Friday, October 31, 2014

I was pregnant; now I'm not.

I'll start with the facts. Moose and I found out we were having a baby. We were beyond thrilled and so excited to be parents. We decided to wait until our November 10 ultrasound to really tell people so we would know everything was okay. On Halloween morning, I woke up with a start. (Sorry if this is graphic) There was blood where there was not supposed to be if baby was healthy. I told Moose what I thought was happening and he asked if he should stay home from work today. We decided we would much rather use his all-too-few days off for something much more happy! I called my mom and explained to her what was going on. Then I called the doctor and answered hundreds of questions. Eventually, I got in to see the doctor. 

We got in to the doctor's office and I chuckled because I was wearing my Palmetto XC jacket and my mom was with me! I didn't want people to think I was a teenager!!! I finally got in to see the screening nurse. She asked several questions and I got emotional. She then had to tell me that my doctor is leaving the practice in Feb. I cried again. I told her, "sorry, it's just a very emotional thing." And she was precious! She told me her daughter had struggled with several miscarriages and someone had shared with her that it is God's way of clearing anything inappropriate from the womb so that next time it is the most perfect pregnancy and that she would be praying for me. I cried again. 

I asked if my mom could come with me to the ultrasound room. I was too raw emotionally to hear those words alone. But, she was so kind. The tech told me that It was the best of the worst scenarios. She said my uterus was cleaned out, from what she could tell, and honestly looked incredibly healthy. She also took other steps and checkedy ovaries-which were healthy with many good eggs. She then told us that 20-30% of pregnancies end in miscarriages, but it is good to know that that was a baby. She said it is good to celebrate that life for what it was and grieve the loss. I was so grateful that for the second time in less than two hours, God had placed encouraging believers in my path to give strength. 

The doctor was phenomenal. She explained everything medically to me and was very encouraging. We still have a process to go through, but we are moving forward. My favorite quote of the day, which made me smile, was "and I know the next time you see a plus on a stick, you're going to be a hot mess because of this. It's ok. Just call me." Why yes, yes I will. Thanks! We had just met, but apparently anxious hot mess just oozes from my pores! 

In all seriousness, those are the facts. We shared our story with close friends and family and just grieved. It is insane how you can grow to love a child in such a short time. I had plans, I had dreams, and I had so much love. It's hard. If I've said once, I've said 1000 times that this sucks. But I know several things to be true. 

In fact, I began this blog almost a month ago. It seems appropriate today: 

God is good. God is sovereign. God is gracious. God is faithful. I could go on forever, but you get the point.
I have really been trying lately to focus on who God is, and who I am in light of my position in him. 
It is so easy for me to focus on who I am without him, where I have failed, my position in this world, and what I am accomplishing. It is so easy to remember where we have gone wrong, what we really want, and what we may not be able to accomplish. My heart is often filled with worry and doubt. I have an extreme fear of failure, but I can know He is accomplishing things in and through me. 

After this miscarriage, I want to be mad. I want to feel like a failure, but in light of what I know to be true, I can't. I have to allow my heart to trust that God is indeed good. He is indeed sovereign. And His plan is right. It is forever better than my plans, than my dreams, than my love. 

This is hard. I'm not going to lie and say I've got it all together. However, I've got a God who does, and Moose and I can trust that His timing is sovereign and His will is perfect. And today, that is enough. 


Thursday, October 16, 2014

#SavilleLifeInPictures2014. Weeks 41 & 42

Day 278: all day, I waited on something fun to happen to post for Saville Life, but then I thought, "let's just be real." All day revolved around this computer-SS prep, school, BBS Prep, more school. Some days are just about the grind, but out of it comes great blessing. So grateful for our discussion in Sunday school and for finishing my first set of classes. 

Day 279: decided we don't use this room  enough, so we are watching tv in here. Actually, our DVR was busy in the other room and we couldn't change the channel! 

Day 280: lunch packed, clothes laid out, bedtime at 8:15. And no, I'm not ashamed!

