Buyer’s Remorse

I’m half joking in this post.  Half.

I am so grateful for the generosity of my Nana.  She wasn’t a warm individual, that was just her Japanese culture upbringing.  However, she always provided financially.  After her passing, everyone in the family received a VERY generous gift.  My student debt was wiped out completely and we had enough to buy a small house recently.

The house is the only debt we have.  I want to be able to do what my grandmother did and provide for my children and my grandchildren this way.  Now, I want to have a greater balance than she did.  I don’t want to be consumed with work though.  I want to provide financially and emotionally and spiritually.

Now this home purchase…why?

The mortgage payment is much cheaper than any two-bedroom apt. we could have rented in NJ.  However, we have electric heat.  How much will that be in the winter?  It is only a 700 sq. ft. space so hopefully not too much.  Then we have repairs to account for.  Would it have been cheaper to rent?

What about settling in the state I never wanted to settle in?  Can’t God use me anywhere?  How do we interpret the calling?  I hear people often say that God called them to a particular person or place.  Is this biblical?  I’ve never heard God say such a thing to me.  I just speak of my love for him to those around me.  Isn’t that what we are supposed to do?  Am I disobeying if I move somewhere else I wasn’t “meant” to be in?  How can you know you are going against God’s will when this choice isn’t addressed in Scripture as something that would displease vs. please him?

I’m all over the place in this post.  I have thoughts rushing around and I know I’m jumping.

Anyways, it has been 7-8 months since my last trip.  I’ve written about this recently.  Friends say to travel to places in my state that I haven’t been to yet.  That’s nice and helps stave the intense travel craze for a brief moment.  Then a couple days later I think about my ultimate bucket list and realize there are still continents I haven’t set foot on or states I haven’t photographed.

My ultimate dream trip is to take a cruise to Antarctica (and of course since doing the research, now I want to do the Arctic too).  This trip is EXPENSIVE.  The low end will cost you $4000 for a cheap, basic cruise alone.  Then you need to add airfare.  This is per person.

I think about the money we used to put a down payment on the house.  I never felt the desire to buy a home.  I NEVER wanted to settle in NJ.  I’m a nomad at heart.  There is something comforting about staying in the same place and forming close bonds, but it is also hard for me.

Friends say how blessed we are recently.  We are.  I am grateful so please don’t misinterpret this wrestling as ingratitude.  I am thankful for a roof over my head, especially one that doesn’t have cranky neighbors below or above me.  My church family (past and present friends accounted for) is incredible.  I have a support system other individuals have dreamed about.  Yet, there is still the unsettled feeling I have about remaining here rather than throwing caution to the wind, selling everything I own, building a tiny RV home, hitting the road and working odd jobs with Frank to pay for fuel & food, teaching Willow through the most amazing home-school experience ever and fulfilling my travel dreams.

Then I think about grass.  Willow loves grass.  It’s always greener over there.  My little girl is perfectly content to remain in a small patch of grass.  She’s fascinated with the new scents this patch brings.  She’ll sit there for minutes and study one blade—tasting, touching, and smelling it.  Have I not tried to smell, taste, and touch this place enough?  Am I dreaming too much that I haven’t learned to appreciate where I’m at right now?  If I was doing the nomad thing would I be dreaming of a settlement with a tight-knit community that I have?

Why can’t I seem to control myself?  Why can’t I simply be content with what I have or am currently doing?  Is this what he wants me doing?  I’m not sure.  All I know is this is not my home.  Why do I worry?  Shouldn’t I simply be sharing the good news wherever I’m at?

Why regret a purchase when I could simply save the money now, take the adventure, and continue the witness which is what it is all about anyways.

Ah…such is the cyclical, learning journey of spinning clay being molded daily by the Creator.

(For those interested, one of the cruises that actually lets you step foot on Antarctica (rather than cruising by) is called Quark Expeditions.  I could work as a researcher in Antarctica and thus have the expense paid possibly, but I’d have to be away from my family and that isn’t an option.  While I do want to travel there, I can’t do so at the expense of family time because family is a greater priority than travel & “bread-winning”…see above note about providing emotionally and spiritually.)

