My brother goes back to Alaska today after a too-short, two-week visit. I miss him already and cried when I saw this picture posted after he left.
That's really all I want to say about that, but I am about to post more pictures of our time with him, so it might be helpful to know that the tall, dark and handsome guy in my photos is my *little* brother.
Somewhere between the heat, increased activity, upped need for water and time continuing to march on, my you are getting to close to the end of your pregnancy symptoms really ramped up this week. A lot of cramping, a lot of Braxton Hicks, soreness, and some having to stop because I could not physically continue going forward. Totally frustrating for me because I've been eating well, exercising and doing everything I can think of to take care of myself and Selah. I feel like I should feel better and that labor needs to come soon because I don't know if I can handle a lot more of this.
So when yet another acquaintance asked how I was feeling, my frustrations came bubbling to the surface. I later vented the truth to my Aunt Mary Beth, who happened to be in town on the very day I needed her, and my mom. I just don't know how to answer that question to people I don't really know these days.
Thank God for people I can just be with. I'm feeling so thankful for the people who laugh at me when I apologize because I'm worried about being draining, help me laugh at myself, let me air my ridiculous complaints (even validate them!) and share their own stories.
Somewhere between getting in bed and getting up in the morning (I am often awake for at least a couple of hours during the night), I was reminded that I get to choose how to live out my upcoming days.
I've been experiencing some beautiful days, no matter how uncomfortable. I could choose to live with the weight of I don't think I can do this and this sucks OR I could choose to live out my days with the intention of living them and enjoying them the best I can.
Really, this is about choosing to live in misery or choosing to live in joy. Difficult choice, right?
I will still continue to be open about how I am really doing when it is the healthy choice to do so.
I will not dwell on what I don't like and can't control.
I will do what I can control, like leaving the dishes in the sink a little longer or accepting offers so I can rest when I need it.
I will make the effort to live and appreciate the life I've been given and not squander it.
This morning, I opted to go for a stroll on a new-to-me trail with 3 of my best boys instead of stay home and then my brother Steve treated us to a meal at one of our favorite restaurants in the area, Say Cheese. I am sitting and writing now. There are dishes in the sink that I will do...later.
I'm back. I'm rested. I'm ready to roll.
My husband starts his new job tomorrow, so we decided (due, in part, to the advice of some friends and family) to take the last week off. To rest. To enjoy each other's company. Before we're both-feet-in to this next season of life.
We didn't really go anywhere. We did, but we slept in our own bed every night. We took day trips, we ate great food, we slept in, and got massages. We talked about the present and the future and listened to Timothy Keller pod casts during long car rides. We took our time; we took in the sights, the smells, and the sounds.
One of the many ways my husband has made me a better person in the almost-8 years since I've known him is that he's taught me about what it means to rest. It's not "trying to be productive while I give my butt and legs some rest," it's not "doing what someone else thinks I should be doing for rest." It's identifying what will bring me rest, rejuvenation, a little energy for the coming hours or days...and then doing it. For 15 minutes, 20, an hour, a day, or in this case, pretty much the whole week.
Rest is part of the natural rhythms of life; it's necessary for full and joyful life.
So rest we did, and so on we go with joy under our arms, and energy for this next chapter of our lives.
I'll be back next week with updates on church and transitioning, half marathon training, and anything else you may (or may not) want to know.
Until then, I wish you a week full of moments that make your heart swell, healthy and satisfying food, great company, and reminders on what really matters.
Lots of love,