December 30, 2009

You win some, you loose some

Well, I have my lovely little laptop back! Meaning I'm back in Georgia/Alabama....of course this means I've affectively lost all cellphone reception and therefore we can say goodbye to my constant iphone use. *sigh*

Anyway, we got "home" at around 8:30 or so last night and I have already struggled pretty hard to have a good attitude about coming back. Having not been here long enough to give GA a concerted effort to become home, I have felt a little lost when people have mentioned "home". To be honest, its hard to make sense of that word when you're living in someone else's space. However, I was greatly convicted by my attitude about the whole thing ( i.e. my complaining) during my quiet time a few days ago when I was reminded of the verse, Luke 9:58 "Foxes have holes and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no where to lay his head."

Oh burn.

I've actually used this whole little passage in Luke, about different people coming to Jesus and saying they want to follow him, but each one of them has some sort of hang up, several times to challenge people with what is holding them back from fully following Christ...and here I am being the BIGGEST offender! So, I admit to you, my dear readers, that I have a long way to go in really being truly sacrificial when it comes to my walk with God-and my first step is to stop complaining about living in the middle of no where, in a house that is not my own.

OK! Here's to 2010, right? Its gonna start great...I'm happy that our friends Wes and Tina are here visiting from Washington. Seeing Tina is truly a treat and it reminds me that, really, deep down, its PEOPLE that make up "home" for me....Tina feels like Home and so I will soak her in for at least a week. ;-)

December 23, 2009

Abigail is...the 2009 edition

As we all know, I'm a big fan of facebook/twitter status updates...because seriously, sometimes I don't have time to write a whole blog post! And it turns out that if I go back and read all my little "one liners" from the year, you do, in fact get a sense of the whole 365 days all rolled together. So, yeah, this is more for me than you...but if you wanna read one really long sentence fragment: Here's to 2009...

is back in Washington...is excited about a new weeks worth of coffee dates :-)...has made a decision. New york ( conference) here I come!...is watching snow fall and trying to keep her feet warm...is getting excited about the Nav. Conference this weekend...wants to go home...lost 345 lbs on her wii fit! These babies WORK! ....loves her Navigator girls and can't wait till Saturday...is off the chiropractor to get an attitude adjustment.....Is excited about Amy's Baby Shower tomorrow! YAAAAY!....is headed to Canada tomorrow!...Question: Can Abigail hit up every coffee shop in town in one morning? Answer: yes. Yes, she can....This new iPhone case looks like an industrial tool and weighs fifty pounds, this baby better work!!!...Is embarrased that she was caught watching Gossip Girls in the gym....hating on the dude with the lawn mower under my window!!! Doesn't he know what time it is?!?...Going to Ash and Karissa's wedding today! Yay!...Watching a woman pay with pennies in the self checkout line. 234 pennies. One. At. A. Time....Is thankful for katie who treated her to lunch and made the whole day better....QT for the morning: Jer 9:22-24....Boast in the Lord!...Books in the mail from my husband! He knows me well...Bethany and I have perfected TV show watching....Woo! Tejas here I come!...First day with roomie: me locked out. Guess the days of going to the gym without a key are over! ...Things I don't love about Washington: traffic...Back from oregon, a shower and then off to Seattle for a baseball game.. Whew!....John Connor has a serious god complex....unwinding after a great Bible Study!...Now has a tan on only the front side of her body...I'm sure this looks weird, but luckily I cannot see my own backside..I'm a fan of the box fan...So excited about Katie's shower next weekend after an afternoon of planning and scouting with Cindy!... Eating a salad and watching the West Wing...riveting, I know....Laying by the pool reading a mag... Reward for crazy morning...Unhappy? Pray, read the Word and then go get a pedicure....Yummy fresh strawberries from the Dupont WA...this town would be perfect if it only had a grocery store!...Chillin in Seattle with Bethany and Chuck....Getting ready for Mike and Katie's goodbye party ( still in denial about the goodbye part)...Pride and Prejudice and Zombies to read in the sun... Although this book cannot be read in large quantities- ugg!....Can't.stop.watching.west.wing.....I love my town... This is my kinda 4th of July parade...Someone needs to come kill this yellowjacket it's disturbing my calm.....All peopled out....now I'm ready to sit in solitude and do a QT...Last morning with the kiddos- we've been having fun!...I GET TO SEE MY HUSBAND THIS AFTERNOON!!!!!!!!!!!! (!)...Happy 2nd Anniversary to my wonderful husband!...since I doubt she's on FB right now...I'm safe in saying that I'm headed to a surprise engagement party in a matter of minutes ....Death Cab For Cutie, I give you a solid A ...Listening to Kings of Leon...my summer 09 bandthatilove.....Brett has been gone for one hour and 20 minutes. And I'm waiting to feel better.....Loving the 200 ( now 196) Otter Pops in my freezer!...Too much dark chocolate w/ sea salt, too late at night. I'm WIDE AWAKE....71 and sunny....THIS is the washington summer I signed up for....Picking Amy up at the airport in an hour! WHO'S EXCITED?!?!...hiking, kayaking and now its time for Indian food! GOOD DAY!...Lindsay is the greatest roommate in the world.... Kidney stone Abigail is not to be taken lightly...September's magazine subscriptions by the pool... It takes one hour to read each, I'm gonna be fried...I just accidently sent a stranger a note saying "Kudos on your sobriety" with their DVD they bought from me. OOPS!...who throws a good coffee? @amybushatz and @karissathomas and I-THATS WHO!....fridge smell found: a sliver opening between floor and seal=place where badness is...BUT HOW DO I GET TO IT!?!? Looking for things to stick into sliver opening to elevate the smell-any ideas?!...Likes it when all of her friends become friends with each other....Welcome baby Morris! Congrats Wright Family! ( this is such a good day)...going to bed! Had a lovely day with Mary and Mimi...I have beautiful inlaws!...Making tea and turning on the fireplace-its Bible Study time...These are the 1st three consecutive minutes that I've been in one spot since 11 hrs ago. Washington to Iowa. DONE... In bed with my hulu queue...perfect recovery from yesterday!... Had a lovely coffee morning with Cindy...Can't. Stop. Taking. Pictures. Of. Leaves....What a difference a day makes! I just got told my "house packing" got moved up a day and now I'm freaking out!..Praying for Tina! Check out my Note if you want more details!!...Wait Thirty minutes and then goodbye fancy pants apartment ( I'll miss you)!!!....Heading to Kansas: last step in the Get Husband Back Plan. Wooooooo!...my car was broken into last night in WA...thank goodness for good friends....I got him!!!!! Praise God!....Goodbye Washington! I will miss you ( the people, not the upcoming winter months. Hehe)...Been staying in 3 star hotels all week= free wifi and parking. Get to the 5 star joint= pay for EVERY LITTLE THING...Santa Fe is a really weird town. But I'm getting an 80 massage tomorrow and my first real latte in days- so who cares?!...Heading back on the road today...loved spending time with Brett's family...Woke up with a doozy of a toothache... Happy Birthday, Abigail, Happy Birthday....Personal growth is not my forte. And, once again, if you want to reach me...you can try my cell-but then you'll need to email me....Wishes she had a magic wand that made friendships happen faster.... Under the weather...not sure where that term came from, but I feel it....Resting up for our trip to TEXAS tomorrow...

December 19, 2009

Waiting

Wow, ten days gets you out of the habit of writing big time, but then once you start you can ever so slowly remember how to put sentences together...


And so here I am after only a few hours, at it again. This time I'm inspired by thoughts of the Army....well, I take that back and raise that to all the military. Because, seriously, there is nothing like being separated from your family and there is DEFINITELY nothing like being separated from your family over the holidays. I suppose in some ways I was really lucky last year because after Brett left his leaving was followed in relatively quick succession by very important events: My Birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, His Birthday...pause...Valentine's Day. So yeah, that was incredibly hard. I missed my husband for every single one of those events. But we got them over and done with and we moved on. Or I should say, I moved on...I moved on so well, aka. I dealt with my amount of sadness, loneliness, anger ( at life for dealing us such a hand etc.), fear in such quick fashion that the wounds have all but healed. I've got my husband back! And I faced my birthday and thanksgiving this year with shear thankfulness just because Brett was here and not there ...but, now, getting to my point...I forgot the feelings and emotions. And I NEVER want to forget, especially for the sake of those going through it right now.

My heart is especially with Bethany this holiday season. She is not yet an army wife, but the girl is a PRO already! She deals with Chuck being deployed and in very dangerous situations on a daily basis with an amount of grace that I can only marvel at...when she called me after Chuck was in an IED explosion she was SO INCREDIBLY calm it nearly made me calm ( haha!)...seriously the girl is relying on something higher than herself.

My heart is with Jenn, who's husband just deployed for the first time with the Army Rangers- and in the weeks after he left she's faced not only loneliness ( living in a relatively new place), but also sickness and a car accident! I don't know WHY other horrible things decide to pile on top of the already horrible things of life, but she's dealt with it well. I know she is seeking God and praying her little heart out-and knowing that's how she's dealing blesses me.