The Travel “Experts”

If you follow my blog, you know that I am deeply interested in travel.  While samples are on the autosampler at work, I sometimes peruse travel deals and dream of my next trip. I’ve listed some sites below from other bloggers you might want to check out, plus another favorite travel website of mine, which I learned about from one of the bloggers listed below.

If you are a travel junkie, check out these other bloggers for tips on budgeting, itineraries, or themes:

http://www.exploreall50.com :

A single mother of three explores all 50 states with her kids, helping them to get hands on education.  Some of the sites she visits are touristy and others are educational so her kids can learn about America’s culture and history.

Since one of my bullets on my bucket list is to visit all 50 states, I use this site as a guide to give me ideas on sites to see when I go visit states I haven’t seen yet.

http://www.nomadicmatt.com:

Matt is famous and has published a few books on budget traveling.  He has great tips on how to save money while traveling.  If you are looking for less touristy ideas and wonderful suggestions on cheaper travel, you should definitely check out this site.  Matt also sends out e-mails, if you sign up for his newsletter, which includes travel coupons/discount websites, challenges where you might win free stuff, and important information about travel in general.

http://www.bemytravelmuse.com:

A single, young woman travels throughout the world.  She gives a great female perspective on travel, advising on safety for women traveling solo.  She also records interesting sightings: including people she’s met or places that aren’t very touristy.  If you are looking for travel ideas, especially from a female’s insight, check out this site.  I learned about one of my favorite sites (listed below) from her too.  This site also includes budget travel tips and her off-the-beaten path adventure descriptions.

http://www.trover.com:

Think pinterest specifically geared towards travel.  You will meet other travel enthusiasts.  Here you post pictures of your adventures and meet others who like where you’ve been, are interested in going there themselves, or who might want to simply chat about travel in general.  Trover is a fun hub of travel amused folks.  Also, the site frequently has contests where you could potentially win $1500 for a photo you took along your travels.

http://www.wanderingtrader.com:

A day trader instructs individuals on how to invest and day trade so that you can have the freedom to make money anywhere that you might be able to live where you want to, anywhere in the world.  He has been to every continent including Antarctica (the second bullet on my bucket list) and lived in roughly 22 countries.  Marcello is in his late twenties to early thirties.  I visit here occasionally because while I’d like to learn, investing in day trading is risky and it makes me nervous.  He has travel deals as well so it is worth visiting.  He also blogs about budget travel.

http://www.roadtrippers.com:

A site that assists you as you plan your road trip.  It points out interests based on what you want to see: natural wonders, museums, weird/off-the-beaten path sites.  It is a great tool to use when planning a road trip.

Those are just a few of the sites I visit frequently when looking for ideas on traveling.  At some point, I’ll blog about the travel agency we used for our trip to Australia and NZ and some tours we took.  I’ll also include links and/or thoughts about agencies or tour places we’d (my family) like to try out.  Stay tuned.

Stay traveling that you might broaden your experiences, mind, and the gospel message.

Carriers: Part 1

I’ll take a break from controversy.  At least I’ll try anyways.

[I was praying and felt that I’ve been quarrelsome lately.  I’d like to blame it on sleep deprivation or new-working-mom guilt.  However, my soul feels restless and I want to blame God so rather than ‘blaspheme’, I write opinions.  Although I don’t think I’m intentionally looking for an argument.  Some people might think that.  If they do, am I?  Is this just my approval addiction seeking to envelop me again?  Also, am I being a prattling fool and as such, inviting quarrels?  Why do I espouse my ideas or ideals, defend them, and then apologize for doing so?  Ah, this vicious cycle.  Anyways, I’ve digressed in my thoughts.  My intent was to take a break from heated topics for a moment.]