Day 281: selfie with this birthday girl. She's 15. Love my sis so much. 

Day 282: home XC meet. Boys and girls both won! So proud of this little (huge) family!

Day 283: my red wellies came! I've only wanted them for a sweet forever!

Day 284: had the best day with friends doing fall things, rounded off with dinner and games with the family for Mackenzie's birthday. 

Day 285: so glad for the rain today! I got to wear my new boots. Also, I'm going to invest in a full length mirror. 

Day 286: our SS class is going through this book. I'm so grateful to be able to consider God's names and how they reflect His character to me. 

Day 287: can't afford a day off with region in less than a week. Train hard! Road to XC state!!

Day 288: so this is my purse. Sitting under the kitchen table all day. I noticed this problem after ordering my food at Subway and getting to the window. Thank goodness for a mama who on Main Street who came to my rescue. 

Day 289: spent the evening helping Mack rock out an English project. Homework for the win. 

Day 290: not the best photography, but it has homecoming queen candidates and football players. I count it as a win. Also of note-a win for the Mustangs!!!

Day 291: chalk painted a table, four chairs, and a dresser...then relaxed with a pedicure. Rewarding Saturday!!!

#SavilleLifeInPictures2014. Weeks 39 & 40

Day 264: I love this group of ladies so much! This night we put on lots of layers to see how silly it would be to "put on" Jesus without taking off self first. Love that we get to learn truth together. 

Day 265: contemplating lots of things on the blog. 

Day 266: fall weather = running pants! One of the many many thinggs I love about fall! 

Day 267: so proud of my sisters and the strides (literally) they've made this year on the XC course. 

Day 268: a big bowl of pasta, a cuddly blanket, and my favorite tv back on for fall. Love it!

Day 269: pressbox selfie! Couldn't get the guys to cooperate. 

Day 270: eating downtown with these friends! Love these people!!! #meow

Day 271: oh you know, just playing hide and seek in the dark with 32 of my littlest friends! 

Day 272: I just love these kids! Palmetto XC is the best. 

Day 273: if only I could be as cool as Mr. Clarke! All the kiddos love him. 

Day 274: AP Chem study session at its finest. Pulled out my 10 year old notes, my PhD Husband, and got this kid a much better grade!

Day 275: I've had such a fun few days at Palmetto Middle School. It's my favorite place to be! 

Day 276: you know you're a real nerd when you read a book to a class you're subbing in..and two days later, you're in book 4 in the series! 

Day 277: delicious fall desserts today! Love this season, these flavors, and the friends I shared them with. 

We live such a full and blessed life! Sometimes I complain; sometimes I'm full of joy. I'm glad for these daily snapshots to make me realize how awesome #SavilleLife really is. 

Fall Fun

I love the fall! And in the midst of the craziness that has been life lately, I've been super grateful for some fun fall activities. 

A few weekends ago, I suggested Apple picking. Surprisingly, my entire family jumped on the idea and we took off an hour later to North Carolina. This is a huge feat because spontaneity is not really our thing! 

We carted through one orchard, where the picking wasn't fantastic. So, we ate Apple pie and drank Apple cider and moved on. 

We drove (unconventionally) through the second orchard. So fun! 

This past weekend, our friend group had a pumpkin adventure. 

We all chose pumpkins. We really had a ton of fun taking pictures at the farm. The attendant said, "you guys are pretty much my favorite group."  Well thanks-we get that a lot. Lol! We just bring fun wherever we go. ;)

Silly friends!

We got down to business carving.  

Some of us took this whole carving thing a little more seriously than others!

Also, somehow during pumpkin carving, sweet Liam took some selfies on my phone. 

The final products:

We had a contest and my hubby was the favorite pumpkin on social media! Yay for creativity. I think all of them were awesome!

I can't wait to see what fun fall activities we will get into next! 
What are some awesome things you do in the fall?