My heart is with Sarah, who's husband is in one the most dangerous parts of Afghanistan-he's already lost his battle buddy once-and he has to wait in a line for hours just to call her for a few minutes, every two weeks when he's back on the FOB. Sarah is dealing with serious health issues and a recent miscarriage all by herself, with a strength that is truly unearthly.

And last but not least, my heart is with Amy, who after six months is waiting expectantly for her husband to come home for Christmas, only to hear that it might not happen. The Army's way of changing plans on us is often heartbreaking-but probably never so much as around the holidays...times when we feel the emptiness more.

I am so grateful to know these ladies...and many more! Women who are IN the military and women who are married into it...who face emotional hardship such as these ( and far worse I'm sad to say) at times when most American's could not fathom such "injustice". I am a better person because I have experienced, along with these women, some of the "inconveniences" of life-inconveniences that are for a far greater purpose than just us and our little lives.

This Christmas I am praying for the service men and women and their families, for I am truly grateful for their sacrifices-both great and small.

December 18, 2009

For my fan

So, apparently its been ten days since my last blog, which I was told by my one fan. Or at least the one person who's made any mention that I haven't been blogging. Thanks Amy.

Anyway, I'm sure those ten days where busy doing something. I probably did some Christmas shopping and some preparations for Brett's GOLDEN BIRTHDAY celebration...

*side note* In my family golden birthday's are a big deal, and lucky for Brett he married in before he had his ( i.e. he turned 26 on the 26th of Jan. last year) however, not so lucky for him-he was in Afghanistan at the time so he asked ever so politely to postpone the celebration to this year. What "celebration" you ask? Well, basically every day until your birthday-starting at the first of the month, you get a present every single day until your birthday. Now, don't get too excited...most of the time the presents are little things, sometimes they are silly or things that you just practically need ( new underwear, anyone?) but its always fun to open presents and this way you get to open one every day! Brett's going to be spoiled in January!

So, I think I only have like 5 more presents to go...and not to brag but I think Brett's going to be excited with some of his random presents. This year I "discovered" ( I'm probably like a million years behind the hipsters who knew about this site years ago) www.etsy.com and bought quite a few presents for friends from there...AND I found the most AWESOMELY nerdy present for Brett's golden birthday ever ( I'll try to remember to post pictures when he opens it!)...and I feel so good about my purchases because you're usually supporting some starving artist out there with every purchase! ( or at least that's what I tell myself! hehe)

In other news, I'm excited about Christmas this year...its kind of a special year since its the LAST year there will not be any babies in the Abt Family Christmas! Crazy to think how things will be different next year! AND we found out yesterday that my sister is having a GIRL and YEAAAAAH! I'm so excited about her! Now that I know ( I reeeeally thought she was having a boy) I can't imagine anything different and I'm already imagining my sister and Ryan with an adorable little girlie.

In other other news I'm also excited for my friends this holiday season....I feel like its going to be an eventful year for several of them, aka. Amy's getting her husband back from Afghanistan any day now-this I'm glad about for several reasons, one her twitters are depressing ( just kidding, sorta) and also it'll help me feel LESS guilty about not being there to support her these last few weeks before he gets home. She was SO totally fabulous for me on BOTH ( R&R and redeployment) of Brett's homecomings, helping with distractions and preparations I am utterly sad that I did not get to return the favor! HOWEVER, I *am* delighted, on the other hand, that I got to introduce her to the wonderful, Tabitha, who's going down from Vancouver to visit Amy in Washington this weekend for moral support. As I always say ( or I do now), if you can't do it yourself, send one of your totally fabulous friends to do it for you...

December 08, 2009

Ah-HA!

So, wow...I should have asked you guys for recipes a long time ago...especially since it meant that I found out about SEVERAL OF YOU having SECRET BLOGS that you DIDN'T TELL ME ABOUT. OK, so maybe they weren't secrets...but *i* sure didn't get the memo! So now I'm super excited and following you all on google reader, which is the greatest thing on the internet next to facebook ( which has been acting up lately, so I'm not a happy camper, and hulu.

Anyway, the recipe and food suggestions were super great and I love the internet for hooking me up with each one of you...oh, and those of you who didn't post recipes ( Amy, I do not have you chili recipe...pass that on to everyone in the comments, if you don't mind)...I'd love to have them! And I hope that others will benefit from my question too!

In other news, Brett and I got our household goods back from the army today. I haven't seen our belongings since October 29th. That's right. OCTOBER and it was sad to see them being put directly into storage. *sigh* Luckily, I have a saintly husband who went through many a box with me to find several items that I CAN NOT LIVE WITHOUT. Example: my dry erase wall calendar.
Does this not show how totally uptight I am?

I also could not live without Brett Bear. Even though I have the ACTUAL living and breathing Brett around now, its nice having the hot-water bottle version too.

Oh. And my shoes.

So, yeah, like I said, saintly husband.

December 06, 2009

Question...

Here's something I've been pondering of late ( being back in a house full of boys will do this to you)....what is your favorite go-to "feed lots of people" meal?
Something yummy, but not horribly terrible for you, or overly expensive would be good...

Let's here your thoughts in the comment box! ( I'm going to be super sad if I get no comments here..)

December 05, 2009

progress

The past few days, when thinking about blogging, I've thought "naaaaah, there's isn't much to say...", but now that I'm here I'm realizing that a lot actually happened this week! So yay for that!

Anyway, I'll try to figure out a way to start...this week we got practical things accomplished ( which you know that I LOVE. There is nothing like checking things off the to-do list to make me giggly!)-and in accordance with that, this monday Brett is getting his last two wisdom teeth taken out, and then on Tuesday our household belongings are being delivered to a storage place that we rented ( ugg, yes, these two things should NOT be happening in quick succession-but what are you gonna do?!)....I cannot WAIT to have our belongings back within grasp! While I know its going to be ridiculously difficult to FIND anything that we want among all the vaguely labeled boxes "kitchen", "books", "bedroom"....I am INTENT upon finding several things that I feel like we cannot live without for six months. Wish me luck. :-(

This week we also got started on getting involved with the navigator ministry here at Fort Benning. It is very different from Ft Lewis, in that there are 5 or six different studies going on throughout the week, focused on different groups that are working, living here at Benning. Each of the different bible studies is run by different groups of navigator laborers and they have pretty much ALL said they needed help! So we've decided to visit each one of them in the next few weeks, and pray that God shows us which one we should plug into!

The first study we went to was INCREDIBLY cool-it was reaching out to guys who are in basic training and on the night we went, for the first time, the ministry had access to a bunch of guys who were being chaptered out of the army....it was incredible to see the turn out of guys who were hungry for some comfort and some answers and it was absolutely awesome to see the few laborers ( ministry dudes) that were there, being surrounded and eagerly listened to!! I had the privilege of praying for what was going on with the other girl laborer there, and it was neat for once to not be "involved" in the traditional sense but to remember that pretty much NONE of the work that is being done is from ourselves, but from God. It was also super cool to see the group that God gave Brett that evening. He had about six or seven guys in his group and every single one of them was intent upon his every word. The little groups were all in the same room and at the end of the night, once they all started to break up and go there separate ways, Brett's group just moved in closer! It was like every time I looked over there were six little bald heads just a little bit closer to Brett's!! Needless to say, Brett was totally pumped after that, and I think we were both reminded that all the annoyance of fitting into a new place and the little worries about trying to look cool and be liked are really NOTHING in comparison to getting to share some Good News with guys who are hurting and going through a difficult time!! THIS is why we feel so passionately about ministering to the Army! There are SO many guys out there who are struggling and looking for answers, guys who need to know what real Love and Compassion is!! Ahhh! I just hope that we, in all of our failings and faults, can some how share that with some of them!

Annnyway, on Thursday Brett headed to another study, but I stayed home because, as we all know, I like to catch new sicknesses when I go to a new place...so of course I was feeling not-so-awesome, but, luckily on Friday-after having dinner with one of the guys who was on Brett's team in Afghanistan and his wife ( that was pretty cool!! Two worlds colliding!), we got to go to a Fun Night, that that particular bible study was throwing! So I ended up getting to meet a lot more of that bible study anyway! This group was much more mixed, guys and girls and reminded me a lot of the dynamic of the Ft Lewis ministry ( awww! I miss them!), and we had a super fun evening playing Catchphrase.....

So yay for making new friends and hanging out with people more! and Yay for being reminded what all this moving and this crazy army lifestyle is all about!! This week I also got to have a few one on one conversations with some girls and that encourages me, that while I do not yet know where I fit into the mix here-there are a lot of wonderful people to get to know. I just need to remember my Quiet Times from this week and the verses that I've been getting, like:

" Be strong and let your heart take courage all who wait on the Lord." Ps 31:24

November 30, 2009

Because I told you to...

Go to your nearest theatre and watch the movie Blind Side...you will be inspired and you will possibly cry ( like I did...four times.)