I’m writing a product review in this post.  Now, some might find it boring.  I just have a soft spot for baby carriers.  I don’t wear them all the time with Willow.  I usually just hold her in my arms (probably as an excuse to not clean house or assist with building projects around the house).  When I do use a carrier, I am critiquing each one, comparing the one I’m wearing to others I’ve used or would like to purchase.  When I travel, which I haven’t gone to my uncharted lands in roughly 7 months, I use carriers.  I like to walk without extra accoutrements.  If I use a stroller I now have to find space to store the stroller if we stop.  If I have a carrier, I can simply sit down as Willow is strapped to my body.  So here it is, a blog about the carriers I’ve used and the ones I intend to purchase because I feel they will help me more when I start venturing beyond NJ again, this time with my Willow girl in tow.

K’Tan:  ( https://www.google.com/search?q=k%27tan&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0CAkQ_AUoA2oVChMImbCOst7uxgIVCdk-Ch0Rvw9m&biw=1385&bih=870#imgrc=URULrpsVoZRhOM%3A ) My cousin’s wife purchased this carrier for me via Amazon.  We had it on our registry because it seemed like a much simpler version of the all-famous Moby wrap.  Plus, it was recommended to me by an equally enthusiastic carrier purchaser.  As soon as it arrived in the mail, I joyfully sported the wrap above my protruding, pregnant body.  Frank and I practiced the different wrap techniques to hold a baby before Willow was born by using a teddy bear as a substitute baby.  It worked well.  Then we had Willow and it was a bit more difficult.  We juggle her fidgeting body while trying to loop the wrap into the proper position.  More often than not, we twist part of the shoulder strap which is uncomfortable for adult and child.  Willow also feels low on me.  The carrier is one size too big for me, I think.  As a result, I usually let Frank use this one.  (Feel free to add your reviews on the carriers sweetheart.)

Agility:  ( https://www.google.com/search?q=agility+carrier&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0CAkQ_AUoA2oVChMIl9Xj3t7uxgIViBY-Ch3GkwaN&biw=1385&bih=870#imgrc=0Fp8WmqfpPJjbM%3A ) This is one we own and I use most often.  It has a structured back so you put it on like you would a t-shirt.  The structured back is one of my favorite features on the Agility.  The fact that I can put it on like a t-shirt makes it easy to take on and off and get Willow in and out of.  I have a black one though and in the summer heat, my little furnace burns me up and I find myself wearing the carrier as I hold Willow in my arms.  Also, Willow starts up high, at the proper height position but her increasing weight causes the fabric to sag, causing her to sink lower from my lips (you are supposed to be able to kiss the top of a child’s head in a baby carrier).  As she moves lower over time, my back aches.  So this is one of my favorite carriers, but not to wear for extended periods of time; for instance, while hiking.

Ring Sling: ( https://www.google.com/search?q=ring+sling&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0CAgQ_AUoAmoVChMI6u_p897uxgIVB9k-Ch3tYgN2&biw=1385&bih=870#imgrc=wwJhG4IWPNod1M%3A ) My least desired carrier.  The ring sling goes over one shoulder.  The uneven spread throws me off balance.  Also, you are supposed to create a bucket seat by tucking the fabric under the butt while bringing it to about the bottom of the belly button.  A child doesn’t feel very secure.  I know a child is.  I’ve worn one with Willow in it and she was secure.  I just felt more comfortable holding her with one hand on her back.  I like carriers that allow me to use both of my hands.  One thing I do like about this carrier design is that once you practice enough, it is really easy to nurse and walk!  I enjoy the multitasking this allows me to do (multitasking = shop/walk/vacuum while nursing).

Becco Gemini:  ( https://www.google.com/search?q=ring+sling&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0CAgQ_AUoAmoVChMI6u_p897uxgIVB9k-Ch3tYgN2&biw=1385&bih=870#imgrc=wwJhG4IWPNod1M%3A ) The image associated with this link is actually the fabric type we have.  Frank was hoping he could wear Willow while he was in uniform and not get told he couldn’t be carrying her at a particular time.  This is a buckle carrier.  I do like this one as it leaves me feeling cool even in summer heat.  There isn’t any fabric on my back to make me sweaty.  I do have a small torso though and the carrier just doesn’t sit right on my hips.  The shoulder straps get pushed up and I sometimes have them brush my ear.  Shoulder straps should rest on the shoulders, not pass by my ear.  I do like the fact that it buckles.  The Gemini buckles are a bit complicated though because I have to push a button to undo the clasp.  If I have to place my hand on Willow’s back while putting her in and taking her out of the carrier, the task of pushing a button while pinching the clasp to undo the buckle is ridiculously hard.  This feature should be simpler.  I’ll have to research buckle carriers that might work with my body type.

