23 August 2012

Just one more trip...

Last week, I had the opportunity to travel halfway across the country and back with a really great family. :) To be honest, when I was asked to go on the trip, most of me rejected the idea. You may be thinking, "Wow, she must really not like this family." That is definitely not the reason.

Reason #1. I don't do so well on road trips. I get grouchy, impatient, and frustrated three hours into the drive. :) We were driving 14.5 hours. Imagine how lovely I can be after that amount of time. I figured they would kick me out of the van halfway there.

Reason #2. Have I mentioned that I have no patience, and we were driving with 5 children in a mini van?! It ended up being tons of fun, and we had lots of laughs.

Reason #3. I was gone a week in May/June. My dad and brother visited for a few days later in June. I was away from home for 2 weeks in July. I'm leaving again for 9 days the first week of September. I've had lots of other weekend/evening activities all summer. I've been gone a lot, and I really wanted to stay home with Michael.

What really happened: I REALLY LOVED the whole trip! I got to have hours upon hours of great talks with my friend. I learned a lot about her life, and I was able to share some of my life with her. I wasn't grouchy during the drives (I think). The kids were great at least 80% of the time, and the other times I still enjoyed them. We had a lot of fun. I did miss Michael, but at least he ate real food while I was gone. :) I can honestly say that I love their family more than before.

I was also able to see some friends from when we lived in Indiana. I've really missed Hyangmi and being able to see her almost every day. It was also great seeing Merry and the kids. I can't believe how big they've gotten. :) So cute.

13 August 2012

I'm really struggling

When I was in high school, I memorized Philippians 2, as part of a challenge for church. I remember most of it, and I typed out the most relevant parts for my story.

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility, consider others better than yourselves. Look not unto your own interests, but each of you unto the interests of others. Your attitude should be that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in the very nature of God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking on the very nature of a servant!

-skip a few verses-

Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may be blameless and pure children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, where you shine like stars in the universe- as you hold out the Word of Life- in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not labor for nothing.

There you have it. We, as Christians, are commanded to serve. It is not an option, and it is not easy. Our human nature is to be greedy, hoarding all of our earthly comforts, so that we do not want for anything. We are supposed to put to death our old selves, including greed, and put on our new selves. Those new selves are full of compassion, kindness, gentleness, and they are being renewed in the knowledge of the image of our creator! (Colossians 3)

We've been living in NJ for over two and a half years now! I can't believe it has been this long. It is no surprise to everyone that I really hate it here. Lately, as in the last year, Michael and I have both felt like maybe we are here for a reason. The problem is that we have no idea what our purpose(s) is/are here!

Here's the kicker. The more we pray about what we are supposed to be doing, the more we are called upon to serve and sacrifice for others. Here's the weird part: the more we sacrifice and serve, the more we end up having. I know it sounds crazy, but I'll give you an example. Last spring, Michael was working his normal full time job, and he was also working a part time job on the weekends. He worked 7 days a week with 10-12 hour days! We still could not pay all of our bills on time. During this time, God convicted us to actually tithe the full 10% (shock and awe). We took a huge step of faith and actually started tithing without fail every single paycheck. Michael lost his second job that summer. By that time, we were ahead on all of our bills, putting money into savings, repaying my student loans, and making double payments some months on them! Looking back at my excel spreadsheets for our monthly budgets for the last 18 months, I can tell you that I have NO idea how that happened.

The last three months have been very difficult for us. We've had this nudging that maybe it is time for us to buy a house. :( I am really on the fence about this. In one sense, I would really love to paint, decorate, have a yard, and call some place home. On the other hand, buying a house really makes it official that we live in NJ, fourteen long, excruciating hours from our family in TN. We found a house, but we will be coming up a little bit short on the closing costs if this whole thing actually works out. During this time that I want to pinch every single last penny we have, it seems that we are being called upon to give.... some more. We decided to trust God. We put in an offer, and if we are supposed to get his house, then somehow it will work out.

In the meantime, I have no idea what my purpose is right now. I have no idea what I'm supposed to do with my life, and I have no idea where we are supposed to settle down. Oddly enough, I have a sense of peace with it for the moment.

08 August 2012

A funny story

My friend had her baby today, and it reminded me of a funny story. :)

I got a sponge bath. (No, you don't actually get very clean with those.) The nurse was being so nice to me and trying to make me feel better. She told me at least three times, "Girl! You don't look like you even had a baby!" (I REALLY LOOKED LIKE I JUST HAD A BABY!) Of course, being slightly delirious, I believed her. Michael was there and he agreed with the nurse, so I figured I was looking pretty good. (bahaha)

When I finally was able to get out of bed and walk around, my stomach looked like I was 5 months pregnant! The nurse lied to me. I couldn't walk anywhere. I just stood there and looked at my hanging post baby belly and cried.... (maybe it was hysterically. michael tells it that way. lol) All I remember is crying and saying, "How could she lie to me? She's a nurse. You can't lie to me. I just had a baby." lol :D:D

P.S. Here is a picture of me post baby. I told you I looked terrible.