Monday, February 24, 2014

Made it to Memphis- Leaving Des Moines

Well here I be.  Sleeping baby upstairs.  Husband at work for his first day.  A mostly put together house.  And a week and a half as a "Memphians" under our belts.  It has been a whirlwind 10 days, let me tell ya.  It seems like it has been so much longer than it really has been because it has been pretty nonstop.  We wanted to get our new home in order as fast as we could before Chris started work but we also wanted to enjoy the time we had (and the weather) before he started up being gone all day.

Although things have been going well here and we are settling nicely, I would be lieing if I said we have not felt homesick a few times.  I cannot stress enough how much we loved our life in Des Moines.  But as I related to in this post  being called to Memphis was undeniable.  That doesn't mean it was easy.  In fact it was extremely emotional and difficult.

We were so blessed to focus our last weeks on spending time with our loved ones, including having an early birthday party for Lydia (more on that later).

We were completely spoiled by our former coworkers who have set the bar very high for our future coworkers.   

Those would be warm, freshly baked cookies delivered straight to our office

You might be an eye doctor if...

I also was able to see many of my coworkers from my job at Des Moines Public Schools before we left. Man...we have worked with some great people, plain and simple.  Kicking myself for not taking pictures.

Our wonderful small group through us a going away party which landed on Super Bowl Sunday.  Once again, I will forever be kicking myself in the tushy for not taking pictures.  We later had dinner and just an overall great time with our dear friends, mentors and small group leaders Zach and Dawn.  I could go on and on about the impact they have had on our life and our walk with Christ.  Meeting them was no accident, but an intentional mark in our path I will forever be grateful for.

Us with Dawn and Zach, our small group leaders and amazing friends (Lydia was obviously not in the mood for

Lydia will certainly miss the Curry girls

We had a wonderful night with our friends Brandon and Sydney as well.  They cooked a delicious meal for us and we sat around just simply enjoying each other's company.  We met these sweet friends our first time at High Pointe Church and have been through many of the same struggles as we all endured a bumpy road to becoming mommies and daddies.  But as you see Sydney sitting their holding our miracle, she herself is growing THEIR miracle inside still due this summer!  Praises to the Lord who provides just the right relationships to encourage and support along the way.

Loving on Sydney

Snuggling with Brandon

Our last Sunday at High Pointe Church was, to say the least, difficult.  This is where Chris was saved and baptized.  This is where we were covered in prayer as we waited for our chance to have a child.  This is where I learned more than ever what it means to follow Christ as a women, wife and mother.  This is where we developed some of the deepest relationships we have had.  We love this church family and even if we don't see many of them again in this life, we find so much comfort in knowing we will after this life.

With pastor Greg, his wife Laura and their 5 beautiful children (Greg is the man who lead Chris to Christ, something we are forever grateful for.)

We were called to the front to be prayed over

Jaime- a great friend and encourager

Jessamyn and Sydney wanted to keep Lydia.   We said no.

He might kill me for sharing this but I have seen Chris cry 3 times in the entire time I have known him. When we found out I was pregnant.  When Lydia was born.  And when we left High Pointe for the last time.  He had a hard time even seeing the road through his tears!  So blessed by our time there.

And on our last night in Des Moines, we had a tiny parade of people come through.

Our friend Tarah stopped by with her baby boy Teague.  Teague and Lydia were born 2 days apart and Tarah and I labored literally 2 rooms apart.  As we were leaving the hospital with Lydia, Tarah was beginning labor.  What a sweet girl this friend is!

Zach stopped by for one last goodbye:

We enjoyed our favorite pizza ever...Casey's pizza.  I don't care if it is gas station pizza, we miss it already!

And, of course, some fun times with our friends Greg, Kristin and Cade and a visit from our other friend Kristen.  I also worked with Kristen on top of her being in our "friend circle".  She became a wonderful friend over our time in Des Moines.

Apparently we should have made the space under the stairs a clubhouse

Up to no good
Saying goodbye to Kristin and Greg was incredibly hard.  When we came to Des Moines, we knew people, but these 2 have been our go to friends/family.  Greg and Chris went to high school together and he was the best man in our wedding.  We have so many memories where they are in the center.  I know we will see them again and will maintain our friendship, but not being able to call them over whenever we want to hang out is already proving to be hard.

