Thursday, July 26, 2012

Little Victories

I can often overlook the many big wonderful blessings in my life over the negative little things.  I'm thankful for the amazing women in my life that I've met in Richmond and now in Memphis for bringing a little perspective.

In Richmond, I absolutely cherished my Tuesday morning prayer group time.  I cannot express how much I grew from meeting and being real with those girls.  We shared our victories and struggles as women, wives, and friends. We simply lived daily life together.

Laura, Elizabeth, Christine (pregnant with baby Lu!) Meghan, and Martha (with Simone)

When we arrived in Memphis, I almost immediately felt the aching for what was lost in no longer being near to my girls.  I yearned for the community and companionship that the Lord had so blessed me with before.  My little homesick heart was in dire need for some friends.

Thanks to this wonderful MTR program, I've met some amazing women here.  We have now even started a Saturday brunch prayer group (while our husbands attend Saturday classes.)   2 months into living here and I already feel like the Lord has blessed me with new friendships and a group of strong, Godly women to grow with.

Danielle, Ashely,  Sarah (with Simon), and Ruth (with Leilani) 

Maybe this new city isn't so scary, after all.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

New Traditions

I don't really have many favorite recipes or passed down secrets from my grandmother's mother.  I'm not even really that great of a cook.  My husband is normally the one that's creative in the kitchen.  I think because of this, when I find a good recipe, I stick to it and take pride in it as if it were my own.

Maybe one day I will have a whole stash of "family recipes" to pass on to my kids and start a tradition.  Maybe "my recipes" will be worth something to them as they learn to cook and start families of their own.  I can only dream. 

For now, my best tried-and-true recipe is for cupcakes.  You can find it here at Joy of Baking.  It's fairly dummy-proof, seeing as I accidentally put an extra stick of butter in the cupcake batter and they still taste amazing. Nomnomnom.  

Monday, July 16, 2012


I've been trying so hard to keep the big picture in mind and stay focused on only the good things, but if I'm being honest, moving to Memphis has been exhaustingly hard.  And to prevent myself from only painting the pretty picture of myself that I would like the world to see, I want to be real and honest. I want to speak what is on my heart and mind.

I miss everything: I miss home. I miss our church. Our friends. Our favorite restaurants and places and house and and and... I didn't know how much I would really miss them until we left. Each and every one of you are irreplaceable in my heart and it hurts to think of no longer "doing life together" with you all every day.

It has been even more increasingly hard to not yet have a church home here in Memphis.  It's draining and hard finding a new routine, new friends, new grocery store, new... everything. Slowly, Jon and I are making friends and finding our way around.  I even started a prayer group on Saturday mornings with some of the amazing wives who also have husbands in the program. More on that later.

Yesterday, we visited a small church plant here. It struck me as very peculiar that the pastor spoke on the same thing that one of my pastors from home did, on the same day. It both blessed me to go to a church that seems theologically on-point, and made me long for home.

Jon played some of yesterday's worship set from Redemption Hill for me last night.  I found myself singing along with joyful tears and realized that it was the first time that I really felt free to worship since moving here. I truly miss feeling the freedom to worship unabashedly with my family in Christ that I had grown to really deeply know. My heart is so thankful for being able to listen to recordings from Redemption Hill often, until we find a new church to call home.

Redemption Hill Church

So I guess for today, I'm just being honest as to where my heart is.  I know it will pass in time. Today, I am just simply homesick.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Bookcase Update

I love power tools.  I would say I love power tools as much as most girls love shoes.  There's something about the smell of sawdust in the morning that just gets me every time. Maybe it's odd, but I find it empowering and fulfilling to build something with my hands. To take raw materials and mold and shape them into something new and beautiful. While I may sit in front of a computer all day designing with a mouse, my real passion is to be in a wood shop constructing real, solid things.

I just really get a craving to make things sometimes. It's kind of like that craving for Chick-fil-a or Chipotle.  Once those hit, you're stuck. You either satisfy the craving or nothing else will taste as good. But when the need to get to creating hits hard, that unfortunately also sometimes means that my wallet will get hit equally as hard unless I'm not careful. Husbandman knows me too well at this point and has kindly set budgets on my crafting sprees. (Smart man, that Tobin. Sigh.)

Last weekend, I got the urge. My fingers were itching to try out our new power tools (HOORAY!) To keep cost down, I opted for a simple pick-me-up of our boring laminate bookcase we got from target forever ago. You know the one. We've all seen it. Just plain-jane getting the job done bookcase with mediocre quality and a cardboard backing.

I just went with a simple update of replacing the dark cardboard backing with some wainscoting and a coat of paint.

After a little trip to Lowes, ripping the wood to size with my circular saw, and a coat of blue-green paint (left over from our last house) later, it turned into this:

It's so much brighter in the shelves now, and ads a subtle hint of color. I might ad trim to the bookcase later for a little more sophistication, and I'm still working on how to arrange the shelf space, but for now I'm pleased.

Total cost: $20 for wainscoting.  It would have been less had there been a smaller piece, but now I have leftovers for more projects... muahaha!

Thursday, July 5, 2012


Sometimes you just need to go outside and chase the dog around even though it's 100 degrees with the sun glaring at you oppressively to keep from losing your sanity.

Sometimes you need that extra (large) cup of coffee in the morning (again).

Sometimes you need to listen and dance to the same happy melodies over and over to get through the low times.

The times when your heart longs for the mountains and rivers, for the dust coating on your skin of that dried and warm dirt trail your shoes knew so well, for familiar faces you have known through all seasons.

For the times when you long for it but it's hundreds of miles away.

Sometimes, you just have to sit back and be thankful for the love by your side and the sweat on your brow.

You have to keep that knowing that as you plow ahead, as you dig deeper, the lost unfamiliarity eventually becomes tried and true.
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