Monday, May 26, 2008

It's odd to smell a grill being fired up and knowing that you aren't going to be having Chew-ops (I'm currently in search of a definition for anyone who isn't a Down family member) and veggies and dip for your Memorial Day celebration. And it kind of just makes you feel weird knowing that you don't even have a grill at your new house yet, which we don't since baby gear has been on the purchasing menu the past few months. But regardless, it feels good to know that 1) you have the day off, so it's a nice and relaxing three-day weekend, 2) you have a pool across the street that you can sit at all day long and not feel guilty, 3) you can get a lot of stuff done, and 4) that your life is so much fuller this year than last year, with or without Chew-ops.

As I sat at the pool, I found myself drifting back to a year ago and in so doing, found a sense of amazement in all that we've done and the distances we've come in just one year's time. It is almost surreal. I know I've talked about this a lot, or at least I feel like I have, over the past few months, but as I really took it all into account, it was quite overwhelming. I'll just list a few things that came to mind about where we were in May of last year.
Nathan started a new job May 1.
We had just moved out of our 750 square foot condo.
After almost selling it once, it fell through, so this was round two.
We were looking to get something bigger than 750 square feet and were in discussions to buy a property on which to build a new home on in Biddleville, right outside of downtown Charlotte.
We moved in with my parents in mid-May.
We purchased the Biddleville property at the end of May.

The rest of the year is a blur.
We drew plans with an architect.
We hired a contractor.
We fired a contractor.
We got permits pulled.
We hired another contractor.
We went on a vacation in July.
We came to visit Beth and Daniel in Nashville in September before their move to Austin.
We came back to visit Nashville (for real) in October.
We found out I was pregnant in November.
We moved to Nashville in November.
We tried to sell our house in Charlotte.
We had Thanksgiving in Charlotte.
We bought furniture.
We had Christmas in Texas.
We bought more furniture.
We traveled to and from Charlotte about 10 times and continued to buy furniture.
We had a baby shower in April.
We went on vacation in May.
We celebrated Memorial Day in Nashville.
We're still trying to sell our house in Charlotte.

I mean, a lot more things happened in the middle of all those things, and God's done a lot in the midst of all those things, too many to count. But all in all, it just feels amazing to be in this place. Last May felt like we were settling. Though it was our only option at the time, building that house is not what God wanted us to do. It's obvious from everything we've encountered in the past year. Going back to visit in April was complete confirmation of those intuitions. Though Memorial Day stands for so many things to so many people and in all different walks and ways of life, for me, this year, it meant freedom. Freedom from a toxic environment with no true friendships, only those that seem true on the surface. Freedom from settling to a place of true peace and enjoyment. Freedom in Christ like I have never known. Freedom that comes from truly trusting with arms wide open and eyes wide shut. And Freedom from a life I didn't realize I didn't want until I got to where I am.


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