We packed up our home in Des Moines on February 12th.

We were able to have movers paid for thanks for Chris' new job and I cannot describe to you how wonderful it was.  Chris and I both agree we will never move without hiring professional help again.  Even if we do most of the packing ourselves, just having them load and unload is so worth the expense, especially with a baby.

It was just a house.  But we loved that house and so many memories I hold dear in my heart happened in that house.

Our first day in our first home,  June 2011

Our last day in our first home,  February 2014

After the movers were done, we still had a little cleaning to do for the new owners.  I would not even let what was happening completely sink in.  If I looked around and reminisced about a memory in this room or the work we did to that room, I knew I would lose it.  We left the house and grabbed a quick dinner then went back to get Samson before heading to my parents for the night.  I did not even go back inside.  I just stayed in the car while Chris went in to get Samson.  I knew it would be too hard on my very overly sentimental soul to go back in.  But as we pulled away, I lost it.

I said a prayer that God keep my focus on Him.  Not on a house, not on the life we were leaving behind.  But on the life we knew He had in front of us.  On keeping His plan, His will for our life in our fore thoughts and having those plans, that will be our greatest desire.  Within 5 minutes, I was done crying but still grasping my husband's hand as we headed down the road.

n him, we find everything we need.

I will be sharing what we have been up to since Memphis coming up!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Not All I Should Be

No, dear brothers and sisters, I am still not all I should be, but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven. Phil 3:13-14

This verse conjures up the image of Christ lifting me to my feet, brushing the dirt off my knees and saying to me “keep going”.  “I can do anything through Christ who strengthens me”, I think to myself as I take a step towards the prize.  I pick up speed, my momentum making it easier to take yet another step, then maybe a little hop and a skip.  “I can do this!” I exclaim, “I can keep the faith!”  I begin to feel super spiritual, fantastically faithful.  “Everyone look, I have got this figured out!”

And it is with that particular leap my legs give out and I am back on the ground.

Over the past few months, I have been asked to either speak, lead or write through a few different opportunities between others’ blogs, bible studies and our church’s women’s ministry.  I am being honest when I say each opportunity I pray about before I agree to do it.  I do not want to just be a yes person, especially when it comes to any kind of ministry or outreach.  If God does not want me to be a part of something, I know well enough to push aside my desire to be included and say no- and I actually have.  However, these opportunities gave me a wonderful push to dive into God’s word as I deeply desired to be gospel centered while I shared my heart.  I began to feel as though I was skipping along with Jesus, holding his hand while we sang the latest Jeremy Camp song together.

And then my talks were over, small groups and bible studies were on a break for the holidays and I was not feeling the urgency to study God’s word as strongly.  My skipping turned into a walk with maybe some bounce in my step.  We sold our house and had to start getting ready to move 10 hours away in 6 weeks.  I opened my bible and prayed with a feeling of obligation- slowing my walk to a labored pace.

One day it became very apparent I was no longer focusing my energies on being filled with the spirit when I said something pretty ugly about another person in front of my husband, Chris.  Bless his heart, he was quick to defend this person without making me feel too badly.  But I could not shake the thick, foul dust that covered my heart as the words “hypocrite” and “failure” relentlessly penetrated my mind.  My already labored walk was halted as I was brought to my knees with a self-inflected kick in the butt.

Embarrassed and ashamed, I asked for God’s forgiveness and then I asked for Chris’.  I was reminded just how ugly my heart truly is without Christ to wipe it clean.  And it is through seeking Him and His word daily we are able to resemble anything close to who He is. 

I went to His word to soak in what I needed- encouragement, renewal and the comfort of forgiveness.  When I turned to Philippians 3, I could almost feel that familiar, steady hand of Christ begin brushing the dirt off of me yet again.   Placing His strong arms under mine, lifting me up He said, “keep going”.

I am still not all I should be, dear friends.  But, even through tears of shame, I am looking forward to what lies ahead, straining to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven.