i had some good, refreshing time in belmont a couple weeks ago, and i've been such a lazy blogger lately that i'm just getting around to sharing. it was so nice to have some time away from my day-to-day routine at home with ruby and give my parents the opportunity to have 5 (or 6?) straight days to spend time with ruby girl and see her in all of her sweet, wild glory. my mom is such a servant to me anytime she's around.. getting up with ruby and the sun everyday, helping her at mealtimes, changing diapers, and so many other things that i do love, but also tire of doing day in and day out. it's a blessing, and i'm thankful that she finds joy in it. i also got to visit ikea for the first time (crazy.) and see my sweet friends brandon and christy.. what perfect timing since they had their lovely baby girl lucy just a few days later..
here she is..
i'm aware that you can't see her sweet, new, little face at all in this picture, but i've been in love with this shot ever since brandon sent it to facebook. b & c have so badly longed to be parents, and i've been filled with joy for them since their baby girl was born. one of the things that really helped me through the time right after we found out we were surprise pregnant with ruby was the thought of so so many people who want nothing more than to have children and either never see that hope realized or go through extremely hard times until it happens for them.. although becoming ruby's parents came as a shock to us, i am so grateful that we were blessed in a way that others sometimes aren't.
another major highlight of my time in the queen city was deciding to stay in town a bit later than i had planned so i could visit redemption church at my friends shawn and kalle's home in charlotte. i've been so impressed by the way they've been following the call on their lives to be church planters, and that even in the midst of extremely difficult times they moved across the country and are doing just what they know God is asking of them. shawn taught out of the end of ephesians, and although i was challenged a ton concerning my marriage specifically, what he spoke about regarding the purpose of the relationships in our lives in general is what has been resonating with me ever since that weekend. i guess what i walked away with is probably a simple idea, but being reminded of the fact that although we serve a gracious Father who allows our relationships to bring joy to us and enhance our time on earth, the true purpose of our connections with others is ultimately his glory. his glory. man man man did that kick my butt. i didn't get in my car back to raleigh that night with a smile on my face patting myself on the back thinking, "awesome. i'm a God honoring machine in my marriage, friendships, motherhood..." it was pretty much the opposite.. i was able to think of instance after instance in which i, if anything, dishonor God in the way i treat my husband, spend my time with friends, acquaintances, and even strangers, and think and act as a mom. in most cases, i'm probably either not behaving in a way that glorifies the Lord or thinking of the relationship with whoever is it as beneficial and for me.. not him. shew. it was humbling, but i was so thankful. since i've been home, i've regularly been finding myself checking my spirit, attitude, actions, and words and (working at) altering them to reflect something that brings him glory. although it's beyond easy to let myself think and live like everything and everyone in my life revolves around me and what feels good, looks good, and makes my time here good, it's better and necessary to realize that it's just not about me.. i want to operate in my relationships in a way that makes people double take and wonder what's different about them and why.. not to boast in myself, but so that i can point to him and how's he's changed my heart.
i definitely know that i didn't explain that nearly well enough to give you an idea of all that is and has been going through my head since hearing shawn teach that night, but i hope it gives you an idea of what i'm trying to learn. what a process.
and here are a few pictures from my whirlwind 24 hours in charlotte this past weekend..
the same day my very cool sister finally moved to raleigh,
i was in charlotte to see these two sweeties tie the knot..
times really really does fly.. but i'm always thankful for the comfort i find in being around people who know me.
ok. stream of consciousness.. complete. thanks for hanging in there. :)