It will be a MUCH better and uplifting experience then watching, say, Twilight: New Moon, which was so incredibly awful that you'll have to laugh just so that you will not cry at the state of the world, a world that thinks that this is quality....Although, there is this one scene where Bella's ( whiny so-called-heroine) head gets a teeny tiny bit of blood on it, and Jacob ( the probably manic-depressive warewolf) WHIPS OFF his shirt and starts dabbing at her head.
I mean, I didn't blame him...if I had had to take steroids, and therefore put my body in serious risk, at the tender age of 16 so I could get that buff...well, I'd probably make every excuse to show it off too....
Anyway, that's what I got out of THAT movie...and the moral of the story is, go see Blind Side.

In other news, this weeks goal is to make friends. I had a very short lunch date today which was progress and I was invited to a party tomorrow night which will hopefully be more progress...wish me luck, I must be at my winning-est. hehe.

November 28, 2009

Any time...

So, I think I've "rested" enough...Feeling a bit on the bored side today. Its not that there wasn't enough to do...Brett and I worked on various to-do lists that we'd both piled up-but I think the major thing is that we've have no social circle as of yet. I don't think I've ever been so excited about a Sunday-the idea of getting to go to church where we'll get to talk to OTHER PEOPLE is mindblowing.

Also...I think my southern accent is coming back. Fabulous.

November 27, 2009

The Big Picture...

"All the end of the earth shall remember and turn the Lord,
and all the families of the nations shall worship before You.
For the kingship belongs to the Lord, and he rules over the nations."
Ps 22:27-28

I'm excited about this holiday season, may we ever focus on what's truly important: His kingdom come!

November 25, 2009

Getting shinier

So, here we are. This is Georgia. A Georgia which is apparently nice and sunny most of the time, but decided to make me feel nice and at home since arriving-thus being bleak and rainy. Nice. Thanks Georgia for pulling out all the stops ;-)

Anyway, last night Brett and I were driving home from a dinner engagement and we discussed how TIRED we were! Yet once we stopped to think what had been going on in our lives the last few weeks it was concluded that we were more emotionally tired than anything. In short, new lives are tiring to get.

How's this new life going, you ask? Well, that's tough to say...I've been waiting to write this particular blog post until a time when I wouldn't burst into tears at the slightest thing and I think that'll be today! hahaha! In short, I am continually impressed that while I keep thinking that with each move it couldn't POSSIBLY be MORE SO than the LAST move ( aka. I am prepared this time), I am always surprised to find there are NEW things to get used to and new things with which to rely on the Lord for strength.

This time the major blow came about a week into our cross-country trek, when the Woods called and offered us their home to live in for 6 months. Now, I'm going to take a big deep breath and try to explain what this means:

Ok, so the Chuck and Deb Wood are a Navigator couple who are actually over the Navigator Army ministry altogether. This basically means that they travel for MOST of the year. Before they took this job, they ran the Nav ministry here at Fort Benning. In fact, it was through Chuck that Brett got involved with the Navigators back in 2004/2005. Brett actually lived with the Woods during the 18 months that he was at Fort Benning...which brings me to their house. They have a "ministry" house. Its basically a nice sized four bedroom home, but it also has an added apartment ( with a kitchen, living area etc-this is where Chuck and Deb now live when they are in Georgia between travels) and also an added meeting room and a bunk room. All of this added together and you get a house that is perfect for having guys move in and live so that they can have closer discipleship training-which is one of the key principles and main focuses of the Navigator ministry. Its also great for bible studies and ministry functions...

Annnnywho, the Woods called us up and said that starting in January there would not be anyone living in their main house-and they were wondering if we'd like to move in.

Pause for dramatic affect.

I think I've been very disappointed with everyone that I've told about this piece of news, because EVERYONE has been excited for us and said what a great idea it is...when deep down ( ok, it hasn't been deep down at all) I have been crying and moaning and complaining about this EVER SINCE THAT INITIAL invite....why the complaining? Well, because it meant putting all of our things in storage. It meant moving again in six months ( remember how much I HATE moving?), it meant sharing my first months back with my husband with more ministry demands, it meant putting on clothes when I leave my bedroom ( no roaming a house where there are other people in your PJs!), it meant living in a house where my iphone gets zero reception, it meant living a good 20 minutes from any stores or coffee shops...and countless other "inconveniences".

In short, I was faced HEADLONG with my very shallow/selfish/spoiled ( hey! Look! I'm an alliteration of character flaws!) self.

Now, I'll be honest with you...I spent a WHOLE YEAR diving head long into ministry. I was ALL about it! I was one hundred percent on board. And some little part of me thought that I DESERVED a break. That I deserved to have what *I* wanted for a change...and wow. Until this whole housing thing came up, I didn't even realize that's what I was thinking...

So yesterday I woke up to an email from my dear friend Tabitha-who laid the proverbial slap down on me ( it should be noted she did it in this oddly encouraging/ nice way that I should really try to master) basically equating me with Jonah. Ouch! She was right! And THEN to pile on the coals of Truth...I went and did my quiet time...and I JUST SO HAPPENED to be reading about Moses going to Pharaoh and asking over and over again that Pharaoh do what God was asking ( and Pharaoh kept hardening his heart) and yeah...we all know how THAT turned out. And THEN I turned over to my New Testament reading and I JUST SO HAPPENED to be reading about the Rich Young Ruler in Matthew. DOUBLE OUCH. Here I was crying over an iPhone and here was a dude turning his back on following Jesus because he couldn't seem to give up his riches.....I don't think it takes an English major to see the parallels there.

As you can see...this move has not been an easy one....and I'm going to go ahead and say THEY NEVER WILL BE. But what I WILL go ahead and say, is that if you'd like to shake up your pre-existing assumptions about yourself, your relationships and most importantly your priorities and walk with God...you should consider moving. It'll be hard, but I have great faith that at the end of this I'll be a little bit shinier ( think gold being refined illustration here).

OH and I'm keeping my phone. It gets reception pretty much everywhere but in the house, and even there I still get text messages and voicemails...so I still feel pretty in touch.

*Other business:
If you'd like the new Brett and Abigail address and the new Brett and Abigail landline phone-number you can email me or message me and I'll get that to you right away. ALSO some of you have been asking if Brett has a cell phone number. He does not. I you still have his 817 number, delete that...you'll disturb some poor old lady if you call it. He'll be getting a new number soon!

November 23, 2009

Too much personal growth

So, you may be wondering why you haven't heard from me since arriving in Georgia/Alabama...well, the reason for this is mainly because I'm being asked ( by life) to do SO MUCH personal growth right now that I literally had to take a nap because it was so tiring. And, well, personal growth is definitely something I like to talk about AFTER THE FACT so that I don't look so self-involved and lame.
This, of course, means we'll have "testimony worthy" blog posts in like a month or something after all the holiness and the growing happens-but until then I'll just have to hope that any post I do will not have the complaining and whining seeping through TOO MUCH.

Oh, and remember when I posted that little video of me talking? The one where I shared the last message that I shared at the Navs study in Washington that I did?! Well, I talked about "first weeks" in that little talk. I talked about how totally horrible and bleak everything seemed and that in times like those you have to have faith and read your bible and be reminded of His promises etc. etc.

Well, turns out I need to start preaching to myself pronto, and it also turns out that when you're in the middle of "first weeks" it is INCREDIBLY HARD to see the light.

And just so you'll know kind of the general direction from which I'm coming from...my iphone does not work on the street where we're living. ZERO COVERAGE. It works pretty much EVERYWHERE ELSE but here. It's pretty much like life slapped me in the face and then laughed at me.

November 21, 2009

In lue of a party...

So tomorrow I turn 26.

I know that I'm going to become an adult because for the first time in my whole life I did not do a count down to my birthday, and I did not tell everyone, including strangers on the street that my birthday was in *so many* days for an entire month...and I have not gone on and on about it on my blog.

Of course, as much as I would like to say that the reason for this change is that I have become super mature in the last year, this is probably not the case. Instead, I'm going to point to the incredible amount of LIFE going on around me that I do not have the time to stop and celebrate such blasé things as my birth.
*psssshhhh*

Haha! Just kidding! We're going to celebrate anyway! We're going to celebrate in newest fashion: By starting a brand new season of life and by counting the blessings of the past and present.

Tomorrow Brett and I will be crossing the border into Georgia and begin a new life there. I admit I'm scared. And I admit that I've never been more homesick than I am right now. Its on your birthday that you miss your friends the most ( and as we all know friends and family are our home). But I count my blessings too. I have Brett home from Afghanistan and I thank God every day that He got us through a year long deployment. If you believe in miracle, just know that a successful deployment is the longest drawn out miracle that you can ever witness....

And for the past four days we've spent some lovely time with Brett's family in Texas ( and a teeny tiny bit of my family scattered in for bonus)...and I am struck yet again by how blessed we are to have such supportive families. ( Oh, and a big shout out to Jillian who I am TREMENDOUSLY glad to count as part of that family now that she's finally an official Vermeulen-not to mention a fellow army wife! YAY!)

I am also glad that we got to go to my church for prayer meeting on Wednesday and thank God for those lovely saints there who prayed for us and supported us while Brett was deployed. I am glad that they are as much our family as anyone....and speaking of such "family"-I am also thankful for the beautiful last day in Washington-where we got to spend the day with Judy and with Bethany and Amy and Karissa and Ash and Lindsay and Isaac and the Strouds and the whole STS gang....it was pretty much the perfect day. Perfect.

