Thursday, October 14, 2010

"Do Hard Things"

Throughout all of last year, roughly three times a week, I walked by a sign at Noah’s preschool that read “Do Hard Things.”  Rarely did a day go by that I did not pull some inspiration from that short slogan up on the school bulletin board at North Heights Elementary School.  You see I am a phlegmatic.  What is that?  It is defined in this way; not easily excited to action or display of emotion; apathetic; sluggish.  While that does not describe me completely, it certainly is a part of who I am.  And yet, almost unbelievably, I agreed to sell our home in Columbia, MO, leave our families, leave our church family at Woodcrest, and leave my most favorite job ever……to move to the state of Minnesota for Bryan to attend Seminary. 

In the last year, our family has faced a level of adversity that I had not dreamed of.  Noah’s transition from MO to MN was one of the most trying times that I’ve ever gone through.  Not only learning to help him deal with his own strong emotions but also having to face anger within myself that I did not even know existed.  Our schedule was hectic and erratic as we navigated life with Bryan as a full time graduate student.  His workload is quite unbelievable at times.  I looked for work constantly while also trying to balance and maintain some sanity in our home.  Our income was unsteady and low.  For the first time in my life, I was depending on government assistance for food and health care for my kids.  I often found myself anxious and stressed out.  Half way through the year, we found out that we were going to have to move to another apartment because our building was being turned in to undergraduate housing.  Bryan and I seemed to rarely have time for a date or even a meaningful conversation.  It was a long, hard year…to say the least!

Yet we survived.  Amidst a year of so much chaos and hardship, we experienced such amazing things all around us.  Our apartment on campus is surrounded by woods and a beautiful lake!  This may seem trivial, but there are days that being surrounded by such pristine natural beauty is what got me through!  We get to live with many other seminarians and their families who are all facing similar challenges to our own!  I got be loved on and listened to by amazing women who God placed all around me…and love them back in return!  I have formed friendships that will last for a lifetime.  I have learned about ministry through others’ lenses from all around the globe.  I got to watch Bryan light up as he attended his classes and witness his excitement as he became evermore passionate about sharing God’s love with others!   I learned lessons in being humble while paying with WIC coupons at the grocery store while others stared at me.  I went many months without health care for my children and had to experience the “what ifs?” that many in this world go through.  I grew in my ability to control my anxiety in healthy ways and set healthy boundaries to protect my family.  I was once again reminded that starting off my day in prayer and quiet can be life changing!  Not because I need to check it off my list but because if I remember to align my perspective with God’s, the days are easier to navigate. 

God showed up in so many ways!!!

And so now, as we start our second year of seminary, I can look ahead with more excitement and joy.  For I know the road to next summer is long and I know that God is not through forming me yet, but I also know that God is with me each and every moment.  He is ready for me to lean on Him all of the time and I hope and pray that I will remember to do so…..on easy days and hard. 

Why do we “Do Hard Things”?

Through doing hard things, we allow God to grow us, shape us and mold us……and usually in ways that we never even dreamed possible.

It’s a good thing that I had no idea how hard this journey through seminary would be……but now that I am here, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I do not share my heart with you out of pride for what I’ve made it through but rather to offer hope to those who are going through something hard or thinking of doing something difficult.

What hard thing will you do next?

Photo Update

Taylor's 1st haircut 

Steppingstone Theatre - Noah's 1st theatre class

Bryan studying Hebrew in our hallway
Best summer downpour ever!!

Our Garden!
Time to get clean after getting dirty in the garden!

Walking across Stone Arch Bridge in Minneapolis

Want a flower?

Bryan's Birthday

Pickle Juice!!

It's so hard to say good-bye...

My last day with my good friend Kara before she moved.  : (

Trip to Gulf Shores, Alabama

The Fuemmeler family (most of us anyway)

Noah and I at my cousin's wedding

Taylor dancing with her cousin, Talon

The kids were amazed by the bride.  : )
Taylor, Bryan & Khalan

Noah's 5th birthday

A very special mommy-daughter day!  Taylor was in heaven!!

Bethel Seminary

Taylor's big girl bed!

On Taylor's the Mall of America

Princess Taylor

Taylor's 3rd birthday party

My surprise party in Missouri

Me, Taylor and my nice, Khalan

Me and Tessa, my new niece

Khalan, Noah, Me and Taylor

15th Wedding Anniversary Trip to Branson, MO

One of the many beautiful rainbows we saw on campus this summer

Back to school dinner

Noah's first day of Kindergarten

After school hug from Daddy

Daddy fixing Taylor's hair for her first day of preschool

First day of preschool at NeHi

Frist time on the bus
First time off!

Corn maze at the apple orchard

Corn maze at the apple orchard

Bryan's 1st day of school

Go Tigers!!

Fall Fun!

Fall fun with friends!

Mr. Smiley
The kiddos