What’s Next?

It is amazing to me that every day directs the course for the next like a factorial taking away possibilities with every  number.

Twenty fifteen has already been a year to remember.

In January, I met my brother for the first time in New York, saw Niagra Falls, played many games of Candyland with my niece, and learned what snow really looked like.

Later that month E started back to school with a class mix up that completely restructured our weeks, not that I was paying attention to how one day followed another. I spent December, January, and most of February getting to know our toilet really well, with morning sickness lasting well into my second trimester. Until about two weeks ago, we were trying not to think about the possibility of twins because I was so big for my weeks.

Since last summer we had roaches in our apartment and it never got cold enough for them to stop breeding, so by February we were overrun. I could keep everything clean and they would still lurk on counters and walls, hiding in the pocket under the stovetop until I turned the burner on.

On January 1 around midnight the first mouse made himself known at the same time we discovered a burst pipe that had been pumping water for a couple days. In the month to follow we would realize we were infested, but our landlord wouldn’t take care of the issue until March.

At the end of February they started spraying for roaches which meant moving all of the things I could come in contact with out of the house. After a week of moving, spraying patching, and moving back we found out we would have to do this every month for the next four months and even then there was no guarantee the roaches would be gone. They could even be doing it the week I gave birth.

When our lease ran out we decided to move, suddenly, with only four days to pack and get out, not to mention finding somewhere to go. We had been scoping out the market for a while, but as soon as we made the decision to move all of the rentals dried up.

The weekend we decided to move was the one weekend where most of our help was out of town, but through God’s grace, good friends, and some new ones too we were on my in-laws doorstep by Saturday night with two cats and a couple boxes.

During that time I started subbing at my old high school and loving it. Now I am working on setting up a multi-layered tutoring program for the next school year that would encompass all of the classic subjects, college prep, dual credit work, and learning skills.

My parents recently announced their move and the impending sale of the house after being on the market for almost seven years which means we now have no place to have the baby who we found out a couple weeks ago is an energetic little boy (and we get to help them move 🙂

There is a chance I could have this baby in my in-laws (hopefully renovated) barn.

This Sunday was my due date with our first baby and as we continue to grieve the loss of that little one, we are so excited to welcome our son into the world in July.

Between now and then we hope to find or build a place of our own, finish school (for both of us), successfully renew a driver’s license (after five months of trying to deal with the DMV on top of everything), and maybe take a deep breath.

I feel like I have forgotten things.

I have no idea what will actually happen…

-M

Already There

Most of my time is spent in partial shock at the newness of everyday life. Comparing year to year is impossible and month to month still unrecognizable, but matching the changes between this week and last week, day to day are a little more manageable.

I imagine this is how Sarah, Rebecca, and thousands of nomads have felt. Where change is normal, nothing settled, and there is no knowing where I’ll be next week, much less what will be happening. I’m not used to it yet. I have yet to find routine outside of my surroundings.

Out of our first apartment, not yet finding home of our own.

Out of my old self, into this new body sacrificing stage of motherhood.

Out of my old emotions, even.

Our son’s kicks are a constant reminder of the daily changes. Last week I felt a few, now they are something I can set my clock by. As we come upon the due date for our firstborn, all of the fears and stresses pull at my heart and I’m left once again remembering that God’s plan is so much greater than my own. Even in the most difficult of times, He is already in the next day holding my life together. I am guided gently from one day to the next, no matter the frustration or change.

I read a book title yesterday with its entire message simply etched on the binding:

Do Not Worry About Tomorrow; God is Already There

Emmanuel – God with Us

More than just a Christmas song. Isn’t it funny that we ask the God who is with us to come to us? I am so blind when I think I have to ask Him to come to me, when he is the God who is already there.

– M

Distance

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Twenty First Birthday

The distance between me and myself one year ago is staggering.
Last year, on the cusp of twenty one,
more to be done,
the unknown yawned before me,
fear adorned me.

Now, almost twenty two
God has won.
He has taken my life and done remarkable things.

Often those things that bring Him the most glory are the things we dread the most to talk about.

What does it make me when I admit I struggle?
Small, not at all, undone and broken down before the God of the universe… who loves.

One year – battles and victories
Distance from the starting line and the battle line

Last year – struggle –
Bitterness, baggage, hurt and sadness bottled up for years-
Ache for lost family,
Bitter for not admitting my weakness,
Fear of being like the woman who gave birth to me.

553 Eric Kate-

Newly Engaged

I looked forward into my relationships and saw myself cowering, afraid to feel, distancing myself from the pain of loving.

Victory – Loving him, but the victory was not in loving him, but trusting that no matter the hurt God had a reason to guide me through the continuing struggle of my relationship.

I was ashamed of tears and now they are a release to me, a gift that cleanses.
Weeping heals sorrow.

From that moment of victory God took me through storms and fears, testing me. Then one afternoon I sat on a log and the man I loved said he loved me and the journey continued.

Three months – to finish school, finish childhood, and prepare myself for a life long vow.
I made that vow in my heart months before trusting that I was following God’s leading. (To be clear – there was the blessing of parents, pastors, friends, and family – All seeing the blessing God had poured on our lives. It just took both of us longer too)

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Six Months Ago

In February, I became a wife.

In sickness and in health was tested right away as I struggled with a kidney infection that had me bed ridden. I was resistant to all antibiotics except for one and my recovery was stilted at best.

In May, I was trying to work on a farm, run a business, be a wife. My husband was on crazy shifts – two weeks on nights and two on days, not enough days to adjust to one or another. I was still sick. We decided to try something new. It was radical.

A diet. At this point I was so gluten intolerant that if my husband ate something and kissed me, I would get sick

So we both started with only eating meat and vegetables for a couple weeks. No newlywed flab for us.
We worked at it – I cooked everything from scratch and E helped until I had enough energy to do it myself.