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Work hard in the hard

Lately I have been fairly whiney about this season of life that I am in. I know that I have chosen it; I am grateful for it, but sometimes it makes me grumpy. Because I took longer than the average bear to finish school and because I didn't decide what I wanted to be when I grew up until way late, I am in a period of major transition in my life. I spent 6 years managing a restaurant, providing a pretty substantial income to our house, putting in a lot of hours being in charge, and enjoying being the boss. Moose and I made the decision that that was too much for me. If/when we were going to have kids, my lifestyle would have to change. I had provided while my husband was getting his degree. I had stepped in when we needed my income. My super smart PhD husband deserved to be the breadwinner of our family, though, and I needed to make some decisions about how the family dynamic was going to change for the next season. You faithful few know that this consisted of me quitting my job to sub, work on several church projects, and figure things out. Well, I don't know if I have totally figured things out, but here I am. I love being in the middle school. Strange, but true, I promise! It is a happy place for me and teaching is something that I am good at. A friend of mine strongly encouraged me to get my MAT and make the career switch official. This summer and fall, I have fully jumped into classes. Along with that, I am subbing (a lot) and helping my brother coach Cross Country. Additionally, there are the other things that give me joy that I just don't want to give up--leading Bible Study, teaching Sunday School, tutoring some kids in science, discipleship; and some things I would love to give up but can't--laundry, cooking, cleaning, etc (I kid...). That being said, I have entered into another busy season. It is hard. I would say it is hard to do school when most of my friends have left that stage of life, but in actuality, I have at least four friends who are also in school right now. I think I'm mostly whiney because it is hard. It is hard to juggle. I have experienced a glorious season of peace and minimal "stuff," but, those seasons can't last forever. (Especially for a yes-girl/people-pleaser like me) The strange dichotomy in my head is that I love to learn, but I hate doing schoolwork! I guess I am like many of the kids I sub for on a daily basis who just hate the busy work! I want to yell, "Just teach me and let's move on! Do I have to write 7 reflections about my feelings?" However, I think that would be in bad form. Instead, I whine. I whine to my husband and my mom and my friends about how much I dislike school. After an incredibly difficult week last week, I spent a lot of time whining about my school. My mom and husband are over it by this point. They usually give me zero sympathy and several lectures about how I chose this and how I am good at this and how I should not wait until the last minute. (I know, I know, I know). During one of my rants to another friend, I didn't get a lecture. At least, not one that sounded harsh. This one was what I needed to hear.

Some seasons are just hard. Sometimes they are full of things we don't want to do, preparing us for the things that we can't wait to do. 

I know that is not profound. I know it didn't make my load lighter, nor did it finish my assignments any faster. What it did, though, was refocus my sights. Why am I doing all of this stuff in the first place? Why am I working with Cross Country? Why am I tutoring kids? Why am I leading Bible Study? I could drop some of these things and make my load lighter during this season, but instead I am choosing these things. My heart is to love and develop people. My passion is to help people grow and become something amazing. If I were just doing school, I wouldn't get the privelage to do these wonderful things in the in-between. Transitions are hard. They're tricky and sometimes messy. Taking online classes takes extra effort. Committing to extra things reequires energy and effort. But, all of this is preparing me for the next step, the stage I am anticipating. Whether it turns out how I envision it or not--we will see, but in the meantime, I will press on through the hard, sometimes whine-producing season. It'll be worth it.

..and in the meantime, let us be encouraged by Phil 2:14. Even in the hard times, we need to press on with a positive attitude! It's hard, but with Christ, we can do it. 

Monday, October 6, 2014

Building Genuine Community

Until my recent adult years, I was a girl with a lot of acquaintances and not that many true friends. My childhood was spent with separate church and school friends-both of which felt equally important, but neither were lifelong.

 My family moved to Williamston in the middle of my freshman year of high school. So, I had friends from my first high school and people who were nice to me from my new church/school, but no true friendships. I quickly began dating a guy who was a year older than me and most of my high school years were spent following him and his group of friends from event to event, trying to fit in with them. My classroom "friends" were nothing more than acquaintances who had common interests as me. We did things together, but our conversations were mostly about school and homework.

