August 29, 2008

miss me?!

Weirdness: I had a nice little migraine action yesterday. It had started the night before-but i just thought it was because I had knitted too long. But, then yesterday I woke up and there it was...right behind my right eye.
I was like, "no problem! I have no life! I'll just lay here in bed until it goes away..."
So there went yesterday.

The weird part was that no one would have known if I wasn't telling you right now. It is so odd to find yourself in a life where you can quite literally not leave your bed and no one would even know.

What I did do yesterday was watch the movie Lars and the Real Girl. I do not know why people did not talk about this movie more! It was fabulous. Heartwarming. Made me laugh, made me cry. I highly recommend it!

I also had one of my longest talks with my housemate that I've had to date. It was good to get to know her a little better, and I think now that Brett's pretty much out of the picture ( boooo!) I'm thinking I'll probably see more of her. Hopefully anyway. otherwise I could seriously slip in the shower and they'd find me months later ;-) ( gross exaggeration)

But, yes, it looks like Brett's schedule has officially started to be just as busy as we were told it would be. I wont see him again until tomorrow.

*small rant* I am currently sitting in Panera Bread ( its close to my house and I dig their strawberry smoothies)...and the group of overly blonde, overly made up women sitting near me are SO incredibly loud! I had my earbuds pumped up to top volume and I can STILL hear them. Annoying. You do not rule the world.

I'm becoming more and more cranky. Have you noticed ;-) hehehe

August 27, 2008

Generally blah.

Today, I've not been in the best of places. Not that I wasnt productive: I paid the last electric bill from Washington. I did laundry. I cleaned the bathroom, I cleaned the living room. I went to Hobby Lobby. I knitted. I listened to a sermon. I listened to This America Life. I watched several hours of unknown television ( so unmemorable I can't remember even now, only hours later). I talked on the phone with Katie W....

But all the while I was feeling...'blah' ( except when I was talking to Katie. Man, I miss her.)

Anyway, I'm now at Panera Bread writing in my brand spankin new journal. Working on my scripture memory verses ( which I've been really wanting to do for days, but had misplaced my verse pack)....and I've feeling a little more hopeful. Like, maybe tomorrow will be better?

I mean, I have to overcome my fears. I have to overcome my feelings of complacency. my feelings of blah-ness.

The Lord's lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. Lam. 3:22-23

August 26, 2008

For lack of a better word

So, kids yesterday I told you things you should do. And today. Well, today I once again have nothing of substance to share with you. And because Amy mentioned it, and because I haven't done it in a long time...a list of things that make me happy right now:

1. Emails. I pretty much live for them right now.
2. Mail. I'm actually waiting for something other than a letter from my sister and netflix to arrive in the mail so that I can take it to the library as proof of an address so I can get a library card...but that's another story.
3. Wii Fit. Yesterday I worked up a good little sweat and my abs actually hurt from hoola-hooping up a storm. That's right. Hoolahoop.
4. Special K's new protein water. Who knew it would have so much fiber? So much protein? Such nice Kiwi Strawberry taste? How can this be a bad thing?! ( please don't tell me if it is...because I have so few happy things right now, don't burst my bubble. )
5. Heroes Season 2. I mean, I technically havent seen it yet, but it did come out on DVD today...and Brett doesnt have to be at work till 1900 and therefore I get to lay on the couch with him all day. Yay!
6. Laying on the couch with Brett. Pretty much doing anything with Brett right now is a gift.
7. my $17 pink sunglasses from Target. I thought I lost them a week after I bought them....months ago. And then I found them in a small pocket in one of my purses! YAY!
8. The Hills. There is nothing quite so bad on television...yet the shallowness of the girls on the Hills makes me feel so much better about myself. Thanks Television, you've done it again.
9. MP3 Sermons ...honestly, technology is sooo wonderful. Bethlehem Mission podcasts, Navigator talks on CD....we're rolling it good stuff over here!
10. Sleep. I've been getting about 10 hours of sleep on average these days. Sleeping is wonderful.

August 25, 2008

Things you should do.

