Wow, its been a while since I've written on this thingy! I suppose now is as good of a time as any! Fair warning: I have a lot to say!
I was just on a friend's blog reading her reflections. She and I went to Zimbabwe together last summer and I was reading her reflections on where she is now one year later. She made some interesting points that hit home directly with me too.
She said it best:
"Anyway, is it weird that I still feel so attached to Zimbabwe? I mean, I was only there for two weeks and I can’t pinpoint what about it that captured me. It was a really fun trip, but nothing specifically to inspire this love. The first two weeks after I got back, I had the most vivid dreams about Zim. It was crazy. Now, I’ve been back for over a year, but still those feelings can still be whipped up by simply getting a whiff of the shampoo I used there or a cup of English Breakfast Tea. It seems like about half the people I know who went to a country in Africa see it as just another cool experience, but for myself and a few others, it just seems to have sparked this irrational love. "
I can't say that I had the vivid dreams but I have days when I long to be there with every fiber of my being. I don't know what it is about that place but I pray that God has it in his plan for me to return.
I could go on about my wonderful Zim for quite some time, but I will leave that for later.
As for Chris and I, life seems to continue to through curve balls at us. Some day things will settle down and it won't feel like this (or thats what I like to tell myself) but we are managing to make it. We are in a Bible Study/Small group thing on Wed. nights with a bunch of other newlyweds and one couple who will be married in April. The class is a lot of fun and we really enjoy the people. Last week we were talking about divorce (as a rabbit we were chasing) and we were talking about the current divorce rate vs back in the day and weather it was more culture or what. I believe it is culture to an extent, because back in the day that just wasn't done but I also had another idea. Back in the day people got married a lot younger, my grandmother for example, got married when she was 15. I think that some of the success rate of couples from that time (getting married early) has to do with the fact that when they started off their marriage they didn't have set careers and settled homes. They had to figure it out together and start everything together. They had a lot of hard times and I'm sure all they had at times was each other. Don't get me wrong, I'm not knocking waiting and getting married when your life is more stable, but I believe the hardships these couples faced made their marriage stronger. You know the old saying, "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger." I believe it works here. So with that in mind I find encouragement. Chris and I were talking and it seems like since about 2 weeks before the wedding its been one thing after another. At times it feels like we've been knocked down and are being kicked. But I now see that as our hardships that will make us stronger in the end and one day we will be the cute little old couple who wear fanny packs and hold hands as they walk around the mall (minus the fanny packs).
A month ago my great-grandmother died. She and Pa-Paw were one of those couples. They were old school. Thats how I want to be. I think we have good odds, the genes seem to be passed along. My grandparents (my great-grandmother's daughter and my dad's mom) have been together since they were 14. They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversery my freshman year in college. Then my parents. They have been together since their Jr. year of high school and were married right after high school. When it comes to marriage and how to do it and how to love someone else with all you are, these people are my heroes. My grandfather has had some health issues over the last year or so and my mom told me one day that he was talking to my Nana and she asked if he was going to be okay (or something to that extent) and he said "As long as I have you" Thats what I want. My great-grandmother was a strong woman. She lived without Pa-Paw for several years. She was the founder of the "Tough Old Broad Society" Which my grandmother is currently holding the president position of. G.G. was witty and man could she say some things that make you fall out of your chair. My family sat around the night before her funeral and told stories. I don't think I've ever seen my cousin Jeremy's face to red. She lived a good life. We were blessed to have her. So at the ripe old age of 98 she went home to see Jesus and Pa-Paw.
One thing I see Father teaching me through all of the craziness Chris and I call life together, is that no matter the situation -- anything from not working for a week to go to funerals on the other side of the state to money (which I have found is a huge stress and something Father understands and handles very well)--no matter the situation, He has control. Being newlyweds and still trying to figure out how to work and get back into school and all of that, money is a struggle for us, as it is for many couples I'm sure. One night I was just really stressed about it all and Chris and I were laying in bed and he had just prayed and I had what I like to call a "brilliant idea" in other words, it was one of those things that I could not have come up with on my own so it was definatly Father speaking to me. But I had been trying to figure all of this out for about a week, and if you know me I pack it all inside me and deal with it inside until I have it figured out. Well that generally takes its toll on me and I break. So this night was my breaking point. I had spent a week trying to figure this out and the fact of the matter is that I wasn't going to be able to. I see that now... So as I layed there this "brillant idea" came to me. Father was like 'hey, I have an idea. How about you let me handle it.' WOW! At that point I realized Chris and I weren't going to be able to make it on our own but that we needed his help. Its amazing what happens in life when we just let go and let God. I've seen him do some amazing things lately and I know I will continue to see this. I'm just thankful he is patient enough to stick with us.
"You are blessed when you are at the end of your rope. There is less of you and more room for God and his rule." Matt 5:6 - the Message