Moby Wrap: ( http://https://www.google.com/search?q=Moby+wrap&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0CAkQ_AUoA2oVChMI58fx-93uxgIVxDg-Ch1VywH_&biw=1385&bih=870#imgrc=54X8H2wtmW7v2M%3A ) Everyone and their mother has heard about the Moby wrap.  My best friend had one.  I tried it.  There is so much fabric to tie, twist, stretch, etc. that it makes putting a child in one difficult.  Also, there is so much detail to tightening ‘rails’ so a kid doesn’t fall out that my ‘mommy brain’ can’t comprehend how to maneuver this wrap well enough to make Willow safe and secure.  It is also really hot in the summer due to all the fabric used.  I need to look for woven wraps that function the same way but have colored rails so you can tell if you are fixing the top, back, or bottom.

Mei tai:  ( https://www.google.com/search?q=mei+tai&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0CAgQ_AUoAmoVChMI4Y_oguDuxgIVgRU-Ch3NiwOy&biw=1385&bih=870#imgrc=SFCYcxyeM5v-JM%3A ) My best friend has this one.  I’ve watched her put it on.  It has a structured piece that covers a child’s back.  This piece simplifies the tying process.  I’d like to try this one out.  There is still long fabric straps and there is a tying procedure, but since it is simpler than the Moby, I’d like to try it.

These are only a few of the hundred plus carriers available.  I’m still researching, and to my husband’s vexation and frustration, wanting to purchase a new one each pay period.  (I don’t like too many material items in life and couldn’t find space to store as I live in 700 sq. ft., but my shopping vices are storage items (bins, sheds, ottomans, fabric cubes, etc.) and baby carriers.)  Until next time, I hope you enjoyed a couple of key points and personal commentary on the carriers mentioned here.

The Importance of Language

I recently posted what I thought to be the least controversial definition of feminism, labeling myself as one.  I put the definition in the context of its original intent, not what a minority have redefined feminism to mean and sadly, what the majority has come to believe feminism means due to this alteration.  Then I had friends start debating me.

Look, I just want my daughter to grow up in a world that doesn’t limit her potential or opportunities.  I understand my daughter is physically different than a male.  She might not run faster than some men; she’ll run faster than some though.  However, she will have less testosterone.  From a purely biological standpoint, she is different.  Knowing those differences doesn’t have to conflict with what equality means.

Most Christian women claim to be okay with a patriarchal organization of society.  However, if we exercised this, many American women might be bothered by its practice.  We say we are okay with men working and women staying home.  Would you be comfortable with it if you were forced into that decision?  Would you be satisfied with your spouse not assisting with household chores because ‘this is how God created us to be—women being the helpmate (i.e. man makes a request and woman obeys as is how some have interpreted it to mean)’?

If you look at the context of language through the lens of cultural and historical in which it is used, you’ll see the importance of transitory vocabulary.  Words and sometimes their meanings are, more often than not, changing.  Symbols are as well.  (Swastika and Confederate flags as examples of symbols whose meaning was altered within the context it was used and have since been stigmatized to mean something else entirely and that is why contemporary society has issues with these symbols.  These symbols used to be innocent.  They aren’t anymore, they are signs of oppression because people used them that way.)

We use a word or a string of words in a particular way with a particular audience.  Frequently, interpretations of a situation, symbol, or word are based on an individual’s experience.  You can arrive at exegetical interpretations of texts, but doing so requires analyzing circumstances through the audience being addressed and the cultural events occurring at that time.  It is important to define what concepts were applicable to a particular category in time and which concepts are timeless.