The purging process dragged through June, but finally in July I started to drastically improve. During this time E quit his job to help me expand my business and go to school this fall.

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Just Found Out We’re Pregnant

Then on July 19, I got a call. My brother, the person I had ached over, found me.
And by God’s grace I was ready. We’ve been able to talk and become family. A victory again over the fear and bitterness I struggled with. This story is another year long miracle. 

On July 21, I found out I was pregnant. We were so excited. The feeling of being a mom welled up inside me and I could hardly contain myself. We wanted to wait to tell anyone for a while.

During the first part of August we drove up to Washington and tied up loose ends before E started school last week. We have been married six months.

Last week, August 27 our latest struggle began.

I lost our baby.

Our first child is in heaven.

So, here I am one year later.

Twenty one seems an eternity away.

From college student to wife and mother…

Who knows where the next year will take me?
Or even the next six months of marriage.

-M

“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1:2-4

Our Day

Once upon a time, there was a girl….

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She was blessed by friends

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And surrounded by family

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And there was this man

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A stunning, godly man who loved her very much…

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And she loved him so much…

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So, with all of these witnesses…

Screenshot 2014-04-10 10.04.02And a ridiculously cute flower girl…

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They got married

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And they made a vow before God – for better or worse

Screenshot 2014-04-10 10.10.14In sickness and in healthto love, honor, and obey…

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Until death do us part…

Screenshot 2014-04-10 10.10.53 And in that moment, we were standing on sacred ground,

consecrated in the blood of Christ and complete,

pledging our lives to God and each other.

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Then they celebrated,

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Screenshot 2014-04-10 10.32.09And they danced

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And then as the lights burned low, they left as husband and wife

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And they lived…

happily

ever

after

-M

Walking Into Change

Looking back I can’t believe that day happened.

I can’t believe I got poked and prodded for hours,  wore a white dress, took pictures, said vows, and married my husband a month ago. I am remembering more and more details, family’s faces, hugs, smiles, prayers, and soaring.

I don’t think I stopped smiling for days

My best friends were there – W and B – right beside me as I pledged my life to the best man in the world, while the best man became my father in law. I gained a sister and my sisters, a brother.

This day was full of bests – another best of friends came up and told me she came all the way from Qatar for this day. I cried and she cried (I also freaked out because she was supposed to be in Japan, not the Middle East)

So much love and never letting go of my husband’s hand. He was everywhere in every moment with me, never leaving my side, most of my spare moments I remember looking at him because he seemed to take up all the space in my world and my heart. I couldn’t stop sending prayers of thanks up to God, praying that the Spirit could express in groanings too deep for words the depths of fullness and happiness I felt.

Thinking back, the day blurred by, but I remember our vows and the moment his eyes met mine saying, “By the grace of God, I will.”

Yesterday, a little girl came up to me  asked, “Did you marry someone? Because I saw the movie.”

A family friend made a video that has made the loop around many circles, including both of our parents’ Facebooks. I can’t go anywhere in town right now without being told my wedding was so beautiful and the video made them cry.

It’s great and I mean it.

And here, for the first time (on my blog), is my debut in my own wedding.

Kate & Eric Wedding from IMAGERY DESIGN | Heidi Stone on Vimeo.

Introducing M…. yself

You may have noticed my W turned into an M. I haven’t developed some strange form of dyslexia, but I did get married, three weeks ago to the most wonderful man in the world (and yes, after three weeks of marriage I still love him and enjoy washing his coal infused socks)

We live in a two bedroom apartment almost in town, but still in a quiet area, where we have finally figured out how we like our furniture arranged.

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I’m a missus and I am just figuring everything out.

 have figured most things out

Haven’t figured anything out… except that stuffing all of our gifts in the guest room gives me some space to think.

Everything changed and I hardly realized it in the whirlwind of romance and wedding planning (read maelstrom of stress and thank you note writing). 

Love makes your perspective on everything change, it makes a person more important than almost anything in your life. It makes you learn to give up, and it turns out that those things you give up weren’t worth holding onto anyway.

I’m loving the calm now. The joy found in spending time with my Soul Mate – these days it seems like my heart spends more time with him than in my own chest.

You can’t understand it until you’re in it, marriage. The bonding together – complete mixing of one into another, so tangled together that you can’t separate the man and woman from the one person they are becoming.

Becoming one – I use his hand motions and feel my face make expressions his makes, feel what I know he feels when he sees things. I hear my words and tones come out of his mouth and see his expressiveness where others see restraint.

We haven’t figured out the future or big goals, but thats good.

I don’t need to have it all figured out right now.

And that was a hard lesson to learn

-M

Three in One: Things to Remember

I have heard so many times that my honeymoon will be the best part of my marriage until we tough out eight, ten, fourteen or more years when it will be like we are back on in Yellowstone eating brownies out of the pan, watching Zombie movies because we are so tired. Our honeymoon was pretty awesome, but I have a thought.

It would be sad if the most exciting and best bits of marriage happen in the first two week. 

E and I signed up for an adventure and the thing about adventures is that at some point you will both be pretty sure its going to kill you.

I have learned that it is more important to have a happy husband than a clean house. I need to let go. 

Let go of my pride and determination to be the best wife. But a wife isn’t about scrubbed floors and immaculate organization in under a month at the risk of my sanity.

But it does mean enjoying everyday beauty, the wonder of being a wife. The joy of creating my own home with the love of my life. Reading, talking life slowly, not rushing through every new experience.

Planning my own garden

Garlic Growing; Roots Showing

Enjoying the creativity of living in a small space and starting small things.

Learning to live everyday in grace, given and received, mostly received.

Grace, covering up the flaws and imperfections.

Love, growing and deepening as we forgive each other.

-M