It’s been a long silence here, but not for lack of subject matter. The past couple weeks have been incredibly intense and so full that they’ve left me without much time to write. Let me summarize for you. Since the beginning of September, this is what our lives have looked like:
- One of our cars died.
- We found out the next day that said car could not be repaired without spending more than the car itself was worth.
- Matt spent the first 5 hours of the morning of his birthday at urgent care and then in the ER (don’t worry, he’s fine).
- We spent countless hours researching minivans.
- We spent countless hours researching financing options for car purchases (our finances haven’t exactly recovered from our adoption expenditures yet to the point that we had accrued savings to put toward the minivan purchase we knew was going to be a necessity at some point soon).
- Our other car died. Thankfully, AAA came and jumped it, and it has been running fine since then.
- I woke up at 3:00 a.m. one night feeling horrible and certain that I had another urinary tract infection and was never able to get back to sleep (but thankfully got antibiotics the next morning).
- A few days after my middle of the night UTI wake-up call, Miranda woke up around 3:00 a.m. feeling sick and spent several hours throwing up. The next night both girls seemed to be having bad dreams, and we all slept horribly. Hello, sleep deprivation.
And in the midst of all that, we’ve had some relational drama that wouldn’t be appropriate to elaborate on here but has been sufficient to suck most remaining emotional energy out of me.
These are all first-world problems – but we live out our lives in a first world context, and these are the ups and downs that have tremendous effects on the ways in which we do so. To say that these past few weeks have been rough would be an understatement.
In the midst of it all, I see the grace of God. Ann Voskamp wrote on her blog recently, “God only allows pain if He’s allowing something new to be born.” And I see that.
I see the unfurling of new realizations in my heart. I see Him cultivating some relationships I have with other women. I see myself drawing near to Him and being challenged to trust Him in new ways, to choose whether I really believe that He works all things for the good of those who love Him.
And I see His grace in even the timing of some of our September disasters. We were about to arrange to spend hundreds of dollars for trailer rentals for Matt to transport artwork around the mid-west for some upcoming shows; now our minivan will be capable of handling that. We’d already arranged our schedules to allow for me to put in a few additional work hours but had not yet gotten around to updating our budget to reflect that additional income; now it can go toward our car payment.
And because we needed to drive to St. Louis to pick up our new (to us) minivan, we were able to make a quick stop at the St. Louis zoo, to which I’m now very excited to make a return trip at some point. I’ll leave you with some photos of our time there, as well as the promise to be back again soon to catch up on some of our more fun summer experiences, including CaiQun’s first birthday at home with us 🙂
Here’s a photo of an elephant family that the girls loved watching and talking about. Getting to see the baby elephant with (presumably) its mommy and daddy was such a treat for them.
And here they are checking out the hippos and the fish.
And I’ll be back soon with more to say 🙂