Language denotes particular ideas, theories, and themes. We say we don’t want to use labels, but the very use of language requires labels.  Something is blue, or round, or kinetic.  People don’t like stereotypes.  Not all short people have Napoleon complexes (I do and I’ll admit it).  Just because you belong to a particular category doesn’t mean you behave or think exactly the same way people in that classification do.  Stereotypes typically overgeneralize a population.  I can say I don’t like conservative Christian culture because that is a label, an analysis of an overall belief system, but not a commentary on the individuals within that analysis.  A stereotype would be saying that all people who believe in a complementarian, anti-abortion, anti-homosexual worldview are Christian.  The latter is false.  Am I making sense or getting caught in a cyclical view of semantics?  Is the distinction I’m trying to make clear?  Do you understand my conclusion?  Let me use context.

I’ve had friends who say I should be praying for Willow’s future spouse.  In a roundabout way, I guess I might be, but I’m not using vocabulary that demands such a result.  I pray daily for her to have wisdom, discernment, and a heart devoted to God.  As such, if she one day chooses marriage as a desire, she’ll be able to select a mate who is also pursuing God.  She, herself, would have sought God and would want to share her life with someone who has similar aspirations and goals.  Praying for wisdom in her life grants her freedom to choose what she desires, in accordance with the gifts and talents God has given her.

When I pray that her future spouse will be equipped to complement her and he would be spiritually mature, I feel like I’m saying she will get married, that this is somehow the best option for her because otherwise she won’t be living up to her potential to serve God.  I feel my vocabulary isn’t desiring a certain path for her, but allowing her to maximize her personal desires in so far as they glorify God (because at the end of it all, my main priority and wish is that she’d glorify God and how that plays out in her life will look different than how it has happened in my life).

I’m not belittling marriage.  I’m not setting her up, or a potential future mate, for failure if I don’t pray for her spouse to grow in Christ. (Disclaimer:  If I pray all people would come to know Christ and they would mature in his image, than I am praying for a spouse to grow in Christ, but I’m not saying that this is what she should choose. *smirks*  Does that work?)

My prayer is simple.  I’m praying she has the wisdom to know the difference between godliness and ungodliness.  As such, hopefully all her decisions will follow suit.  I’m praying she extends mercy, forgiveness, and love to those around her.  I’m not praying, nor do I wish to pray, determinism.

I want to pray, and use language in my prayer, that leaves liberty for my daughter to make her decisions as she discerns how God is speaking to her. Sure, people might think they are doing a service by praying for their child’s future spouse, but will the child feel inept by not finding a life mate, settling down, and producing children?  A spouse can feel grateful he or she was prayed for by their in-laws long before he or she was wed.  However, I come back to the previous question.

We can absolutely pray for events to occur in faith, but should we pray our desires to happen in the life of another?  Shouldn’t we pray for God to be magnified in their life and have that individual’s desires to be met so long as their motivation is to glorify God.  We should simplify our prayers.  Isn’t the purpose of all prayer to have individuals glorify God and grow in his image—loving him and our neighbors more?  (When we pray for healing, employment, unions (that are actually happening and not a mystified ‘what-if, several years down the road, I want this union but they might not want it for themselves’), etc. aren’t we essentially trusting that those events are transpiring to glorify God in that person’s life or hoping that it will?)

So if you want to pray for your offspring’s spouse please do so.  I feel that if I pray that for Willow, I’m implying that she is somehow not fulfilling life’s ‘greatest accomplishment’ or God’s destiny in her life.  I want my prayers for her to be phrased in such a way that I leave room for God to work in her life and for her to have free will, not my will or my desires for her (other than her knowing God and loving him because I glorify God most in my life by training her in his ways, even if she chooses to stray).

I know that parents who are praying for their children’s spouse aren’t attempting to limit their child or saying they aren’t living up to God’s call should their child choose singlehood, but in my opinion, there is a subtle suggestion to this idea.  I don’t want my language, however subtly, to even derive the thought that marriage is the greatest pursuit in my family’s mind, especially my daughter’s.  The greatest pursuit is Christ, not marriage.

If we make marriage our pursuit, marriage becomes an idol and that is when marriage is horrible and not fulfilling.