You should definitely watch John Adams. I mean, really you should all read the book by David McCullough ( its really long, however. But totally worth it.). But if you don't have that kinda time then totally watch this. I was once again inspired by the smarts, morals and hard ( workaholic) work that made the United States into a country. I was also inspired by Abigail Adams ( not just because she's got a great first name). Who ran a farm, brought up four children, all during war times....all without her husband. Girl Power! hahaha. Anyway, she's an inspiration to be sure, and its also inspiring how much her husband relied on her and cared immensely for her opinion. Good stuff.

You should definitely re-watch Lord of the Rings: Return of the King and Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring and look for Bret McKenzie of current Flight of the Concord fame. I had NO idea that the guy from those crazy Lord of the Ring fan clubs back in the day was the SAME person! hahaha! Brett ( no relation) and I were watching LotR:RotK on Friday and low and behold there he was, all clean shaven and blonde! Awesome. I love how NZ has so few actors...( just kidding).

You should definitely try this toast I'm eating...its like an inch thick. Awesome. I also think it only cost like a dollar which is equally awesome.

You should go and buy Heros: Season 2 tomorrow. Brett and I are so excited about this. Its been a horrible danger to watch the olympics because they are constantly advertising Hero's season 3 and we have to quickly change the channel to not give anything away. TV is like a giant landmine.

You should join the nearest Navigator's ministry, especially if you are in the military. Yesterday we met with our one contact from the Navs here at Fort Riley. It was so refreshing to talk to someone of like mind and also to talk to someone who knows so many people we know! As you know, military people travel a. lot. so you quickly learn to appreciate the common bond of Christ. So go find the nearest ministry near you and get some bible study on!

You should not move to Kansas for its social services. Post offices, libraries, public pools, parks...they are all sadly lacking. I'm terribly disappointed in you KS, I really am.

August 22, 2008

This is reality

So, I've been getting quite a few comments about how "well I seem to be doing", which I really appreciate, and I have to admit I feel like I am holding up rather well...however, it is only fair to share this with you, too...

So, Brett's schedule during in processing has been very sporadic, meaning I'll be in the middle of my "fill up my day" activities and Brett'll call and I'll get to hang out with him for a while. This is really nice, don't get me wrong. But it definitely messes with my denial-mode. For instance, the other day when we were hanging out Brett stopped off at the post library ( which was the size of a postage stamp, quite literally. pitiful. apparently people in the military in Kansas do not read. at all.) to "print off a few documents" and then two hours later he was still sitting at the computer because I guess he had decided to do some online course he needed to do as well....I started to be annoyed ( ok, ok, I had started getting annoyed at around the 45 minute mark, but whatever, this is my story). I mean, he didnt even tell me that he was going to be longer....I mean geez, I am just sitting here, wasting ti....

And that's when it hit me like a giant smack in the face. All I have is time to waste. I mean, sure I can convince myself that "getting the oil changed" is a MAJOR priority of life, but we all know better. So, yes, I know that my purpose right now is just being here for Brett, but sometimes-especially when he's gone, and sometimes when he's right in front of me ( but not really because he's consumed by whatever "army task" he's doing)-I feel really lost of what in the world my purpose is....

Anyway, so there I was waiting on Brett in the library and all these horrible revelation-smack-downs were taking place in my head so I went out to the car and popped up the back hatch to lounge in the back area and write in my journal. Of course, as soon as I started writing, I started sobbing too. ( because that's how I roll) I decided to shut the hatch so I could cry in "privacy"....In fact, laying there in the fetal position in the back of my car, in an almost deserted postage-stamp library parking lot, I was pretty much invisible. I finally calmed down a bit, and the car was feeling a bit stuffy so I turned over to open up the hatch....

Now, maybe you were aware that hatches do not open up from the inside ( a grave oversight, I feel. ) but I was not aware of this. Not at all.

