Wednesday, August 31, 2011

bits and pieces

This has been a busy month. 
Very full - weddings, Carson back and forth (he's here for good now), school stuff... 
And this is a little bit of that:

I helped with New Student Orientation a couple of weeks ago. My job was to cashier the purchases of Moody paraphernalia, retreat tickets, baseball game tickets, bus tickets, gift cards, and other such things. This was my view.  

 My good friend (and roommate my second semester in Spokane) lived with me this month. She moved in when Josie moved out. This is us after a long day of work. 

My friend Stephanie had her birthday party this month.

Erica and I enjoying one of my favorite Ben and Jerry's flavors to date :) 

And finally, Carson and I enjoyed a picnic last Wednesday evening at Comstock Park

Other scenes from the recent weeks include textbooks, into-the-morning cramming to finish summer classes, Carson moving back (he has SO MUCH stuff! How did I forget?), the first week of school (we're into the second now), and more. 

Update: Carson is still in the boot but doesn't have to use the crutches. His foot is healing well! He may or may not get rid of the boot at his appointment that's either in two weeks or a month.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

a conclusion to this chapter

It's hard to re-cap this summer's trials and triumphs in a short post, so I won't. You don't have to read this, but I'm writing to record all that the Lord has done in our lives this summer. 

This summer, we made a decision that involved Carson moving three hours away to pursue wildland fire-fighting while I stayed on in Spokane, took classes and worked with the church. We made this decision in February or March, several months out from the separation actually taking place.

It's great to plan ahead, but perhaps better to think through those decisions.

As you know, I cried like Carson was never coming back. I had no idea that I had so many tears stored up, no clue that I would be so emotional. He says he cried too (but I think he means that he was just sad). We quickly realized that we had made a decision that was good in theory (making more money this summer for school) but not our wisest. We were stuck in this situation because he was committed to work for the Forest Service and I was committed to take summer classes, do VBS, and various other commitments.

The plan was for him to be gone June - October or November, depending on when the fire season ended.

And then... he broke his foot on July 24. He was running with the guys on his crew and must have tripped or something. He thought it was "just sprained" so he kept running. I thought running on a sprained foot was bad for you, but either way, he kept going for a few miles and then it started to hurt horribly, so he went back. He got the day off work and went to the doctor in the morning. His foot was BROKEN. That night, he drove to Olympia with his foot in a boot and hobbling around on crutches.

The infamous cripple :(
So what's next?
We have prayed so much about the next step. Carson was given the opportunity to audit two language classes through Moody that will give him more advantage in his graduate studies, the classes beginning August  23. He was offered a job by a friend at church. It seemed that in all of our prayers, the Lord was leading Carson back to Spokane at the end of August.

Am I happy about this? 
Well, obviously! I am thrilled that we'll be together and convinced that absence DOES make the heart grow fonder. We've gotten closer (or at least more similar in mindset) during our separation and that's been so great!

Was the summer hard? 
Yes. But as I've said to a lot of people, I was very busy. Carson was the one who probably took it hardest - he had lonely nights and weekends whereas I was surrounded by friends. He worked Sundays and missed out on fellowship while I live with solid, amazing people and go to a fabulous church. I'm not saying I didn't miss him - I do, and I've noticed that I don't sleep as well when he's gone (even though I've had two roommates this summer).

How was the summer good?
The six classes I was able to take, helping teach for VBS, spending time with friends, going to Pennsylvania, going to see Carson twice (and him visiting also), living with two wonderful girls (Josie and Erica), going to two weddings... but I would say that most of all, we've both grown spiritually.

I can see it in Carson more than in myself. He's had a hard time being alone over there, his only company the neighbor's dog (which he befriended by sneaking her sausage dogs...knew he'd be a sucker for dogs after all). But the Lord has definitely used this time in his life. He's done a LOT of reading - philosophy, history, literature, languages - and is always excited to share his findings. He has a ton of time to read Scripture and pray, and the quietness of the setting he's in at night certainly lends to his getting to read and meditate. He's become more driven (if that's possible), more intentional, more gentle when we're together, more patient, more understanding, quicker to listen, to encourage, and to share his love for me.

Most of all, I've seen him grow in his acceptance of "the foot thing". He was so excited to go and fight fires, hoping to go on assignment and be active all summer, and then a pesky little bone had to go and break. But all the Lord had been doing in his life was evident as he confirmed that he was totally fine with the break, trusting God for the next step.

We wrote letters back and forth and while mine are basically a play-by-play written the way I talk, happy and cheery, his are rather wordy, eloquent and even romantic. Comparing the letters makes me laugh. He addresses his to me in a different way each time on the envelope ("The Beautiful Redhead"; "Lindsay, daughter of David, of the Island of Browns") and seals each one with a wax seal. He did the same during our long-distance summer of dating, and I absolutely love it. I need a box for these letters. I'm sentimental and don't want to lose them.

If you're wondering how to pray, here are some specifics: Since Carson has been gone for about a week short of three months, getting used to living life together is going to be strange. The dynamics are different since his work schedule isn't crazy and I'm not working but going to school full-time. But learning to live together has already proved to be strange. We've lived "alone" (I had roommates) for the summer, and the time before that was honestly not super scheduled so we didn't have a routine at all. I'm looking forward to having that pattern to our days. Please pray for us to figure it out and to grow closer!