*Please feel free to comment respectfully and if any of my language use is incoherent or seemingly faulty, please correct me or suggest how I might rephrase a sentence such that the context delivers my intended conclusions.  Also, I understand my grammar isn’t the best here.  I am sleep deprived as a new mom; I don’t see that state changing any time soon.  Please feel free to graciously correct grammar too.

#freetheboobies

Yup, I hate hashtags but I titled this post with one.

I used to be relatively conservative and more modest than what I am now.  Over the years I morphed into a feminist.  How did this happen?  In America it seems women have liberty because we can work, speak in public, and not be accompanied by men outside.  As I continued attending church and started observing media with more scrutiny, I realized there is a silent oppression of women in our country.  It isn’t overt like in Saudia Arabia.

Women in our country still make 70 cents for every dollar a man makes.  Discussing finances is considered taboo so frequently this discrepancy isn’t revealed.  Rape victims are still predominately women and are too scared to speak up because we’ve fostered the idea that immodest dress permits a woman to be violated.

In churches, we speak about submission and how women are to heed their husband’s instruction while neglecting the latter half of this all too popular Ephesians verse that husband’s are to love their wives as Christ loved the church (giving himself up).  Women are refused ministry positions unless it is for women or youth because we are told a woman isn’t to instruct a man, forgetting that the verse in Timothy was written this way because the women were disrupting services causing chaos, not streamlining transforming sermons as is often the desire of most female spiritual leaders today.  We forget about women in the Bible like Deborah (a judge in the OT who would have observed the law and ensured others in the temple did too—much like male pastors do today).  Congregations dismiss the fact that if Queen Esther hadn’t been vocal and operative, thousands of Jews would have been killed due to a male’s jealousy for power and respect.  We talk about how men are to be providers forgetting that women have contributing roles in marriage and that it is a partnership, not hierarchy.  (Men can feel burnt out if told they must carry the burdens of their family’s financial and spiritual needs.  Most I’ve spoken with prefer to work and provide spiritually, but they shouldn’t be forced or expected to do so.)  Women shouldn’t be told that her place is in the home and her husband doesn’t have to do household chores.

In media, women are either depicted as sluts or domineering, overbearing dogs.

Women are mocked for feeding their children naturally because we are told that we are beckoning temptations for our male counterparts, over-sexualizing her form and shaming her.  Men can walk around topless and we neglect that women have visual sex drives too.

I’m not saying I’d walk around without a shirt unless I was meeting the needs of my child (which is more important than the comfort level of full grown adults capable of turning their heads so as not to gawk at my briefly exposed breast), but as long as men are allowed to do so, women should be allowed to as well.  We both have chests.  Some fat men have larger ‘boobies’ than petite breasted women!  Shouldn’t men be covering those up?

As I espouse these ideas trying to raise awareness of the injustices, my devotion to Christ is questioned.  Friends feel the need to hold me accountable because my vocalized opinion is seen as disrespectful.  I’m told that I’m walking an unfaithful path in this regard.

I’m not adhering to the conservative Christian interpretation of biblicism as I used to and it is making my church counterparts uncomfortable, disturbed, concerned while they omit, or fail to recognize, pervasive interpretive pluralism.

Soap boxes and rants are seen as passive aggressive rather than a call to awareness of larger issues like female oppression and the prevalent thought that men aren’t essential.

So I’ll use this disclaimer:  I’m commenting on societal norms not due to the injustice put on me or due to the odd requests of ‘my authorities’ and peers, but because I hope my daughter has freedoms I didn’t even know I lacked until recently.  I’m fighting for the cause of another, one to whom I hope this world will be a better place because I spoke up for her since she can’t do so yet.

The Traveler’s Heresy?

Antsy—the feeling I get when it has been a few months since I’ve traveled.

Most individuals are disturbed with change.  Perhaps it was the constant moving I did as a child, but I am comfortable with it.  I feel unsettled if I am in a place too long or don’t take breaks from where I’m at through travel.  Also, I typically count travel as somewhere I have never been, uncharted territory for my curious soul.

