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March 25, 2015

Today is one of those days where I just want to go back to bed and start the day over. Being mom to a rambunctious toddler always has its moments, but today my thoughts are elsewhere. Over the weekend, my aunt died as a result of injuries sustained when her horse spooked. My uncle has had a really rough time accepting that his wife is indeed gone. My family is having a difficult time processing everything too. I'm not really sure how to feel.

My aunt's death comes about two weeks before the third anniversary of my grandmother's passing. In her true form, she went on in glory on Easter morning. We had watched her death creep closer through an extended illness. There was none of that preparation with my aunt. She was here, and now she's not. The grieving is different.

I wasn't close with my aunt. In truth, I haven't seen her since Grandma's funeral three years ago. I've probably only been in the same city as her a handful of times in my life. Still, a member of my family is gone, even if we didn't talk every day or even every year.

Please keep my family in your prayers. There will be two funerals: on Saturday and on Tuesday.

March 23, 2015

Stressed and Overwhelmed

March has been a busy month. To be truthful, busy doesn't even begin to describe it. Timothy has had extra responsibilities during Lent. We hosted guests for the first two weekends of the month. (And we loved having them here!) Timothy attended Confirmation Camp the following weekend. And now the Cantata will be this week, meaning we have an extra rehearsal on Tuesday evening.

In addition to normal life, I set my goal at the end of February to start my promotion period to team leader with Usborne Books and More. I won't be meeting that goal. I overfilled my schedule in March to try to meet the sales goal. That won't be happening. It's difficult for me to admit that I won't meet my goal. This Type A person doesn't like failure. However, it's best for my sanity and for my family if this isn't my goal right now. I still will try to promote to team leader this year. I will mostly likely try again after we move this summer.

I have set a new goal for my business, which hopefully, will be more manageable. I will earn my trip to national convention in June for free. This is a much easier (but still a stretch) goal. The sales goal is lower and I also don't need to be pushing to build my team through recruiting new consultants. It will be a stretch because, although I've met the goal for February and I will meet it for March, I still need to meet the sales goal for April and May. In April, our family will be on vacation at the end of the month for a week. In May, Timothy and I will be on a mission trip in Kenya for 10 days. The shortened months for me will make meeting the goal extra difficult.

The reason I knew that promoting to team leader in March/April was going to be too much for me was that I started to lose joy in the business. I was unmotivated to work my business. I experienced depression in college and could feel myself slipping back into that state. My mental health is worth more than business goals. My son deserves a mom that can be present with him and delight in him. That's not what I was becoming. Before getting into really deep trouble, I changed course. I would like to thank my counselor for helping me realize when stress in my life has started to manage me. I could be living a much different story today otherwise.

March 17, 2015

Warning: This Might be Too Much for You to Handle

Culture has this way of saying that things can be too personal to share. TMI... too much information, if you will. TMI leads me to where I am now. When it is "appropriate" to keep experiences private to meet cultural expectations, we tell others that their feelings, their experiences, their pain can't be shared. It's no wonder our society includes so many individuals suffering from depression. Holding everything inside is painful and extremely lonely.

This post won't conform to those standards.

If you don't want to confront the dark and ugly parts of life, stop reading now. I mean it. This is about to get really personal.

I have been struggling emotionally regarding a medical situation that happened in December and our journey of trying to conceive another child. Timothy and I began trying for Baby #2 a while ago (details not important). I went to the doctor in November to seek advice and to get medicine to help jump start my menstrual cycle, which was still was absent since Levi's birth. I was given a three-month supply of progesterone to help regulate it. In December, I had a really nasty period. (Again, details aren't important). One week before this period, I had a questionable pregnancy test. Ironically, the signs of a miscarriage and the first postpartum period are identical. When I mentioned my concerns to my doctor, I was dismissed.

So, Baby #2 could have already been part of our family, even if only briefly. But I will never know. The only way to medically distinguish what happened in December would have been to test the hormone levels in my blood or to test some of the tissue. Since my doctor didn't think that it was a concern, it wasn't done. So I will never know. And that was (and is) still really hard for me to accept. I don't know how to process what happened, to make sense of it, to know how to feel.

Since December, I have read several negative pregnancy tests. Timothy and I have become discouraged. Levi was our happy accident. Proof that once is all it takes. We weren't expecting this journey while trying for Baby #2. It's gotten harder as we've celebrated with friends who are expecting new babies in their families.

While I am walking this journey of infertility, I have fielded several questions of when will we be welcoming the next child to our family. I never know how to respond. These questions, which are asked from the kindest intentions, cut my soul to pieces. Usually I say "We'll see" or stumble for an answer. It would be TMI for me to say "I don't know. We have been trying for a while." Infertility is not a culturally acceptable topic, especially to those kind people who are just trying to make conversation. It's an issue to look past.

And it's not like you could know what is going on with me. When you see me, I smile. I chit-chat about random things. I don't let on that anything is wrong. I don't look sick. I simply look like a young mom of a toddler. Maybe I'm a little tired and a little sticky. Maybe there's jelly in my hair and dirt on my shirt. That way you know it's been one of "those days" at home. Nothing appears out of the ordinary.

I don't blame anyone for what has happened. I don't hold grudges. I haven't sunk into a depression because of my circumstances. But my heart is heavy. I am grieving for the unknowns in my life. I rejoice with you when you are happy, even though I hurt. But the next time you see me, I would appreciate a hug. I wish it was a little more culturally acceptable for women to say: "I am dealing with infertility and it sucks."

March 11, 2015

Moving

This past weekend we were blessed to have friends from the seminary visit us in Texas. It was wonderful to see their familiar faces again. We picked up right where we left off when we parted ways last July. Even Levi took straight to them again. I was amazed by this! He has been overly cautious of new faces while we've been in Texas. But 8 months after we last saw our friends, he had no problems playing with them and giving them big bear hugs. It was wonderful to see. 

Having friends in town has made me see how much I hate leaving friends behind when I move. Moving hasn't been a new thing to me. I have moved 11 times in my 27 years. 9 of those times I moved to a different state, leaving behind everything that was familiar to me. We only have a short 4 months left in Texas. Moving is on the horizon again.