What about the next chapter?
This fall, Carson will work full-time, audit a second year of Greek and a first year of German (his job has really flexible hours that allow for the classes AND will allow him to be home at night!). I will not be working, but taking classes full-time. We'll continue to live in the Reilly Building, clean the church and do ministry with CTR. Carson is applying to graduate programs right now but we probably will not have news on that until March. I intend to graduate in May of next year and in the summer following, will complete my internship requirements (couldn't this summer because of classes). We will probably move next summer after finding out where we'll get to go for grad school.
This could very well be our last year in Spokane, but we know that the Lord is the one who determines our steps.

Or in Carson's case, our crutches :)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

fall semester already!

August 22nd was the first day of school. I know - I can hardly believe it myself! 

carson with one of my favorite books - crime and punishment

there are probably six books missing for my classes this summer
I'm taking a full load this semester, glad to be back in the swing of things. This is my senior year at Moody at last. Since I took off two semesters and a half (I only took two classes in the spring), I'm going to be taking quite a few credits in order to pull off a May graduation date. It's like cramming three semesters into two, but I think that's also because my major has a few extra credit hours and classes I couldn't take until now since this is the first year that all of the classes for the Bachelor of Arts degree have been offered.

studying for another class last year - not the last i'll see of the library
I'm taking 19 credit hours this semester. My classes are Exploring Music, Christianity and Western Culture I, Apologetics, Missionary Relationships, Life-on-Life Discipleship, and Systematic Theology I. My book list for the semester is rather large so I think I will gain a gold medal in speed reading.

studying in the library in our building
I'm excited for what the semester will bring and SO thankful that I'm able to take classes and finish my degree. I should have graduated (if I hadn't taken semesters off, that is) this past May with Carson so my desire to graduate is quite strong. For silly reasons, I am thankful that I had to wait to get my degree because the class I'll graduate with is the freshman class of 2008 - we were all new students together when I transferred in. So most of the people are people I know quite well. It will be fun to finish our time in Spokane together!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

talking to myself

I was in the kitchen washing and tearing lettuce when I had to just stop and think.

I realized that I was having a full-on conversation with an imaginary person in my kitchen. I stopped because I suddenly remembered that my door was wide open and if someone had seen it open, they would have taken it as an invitation to come in... and witness me fake-laughing in conversation.

It was then that I realized that this was not the first time, but one of many times that I have been all alone, yet comfortably entertained by myself.
I have done this my entire life. In fact, used to play a lot of Free-cell on the computer, just because playing it was a mindless platform for me to make up stories, become one of the characters, and speak aloud to myself.

Technically, it's somewhat embarrassing, but so far it hasn't been witnessed so it isn't that bad. Plus, some of my best ideas and most profound thoughts come from these little chats with make-believe people.

There must be more ridiculous things than this out there...

Wedding Season

In one week, I attended two weddings! 
Chris + Josie
(Josie was the friend who lived with me from June - August)
Montana. Tuesday, August 9th. Amazing view from the church. Beautiful day. Fun. Lots of friends from Spokane. Decorated Josie's car. 

The next wedding was 
(and Carson was here for the weekend so he came too!)
Saturday, August 13. Spokane. Christ the Redeemer Church. Backyard reception. Gorgeous day. Perfect weather. Dancing (Carson even danced in his boot!). Reminded us a little bit of our reception!

We're so excited for both of these couples. Both weddings were special, heartfelt and expressed their deep faith in the Lord. We can't wait to see what God does with them together!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

US Tour: Pennsylvania Part Two

The trip to Naches begins here
Pennsylvania begins here 

One thing I love about the east coast is that I know people who live all over it. 
So when Jillian texted me when we were touring the Crayola Factory, saying that she had Monday off and that she was a three hour drive away, I started to pray. It seemed perfect - she had the time, we were mere hours apart, and it had been over a year (since my wedding) since we'd seen each other. 
It DID work out. 

And that's how we came to have our very first as-married-women sleepover in a Cinderella bed. 
Come to think of it, I'm not so sure there will be another like it :)

And how we found ourselves driving to Philadelphia on Monday morning

We played with the girls in a park while Trent and Erin had a meeting

We will probably take pictures like this every time we see each other, though the rings aren't going to change

We moved inside because it was HOT 

This, by the way, is one of the books Carson picked out for Kennedy's birthday.
It seemed to be her number one pick of the week.
The link is here. Carson loved this book so much I may have to buy it for him.

We drove further into the city for cheesesteaks. We were following the van so closely and then got stopped by a red light. When we caught up, we were in the far right lane and they were turning left. Oops.

Thank God for GPS systems (and cell phones to get addresses)

All in all, we did enjoy the adventure provided us by getting "lost"

And then we found the cheesesteak place.

 And then Jillian turned into a pumpkin.
So we hugged and parted ways. 
It was so wonderful, random, great and strange to spend a day with her!

We continued walking until we found a park to eat in

We walked a lot, but didn't do any tours because the poor little girls would probably have been SO bored. So Mike and Trent went to see the Liberty Bell while we waited in air conditioning. 
Which is where I saw this person texting in colonial attire:

After that, we went to a park

They stared at each other for forever before they were prompted to say hello. He waved too, but I missed it.

Kennedy and Grandma went on the carousel. 

And Erin and I took a picture. 

The next day, we went to go play in the fountains. Too many kids for Kennedy, so we just watched other kids play. 

The Bay women

That night, Erin made Pesto Pasta (yum!) and I made a S'more Pie. 

And Brooklyn looked super cute after her bath. 

She pulled herself up to a stand for the first time

And on our last day, we hung around at the house a bit, I side-braided Erin's hair and mine, and visited Bethlehem, PA where we had lunch and ice cream before saying our goodbyes at the airport.

What a fun visit and I hope to come back as soon as possible!
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