Tuesday, February 26, 2013

In All Three Stages At Once : Birmingham, Nashville, Club Feet Update

Wow. I read a blog post today, "For When You Need Hope To Float Up" that really spoke right to where I am. The writer refers to the quote from the movie Hope Floats about beginnings, the middle, and endings. And I quote...

“Beginnings are scary, endings are usually sad, but it’s the middle that counts the most. You need to remember that when you find yourself at the beginning. Just give hope a chance to float up.” --Ramona Calvert, Hope Floats

"...If you’re standing in the middle, I hope you’ll remember it hasn’t always been this way and one day it won’t be like this again. Collect what you need, be faithful where you are, and remember the sacred gift of ordinary days.
If you’re stepping into a beginning, remember love drives out fear, you are not alone, and courage will grow as you move.
And if you find yourself approaching an ending, looking back over the colorful mess of joy and sorrow that have shaped all the days before,  give yourself permission to grieve your losses, celebrate your loves, and anticipate the start of something new." --Emily, Chatting at the Sky
As I mentioned in the subject of today's blog post,
I really do feel like we are in all three stages at once . . .

We are ending a sweet chapter of life which has been two years in Birmingham. It has been remarkable at how God has literally ordered our steps to see dear friends before we go. Whether that be walking out of Church, the Whole Foods parking lot, the CAbi Show, friends bringing a meal, cookies being dropped off, or people dropping by for a visit or a hug...it's been amazing at how the opportunities have come up for us to have closure and say "see ya later"...since it's certainly not "goodbye"! I feel like I would be so sad if I didn't know that it was the LORD who brought us here and it is the LORD who is moving us along. He is the ONE guiding the ship that we are sailing in. Yet at the same time, I am thankful to feel that I will miss these dear friends, neighbors, and Church that have been such a part of our lives for the past two years - for it is a reminder that the Lord has allowed us to bloom where we've been planted. Birmingham will always hold a special place in our heart as... 5 years ago, Brandon and I went on our first date here. And then 3 years after that, we moved here for Brandon's job and have enjoyed the "quality time" God has provided for the two of us in this season, enjoyed time with Alabama friends, 9 months of pregnancy and 6 amazing months with our firstborn son. 

We are beginning another exciting chapter of life which is moving back to a place that is "home" in Nashville. Anyone who knows us well knows that Nashville is near and dear to our hearts and that it was not easy to leave two years ago...we hoped to be back one day...never knew it would be this soon...and could not be more excited! You know that feeling before a big trip when it doesn't really "click" that you're going until you're all packed and loaded on the plane and finally sitting down and taking a breather before "take off" when you realize, "oh...this is really happening"...well, that's a bit what we're feeling. Even though Brandon has been in his new position for the past 5+ weeks and we've been up in Nashville during the weeks already, it hasn't really clicked that we are actually moving back there for good. Even if you came over to our house right now...you'd take a look around and say, "Really, I don't see any boxes!!!" Well, that's because this move is unlike any we've ever had and the moving company will show up at our door with PACKERS tomorrow morning at 8am and pack up everything we have...every piece of furniture, every dish, every picture, etc.... And instead of scurrying around and trying to "prep"...we are just enjoying a cozy night with the three of us and trusting the Lord with the details! It's really been a reminder of how the LORD is in control and He doesn't need our busy little hands to try and get all involved and try to be "on the throne"...HE is the ONE on the throne and HE is in control and just wants us to TRUST HIM. That's the picture we've had through this whole moving process and we have an unshakable peace. 

My precious bundle of JOY and I ... about to receive the good news!!!
And last but not least...we are in the middle stage of Nelson's journey with club feet and have SUPER exciting news to share this evening! For the past 6 months, if you have been following our journey, our precious baby boy has been quite the trooper through the casting and "snowboard" phases of his club foot progress. Today at his appointment, his doctor shared that Nelson is now "graduating" from wearing his snowboard 22 hours/per day...to now wearing his snowboard for nighttime wear only. Meaning...our dear little Nels will get to be FREE during the days now (watch out, world...our little roly poly will probably start crawling in the near future or he may just take off running!!!) and then he will sleep in his snowboard at night. With tears in my eyes I type this...and I know those of you who have been with us each "step" of the way probably feel the same...because it has been a journey of hard days and easier days...but today is certainly a joyous occasion to be celebrated. We have learned that each child and each set of feet is different...and there is no telling how long he will be in nighttime wear (usually a few years)...so that is why I say that we are in the "middle" (refer to blog post above) and I love what she says about that: Collect what you need, be faithful where you are, and remember the sacred gift of ordinary days. I feel so encouraged today...we are not at the starting line, we are not at the finish line, but we really are somewhere in that "middle" being faithful where God has called us to and truly recognizing the GIFT that comes on those ordinary days...look for God's fingerprints...they are all around! Thank you for your prayers....please keep them coming! The next step in the game is for us to go back for a check-up in one month...so we will certainly keep you posted! In the meantime, let the daily "legs lifted high" fun begin!!! 