So, there I was being pitiful and selfishly thinking about all the horrible woes of my life and I get stuck in the back of a car. That's right. Why I haven't been contacted to be on a reality tv show is beyond me. This is true hollywood drama. I mean, sure, I didn't really look hot or sexy when I was trying to squeeze my body between the back seat and the roof of my car to escape...but I'm sure if there had been ANYONE on that stupid ( obviously) Fort Riley post that decided to read a book that day, they would have been truly entertained.

Ok! So now that you know that I do not always have a very good attitude about this whole living in Kansas business here are some things I would like you to know.

I would really like it if people would stop telling me to "get a hobby". Believe me, I'm a hobby queen already. And getting a new hobby is not going to convince me that my life is somehow important. I mean, no one is like, "quick! someone who can knit raise your hand! This women over here needs your HELP!!!!!" But, seriously though, I know this is much deeper than me just filling up my time. Its about finding out what God really wants me to do while I'm here. And also its about me being OK with whatever that is-even if I don't feel needed all the time.
I read somewhere recently that the need to feel needed has become an idol for many Christians....and I can DEFINITELY see how that's true! But, I do not want to be that girl.

Oh, and this post is brought to you in part by Amy B. who I called while I was stuck in the back of my car and was a good enough friend to laugh at me and remind me that "it would make a good blog post". You're the best :-)

August 20, 2008

an inconvenient truth

I consider myself a nice person. You know, someone who's willing to like people. Someone who doesn't make judgments without getting to know a person pretty well first. But, it turns out that moving to Kansas has unveiled a terrible truth:

I hate university students.

That's right. It seems that the day I moved into town, about twenty thousand 18-21 year olds also moved into town in their annoying K-State shirts and their Hollister clothes, their emo hair and their carefree attitudes.
Its the last part that really gets me.
I mean, I'm out trying to buy an extra pillow so that my husband can have a pillow in my bed ( the one he belongs in) and ALSO the bed at the barracks ( the bad bed)...and there they all are. With their mommies and roommates. Buying cute matching bean bag chairs for their brand spanking new dorm rooms. They block the aisles as they stop to talk to old friends that they haven't seen in, like two months talking about the latest gossip.... "who did WHAAAAAAT?!? OMG!!!"


Truth be told. I'm jealous. I'm jealous of these people with their very simple lives. Possibly the worst thing they have to deal with is a mean professor, an annoying roommate, and how to pay for college ( a minor thing in the big picture)....So, yeah, I'm jealous.
I'm a bad person.

But, so are those shorts. I can't believe you have "wildkat" written across your butt. ( wildcat is misspelled by the way).


If Your presence does not go with us, do not lead us up from here.
For how then can it be known that I have found favor in Your sight, I and Your people? Is it not by Your going with us, so that we, I and your people, may be distinguished from all the other people who are on the face of the earth? Ex. 33: 15-16

I was just looking over the word "sent" in the old testament ( as part of my bible study that I mentioned yesterday). And while you may notice that the above verses do not have that particular word in the them, I was reminded of that passage while looking at all the times God "sent" His people various places.

The thing is when God sends, He goes with... He's not a "go on ahead without me" kind of a God. He's always there. He is what distinguishes us from everyone else. He is the one that makes sense out of what seems to be otherwise crazy.

Exodus 33:15-16. Those verses were "given" to me by Billie and Steve when I graduated high school in 2002, they were a part of my scripture plaque that my church gave me. Man, that was the greatest gift! So many of those verses have been very important to me through the years. Anyway, the above verses have been crucial in helping me face the various moves that I've made in the past six years... I know that if I am walking according to His will, than He WILL be with me, and I have nothing to fear. Nothing at all.

We've all been sent, haven't we? I mean, you may not be physically "going" anywhere right now, but you are being sent....
Before I left Washington someone said in passing ( possibly not even to me..hahaha!) "Find your Jerusalem." and I thought that was really cool. They were, of course, referring to this verse: "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."
and I had never looked at it like that before. As though FIRST we've got to be a witness in our "Jerusalem" and then from there we can go to Judea and onwards...its not like we're expected to make this huge leap into the unknown. That first ( and foremost) we are sent to our next door neighbors, our work-mates, our families, our friends...