And I am thankful for all the many wonderful wonderful friends that I carry with me wherever I go....even so far as Georgia.


So here's to the year 25. It was a doozy.

And here's to 26 no doubt it will be JUST as interesting.

November 17, 2009

Week One & Texas

So, tonight we arrived in Texas and gave our family a giant huge....how far we've come! And for Brett this was the first time seeing our families in a year and half ( seriously?!? wow!)..but before all that we had to get from the Grand Canyon to Nacogdoches....


So, there are no pictures with this post, probably because my camera got stuffed down at the bottom of a bag-and, well, bags once they are packed and unpacked every night for days and days on end-things start to oddly expand. Sufficient to say you'll have to make do with my wordy accounts of what happened next:

After the grand canyon we were off to Santa Fe ( with a stop over night in Gallup, New Mexico). Now, some of you thought we were headed to a hotsprings spa in Arizona, and well, so did we...but turns out thinking really loudly doesn't ACTUALLY get you reservations so...oopsy.

And thus we headed to Santa Fe, New Mexico instead...this is a place i have thought little about in my life and had done absolutely ZERO research on before arriving. However, this was a little pre-view lesson of:
Life Can Go On Even if Abigail Has Not Planned And Or Prepared For It. And we ended up having a lovely, albeit over-priced time...
Highlights of Santa Fe:
80 minute massages. The movie Away We Go. The mailbox that looked like R2D2. Comfy Beds. walking in the snow. Dinner at the unpretentious dinner after a pervious meal at a snobby restaurant.

After Santa Fe ( which ended up being a better stop because it was a nice distance between our pervious destination and our NEXT destination which made for more enjoyable driving days) we headed to Lubbock, TX to stay with Brett's college friend Stephani and her husband Jason and their ADORABLE 3 month old son Alexander. Seriously, had the sweetest disposition and the brightest smile...and I could have totally eaten him up-if Baby Eating wasn't so frowned upon.

And then that brings us to today! We hightailed it across Texas to arrive in Nacogdoches in time for Dinner with Brett's family and then a quickie before bed chat with my parents...

And then, then I had to write this post-because, to be honest, even though I didn't actually talk about anything life-altering in this post, I've actually had a pretty life altering week...and blogging is one of my greatest "calms". I cannot tell you how good it is to get at least a FEW ( if not the most straight forward and surface) things "on to paper" so that they will no longer plague my mind.

I am hoping that in the next few days I will be able to steal a moment away to type up the HARDCORE post and the only hint I'll give you is this over-dramatized facebook status update that I made a few days ago:

"Giving things up for Jesus stings, but it's totally worth it."

So, there you go! I'm basically giving away the surprise ending there...but believe me there is PLENTY more to that story to come!!

November 13, 2009

A Grand Maker indeed!

I think sometime God has things a little bit difficult just to remind us that He's there. If today had started out bright and sunny and perfect, I'm not so sure I would have seen His magnificence in quite the same way...
As it was, we woke up in our hotel ( that we'd arrived at late the night before) near the Grand Canyon to pouring down rain. Not the "clear weather" I'd prayed for, for our one day to see this wonder of the world!!!

But, we decided we'd go look at the "big hole in the ground" ( I just came up with that...clever, I know) anyway, since we'd come ALL THAT WAY...and surely we'd be able to see something!?! RIGHT!?!?

Well...not really.

When we arrived it was super de douper cloudy and rainy. And yet I dutifully took pictures of the canyon anyway. ( looking at them now, they are basically pictures of clouds).

Example:



But then, AMAZINGLY ENOUGH, it started to clear!!! And it was as though God just unfolded this beautiful piece of artwork that He'd created just for us!!





We then got super into it and started to think we should spend MORE time there than we'd allotted...but just as soon as we got greedy and started thinking about going back and getting more pictures...the clouds started to roll back in. Time to head back on the road!!

And just in case, I wasn't fully aware of God's providence on this whole trip so far, this is what we saw driving into New Mexico from Arizona:

November 10, 2009

California: Redwoods

Yesterday Brett and I high-tailed it out of washington and made it all the way to California and found a lovely hotel by the sea and woke up this morning to the sound of waves crashing. We then spent a day driving through Redwoods-which, I gotta tell you was something I've wanted to do since I was young and saw in some book a picture of a car driving through a tunnel in a Redwood tree! I felt very blessed getting to spend the day with my hubby taking in some of the splendor of God's creation!



A Tina Update

Well, friends, I'll be sharing from Brett and my travels in the next few days...but first I have something amazing to share with you! Yesterday I got to spend some time with Tina and she was good enough to let me share some pictures from her experience with you...now, normally I would not be down with sharing this kinda pictorial story with you-because I don't have the strongest stomach...but seeing as I had to experience it in person and so many of you were so faithful to pray for her even when you couldn't see her, I know Tina would want to share with you some of the incredible detail of the miracle God performed in her life.

Bare in mind that these first images were taken only two weeks ago and the last two were taken yesterday!
( isn't she beautiful!?)

Once again, thank you for praying for Tina and thank you for continuing to lift her up as she deals with recovery from the traumatic experience. She texted me today to say that she was able to READ her bible during her quiet time ( without listening to the audio Bible) for the first time today. God continues to heal her body!







Into Northern California

I'm currently working on a "Tina Update" and "Last Day in Washington"
post but it's hard to find Internet time that's not my phone... But
until then the trip is going great... And this is what we woke up to
this morning in Crescant City, CA...

November 07, 2009

Stage one: complete

So, I'm currently sitting in the Kansas City Airport, getting ready to head back to Washington and thus stage one of "The Master Plan" will be complete. "Master Plan" seems a bit much, but that's what popped in my head so we're gonna go with it...besides I'm a bit much, so there you go....

First of all, in my last post I promised I'd give you the stalkerish run down of what the next two weeks hold for Brett and I and now I will fulfill said promise:

Stage 1: Already complete! That consisted of coming here to Kansas and re-unite with Brett. Done and DONE! (Yay! Being married is infinitely better in person. And if you're ever planning on getting married yourself ( if you aren't already), take it from me....have it be an "in person" marriage as much as humanly possible.

Stage 2: Return to Washington.
I'm currently doing this right now, and Brett will be doing it in a couple of hours. This is excellent news, since for a little while we thought he wouldn't get to leave until tomorrow. But, now I'll get to see him again at 7pm tonight! yay!

Stage 3: Spend a moment in Washington.
Basically a day. But, Brett has people he definitely wants to see ( fair enough)...and its already hard for me to think about having to say more permanent goodbyes to our loved ones in Wash....but at least we'll get to do it together! So we're spending tomorrow with as many packed in good moments as we can!

Stage 4: Start the road trip! We'll be heading down the West Coast towards San Fran and in the early part of next week we're hoping to hit up a childhood friend of Brett's ( seriously, they met in elementary school and re-connected via the magical facebook) and see the Redwood Forests ( a childhood dream of mine realized. Are they really that big?! We're going to find out!!!)

Stage 5: We'll continue on with the driving and break it up by stopping by for a quickie visit with Brett's college friend The Newtons. I'm going to go ahead and call them my friends too...because they're super cool and the kind of people that I feel that geographical challenges are the only thing keeping us from being super tight. hehe.

Stage 6: Finally get out of California. And now to another Abigail Childhood Dream. A little bit off the trek but TOTALLY worth it...we're going to see the Grand Canyon. ( is it really that awesome of a hole?! We're going to find out!!!!

Stage 7: And just in case you think we're ONLY going to be driving ( although the previous stages don't mention it very much)...we'll be stopping to spend sometime at an Arizona Natural Hot Springs ( and spa! which I doubt is natural...but perfectly wonderful nonetheless).

Stage 8: Hot tail it onwards....stopping to visit The Biggs Family for a moment in time. ( Sadly bad timing meant that Brett and I are missing out on a Reunion Weekend with his College Buddies...but we thought we'd fit in as many of them along the drive, as we could to make up for it...it won't be the same, but we PROMISE to try to make it to the next one. Meh!) ...and then continue on with the driving.

Stage 9: Now that we're finally in Texas we'll enter into full-on Family Mode and that'll start with a visit with Brother Joshua. ( Sounds amish when I say it that way. awesome.) and then do another All Important Detour to....

Stage 10: Nacogdoches! Where we'll be spending every possible second with Brett's Mom as we possibly can. Sadly we won't be there for Thanksgiving-but we're hoping to make up quantity with quality here.....

Stage 11: ( I'll turn 26 somewhere around here...and while Birthday's are a VERY BIG DEAL to me...It looks like it might just get passed over this year, and for once I don't mind AT. ALL. I must be finally growing up(!!) )
And finally the fun will be over and we'll put our heads down and start REALLY HARDCORE driving and finally end up...at FORT BENNING, GA. Where we will live....


*Editors Note*: It has been FAR TOO LONG since I've had my husband around, and this was made self-evident by how many times I had to go back and change the word "I" to "we". Seriously, Army....you stink sometimes.

