Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

It's tomorrow, but I don't think it's going to kill us to write a Thanksgiving post a day early.

This year, Thanksgiving falls on the day that we have been married for two and a half years. Since I'm one to note such days, it feels appropriate that the two "events" coincide.

As you know, this has been a crazy and long six months for us. It truly feels like the six months since our happy anniversary celebration in May have been dragged out. So much has happened in our lives since that time, and for quite awhile, we felt as if we were just trying to keep our heads above water. In many ways, we feel as if we lived a year in these past six months. An incredibly eventful time, to be sure!

If I were to give each year that we have been married a theme, I would say that the first year was a year of Fun and Firsts. It was far from perfect, but we really had a lot of fun, a more disposable income, made wonderful friends and became part of an amazing church Body. It was imperfect, but still very fun.
This is from our first and last backpacking trip. If it hadn't been so completely overwhelming (for me), there might have been more of those. Still a fun memory.  July 2010. 
I feel like the second year had a characteristic of Perseverance and Waiting. Shortly after we celebrated our first anniversary, Carson moved three hours away for work (read about that here) and it seemed like that separation would define the rest of the year. However, after he broke his foot (read here), his summer job came to a stop, and we were reunited a couple of months sooner than planned. It was certainly a summer of "just get through it". Then came waiting for the end of school for me (and I'm not patient so it felt horrible). Carson applied to grad schools over a year ago and didn't hear back from many of them until eight or so months later. Our second year was a comfortable year, but in terms of us personally, there seemed to be a lesson of patience that God was teaching us. I wouldn't say that we passed with flying colors, but we learned along the way.
Carson and I with his constant friends, the crutches, August 2011.
We're halfway through year three, and I've see-sawed back and forth about what this year should be called. It's been a great year still, full of experiences and new things. We've been blessed in so many ways just in these last six months. Even though there's been all that though, it's been full of the unexpected. It's been a sobering year in a lot of ways, but also so good. Ask me again in six months, so that there's a better picture of the whole year, but right now, I'd say that this has been a year of Trusting the Lord. With the miscarriage, with finding a place to live, to jobs, to finding a church, to trying to understand the why in a lot of things that have happened... we've realized that God has been teaching us to follow Him without question. We're really not great about that (maybe we'll be perfect by our third anniversary?) but we've finally recognized that He wants us to learn to trust.
It seems appropriate to include this picture, since it was on day two of the longest road trip ever. 

And now, the things that we are thankful for... a very incomplete list.

Number one, we are thankful for our relationship with the Lord Jesus. Over this past six months, we have wondered over and over again what our lives would look like if we did not stand on that firm foundation.

We are thankful for one another. Being the only people we know outside of co-workers here has brought more time together, which has brought more arguments (we aren't perfect) but also more clarity in our relationship. We've grown together through the more difficult things this year.

We are thankful for the Body of Christ, the Church. That has been one of the most encouraging and wonderful things this year. After my miscarriage, there were people who honestly surrounded us, brought flowers and brownies (you know who you are), shared stories, gave hugs, prayed for us, wrote letters and notes of encouragement. It was overwhelming in the best way possible and allowed us to appreciate the network God's people literally all over the globe.
And in that same vein, we're happy that we've joined a church here in record time.

We are thankful for our home, which was found on scary Craigslist but has been a huge blessing.

We are thankful for school... both that I am graduated and that Carson is loving and thriving in graduate school.

We are thankful for good jobs. We don't make a lot, but both of us love what we're doing right now.

We're thankful for our couch. Yes, that sounds ridiculous, but for us it means that we can entertain the few people we're meeting. We've had one couple over so far and have plans for others.

Flashback to Other Thanksgivings:
Thanksgiving 2011 - 2 Posts - The One with 10 Hours of Black Friday Shopping
Thanksgiving 2010 - 2 Posts - The One with the Food Poisoning
Thanksgiving 2009 - The One Where We Were Engaged
Thanksgiving 2008 - 2 Posts - The One Before Carson

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