i'm sitting in my new living room as i write. it is time to make dinner but i'm not - the church has had scheduled meals dropped off for us every other day since we arrived. i picture all of my friends out there, barbecuing and slicing and stirring and i am SO thankful to be sitting. behind my back is a new pillow i purchased at ikea this morning. i feel like the ikea glow is just leaving my cheeks, my eyes are losing their wide-eyed wonder. time to return.
it has been an exhausting couple of weeks. let me give you a list of the high-lights and low-lights:
- after tearful goodbyes we packed the car to the brim with all our left-over belongings, hermit crabs, suitcases, children, plants and travel games and headed out. our first stop was edmonton, to stay for two nights with scott's aunt and uncle and visit some family and friends. my son puked in bed and promptly asked for a prize because he "puked six times but only hit my pillow!". i was tempted to give him one because he was in our aunt's bed at the time and the pillow was the only thing that was actually ours. cleaning up the pillow slowly eked out the desire for prizes however.
- the next morning i woke up feeling ill and spent the day hanging out aunt judy and my sick little boy, learning about the evils of slugs and the joys of killing them in myriads of ways. did you know that slugs are hermaphrodites that can just randomly lay up to 100 eggs a year? and that they live for 2-6 years?! and that even though they don't need sex, sometimes they choose to have it for up to 90 minutes!!!!! makin' love like a slug....
- we left auntie with bags of gluten-free baked goods in hand, and headed to canmore. after enjoying a free showing of kung fu panda, we were looking forward to snuggling the kids into their beds and relaxing for the evening when low and behold, the keypad wouldn't work! long story short, we were locked out until just after 11pm. the kids stumbled into bed in an empty room wearing their clothes while the hotel staff CUT off the door. scott then shuffled our belongings over and we fell into bed robbed (again!) of our peaceful night.
- after the canmore debacle we headed to salmon arm for 5 days at scott's uncles cabin (good thing scott has extended family!) five days of swimming in the lake, eating under an apple tree, reading and lounging and napping. glorious. this was a cabin of healing for me - finally stopping and realizing that i was really very sad, and incredibly tired. it was a gift of abundance to have the time and a beautiful space to make the emotional transition from goodbyes to hellos.
- we drove into white rock and saw the ocean as a family returning from a very long journey. i looked over at scott and said "do you feel emotional?". he didn't. but a little voice from the back said "i do!" - my 6 year old son. my heart constricted - was he okay? was he missing saskatoon? was this too much for him? i said "really?! what emotions are you feeling?". there was a pause "oh" he said, "i thought you said 'do you want a marshmallow?'"
- we got into the house two days earlier than we anticipated. i walked through our new home for the first time and was torn between thankfulness and the desire to curl up and cry because of all of the work needed. we stumbled out, wide-eyed and fearful, into our front yard. an oasis. my front yard is like one of those gardens you pay to enter - beautiful flowering shrubs, a wisteria-laden bridge, a babbling creek, green and lush and extravagant. i'll let you in for free though.
- last friday the moving van arrived, along with the process of trying to meld our home with this house.
- one night scott pulls me outside to sit on our front steps for a while. we eat chips and chat and just enjoy a mosquito-free outside. we hear the garbage bins across the street being rattled - "it must be garbage day tomorrow, we'd better get our bins out" i say. then we see a bear. you read that right: a BEAR, lumbering across our neighbour's driveway and back into the forested area that's beside their home. "was that a....?" i ask. "bear" scott says.
my parents arrived a few days ago and we are in the throws of renovation, hopeful that the house will be ship-shape by September. scott starts work August first. i feel torn between wanting to get everything done while dad-the-handyman is here and wanting to explore the beauties of north van while the delicious sunshine lasts. balance is not my strength at the moment.
i am filled with thankfulness, it's beginning to push out the anxiety. i'm thankful for neighbour girls who are fun and kind and love my kids. i'm thankful that yesterday we found out our children were finally admitted into the school that's just around the corner. i'm thankful for an incredible church (sunday morning was definitely a highlight that should have been a bullet above, but i'm getting tired of typing!). for health and sunshine and little fish in my front-yard creek. for my hard-working parents and ridiculously generous in-laws and for all of you who have been and are praying for us - thank you.
and most of all, i'm thankful that i am not in control of my life. as crazy as the last month has been, i am being daily shepherded by a loving and good God who sees me, in all of my frailty, and supplies all of my needs. the Lord is my shepherd, i lack nothing.