November 05, 2009

surrealness

So you have totally not experienced Surreal until you've lived in Kansas for two months, had to say good bye to your husband for a year and THEN 12 months later RETURNED to that same Kansas where you use to waste time all day in preparation for your husband to leave you...only to find yourself WASTING TIME all day AGAIN in preparation for his return.

Anyway, because that last paragraph was a bit on the murky side, let me re-cap:

Yesterday I spent alllllll daaaaaaay ( until exactly 11:25pm) waiting to get Brett back from the LONGEST DEPLOYMENT IN THE HISTORY OF MY LIFE* ( * I say this because there have actually been much longer deployments...and for the families and soldiers who have dealt with that over the many years of the United States Army...all I can say is "wow". )...anyway, a goodly part of that day was spent dealing with the ILL-TIMED BREAK-IN that happened to my car while parked at the Ghetto Apartments in Washington. Luckily I have two non-ghetto friends who live in the Ghetto Apartments and they took care of it like PROS. ( although this is the SECOND time I've been in Kansas and had Amy call me to tell me that my car window is broken. THIS is a pattern I'd like for us to break. for reals.) ...and the rest of the day was spent in levels of praise and thankfulness as I thought about how AMAZING God has been to Brett and I in the past year.

I can honestly say that God took something awful and hard and uncomfortable and lonely and painful and scary and He USED IT! He used in all sorts of amazing ways. I am actually really proud of how I spent my year. I know that sounds pretty self-involved but this blog is self-involved so deal with it. But, yes, I'm proud. And I am amazed by the work God has done in the lives of those people that I've spent the last year with...seeing how much they have grown and how much their lives are a testimony of Christ...well, it was an honor to be a part of that. All by God's grace.... Yesterday I spent a few hours with the girl that I lived with when I was here in Kansas the first time around and it was truly incredible to see how God is working in HER life! Just one more way in which God has shown himself to be faithful.

Anyway, back to yesterday: Finally at 11:25pm I got my husband back and it was oddly normal. It was SO normal having him in the car with me...so normal talking to him. I had to remind myself that it was actually MONUMENTAL. And I also had to keep reminding myself that it was permanent. That two weeks from now he will NOT leave, he'll continue to stay. Of course, one of the reasons I have to keep reminding myself of this is because the Army makes it HARD TO BELIEVE. Namely because Brett had to be BACK AT WORK at 5am this morning. Which....mathematics time....FIVE HOURS after getting Brett back, I had to return him to the Army until 6pm tonight. And then we have to do that again tomorrow. So, yeah, I have to pinch myself. Because the Army doesn't like to make it easy...

Stay tuned for what I'll call How to Best Stalk Abigail over the next month...when I will give you a play by play of the COAST TO COAST roadtrip that Brett and I will be taking to get from Washington to Georgia.

And now I will leave you with the first picture of Brett and I reunited.

November 02, 2009

taking off the fancy pants

So, today I said goodbye to the Fancy Pants apartment. And while I will miss the magical fireplace and the giant shower, as well as the perfectly manicured lawns and well behaved neighbors and easy access to Starbucks, I am ABSOLUTELY 100% excited about moving to Georgia. ( and all 100% can be attributed to Brett).

As I left the fancy pants apartment I felt a huge weight lift off my shoulders and I felt like I could finally start to get excited about Brett coming home. I mean, don't get me wrong I was excited before but the excitement was hiding underneath my mountainous to-do list. But, now, now I only have about 5 or 6 things left to do before Brett's homecoming and that's hardly ANYTHING! And so the excitement can finally bubble over like it should.

Oh, and before I forget let me just tell you that God performed a MIRACLE today in the Fancy Pants apartment....you see, remember way back when my fridge totally had that awful smell coming out of it?!? Well, that week was a bad week for the apartment in general. Not only did the awful smell happen, but I broken one of the window blinds and then Lindsay was opening the microwave and the WHOLE HANDLE came off in her hand!!! It was good thing that I left for Texas a few days later to break the cycle of damage or seriously the whole place would have been destroyed! It was insane.
Anyways, we basically had to leave the handle to the microwave off and just open it up by grabbing hold of its insides for the past few months ( ghetto) and then yesterday Bethany and I super glued the handle back on-just in time for the Fancy Pants managers to come in and go through the place with a fine toothed comb.
I honestly didn't think they'd open the microwave at all, but I was still nervous about it. I mean, I knew that with one good tug that handle would be off-so I just prayed that it would at LEAST look good for the twenty minutes the inspection would last....
HOWEVER, about two minutes into the walk thru and I KNEW I was in trouble. I had gotten the "MANAGER-manager" instead of the "manager-manager" and thus it was as though Barney Fife was going through my apartment check list. NO ROCK was left UNTURNED.

And so...of course, I saw in slow motion MANAGER-manager going for the microwave. And so I held my breath...and LO!! something that can only be described as a CHRISTMAS MIRACLE occurred! The handle stayed on! And not only did it stay on when she pulled it, it stayed on when she slammed it shut!!

UN. BE. LIEVE. ABLE.


I pretty much wanted to run out of there right then..... Ahhhh! glorious!

And thus the end of an era. The Fancy Pants Apartment is no more.

all the sighing that will be done...

So, Brett's officially out of Afghanistan and is in K-stan....

.....

and that sound you heard right there was the biggest sign of relief in the history of the world.
How grateful I am to God that we are finally through this year of our lives! YAY!

And now, Brett just needs to have quick and easy flights...and HOPEFULLY that would mean I would get to see my husband again on Wednesday night!


AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

365 days. GONE. OVER. DONE.
GOLD STAR BRETT AND ABIGAIL!


But, first I've got a lot of things left to do on my to-do list tomorrow, including doing my final walk through on the fancy-pants apartment ( I'll miss you!) and turning in the keys tomorrow...and then I'm off to Kansas and another big huge sigh of relief will be made.

November 01, 2009

Tina update and its November!!

I just had to throw that last part in because I'm so excited about it...it means that Brett's coming home in, like, FOUR DAYS!!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

But, the praises don't stop there, yesterday I went to visit Tina and I was incredibly encouraged by our time together!

First of all, Tina is staying with a wonderful couple who she lived with a few years ago when she was going to Community College, getting her prerequisits for nursing school. Tami met me at the front door and I immediately was hit by her love/motherliness. I KNOW Tina is in good hands staying there, and she has a whole little suite to herself and her visitors!
Praise #1: Tina has a loving, comfortable environment to recover in!

When I walked into the room Tina was talking to some friends and telling them about her ordeal. She was sitting up straight on a couch, using hand motions, cracking jokes, animation was everywhere. If you know Tina you this is what we've been missing the last week and a half!
Praise #2: Tina is herself again!

The other thing about seeing Tina sitting there on that couch like that, was how she looked. One of the most shockingly awful things about Steven Johnson's Syndrome is that her ENTIRE body was covered with this horrible, bubblingly rash-and it was dreadfully hard to see such a pretty girl like Tina ravanged with red/purpley boils. But the recovery is going so well!
Praise #3: Tina's wounds are recovering wonderfully! Her face is looking especially good, and all her wounds are scabbing and coming off beautifully!

And now for my FAVORITE part of this story, the part that I think absolutely PROVES God's hand upon this whole horrible ordeal that Tina has been through and that we continue to pray her through....

Miracle #1:
Several months ago Tina turned 23 and therefore lost her military insurance that she had through her Dad. So, of course, she needed to get some other insurance...buuuuut that cost money, and she was never ever sick so she put it off. But, she finally made some arrangements through her school and filled out some paper work. But she still hadn't paid for it or officially gotten the insurance coverage. Well, I may get these dates a little wrong-but Tina said that the Monday before things really escalated ( on the Friday), she had gone to class anyway, and she was feeling terrible so she was going to go home immediately after, but a friend of her's reminded her to go turn in her insurance check before. So she did.
And Miracle #2: The insurance company processed her check on the day that they received it. and...
Miracle #3: Her insurance went into effect the DAY BEFORE she went to the emergency room and spent the next week in hospitals.

Whoa.

That right there is how God has incredibly provided for Tina and I know that He will continue to answer our prayers concerning her recovery!!!!

Tina's prayer requests are as follows:

Prayer Request #1: Tina's eyes are still a concern. She can see a little, but its VERY blurry and she definitely can't read or watch things on T.V. or see a computer screen very well. Pray that her eyes would continue to heal and recover FULLY!!

Prayer Request #2: Tina's nursing school supervisor is going to visit her this next week so they can discuss a course of action regarding her schooling. Tina was on track to graduate in December and she wants with all her heart to graduate with the classmates that she has been with since the beginning! Please pray for her instructors to work WITH Tina to make this possible even through this ordeal!

Prayer Request #3: Tina's insurance miracle WAS incredible, but there will still be medical bills and financial strain even with the insurance. Pray that the Lord would continue to provide for her ( and if you'd like to donate some money to Tina's medical fund, I can put you in touch with Jamie Fischer who is taking care of that angle!)

Thanks to all of you who have prayed for Tina over this last week! How beautiful to be able to share such a report so SOON after such a scary time! The Lord is good!

October 29, 2009

While we wait...

