>for these reasons…

>…i had a good day:
=hung out with michelle, my cousin’s wife.. went shopping for knitting and sewing stuff
=hung out with my fave aunt
=talked to aaron on the phone! and IM’d with him on skype last night! being able to talk has eased much of my anxiety.. thank you Lord.. and aaron understands me and loves me despite my flaws.. i couldn’t have married a better man
=helped at the marriage banquet.. i love working in the kitchen. didn’t do any cooking, but i love serving and, gasp, cleaning

…i will miss midland:
=i love teaching. working with highschoolers on an everyday basis helped me confirm that teaching is the calling on my life
=i loved my coworkers. i’ve had some jobs i’ve liked but i really felt at midland i got along with everyone. and we had two new teachers this year who were my age so that was nice to have that connection
=the environment was pretty laid-back. like, i could give blood over my lunch at the blood drive and know that someone would be willing to cover my class. or if i left early for an appointment or something i knew people would cover for me then, too. it’s a two-way street though
=i miss my kids. yes, “my” kids. all 100 of them, plus any from last year that i didn’t have this year. they were fabulous and taught me a lot about life and patience and being able to dole out some tough love.

…i believe teaching (and possibly encouraging) is my calling/spiritual gift(s):
=i love when the light bulb goes off
=when starting to show michelle how to sew (first steps like preparing the fabric and how to read a pattern) i get this jolt of adrenaline and an excited feeling
=i’ve been doing it my whole life and i’ve never burnt out. i remember having this chalkboard that was hooked to the wall behind the recliner in the living room and teaching my sisters.. and grading their practice math tests! haha
=God’s given me boundless opportunities to practice my calling.. whether tutoring, mentoring or teaching, either informally or as my career. and i’ve loved most every minute. there are always tough times when i think, “am i cut out for this?” but then i rely on God for my strength and it all comes together!

…i am okay with this separation
=aaron could be in afghanistan or iraq. thank you Lord that right now is not his time!
=aaron could still be jobless
=it is teaching me patience that i may need for a long time, depending on how long he’s in the military.. or just for life in general
=aaron is able to experience a foreign country for himself first. like he pointed out, he’s seen me off to bolivia and spain when i’ve gone without him
=things should be ready (apartment, phones, etc) when i get there and he can show me around
=there are probably family situations that i will end up being here for. i loved being here for this past year because of big family things where i was needed to provide support
=i love playing and singing on the worship team. we have an incredible group of musicians and vocalists. i enjoy practice and God works through so many issues in my life every sunday on stage. He makes me totally transparent and real when i’m up there and i love it. i love knowing that every week there are people being healed, delivered and saved! makes me tear up just thinking about the power present there every week.
=continuing with that, i am kept transparent, and that is my prayer. anytime i think i can do this on my own, i am humbled and taught a lesson the hard way again because, alas, i can’t learn it the easy way first.. but i think with the hard way i learn it for good!
=i have some amazing friends here who love me and support what we’re doing.. and they help keep me busy, pray for me, etc. it’s great. i know though that God will provide those relationships in korea as well

so all in all, today was the best day i’ve had all week. i can feel my spirit being encouraged and redeemed day after day.. He truly never stops saving us, me from my own devices of anxiety and depression. He keeps healing me and strengthening me.. how can i deny His power and sovereignty?

>in my mind

>my mind can be a scary place (as my students know, haha) especially when i am under emotional stress. this is what i’ve been saying to myself subconsciously: i won’t get to go to korea. or if i do it’ll be december before i get there. i will be alone every night forever. i don’t have a job so i’m in adequate. my husband thinks i’m lazy because i don’t have a job. i can’t spend his money (even though it is ours). i won’t get to talk to him for a long time. i will be stuck in illinois forever.

okay. that is all ridiculous. you know it and i know it. and my anxiety and fear play out and i become this needy, insecure, unruly girl who can’t even stop to think or get lost in a book. she’s obsessive compulsive to see if someone’s posted on her question on the forum, or incessantly checking her email and being dramatic about everything.

who is this girl? this is the elizabeth from years ago, who after dealing with this horrible obsessive side, fell into a depression. how is this the will of God? it’s not. it’s the will of my own mind. and if i’m not careful and cling to my Maker, i’ll go back into that depression. i know the line is there. the edge of the pit can erode away.

i don’t know how anyone makes it on his or her own, without the Lord to guide and sustain. to give peace. to provide all that we need. to listen when we annoy everyone else (i hope i haven’t gotten to this point..). to speak to us through His perfect Word, to reveal to us His “good, pleasing and perfect” will.

in the journal i spoke of on my other blog, i’ve not only been writing down something cool God’s done every day, but also my thoughts, verses that i’ve been studying, and prayers for those verses. i love the book praying God’s word by beth moore because she provides sample prayers for different obstacles in our life based directly on the Word. i took my lead from her.

2 tim 1:7, 9 “for God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline… who has saved us, and called us with a holy calling*, not according to our works, but according to His own purposes and grace which was granted in Christ Jesus from all eternity.”

“Wow. Thank you Lord that this is not based on my works. Thank you that there is a higher calling, a goal based your expectations for my life, not mine.”