I mean, I know this is not a new concept, but its been a helpful reminder to me as I think about this new place. It seems to me that just because I am in a new "place" does not mean that my Jerusalem has changed, parts of it have ( the next door neighbors part for sure!) but overall the calling on my life is still the same.
I've been sent.

August 19, 2008

To the Ends of the Earth

My itunes is on shuffle and it came to this Hillsong song from back in the day..."To the Ends of the Earth"

"Love unfailing, overtaking my heart.
You take me in, finding peace again. Fear is lost in all You are.
I would give the world to tell Your story because I know that You've called me,
I've lost myself for good within your promise and I wont hide it.
Jesus I believe in you, and I would go to the ends of the earth for you."

Now, I remember singing this back in Dunedin. And I remember thinking,
"Wow, I guess I have gone to the ends of the earth...and yet this (living in New Zealand) is more of a blessing for me than a sacrifice for Him."

So from then on my prayer has always been, in some degree, that I would be willing to go where ever he would have me to go... Now, obviously I'm pretty much a weakingly and God only takes me to really cool places like Texas, Washington and Kansas ( hehe). But, I know that its all a part of His plan. His plan to make me into someone who is stronger and willing to go further, go higher, go deeper.

Last night I was working on a Bible Study from the STS group back in Washington ( they're way ahead of me now...but I'm going back and doing the ones they finished weeks ago) and I was looking at the responses to the Call of God that some of the men of the Bible pulled out...
Moses: "I'm a nobody!" " No one will believe me!" "I'm not a good public speaker!"
Jeremiah: "I'm but a youth!"
Isaiah: "I'm a big fat sinner!"

What was God's response to all these men? I mean, sure it varied a little bit, but mostly it was, "Look, I made you, I've called you to this-I will go with, I will help you to do it, I have already covered up all your sins and weaknesses with my Grace so let's get going!" ( The Abigail Version)

Anyway, that was really encouraging to me. Today, as I sit in the middle of my second day in Kansas I feel a bit overwhelmed with the lack of guidance ( or at least that's how I feel) . I mean, what am I suppose to do here?! In the past few months some of the big lessons that I've been taught have been about the danger of idleness, and the danger of not serving others ( becoming very self-involved). And here I am facing some of the most solitary days of my life so far.....I guess the good thing is I know what I'm fighting against, right? And at least I know who's got my back...the same big God who refuses to take any excuse we might think to throw at Him.
Nice to Know.

August 18, 2008

All very official

Well, I've officially moved into my basement. Brett's officially at Fort Riley. And we've officially begun what I call "The Year" of course, my name for it is already flawed since it'll actually be longer than a year once its all said and done....but 12 months seems a lot easier to swallow than 16 or 18 and I never was good at math...

Anyway, whatever you want to call it, it basically means Brett and I need two tubes of toothpaste. That's right. I totally didn't realize until last night that we were in desperate need of another tube of toothpaste since from now on, Brett and I will be living in different places. BOO! Its funny the things that bother you, for me it was the toothpaste issue. go figure.

So, to positive things: I know you're all dying to know what my living situation is like so here goes: I'm living in an incredibly large basement provided by a very nice and accommodating army wife who's hubby is in Iraq. The basement is almost as big as our whole apartment in Washington! WHOA! ( way to go, midwest and your large expanses of land...) and everything was very clean and tidy when I arrived ( awesome!). And once again, irony abounds that now that I'm down to two suitcases and several bins of belongings I have waaay tons of storage space. *sigh*
The 'front room' ( where my ( leather!) futon, TV ( with cable!), and table and chairs are has a large window and door opening into the back yard and the bedroom also has a large whoever said basements were scary and dark ( pretty much every childrens book I've ever read) were totally mistaken.

The major problem is that there is NO internet access. That's right. Abigail is already in withdrawals. Its horrible.
But, this morning I ventured out and found a lovely coffee house ( that was quite hard to find, by the by) that not only roasts their own beans and makes a soy latte up to the Abigail Standards, but they also have wi-fi. I have a feeling they don't quite realize just how often they're going to see me here!