I'm sitting here on my couch doing nothing while men pack, haul and load all my belongings. I have lifted zero fingers. But, its also SUPER awkward to be doing nothing.

BUT, while I wait....I have wonderful news! Tina is going home today! And she ate some meatloaf yesterday!!!! And while she has a long road of recovery to go she is doing really well. Thank you all for your continued prayers for Tina. The Lord hears.

October 28, 2009

surprise parties and other things about leaving

So, its really starting to hit home that I'm leaving. Maybe because its happening in a week. Maybe its because the movers are coming tomorrow. Maybe its because all the things that I had to look forward/things to do before Brett got back are slowly getting checked off the list.

Maybe its all those things.

Anyway, its all very bitter sweet this leaving thing. But, we'll just focus on the "sweet" part. Like the surprise "goodbye" party that some of my totally awesome friends threw me yesterday. And, boy howdy, I was surprised!

You see, Tabitha came into town under the "guise" of wanting to see me one last time and wanting to go the Tuesday night bible study ( the first part was true)....and Bethany came down from Seattle on a Tuesday ( not her normal routine) under the guise of seeing Tabitha...and then we all showed up at Bible Study, and the lights were off as I walked into the room...which SHOULD have been a good clue. But, lucky for everyone my mind has NOT been as sharp as a tack lately....and so I was very surprised when the lights came on and all my friends were there... And I was actually quite moved ( and may or may not have shed a few tears) that people were willing to give up either their normal Tuesday evening or their normal Tuesday Bible Study routine to do a little partying on my behalf.

Amy and Tabitha ( with Brett's help) had come up with a party game "Abtly" (private joke there) entitled "How well do you know Abigail?" ( Lindsay won-I guess living with me for 5 months gave her an edge.) and all of my favorite foods were served ( aka. it was a junk food fest that would put any other party in a choke hold and until it cried uncle.), plus there were really sweet presents handmade by the Navigator Girls that were absolutely wonderful...and it was lovely. I cannot wait to get some of the pictures.

All in all, I can hardly write about it all because its kinda overwhelming that people would be so sweet - and plus it just makes me think how many people I'm going to miss horribly!

Last week had me doubting if anything about this past year had been productive at all. Had I grown as a person? Had I made a difference anywhere? Was this really it? And while I can only trust ( because there really isn't any other choice) that my time here is complete and that God is ready to take me on to different things. I am at least hoping to leave my time here in Washington with the feelings I had last night. Feelings of great joy as I looked around the room at people who loved each other, cared for each other, were committed to serving their community, serving each other and above all serving God.... in some way I felt like what is the equivalent of what my Papa use to feel when he'd express how happy he was to know that my mom, my sister and I were all safely tucked in our beds-because he knew where we were. I will be sad to leave Washington and living my day to day life with the people here-but I leave them knowing "where they are"...and knowing they will all carry on caring for one another and growing and experiencing all that life has to offer together. ( Because, ultimately its the people that I worry about-will people love each other like *I* have loved them? The answer is: Hopefully even better!)

So, tomorrow, the movers come. More specifically the packers and the movers. Honestly I am kind of curious to see just HOW they are going to pack up everything AND move it onto a truck ALL in one day.

This should be interesting...

October 25, 2009

Tina update #1

Well, friends, thank you for your prayers and concern for Tina-I know she will appreciate knowing she is being lifted up by the saints!

Here are the details/prayer requests I've collected today from those who have seen her.

-She is still in a lot of pain, especially since they have begun lancing ( i.e. scrapping) some of her wounds. Pray that she would have relief and strength. ( these wounds still cover about 80-90 % of her body!)

-Her veins are collapsing and therefore making it difficult to put her I.V. and other medication in, draw blood for tests etc. They are hoping they will not have to put in a port ( is that the right word, medical friends?)

-Because of the legions in her mouth she hasn't eaten much of anything for almost four days. This is bad since her body needs the nutrients. Pray that she will be able to get down more sustenance.

-They are checking things like liver function at the moment to make sure that her organs are holding up under the pressure of this illness. Keep praying they stay strong!

-Tina's eyes are continuing to bother her. Please pray that her eye-sight would not be effected long term.

-This whole ordeal is obviously creating a heavy financial strain for Tina, and many of her friends are concerned about her financial situation. Play that the Lord would provide. ( and if you would like to donate a gift to Tina please let me know and I'll pass you on to Jamie who is taking care of that aspect.)

-Also continue to pray for Wes as he juggles school and trying to be by Tina's side that he would be strengthened and encouraged.

-And above all we continue to pray for complete healing for Tina's body and that this whole situation would be a testimony of our Lord Jesus who knows all and hears all prayers.

Once again, thanks to all those who are praying. It is truly encouraging that the Lord is with TIna!

When things look particularly dark...

I like to write.

So, tonight, when I could not sleep for my prayers were keeping me awake, I decided to write this little update for all the other praying saints out there. ( I've had a lot of friends ask me for more details, so for those of you who don't know this dear friend, excuse my diversion from usual topics). I hope you will join in prayers whether you know this dear friend or not!

This past week, my friend Tina had a sever allergic reaction to some very basic antibiotic medication that she'd been taking for several weeks. The allergic reaction was, at first, treated with your basic steroid shots-but things only got worse. By Friday morning she had a very high fever and was covered from head to toe with a rash that could be equated to 3rd degree burns ( in my humble non-medical opinion). I took her to our local ER where she was quickly seen ( by ER standards) and after a few hours diagnosed with Steven Johnson's Syndrome...I'll pause so you can google that.

And yes. It's pretty serious. While at first the doctor's reactions where pretty dire and I think we were all ( Tina, Wes and I) pretty scared, the third doctor to see her ( he was some sort of infectious diseases guy) was incredibly confident and said she'd be out of the hospital on Monday. And, now looking back on that, while the doctor was obviously a bit off on his projection, he did provide Tina with a bit of hope that she DEFINITELY needed. It has been understandable hard to keep her spirits up throughout this ordeal.

I, unfortunately did not spend much time with Tina today, she had some other wonderful friends looking out for her ( as well as the ever present Wes) and so I don't know as much about the details of today's events. However when I did see her, her lesions were progressing just like I've seen serious burns progress ( aka. blistering, but her tongue ( which has been particularly swollen and covered in wounds yesterday) was looking a little better... but Tina is obviously dealing with a lot of pain and fear. This evening Wes called to say that the doctors had decided to move Tina to a different hospital that has a burn unit... Where they will hopefully be better equipped to help Tina's body fight infection and ultimately be healed of this reaction.

Hopefully I didn't get too many facts wrong in this little report. Even though a doctor at the hospital DID mistake me for a nursing student ( they just assumed because Tina is, I think.)...I told them that, no, I wasn't a nursing student-just a good wikipedia user...

Tonight as I pray for Tina I have been praying for special help for her organs as they fight extra hard while her body is in so much distress...and for her eyes-they have been bothering her quite a bit ( and, who knew?! This particular illness affects the eyes particularly!) ...and ultimately I am praying for protection of this sweet Life. Tina is already an incredible testimony of Jesus Christ to those who know and love her and now I am praying for the testimony of this horrible ordeal that she is having to go through! May the Lord truly use it to glorify His Name through the healing of her body!

October 22, 2009

things that go missing

I did NOT know that when I got married I was going to turn into my father.

But, it happened. Well, not COMPLETELY because my sister called dibs on that a long time ago...but some things about my father sneaked on over into my genes as well, but before I talk about me...let me take you back to the one time we moved as a kid.*

My sister and I were given this giant garfield tent as a present one Christmas...and it was awesome. Basically the tent part was Garfield's body and then the most awesomest part of the tent was there was a giant blow up Garfield head-basically the size of a beanbag chair that attached to the front. The tent was sorta freaky in an 80s kinda way...but...
I loved that giant head. I would lounge on it reading my books, I'd lounge on it while playing "house"...pretty much it was the greatest place to lounge ever. And when you got tired of lounging, what better thing to toss up in the air?! That's right! a Garfield head!
And then, the fateful day came when we moved, and all the boxes had been unpacked and...the head "mysteriously" disappeared.

Now, I'm sure my parents thought-"Geez, its basically a glorified pool toy, the child will not miss it! And even if she does she won't remember it for long!"

HA! The jokes on you, parents! Here I am nearing 26 years old...and YES I am still thinking about that Garfield head. Which is pitiful, but whatever. This is not about me....its about my Papa. Because, Papa was totally the one to throw away the Garfield head, and while at the time I was pretty upset ( lets not lie, I'm still a little upset), I can now ABSOLUTELY identify with my father. Since I have now moved more times than I care to remember I have become a religious throw-awayer. In fact, when we moved from Washington to Kansas I made so many trips to the dumpster I had to start doing it late at night so people wouldn't see... but it wasn't enough! Only a few short months later when we were leaving Kansas, Brett would pass the trash bins on the way in the front door at night, and take things back OUT of the bins-in short, rescuing our few belongings from a fate of death.
Oh. Yes. He. Did.

Of course, he was smart enough to NOT tell me about this until much later, when he was safe and sound in Afghanistan.
Here is a reinactment of that conversation:

Brett: Did you keep my * fill in blank with Brett item* when you moved?

