A Floridian, again
Alina, here. Long time no update. Nice to see you again. I have been in a place in life where it is hard to put down exactly what I am thinking. I guess I have been too much "in it" to be able to talk about it. To reward your patience, I'll start off with a big announcement...we have found a city to live in. Drum roll, please...
In Jacksonville, Florida.
Yeah, I know! God has a funny, funny way of throwing some surprises in life. So here we have been, our life on hold as Matt looks for a new job in a new city, and we have been living the whole time in the city that we now call home. I need a moment to sit back and laugh at the irony of it all!
We looked and looked at other cities in the southeast, but no jobs have come through. As time has gone by, Matt has grown increasingly more interested in becoming a firefighter in the city of Jacksonville. The journey of becoming a firefighter will probably take a couple of years because of schooling. In the meantime, Matt has landed a job, and we are thrilled. We even signed a lease to rent a cute little 50's home in the city. My mind is dreaming of the winter garden I will be starting on soon after the move-in. Ahh...a winter vegetable garden...certainly one of the perks of the Florida climate!
Over time we have come to like the idea of living here. We are close to both families, and while it is still super, SUPER hot here, it is not as hot as my native South Florida. Being only 20 minutes from the Georgia border sure does help me swallow the idea of being a Floridian, again.
The Long Road
These last seven months here have been long and difficult as we have not been sure where the road is going and where God is leading us. At many moments, it has felt like our life has come to a screeching halt. It has felt like a giant PAUSE button was pressed, and our lives became filled with silence and questioning. I kept going to God and asking for clarity. I kept asking for my fox. The answer I kept getting: Little clarity, and no fox. But what is so amazing is how I have been continually reminded that my cup runs over. I am so blessed. I must, must, must remind myself of that. It has been a discipline in 'daily reminders'.
A few weeks ago, just prior to Matt receiving his job offer, I was reading through Job. I started off and when I got to Job 1:21, I was stunned. I stopped and stared at the words. I mean I was completely paralyzed with wonder. It reads:
"Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord has given, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord."
This is so incredible to me. Here is a man of God who had EVERYTHING. Truly wealthy by the standards of his day. God took it all away, and without any pause in the sentence he says, "Blessed be the name of the Lord." That has been my challenge: in the absence of a clear, well-lit path...to bless the name of the Lord!
I am excited about what our future holds. We both have hope for the career path Matt is choosing. We are excited about Jacksonville. We love our church. While I have not seen a literal fox, I look at these blessings as my reminders from the Lord that He LOVES us. But, I won't lie, I am still looking around for that fox.
P.S. Sorry for the funky formatting and spacing issues. Blogger, if I could shake you without hurting my computer, I would! ***Update: Problem solved. Blogger, we are friends again. Sorry I doubted you.***
P.S.S. Meet my adorable models, Karis and her new friend. I LOVED our little photo shoot yesterday...I took about 100 pictures of their squirming little bodies to come away with these four shots. Well worth it in the end, I might add.
Saturday, August 09, 2008
A Floridian, again
Posted by Alina at 12:31 AM
Saturday, August 02, 2008
There is something about being a parent that causes me to worship. I don't fully understand it, but often I find myself praising God or praying to him while I am knee deep in the ordinary and mundane tasks of parenthood. It is difficult to find time to intentionally be with God. Now, I know we are always in His presence. But I am talking about the "be still and know that I am God" moments. Those moments are hard to come by as I rush around throughout the day picking up, wiping down, chasing, comforting, and correcting. I think God gives an extra measure of grace to mommies by giving them moments to worship throughout the day...if we can slow down and see them. Tonight I was pleasantly surprised when the moment came. It was a little after midnight, and I was leisurely watching a movie. Karis had been down for hours and nearly never wakes up in the night anymore. In fact it has been 12-14 hour stretches of sleep for months (glorious, I know!). So I was surprised when she began to cry and cry and cry. Annoyed and frustrated I headed in to comfort her. I held her and rocked her while singing to her. At first she resisted. But then she quietly gave in and rested her stubborn head on my shoulder. And then it happened, at the most unlikely moment. In the dark of her bedroom, as her breathing slowed down to a restful rhythm, with my movie on pause in the next room, I began to sing: "I love you, Lord. And I lift my voice to worship You. Oh, my soul, rejoice! Take joy, my King, in what you hear. And may it be a sweet, sweet sound in your ear." There, in that moment, I entered into worship.
Posted by Alina at 12:05 PM