Thursday, June 27, 2013

Silver Linings

Earlier this week, Jeramie and I celebrated our seventh wedding anniversary.

Historically, the day of our anniversary hasn't always been the best.  The first and fifth stand out as pretty dang good, and hindsight tells me that I was unknowingly pregnant with Ethan on our second, but the rest have been a few steps down from "awesome".

But, back to our seventh...

On Monday morning, my phone rang around 6:45.  It was Jeramie on the other line.

"Happy anniversary!", he says. "I've got some bad news."

Apparently, he'd left early for work so that he could pick-up breakfast for me.  (I know, right?)  He was on his way back to the house when his car died.  Like, stopped moving forward.  He was able to get it out of the road, and a tow truck showed up a little while later.  The mechanic's best guess, based on the way it had been driving and the sounds it had been making, is that it essentially died of old age.  It was a fourteen year old car, which had served us well over the past several years, but in no way was it worthy of receiving a new engine. So, we cleaned it out, said our goodbyes, and started making calls to local junk yards.

Now, this news came on the heels of more bad news we'd received a couple days prior; it appears that our journey with infertility is going to take longer than expected.  We learned on Saturday morning that my body had not responded to fairly aggressive "entry-level" treatment, and our next step is slightly more invasive and considerably more expensive.

Heap unexpected car troubles, on top of wanting and not being able to have a baby - and the financial implications of both of those things - and you've got the makings of a pretty fantastic anniversary, right?

You know what? It was.  On top of the car issues and the fertility issues, Jeramie and I had also just been led out of a rough couple weeks of marriage.  Grace and forgiveness were fresh in our hearts and our trust in the Lord's guidance was certain.  No matter what, we were going to be okay.

Photo courtesy of Amaree Davis

Yes, it was difficult hearing that my body doesn't work like it should - and, no, we still don't know where money for a car will come from - but we're choosing to see the good in each other and our crappy situations, and striving to trust God and give Him the glory for it all.  I won't pretend that it's easy, or that I don't have moments of doubt, but above all, I know that He cares for us - for our marriage, for our family, for our finances, for our hearts.  He is our hope and our strength.

That hope, and the belief that God is in the midst of working this out for good, has given way to peace and understanding this week - and even a few silver linings.  For starters...

As I was getting ready Monday afternoon, it occurred to me that I never put gas in Jeramie's car the day before like I was supposed to.  From upstairs, I called down to him,  

"Hey, babe? Did you fill up your tank this morning?!"

He paused for a moment, and I could hear the smile in his voice. "Nope."  Procrastination for the win.

And on a more serious note...

Because we received bad news on Saturday morning, Jeramie decided to stay in Raleigh with his sad wife (that's me!) instead of driving to Virginia to help his brother move.  We fully believe that the Lord was leading him through that decision, as his car would have likely stopped on a busy highway instead of an early-morning deserted road.  Protection for the win.

And those expensive infertility treatments? Based on conversations with junk and salvage yards, it appears that people will actually give money for a car that doesn't run.  The estimates that we've received should cover the cost of these new drugs, and possibly even a little extra.  Provision for the win.

During our small group on Monday night, someone made the point that it's not just "a God thing" when moments work out in our favor.  Everything is a God thing and none of this catches Him off guard.  His love and goodness never fail, even when engines and infertility treatments do.  He is our silver lining - great is His faithfulness!

He is El Roi, the God who sees, and I couldn't be more comforted by his presence.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A Wilmington Weekend

Father's Day weekend has become a non-traditional weekend of celebration for our family over the past few years.  Every year in mid-June, Jeramie heads north to the lake for a fishing trip with his dad and brother while Ethan and I take-off to the east to see my daddy.  The three of us make it back to Raleigh at some point that Sunday to celebrate Jeramie, and we call it a weekend - a pretty great one, at that.

I've written before about how precious it is for me to introduce Ethan to parts of my childhood, and Father's Day Weekend 2013 was no exception.  I had been planning our activities for about a month and I was so excited to experience it all through Ethan's eyes.

Have you ever sat with a four-year-old as you're getting ready to drive your car onto a ferry, or watched as they marveled at a tank of jellyfish? The excitement and wonder was palatable in those moments and I drank in every ounce!

Reading his "treasure map" while waiting for the ferry

Riding the ferry from Southport to Fort Fisher

Checking out the albino alligator at the Fort Fisher Aquarium

I've got to admit - I could have watched them for days, too.

Of course, no trip to Carolina Beach is complete without stopping by Britt's Doughnuts.  I'm telling y'all - you've never had a doughnut until you've had one from Britt's.  At four years old, Ethan was long overdue for his first taste of this warm, doughy deliciousness.  And, as his mother who cares a great deal about his well being, I had to insist that we make a pit-stop.

Sometimes you just have to make the hard decisions in life.

Ethan clearly loved it, and I wish I could say that more than three doughnuts made it back to Mama and Daddy's house, but I can't.

Speaking of my parents' house - one of the things I love most about it is the lack of distractions.  There's no internet, spotty cell phone service, and a darkness at night that lets you see just about every star in the sky.  The meals are homemade because there's no fast-food restaurant for miles and mowing the yard is my daddy's idea of "getting out of the house".  I love it there, and I love the people who live there even more.

(Mama would most likely kill me for posting this, but since she won't see it, and I happen to think she's beautiful, I'm doing it anyways.)

(And, don't worry.  The blade was up.)

A weekend away at "home" was just what I needed to recharge and realize how much I have to be thankful for.  Thank you, Lord, for your blessings!

Until next time, Wilmington...

Friday, June 14, 2013

Still here...

Three weeks (okay - three weeks and a day) may be the longest I've ever gone without posting something to this space! I've missed writing, and I'm happy to see that quite a few of you have continued to come here and check in, even through my lack of updates.  Thanks for being such loyal supporters and lovers of our family!

In the past three weeks, we've taken a mini-vacation to the lake...

...hosted our best friends from Ohio...

...and started antibiotics for strep throat.

But, now, our friends are back home (sad face) and Ethan's fever has subsided (praise God!).  Starting next week, it's my goal to get us into some sort of routine for the summer - preferably one that involves more tan lines and less antibiotics!

This weekend, we're off to visit my Daddy for Father's Day.  I adore my parents and going home is such a treat, especially now that Ethan is old enough to appreciate the places I enjoyed as a kid.

Happy Father's Day to all you daddies (and single moms!) out there.  I hope y'all have a blessed weekend!

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