Abigail: Of COURSE I did!

Brett: Are you sure you didn't throw it away?!

Abigail: What do you TAKE ME FOR!?


Brett: Well, you DID throw it away!

Abigail: NO I DIDN'T! I resent the implication!

Brett: Well, then WHY did I have to dig it out of the garbage when we were in Kansas?!?

Abigail: WHAT?!? You went through the garbage?! Don't you trust me at all?

....

But, anyways, the point is, sadly, ...when it comes time for moving I cannot be trusted. I go into Moving Blackouts and EVERYTHING MUST GO. I start to despise things that I normally absolutely love. Like books. And shoes. ( don't worry, I haven't thrown either away just yet.) but I like to think that aside from the throwing away problem ( which I totally have control of, by the way) its mostly about me staying perfectly organized and neat and tidy...and above all I like to know where EVERY SINGLE THING WE OWN IS.
This is my control issues rearing their ugly head. Did you notice? I didn't until I wrote that sentence, but wow.
Anywho.
So, when Brett and I did our last two moves I began the process of organizing ( and, yes, throwing away) but ultimately I would always run out of time, or I would have to get Brett's help and therefore the job would never quite be complete...and so with each passing move I've gotten closer to ful-lon domination of our belongings...but never quite there.
( do you think I'm TOTALLY crazy, yet?!?)

So, this time around there was less for me to go through, and most of the things that I had to go through were boxes left over from the Washington Move #1, that had just never been unpacked. ( which is a SURE SIGN that their contents needed to be thrown away, right? Riiiiight?!?)...and so I came upon a box today that had the following helpful information written on the top:

"Bedside Table"

Now, obviously, this box did not contain a bedside table, since, it was the size of a shoe box...and it was ALSO obvious that this was not one of the boxes that *I* had packed because all of MY boxes where numbered. ( and then there was a corresponding numbered list on my computer that had all the items in said box listed....)
Wow. CRAZY MUCH!?!

So, yeah, back to this story about the box labeled "bedside table". It could only be deduced that this was the contents of Brett's bedside table. So of course, it was ONLY logical that in lay the following items:

His very special pocket watch that his mother gave him.
His pipes.
The receipt from our honeymoon hotel bills ( whoa.)
The receipt from my wedding ring ( which I've been trying to find for a while).
A receipt for some groceries.
three dried up markers
two note pads.
A button/pin with a picture of a spaceship on it.
All the letters that I wrote him in Ranger School before we started dating ( HAZZAAAAH!!! I've been trying to find these for AGES!) that were neatly put into the zipper container for his Scuba lessons that he took in 2007.
A gum wrapper.
A half used up eye drop container.

So, to sum up. I never thought that *I* was going to be the one in my marriage to throw things away...and yet, SOMEONE has to throw that gum wrapper away!


*That's right, I only moved once! Of course, once I reached the age of 18 I started moving like crazy and since then I haven't been in one place for more than a year. SAD!

October 20, 2009

Side effects may include...

So, I guess that explains why I was all weepy last night....I was getting sick. And oddly enough fevers have always made me cry.
( or is that really so odd? I mean, come on, they are awful!)

Anyway, today I've spent pretty much ALL DAY in bed watching TV on Hulu.com
And while life is continuing to look bleak because of sickness I bring you a list of things I'm grateful for, anyway:

1. The Army movers. I mean, sure, its possible they will break things and loose things and I reserve the right to complain about it later...but right now I am SO GRATEFUL that I am not having to pack at right this minute.

2. Brett Bear. My stuff bear with the hot water bottle inside of it, is STILL the most ingenious present that Brett has ever given me. Its SO useful! And the next time you're achey and feverish...you'll wish you had a hotwaterbottlebear to snuggle with too!

3. My friends who've been sweet enough to think of me while I've been sicky. And especially Cindy for bringing me a card, soup, EmergenC and cheesecake ( for when I'm feeling better!)...and I'm going to go ahead and be grateful AHEAD OF TIME for Steve who's offered to bring me the fourth season of How I Met Your Mother so I can watch it while I'm all laid up in bed.

October 19, 2009

Wrap it up

So, this morning I woke up to a latte from Lindsay sitting on my counter and her packing like a mad woman. She got back from her honeymoon yesterday and today she spent pretty much all day getting her remaining stuff out of my apartment and into their new condo.

And I'm sad.

I know I shouldn't be, because, lets be honest both of us are off to better things, specifically husbands. But, that doesn't stop me from missing her for the time being.

And you wanna know how long "time being" equals?! TWO WEEKS!!!! That's right, people TWO WEEKS until the husband is back in the United States and I let out the biggest sigh of relief and happiness in the history of the world.

But, right now, lack of sleep + a cold + the instability of life has left me wanting to cry.

Man Hands

October 17, 2009

Outside my window



Every morning when I open my blinds I am shocked by the color going on outside. It gets me every time...
I've mentioned that I love autumn, right? Because it's my favorite

October 14, 2009

Color

Brett sent me flowers yesterday...lovely.

My resume

As many of you know, I write "verses of note" at the front of every new journal when I start them...you know, just to give the journal a little head start.. a running jump into whatever I'm going to write in it-if you will. Anyway, one of the verses I wrote at the beginning of the journal I'm currently using is kinda a little different from the usual:

You yourselves are our letters of recommendation written on our hearts, to be known and read by all." II Cor 3:2

Paul said this to the people of Corinth-and he was basically saying that the impact I had on you, and then the lives that you now live for Christ...THAT is the greatest work I have done in life. And as I think about that, I am really sobered by that kind of priority. I mean, for the most part my goal is just that people "like me". I mean, that's good enough, right?!

But the idea of adding something like, "let me teach you something you didn't know"...or take that further to "let me reveal more of who Christ is to you"...wow...that's a tad harder! After reading this verse again, I was struck by how-one way or another-whether good OR bad-we do impact the lives of those around us, PEOPLE are our resume ( or CV depending on where you live) for life. If I picked up each relationship-friendships, acquaintance, co-worker, employer, schoolmate-and I read them like a book of who *I* am, what would I find out?
What have my priorities been? Have I been working hard to sell Christ all these years, or have I been selling Abigail?

October 12, 2009

I'm leaving things out...

If you're my facebook friend or Twitter follower ( which you should be!) than you know all about yesterday...through my 140 character rants about United Airlines and Travelocity....and how NO ONE SHOULD USE THERE SERVICES EVER EVER EVER!!! So, I won't go into again...lets just say that when I got home at 1am last night ( 12 hours later than I should have been home..) I have never been SO TIRED.

But, it was all worth it-I had such a great time at Lindsay and Isaac's wedding...mostly because it was a joy to be able to share in their happiness. It has been a cool couple of months leading up to this big day, and I gotta say I've never felt so connected to a wedding before! I've basically been with these two people for the past few months, watching their relationship grow and blossom and it's pretty darn cool to know they have years ahead of them to continue to bring glory to God through their relationship with one another. There is SUCH a difference in couples that are striving to serve one another and above all serve God....there is something about that ultimate goal, that changes everything....it makes the knowledge that there will be challenges and there will be setbacks, totally ok. Its like KNOWING about the "Happily Ever After" before its even started!

Oh, and incidentally, I loaded some pictures on to facebook from my trip to Texas a few weeks ago + pictures from the wedding this weekend, so you should check those out!!

And now...now I'm laying in bed with a triple grande soy latte from starbucks...something I dreamed about for four days in the THE MIDDLE OF NO WHERE IOWA, and catching up on my Hulu Queue. Somehow I ended up with zero obligations for this week...so I'm going to try and enjoy it. It's starting to kick in BIG TIME that these are my last few weeks in Washington and that's pretty much blowing my mind- perspective?! Where ARE you!?!

October 07, 2009

What I learned from a baby.

This afternoon I took care of Baby Dave for all of thirty minutes-in which time we played the "I'll tickle you, you smile at me" game ( we both won), and after about three minutes of that he reached up his arms, I picked him up, he snuggled and then slept for a solid twenty minutes on my living room chair until his mom came back....

And that's when I thought about the life of a baby and just how much they sleep. Its pretty darn awesome ( for them, I hear they don't actually do it when you WANT THEM TO...such as AT NIGHT...but that's for another day). And I'd reeeeeally like to be a baby at the moment.

I got the flu shot yesterday and you would think I'd been injected with the sleep vaccine because I've been tired ever since. Of course, this could also be because I got up in the SIXES today to take Lindsay and Isaac to the airport ( yay! Weddings!!) and it could also be because I'm THINKING about how I'm going to have to get up in the FOURS tomorrow to go to the airport ( yay! weddings!!!)...so sleep is in much shortage right now.

And speaking of....my friend Bethany is taking me to the airport tomorrow. In the Fours.
That's right. She's the BEST FRIEND EVER. ( P.S. I did not ASK HER to take me to the airport. asking to take someone to the airport in the FOURS, is like asking someone to help you move, in August... in Texas... and then having them show up ( to your third floor apartment) and you haven't packed anything yet.**)

And so, seriously, Bethany wins the prize for Friendship. Because she actually OFFERED to take me...I mean, geez. I cannot even think of an Iowa-themed souvenir that could be worthy of such selflessness.....