So, that's where I'm sitting right now. Looking at my to-do list for the day, most of the things on my list involve things i need to look up on the internet ( google maps are my best friend). So I'm off, but before I go....feel free to email me if you want my new address! :-)

August 16, 2008

Kansas: not ugly

Sooo, I dont know if you've ever been to Manhattan, Kansas ( because I havent yet), but from the road its really really pretty. As in, even a person who's going to have to go live there without her friends or her husband can pretty much not deny its beauty.
So that's something to be said for a place I will be living in tomorrow. This is a tiny bit of a let down since complaining is my second language. And I was really coming up with some good field of wheat jokes that were reeeeally good. But turns out Manhattan ( the little apple, mind you) is amidst rolling green hills. Shocking news.

Anyway, we are currently at Brett's cousins house in Kansas City. Donnave left this morning. She and Josh are officially my heros. They not only helped us move out of our apartment, they helped us clean, they helped us pack into two cars and then we drove over SIX STATES to finally reach Kansas. Anyway, they have supassed normal family duty many many days ago and are offically at sainthood.

Tomorrow Brett and I face reality in the form of Fort Riley and Manhattan respectively. Let you know how that goes...

August 12, 2008

Goodbye Washington, hello road.

Well, we did it! It took three days but we officially no longer have a home in Washington ( unless you count in the hearts of our friends...but that's cheesy isnt it? hehehe).

Its been a bit difficult at times, just because moving is always stressful and so is cleaning...and add in the horrible task of having to say goodbye to your friends and you're dealing with some serious emotion. But, I think we've done rather well. The hardest thing for me is watching Brett have to say goodbye to people. I know how much he is loved. I know how much he loves his friends. And I know how hard all of this must be...
I just keep reminding myself that we'll be back. I'll be back for a little more living ( even though I find it a bit overwhelming that in just the three weeks that we were in Texas things have already "moved on" without me...and I know this means that coming back in Jan. or Dec. will be more difficult than I think it will....) and Brett and I will keep up with many of these Beloved for many years to come....

For God has truly blessed us during our time in Washington. And tonight I must thank Him specifically for the beautiful friendships that taught us so much, gave us so much joy and took us down a incredible journey full of big ol' lessons of life.

The good thing is that the Journey isnt over, we're just changing scenes.

August 10, 2008

bad coffee, but its free

I am currently lounging in the SEATAC airport USO...drinking bad coffee but I'm in a "theatre" room watching the Olympics and using free I can't complain.

Anyway, Brett and I are back in Washington and we're waiting for Josh in the airport so that we can head "home" ( at least for a few more days) and begin the whole serious heavy lifting moving tomorrow. *sigh*

vacation is officially over. I've cried several times today. Its totally starting to set in that Brett is leaving. Watching he and his mother say goodbye was heartbreaking.

August 08, 2008

Take a deep breath...

Well, everyone, hold on to your hats-things are about to get, um, exciting.

Today is our last full day in Texas. I can't believe our time here went by so incredibly fast! Its been a mixture of relaxing, catching up, and just a smidge of stressful to remind you you're still alive ( hahaha) and then sprinkled with anxiety dreams about the next, ooooh, year and a half of our lives just to make it extra interesting.... all in all I'd say it was a successful trip.

Anyway, God has been gracious to give us such good quality times with our famlies, as well as some good times with Him ( not as many as I would have liked...I am so bad at sticking with my quiet times on vacation! its terrible)..and I KNOW without a shadow of a doubt ( though I don't know HOW exactly!) that we're going to some how get through the next week... a week of travel, of moving, of cleaning, and after months of wondering ( not too many months, mind you, since the Army likes to spring things on you at the last minute) and then I'll finally be living out the experience of Kansas....