The last new place I toured was Australia and NZ back in November.  It has been around 7 months since that trip.  About 2 months ago my family took a trip to my Alma Mater.  While it was an enjoyable trip and I was able to see a few friends, it wasn’t new land for me.  It was too familiar.  Sure it has changed because it is a college town, but it still had my flavorful history permeating the air.  I want to breathe in a new experience, a fresh place with people I’ve never met before, an area beckoning new friendships that have vibrant challenges waiting.

Traversing distant lands my feet have yet to imprint is difficult when you are married to an individual who 1.) isn’t paid for time off with bills to pay and 2.) doesn’t feel the same need or urgency for traveling.  My husband and I live 10-15 min. from where he grew up.  I gave him permission to look for a job anywhere in the US (he’s in the Reserves otherwise I would have said world).  He found one in NJ.

While racked with disappointment, partially because NJ is so expensive, I know that this place is where God has me.  I’m meant to be in this place.  I just feel that traveling every quarter is my way of settling this restless soul, my compromise with God.  (Are we supposed to make those?  I’m probably not supposed to do that; maybe that’s why the opportunity to fly, drive, or sail hasn’t occurred recently.)

Also, I’ve had a lot of change in my life—a new baby and a new house.  Several individuals might think that should be enough to silence the yearning-for-a-trip heart.  I moved 5 minutes from my apartment.  Let me state that I am not discounting these blessings.  I’m extremely grateful for my life and the way it has turned out.  I just like to meet new people and see new places so I might become a revived person, hopefully renewed to reflect the image of Christ better as I’m refined through the obstacles which navigating new territories always instills.

Am I trying to justify my fear of vulnerability instead?  When you stay rooted, you are likely to build more authentic relationships, have a more intimate community.  I frequently tell myself, and others, this is what I want; but is my constant drive for newness revealing that I actually dread opening myself up?

The approval addict, who doesn’t want to let that sin go, doesn’t want to see that this may be the case.  This could be why every verse I’ve been reading lately has the theme of courage.  “Do not be afraid or discouraged.  The Lord your God is with you.”  He is with me through changes and the monotony of staying rooted in one place.  Maybe one day my thick skull will be at peace with that as I surrender more fully into his wonderful, yet frustrating (because while I enjoy change I dislike uncertainty) will.  Perhaps as I trust him I might attain the peace which surpasses all understanding and start living fully where I’m at without the constant desire to keep moving.

It’s a Beautiful Life

My last post was in May.  Let’s just say that parenting doesn’t exactly lend itself to blogging, especially when you are working a full time job, buying a new house, and still keeping up a social life.  Oh, and using any spare time you have for sleep.

Sleep…a precious commodity.  I always used to say I was tired.  One day, when time travel becomes accessible, I’m going to go back and slap that old self in the face and say, “You don’t have a clue as to what tired is.”

Also, I never realized how I could still function off such little sleep.  Your body just adjusts.  In the beginning, you dream about sleep.  Then the deprivation just becomes a way of life.  You adapt.

Humans are adaptable creatures.  Perhaps I’ll one day adapt to life in NJ, resolve to contentment here, stop fighting God, and learn to live for his glory in the place he has put me.  One positive thing about sleep deprivation is that I don’t have the will to fight God as much anymore.  I’m too tired.  He’s so powerful.  My pride is slowly surrendered as I realize that fighting him will just result in more fatigue.

Not only do I lack energy to fight God’s will, I have taken a moment to stop, look around, and realize the beautiful life I do have.

I am not trotting the globe, evangelizing to third world countries, or curing AIDS, but I have a loyal and devoted husband with whom I’ve made the most curious, studious, and adorable little girl.  I have really close friends with whom I share many laughs and tears.  Here, I have life filled with rich, authentic, and real community.  My life isn’t what I mapped it to be, but it is a far better life than I ever could have imagined.

I’m thankful that my sleep deprivation allows me to stop fantasizing about “what-ifs” and the “greener grasses” to concentrate on the present.  My present, which from this view now, is truly a gift I should never have taken for granted or cease to appreciate in the years to come, Lord willing.