Friday, October 24, 2014

reflections, renewal, and restored faith

Jenna | Lauren | Jessa | Me | Madison | JenniRachel | Kristen | Robyn

The last seven days have been a whirlwind of experiences and emotions and answered prayers. From spending a weekend with 14 other women, 13 of whom I knew so well here but never met in real life, to starting a new job that was exactly what I have been praying for for so long, to seeing an old friend and talking for hours, to spending great quality time with my husband who I've hardly seen over the last two weeks. I really couldn't find words this week. I was too full of them to find the right ones.

I really still don't know which words are right. There are so many. All good...none quite right.

Just a year ago if you had told me I would sign up voluntarily to spend three days in a cabin full of strangers I probably would have vomited out of shear anxiety. Being an introvert who has always been very shy, the Renew Retreat was a serious accomplishment, and a major step outside of my comfort zone. 

And I loved every second of it. The first five minutes were a little odd because hello, these are my friends behind the screen and I know what you look like because I see your photos on your blog, but oh my gosh I can reach out and touch you and you're real. But then it felt more like a reunion than an introduction. Madison and I had met in real life, so she walked outside to greet Robyn and me, and instantly started making fun of me once I opened the car door. No worries--that's how we know we like each other a lot. You're not real friends if you can't laugh at each other. Amy also ran out to assist in the re-parking of my ill arranged car...this help was much appreciated as I find parking to be quite the stressful endeavor.

Then we ate. And talked. And played. Slept, woke up to coffee and Jesus, and then talked more. So many amazing conversations, and very deep for eight in the morning. Then we went into Gatlinburg for a few hours, split into groups who were interested in doing other things. Madison, Robyn, Lauren, Jenna, Kristen, and Bailey and I went to Mellow Mushroom because once Madison said it nothing else would do. We did some shopping, tried local culinary samples...they're free, how do you say no to that? Then we went and took pictures in a field on top of a mountain and laughed and loved on each other and talked more.

Dinner was again wonderful. Conversations after were even better. Sunday morning waking up to everyone leaving was so sad. How do you part with friends wondering if you'll ever get that chance again? But I was still very full of joy. I felt like I had found my people. These women got me. We got each other. It was a reunion of kindred spirits, and I don't know that I'll ever experience anything quite like it again.

Monday I started my new job. Training for two days was intense but wonderful and I loved it and was so excited about everything I was going to be doing. Wednesday morning I woke up and set up my home office to accommodate my new work-from-home life. And then I got to work. Thursday I woke up early because it was Drew's work day, did some laundry, went to work still in my pajamas because all my pants were in the laundry, cleaned my house, did more work, finally put on clothes, worked more, and then got to see a friend from high school and spend several hours just talking away.

We had an incredible high school experience. Our core group of friends did everything together. Logan and I reminisced on lake days all summer long at my house, game nights and Christmas parties at hers, and the countless girls nights and tailgating parties for football games. She and I talked about how unique our experience was and how amazing it was that we had that support system through everything. Then we talked about future babies and buying houses and what a shock to the system marriage is. And then freaked out a bit over how fast the time has gone and how strange it is that we're now having serious discussions of when we might become mommies and when we'll be homeowners and how great our husbands are. Hi Logan! I found out yesterday she actually reads my blog fairly regularly so I'm sure she's reading this and laughing right now.

Spending time with Drew is my favorite thing in the world. I married my very best friend, and while it isn't always easy and we don't always like each other, I never get tired of seeing him when I wake up or holding his hand as I fall asleep. I never stop loving laying my head on his chest and hearing his heart beat. I never say no to random trips to Target or Walmart late at night because we need a Swiffer and a new movie, and while we're there playing with the shopping carts like little kids. Laughing until my face hurts and I'm in very real danger of wetting my pants with the man I love never gets old. This weekend I have three whole days of that, uninterrupted, and I couldn't be more excited. Five days away was too many.

Basically, this week has been overwhelming in its beauty. I prayed for years that I would find my people, people who got me on a soul level. I found that. I prayed for a job that would allow me to work from home and have flexibility and work for my unique personality, and I found that. Seeing old friends is always so great and hearing about where they're at in life is heartwarming. Time with my husband is more precious than anything in the world.

And in all of these moments, big and small, I found evidence of the goodness of the Lord and how much attention he truly pays to the desires of our hearts. In ever second of bliss I remember what is so easy to forget in heartache: He is there, He is listening, and He will never fail to show up exactly when and how we need Him.
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  1. I love this. I am beyond thrilled for you and your exciting events going on in your life! Working from home....perfect! You and Drew are so stinking cute together. I thought Sean and I were the only ones who enjoyed those late night Target trips ;)

  2. i love all of your recaps - from the retreat to the blessing of this new job!
    i can not wait to see what God has in store for you. <3
    sooooo lovely to meet you (and park your car hahah)

  3. Yayyy so glad you recapped last weekend...I'm just going to photoshop myself in those photos :) You deserved a weekend like that. And I'm so glad you're enjoying your new job. I just knew that God had some big plans for you and is still working through you!!

  4. oh gosh. seriously so jealous of all of you !<3

  5. I loved getting to meet you! I am so happy for you!!!


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