A few nights ago Brett stayed up late to play video games with his brother and brother-in-law and I was all set to go to bed without him....but then I couldn't sleep....and then I got very upset. I thought about how I was going to REALLY need to learn how to go to sleep without him not just for one night, or two or even two weeks ( which I've done before)...but I was going to have to learn how to do it for 12 months. It seemed incredibly overwhelming. And the fact that I pretty much have to start this "going to sleep without Brett" thing in the next two weeks. Hard. Buuut, like all good 1 am cries...things seemed a lot more possible in the morning, and I am looking forward to The Year of the Blog ( 2008-2009) , since I'm pretty sure that I'll be blogging a lot for two reasons:
1. No husband to talk to equals a lot more rants needing to be expressed.
2. No husband to talk to equals a need to write things down so that I remember to tell him the important stuff later.

So there you go, all of you are going to benefit from my crazy, crazy life ( and by "benefit" I mean you'll have more reading material.

August 03, 2008

Watch( men)

So, currently Brett's reading the last chapter in the Watchmen graphic novel. And I'm blowing my nose. That's right, apparently my body decided that all the various sicknesses of the past two weeks were not enough. great.

Anyway, we've got six more days in Texas. Six more days of "vacation" and six more days for me to "pretend" to not think about what we're about to face. Actually, its not as hard as one might think-especially since I know very very little about what is in front of us....

Today, I had to repent about my attitude regarding returning to Washington during this next year. I caught myself thinking that since I'll be gone for several months people will have forgotten me, new people will have shown up-people that don't know me, I will have been replaced in all things that I was "needed" why go back? ( that was the question I came to.)
And then I remembered my real reason for wanting to go back to Washington. After praying about it, both Brett and I felt like I have more I can learn from the Strouds, really from all the Navigators at Fort Lewis. And honestly, when you don't have anything else to go on-realizing that there is always more to learn about serving Christ, living for Him....and how really unique it is to have FOUND a place where you feel like you can learn those things...well that's something to hold on to if you can! So, I must keep my mind focused on that and not on selfish and fearful things that will inevitably get thrown my way during a particularly lonely moment.

In other news, this weekend I went to a baby shower. Babies every where lately. Its insane how many of my friends here in Nac are either preggers or just had a baby, and then I went to a baby shower in Houston for one of Brett's cousins and found myself talking about "pumping schedules" with a complete stranger. That's right, she just turned towards me and just STARTS IN....seriously?! Are you kidding???? I didn't even know her NAME and she's telling me the details of the birth of her twin girls and details about her body parts that I do. not. need. to. know. I felt like I was in a sitcom or something.
Babies are incredibly cute though, and it is SO easy to get sucked into the whole wanting one of your own thing. I mean, come on, baby clothes? I'm all in. But, I'm currently working up a whole little rant about motherhood that I will share with you soon.

Which, I suppose we can then all stop and enjoy the irony about how the year before I began a relationship with Brett I spent most of my time blogging long exposes on singleness....and now here I am up on my high-horse once more over married women without children ( they have rights too!) ......of course, thanks to the army's schedule, I will not be having the babies myself anytime soon...So, I'll probably be up on this soap box for some time. Aren't you all looking forward to THAT?!

August 01, 2008

as for me...

This post is going to be disjointed so get ready...

I have had crazy dreams every SINGLE night I've been in texas. So has Brett. Last night I dreamed that Cindy gave Jack to me ( he's two) to keep me company while Brett was gone...and Brett dreamed that God teleported him.

I don't think we've hit upon prophetic dreams just yet.

You know who's loved me being in Texas more than anyone?! Mosquitos. That's right. And I've got the bug bites all up and down my legs to prove it. In some ways Washington is wonderful.

Yesterday I attended a sweet funeral of a dear family friend. Which brings me to the point that Texas "vacations" are not normal vacations in that you don't get to "forget everything and be carefree for days on end"...but, then again, I suppose we knew this when we decided to come here for three weeks....because in the end, striving to make our friends and family happy with our presence seemed more important than forgetting cares and worries for a certain "fake" amount of time....

I miss people. I miss people in Washington, I miss people in New Zealand. Its dreadful how many people I have to miss at any given moment! And yet, then again, its nice that I have so many people to miss. I'm blessed.