** I totally made that up...so if for some FREAK COINCIDENCE this turns out to be somehow true....take no offense, but seriously...really?!? You did that to someone?! WOW. Leave me a comment and tell me how your ex-friends reacted!

October 05, 2009

Cutie

Babysitting is so fun!

Eventually this too shall pass- then we'll party.

So, I'm feeling a tad overwhelmed, and yet there is only one outstanding reason for these feelings:
LOOK WHO'S NOT IN CONTROL!

That's right, this month has "wait and see" written ALL over it and that makes me feel more than uneasy. For instance, I bought plan tickets for Kansas to retrieve my husband ( yay!) and then not two days later those dates changed....to SOONER. Whoa.
And now, now we're just not sure at ALL when he's going to arrive...and of COURSE, I want to see him sooner rather than later, but turns out I have a lot of loose ends to tie up here in Washington and so far I've been taking it pretty slow, so maybe that should change?! My plans should be adjusted?! eh.

And then on top of all that some personal drama has rocked my world over the last day and I feel pretty well deflated. I just want to blink and wake up for the party that comes AFTER all the drama and the work and the hardness that these next few weeks are offering up.

But, I don't think it would be worth it. Its not worth missing out on all the work that goes into life, because the work itself provides a lot of wonderful things that would leave a gapping hole if they were not part of this "experience". I know, though I do not feel it now, that eventually I'll look back on this month and I'll see many good things...after all, its not very often ( unless you're me...and then it happens every year...) that you get to say goodbye to wonderful friends, and look over your time together and see how you've grown, how God has taught, blessed and loved-and its not very often that you get to drive across country ( unless you're me and you did it a year ago) with your best friend and start over in a brand new state. ( unless you're me and you did it twice in the past year)....so really, I should live it up! Because you only live once! And these are...the days of our lives ( Yes, I just said that)....this post just went down hill fast.

Anyway...

This week is going to be a quickie because I'm going to spend part of it in Iowa. I know, Iowa. Who thought I'd ever go THERE on purpose?! HAHAHA! See?! Life IS pretty insane! So, yes, I'm going to Iowa and there I'll spend three fast paced days trying to create the best possible wedding environment ever for the Linds. I'm so sad she'll no longer be living with me, but then again I'm INCREDIBLY excited for her and the new Hubby. Seriously. Weddings. They are the best.

And now I'm going to go...because I'm about to babysit for Amy while she's at a dentist appointment. This means I get to watch cutie Dave for an extending period of time. He is SO Yummy! Maybe I'll take some pictures and post them....you know, as a warm up, for when I have kids and my blog turns into one of those Mommy Blogs! HAHAHAHAHAHA! ( just kidding, it'll still be all about me.)

October 03, 2009

though you have not seen...

In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Though you have not seen him, you love him.
Though you do not now see him, you believe in him
and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.


I Peter 1:6-8

September 30, 2009

not enough time...

I just got back from the prayer meeting that Karissa started on Fort Lewis on Wednesday nights, and I was thinking on my way home that I was having an "after prayer high"...which I think happens sometimes when you are able to pray and see the Lord moving in peoples lives almost immediately!!
Its worth TWO exclamation points at the end of that sentence.

The other thing that I was thinking was that I feel like there are STILL so many opportunities opening up for the Gospel here at Fort Lewis, opportunities to get to know ladies and to help them on their journeys as Army Wives or Military Women... and I actually feel frustrated to think that in a month I will no longer get to be a part of it here. Yet, you know what? There are such opportunities EVERYWHERE. I can hardly think straight thinking of the communities in this country that are FULL of people who are lost or hopeless or just need a friend....*sigh* I am so thankful that I get to be a part of such things where ever we go.

September 29, 2009

see and hear

Hahaha! So today I filmed myself doing the message that I was sharing at Bible Study tonight-so I could time it, and also make sure I made sense. Sadly the last few minutes got cut off-but still...you get the idea. So, here's my first video post.






P.S. I know I sound weirdly fake in this video...who knows why? But just roll with it...hahaha!

September 27, 2009

in just one moment

So, I'm currently reading Amy Carmichael of Dohnavur, which incidentally is one of the greatest books of all times. I have read it multiple times and every SINGLE time I get something new out of it and I am usually so terribly convicted that I can only read a chapter at a time-otherwise I go away feeling as though I have eaten way too much chocolate cake ( i.e. good, but a tiny bit OVER FULL).

Just a minute ago, I was struck by this little sentence or two:

So simply, so without observation, do we turn the corner of the road of life, but as yet we did not know that we had turned the corner.

How often has this indeed held true in each our lives? Something that seems really inconsequential turns out to be a rather big deal in the larger scheme of the very definition of our existence.

Perfect Example: if I had not gone to that rather last minute New Years Eve Party, would Brett and I be married today? Such was an event that, at the time, and even for many months after-was just a mere blip on my radar...yet, it turned out to be a rather a giant propeller that ended up flinging me into a huge new road of life....


Yet looking at it a different way, sometimes we make a choice that we know will change our future-and yet, we have no way of knowing exactly what the "right" direction to take really is ( in fact, WAS there a right answer?)....When Brett left for Afghanistan I was left with a rather interesting position of having no place that I needed to be. I had no job, no one in the Army cared where I was, I had no children or position of any kind drawing me one place or another-and so, seemingly* without reason, I chose to come back to Fort Lewis, Washington where I have been for the past nine or ten months.

Now, looking back, I cannot imagine an alternative. My life here has been so incredibly full that I am now having a difficult time grasping it all in one fell swoop. It has been beautifully full of struggles and friendships and life changes and revelations and adventures and tragedy and joy- How could I have known that this path would turn out so?! I couldn't have known...and yet, the Lord knew, didn't He?!

You make known to me the path of life
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forever more. ~Ps 16:11


* I say "seemingly" but, the decision was largely based on an underlying feeling that my work here was not yet done. I also felt like I had much more to learn from the Navigator Ministry here. That seemed like a good enough reason as any, and I think that to follow such keys in the future ( 1. Go where you can be useful in the Kingdom. 2. Go where you can learn more about Christ and how to better serve Him. 3. Go where He tells you to go. ) will not go amiss.

September 25, 2009

Appreciated (??)

So, you REALLY know its getting close to the time that your hubby is coming back, when you start getting boxes of his stuff in the mail that he can't fit in his rucksack....and I can't tell you the level excitement that brings me to....especially, when I get to share in all the great LOOT that people have sent him. ( seriously, you guys are the greatest).

In this particular box there was a bunch of notes that his sister, Emily put together from a bunch of her middle school students... and THIS was my favorite:



The question marks added a depth to this note that I can't get enough of...

September 23, 2009

SURPRISE ENDING

So, I was on the very first flight from Houston to Seattle that Alaskan Airline has even flown today. It was annoying. There was loudness and business men and political figures getting in the way of my "travel calm".

Thank goodness there was free cake that I pushed some small children out of the way for, or it would have been a total bust.
( seriously, you'd think people had never seen food before and that we were all starving to death in africa the way people attacked the free food.)

Annnnyway, I scored a free keychain, a free tin of breath mints ( random) and a free luggage tag....and my flight was uneventful. Got a beautiful view of Mount Rainier as we flew over and I got this HUGE wave of sadness that I will shortly be leaving this place, possibly forever.

And then I got home, and I wandered around the apartment, happy to see my bed and my couch all waiting for me to snuggle in again. ( I'm such a homebody)....and since I've been gone, the weather has changed into the most beautiful crispy fallish feeling that I LOVE MORE THAN ALL OTHER SEASONS.... And it started to sink in, that in a months time, the Army will come in and pack it all up and I will leave Washington and a brand new adventure will begin.....

And I was JUST about to feel really awful about all this, because we all know I HATE CHANGE and I DON'T LIKE MOVING and I DON'T LIKE MAKING NEW FRIENDS....

and then, a friend texted me about some exciting news in her life, and it was like a little whispered reminder of what I already know....

Life must change, for how else will it get better? Change can also bring along with it beautiful surprises that you would not have gotten to experience if you had been too afraid to face the newness coming your way...


For instance, in just a little over a month I get my husband back. After 348 days without him, HE WILL BE BACK! ( These are the types of changes I can get behind.)

ALSO, in a little under 9 months....my sister is going to have a BABY!

Talk about a good change, huh?!

So, even though I'll probably complain a lot in the coming days, I am looking forward to the end of 2009 and 2010 with MUCH anticipate. I know the changes that it will bring, will also bring unspeakable joys-some of which we don't even KNOW about yet!!!

September 19, 2009

Super hard...

Put on then as God’s chosen ones:
compassionate hearts...
kindness...
humility...
meekness....
and patience....
bearing with one another and if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on
love, which
binds everything together in perfect harmony.

Col 3:12-14


I'm pretty sure I have not mastered any of the characteristics listed above, but tonight I did forgive. The embarrassing part is I didn't really know that I was holding a grudge until the Lord flat out showed it to me! Wow.