Stella Maris is the reigning queen in our family. Andrew and I feel like we’re navigating stormy seas or wandering the desert, looking and waiting for some kind of calm or Promised Land. With a handful of major stresses hovering, we have no idea when any of them will resolve.
BUT, dear friends, the Lord is kind and merciful and he is not letting me forget it.
Our plans have been divinely tossed out the window and while we cope with everything God has allowed and intended, he has provided real joy – manna enough for each day to show he has not forsaken us.
LIKE (drum roll please…) a *NEW BABY* who deserves a post all his/her own, but this is news I can’t keep in. Sciba Cinco debuts May 2017 – please pray for us!
And though the proverbial storm or desert is no place to have a baby by secular standards, this child in himself (…or herself) is a sign of hope for us because God thought our family was otherwise incomplete and saw fit to bless us in our uncertainty. Andrew, the kids, and I have so much fun looking forward to our little ones and I can’t wait to kiss a sweet, new Sciba face in the spring.
And though we, like most families, are used to living on our own, the Lord has provided a temporary place to land. We’re still all new to the share-a-home scene since we’re just two weeks in, but we’re happy, safe, and loved.
God gives a voice to the weak
AND in a stress-filled time when I felt I had nothing to offer, Jesus called me up to bat. In September, I spent a weekend speaking in Oklahoma City – first on a private retreat with a group of fabulous homeschooling moms; my hostess told me to keep marriage at the heart of my talk because we moms know that so much effort and thought go into our kids, that our husbands can fall to the wayside. I told a bit of Andrew’s and my story, emphasizing why prayer in marriage can’t be optional and why mutual vulnerability is the way to real relational safety.
My next gig was a public talk on minimalism – BLISS, FRIENDS. BLISS! My originally 45-minute outline became a three hour group conversation on everything related to minimalism from how to prayerfully discern what simplicity looks like for your family to how to handle relatives who are mega-gift-givers and what to do with extra books.
It was simply heaven to step away to do what I do.
And what’s over-the-top exciting is that I’m doing it again this weekend. I’m honored to be the keynote speaker at this year’s Advent by Candlelight dinner in Bangor, Maine. MAINE, y’all. Visiting Maine has been a major Bucket List item for me since I was a kid, so as soon as opportunity came knocking, I jumped at it and I am beyond grateful for this huge chunk of manna right here.
And among these gifts are sweet moments with Andrew, cool autumn breezes in a familiar place, walking the kids to the super clean playground in the neighborhood, frequent chats with my mom, seeing my sister at will, the Cubs taking the World Series, and the memory foam mattress topper in our room. Yes please.
So thanks for your patience while I’ve produced so little here at TCW. I’m hopeful as the dust settles that you’ll see more. You’re all in my prayers and please keep us in yours!
For he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name. (Luke 1:49)