It wasn't until the boyfriend of many years broke up with me that I began to look around and realize that I had no true friendships. Luckily, my brother who was two years younger had a great friend group and they adopted me for a year. However, I soon left them and my "hometown" for college. In college, I began to experience true community for the first time.​ Community. Hmm..doing life together. That works beautifully for college. I was in a small group of girls; we were all the same age. We lived in one of two buildings, and took the same types of classes. We were able to literally do life together. I led a small group as well. These girls became incredibly special to me; we did life together. Some of these girls became more dear to me than others, and I struggled with this.

 But, I read Dennis Swanburg's The Man Code recently and from it realized that this is just a normal progression of life. Jesus Himself had multitudes, he had a large group, he had a small group, and he had an inner circle of friends. I have since realized how true that was for my life. My inner circle consisted of a few women who I still keep up with to this day. They are incredibly special to me. The others were my community for a season and have moved on, as I have to a new season.

Marriage came and we moved back to my hometown. My husband was new and I felt new, since my friends were all actually friends of my high school boyfriend. We started over. It was difficult for us because we were the youngest married couple at our church and in a different stage of life from a lot of our contemporaries. The first year was difficult. It was a series of inviting people for dinner or cards, deciding they may or may not be the right friends for us. We had to be very intentional about creating community. We had to find others to do life with, as we walked toward being stronger Christians. 

Fast forward to today...we have a fantastic group of friends, but how did we get here?

My brother and his wife got married and bought a house on our block. I know it sounds crazy, but they found the house online and didn't even know it was less that a minute from Moose and me until they had already fallen in love. Then, our church hired a youth minister. He was engaged, but his fiance was in TN. We started doing things as a party of five. A friend-couple of my brother's from high school moved back to town. We became 7. Our youth minister's now-wife arrived-we became a party of 8. We have insanely precious community with these couples. We do Sunday School together, small groups are separate-but some of us are at each one, we hang out on the weekends, and we are in constant contact. I'm so grateful. We have two friends who are getting married in May and they are quickly becoming a part of our community. We've celebrated marriages, moves, a birth, another pregnancy; we've mourned loss, sickness, difficulty getting pregnant. We've done it together. 

I could not be more grateful for the community we have been able to develop together, but my husband posed the question to me this weekend, "how do we make sure we don't become a clique." What is the difference between this community I am speaking of and a clique? How do we protect ourselves from becoming "that group" that people would like to be a part of and yet is not open to others? First, I think we need to define clique and community. Cliques are full of the same people, thinking and believing the same things, not allowing for differences in opinion. Community happens when there is true discussion, difference of opinion expressed in love, and lack of judgement. Community ceases to be a community when it becomes closed; when membership is essentially an audition. Cliques do not allow for real community. ​

Some would say that the 12 disciples were a clique. They hung out with only each other, right? Well, the mix-and-match band of brothers was a true hodge podge of interests, personalities, styles, and opinions.  They didn't make sense. However, this is why they are a true community. Community is made up of a group of people trying to do life well, and follow after the same invitation to do life with Christ. Community takes a chance on people-inviting them in to do life together, not because they fit a set of criteria. Community loves; cliques judge. It is crucial that no one is left out of the community of believers. If others desire to fellowship in our community, they should always be loved and accepted. We should be seeking to bring those who may not be living their life to the full and walk with them toward a stronger relationship with Christ. There will always be the inner circle, the small community, the large community, and the multitude, but we must ensure that each of these allows for new and fluid relationships that will spur us on toward Christ.

I'm constantly learning how to be a better friend; my husband and I are constantly learning how to develop community and spur on the friends around us. There is never a point when we stop growing and learning, never a point to become judgmental. True community is always changing, growing, and developing. I hope you have found it where you are! If not-pull up a chair and join us!