Earlier when my Mom was praying over our upcoming move and I was on my knees with my Bible in front of me, precious Nels rolled over mid-prayer and put his hand on the WORD!! He is a BLESSING from above!

You know how we have said that the "Jesus Calling" devotional is always right on...well today it could not make me smile anymore! The title of today's message is "I AM LEADING YOU, STEP BY STEP"...is God into the details or what?!! It was such a sweet reminder to read, "Whenever you find yourself worrying about the future, repent and return to Me. I will show you the next step forward, and the one after that, and the one after that. Relax and enjoy the journey in My Presence, trusting Me to open up the way before you as you go."

Thankful for the TRUTH of Psalm 32:8, "I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you." Amen and Amen. Will close this last post from Birmingham and catch ya on the flip side soon in Nashville!! Thanks for all your prayers here, there, and in between! To GOD be the glory as we close this one chapter, start a new one, and enjoy where HE has us today...

Monday, February 18, 2013

Feeling The Love

Valentine's Dinner 2013

A lot to update on since our last post! We decided to break it into categories to make it easier to read and keep up...

Nashville House: Many of you have been asking if we were going to move back into our Nashville home ... You may remember when we moved to Birmingham, we decided to rent out our house in Nashville. After much prayer, we have decided to let the tenants stay in there since they are happy and taking good care of the house - and we are going to keep the house as a rental property. We will be renting a town home for a year (which just so happens to be next door to some of our dear friends that just had a baby boy!) until we figure out which part of Nashville we want to live in for the long-term. Our official move into the town home will be next Friday, March 1st! 

Current Living Situation: Since Brandon started his new position, we have been living in Nashville during the weeks and in Birmingham on the weekends. It's what we decided would be the best plan for us 3 to stay together. Obviously we didn't want to be apart for 5 weeks...so the 3 of us are in Nashville for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights...and then back in Birmingham for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights. It's a lot of back and forth but it has been good to have some sense of "normalcy" on the weekends - being at home. We have also been overly blessed by our dear Nashville friends that have opened their home for us to stay in during this transition...which leads me to our next update...

Valentine's Day Blessing: Not only has this dear family opened their home for us to stay in during this time of transition (see "current living situation" update above)...but for Valentine's Day they had a Candlelight Dinner for two (including steaks, potatoes, salad, AND chocolate covered strawberries) for Brandon and I...while they watched our precious Nelson and gave us some time alone! It was more than we could have asked for at the end of a what was a really busy and long week...so very amazing to see how the Lord provides...in every detail! It was one of those "marriage moments" where you sit down in your comfy clothes and finally take a breath...saying that coming upstairs for dinner in the house where we're staying was MORE than we could have dreamed of in that current moment. Normally the fun desire is to get dressed up and go out on the town...but 5 years of marriage later, we are seeing that priorities shift and this was the "dream dinner" this year! 

Nelson's Feet: His feet continue to stretch well and stay in position in the snowboard...major praise! We have not had another visit since our last post at the end of January...but we go next Wednesday, February 27 and will certainly keep you posted. Thank you in advance for your prayers for continued healing 100% for Nelson's precious feet. 

Nelson At 6 Months: Nelson loves to ROLL! He is not yet crawling but he sure can roll everywhere! We will put toys and little stuffed animal friends all around and just watch him roll from one side of the room to the other as he discovers everything in sight...it's so cute! He will try and copy what we are saying...like he's trying to talk or something! Especially sounds like ba-ba or da-da...so in the mornings he has a field day as he babbles, "ba-ba" and "da-da"...which sounds like bye bye dada! I tried to get a video of him saying it (see above) but he was so focused on trying to grab the camera from me that it looks like he got a little camera shy. I'll work on trying to capture that moment! He is such a joy! Still a great eater and sleeper...happy healthy growing boy! We thank the Lord for him everyday...we can't imagine our life without him! 

Our Rest: Thank you for your prayers since our last post for REST for the 3 of us. We have been sleeping well and getting rest whenever we can!! In fact, Nelson and I just had a nice hour and a half long nap this afternoon! Please continue to pray for this when God brings us to mind...as our days are busy and we are doing a lot of traveling...so sound sleep at night (body, mind and soul!) when it's time for our heads to hit the pillow is SUCH a blessing! 

To wrap up this post, we'll close by saying that when people ask..."how's it going"...the first thing that comes to mind is that the overarching BLESSINGS of this season, farrrrr outweigh the daily challenges that arise. We thank the Lord that we know Him and are traveling this road with Him, for the health of the three of us, for Brandon's job, that we're all together, moving back to our favorite city...and choose to not let the little day-in-and-day-out things get us down....for that is how LIFE in this broken world is going to go! We are also learning to allow people to bless us. I know that may sound funny but it's not always easy to be on the receiving end...and we are learning that people are blessed by us ALLOWING THEM to bless us...so really just asking the Lord to let us receive how He is providing and the blessings all around us. Thank you again for all YOUR prayers for us during this time. 10 more days until we're "home sweet home"...enjoying each step of the journey!