*calling (G2821), a derivative of G2654, bid, call forth, send for, to call with authority; holy (G40), sacred, pure, clean
one of my fears is being bored.. like to the point of tears. i have lists out the wazoo and they help with feeling anxiety about moving soon. i also fear being alone so much. i have no cats anymore since we found new homes for them before i move to korea. that makes it a little more lonely. the walls are becoming whiter and whiter as we speak. but God’s been providing me with opportunities to spend time with people, even if it’s in a service manner. my friend asked me to help out with something tomorrow evening. another friend from church invited me to an event this weekend.

i am so thankful for a group of people who love and support me unconditionally. they know my flaws and my hangups.. and that i can be pretty impatient at times. but they care for me anyway.

psalm 126:1-3
“when the Lord brought back the captive ones of Zion, we were like those who dream. then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with joyful shouting; then they said among the nations, ‘the Lord has done great things for them.’ the Lord has done great things for us, and we are glad.”

>merging ideas

>i think i want to put all my ideas in one blog.. regular life happenings, my spiritual growth and my weight loss journey. i definitely haven’t been updating like i “should”.

i got off of the workout and eat healthy train over our break, vacation, whatever you want to call it. looks like i gained a few pounds. i’m at 160, which is the top of my acceptable weight range (155-160). i did 20 minutes on the elliptical, arm exercises and then ten minutes on the stair-stepper. wow. i’m in pain this morning. i’m going to try body flow at noon. i love yoga so i think i will like it.

i am just going to be honest about korea: i am frustrated and impatient. i emailed the S1 of aaron’s brigade and all they could tell me was that they can’t give me an estimate and that there’s a waitlist. we are on step 3 of 8 and you can’t get on the waitlist until you get to step 7. i guess housing at humphreys is really backed up. you think? with 18 months to get on post? we don’t want to live on post anyway. we have no children so this process should go a little smoother.

i just don’t understand why this command sponsorship process is so darned difficult. technically i could go over there without being on his orders, but it’s not recommended. i don’t even think i can get my military passport and korean visa from rock island arsenal until i’m on orders.

so meanwhile, while my husband is there and we’re separated again, i’m sitting in our apartment with most everything taken off the walls and boxes sitting around. i have no job as i quit my teaching job because eventually i will go to korea, just a matter of when. while i am still getting paid from that until august, i would like a job so i have something to do while i wait and can contribute more financially. but who will hire me not knowing when i might be quitting?

my luck would be that i would get a job and two weeks later be heading to korea. i feel at a loss right now. i’ve been keeping up on relationships with family and friends and i’ve prepared myself as much as i can for the changes ahead, barring our apartment. i need to do some work around here. but i’m ready to go.

i read through matthew 6 last night. i was convicted of my obsession with finding out information and just worry in general. “do not be anxious then, saying ‘what shall we eat?’ or ‘what shall we drink?’ or ‘with what shall we clothe ourselves?’ for all these things the gentiles eagerly seek; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. but seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you. therefore do not be anxious for tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. each day has enough trouble of its own.”

i am just thankful that God is bigger than any man-made entity, including the army, and His will will prevail above everything else.

>soon to be a world apart.

>these past two weeks have felt like a blur. only a few days left with my husband before he gallivants off to the other side of the planet. i have no idea when i will see him again. it could be two weeks, two months, however long the army decides to take to process all my paperwork.

i can’t wait to post an update with pics. if you follow my facebook, then you know some of what’s been happening in the past couple weeks. maybe i’ll get a narrative itch soon. we’ll see.

>rollin’ with the changes + vacation in az

>the past few days have been so fun. friday evening i got into phoenix. aaron picked me up and we drove to flagstaff. we stayed at the springhill suites marriott that i got on priceline for $100. we woke up and were on our way to the grand canyon early. it was a gorgeous drive. we got to tusayan around 9:30 and waited for his parents who were meeting us at the red feather lodge. they were coming from vegas.

they paid $25 for a 7-day pass to get into the park. we asked about a military discount and the ranger said the reason they don’t give them is because since it’s a government entity it’d be double dipping. but they asked if any of us were over 62. hmm. wouldn’t that be double dipping as well? or the fact that we already pay for national parks in our taxes and then have to pay to get in.. wouldn’t that be double dipping for the park? something to think about…

we saw so much of the grand canyon. and of course the first view always takes your breath away. it doesn’t even look real! anytime i saw it it looked like a painting. the only time it looked more real was when aaron and i went on a 5K hike down the kaibab trail on sunday morning. what a great way to worship God on a sunday morning, right, but by reveling in His creation?

it’s interesting because we overheard someone on this trail saying something like “and people think this was created? how can one not believe in evolution? are there any other theories out there?” and we think the exact opposite.. the position of the earth, the way our bodies work and maintain themselves.. it’s obviously God, right?

tusayan in itself is a little town with not a whole lot to offer. everyone seems to price gouge because they can. there aren’t any other services for about 25 miles. however, that’s something we kind of expected up there. we left early early monday morning around 5. we stopped in flagstaff to get breakfast. that town is gorgeous and a possibility for where we might like to settle someday. we stopped for lunch outside of tucson and then made it to sierra vista/ft. huachuca at around 2pm. not bad considering we stopped twice to eat and a couple more times for fuel.

on a different note, while we are so happy to be together, a few days seems like weeks to us. we haven’t spent more than two weeks consecutively together for the past 14 months. aaron will be home on leave and then reports to korea by the 17th of this month. that leaves us with two more weeks together.

already we’re starting to see the implications of what living together again will be like. i don’t write about this to put down my marriage, not at all. we are crazy in love even after seven years and all the changes we’ve gone through; this is just another stop on the way. i want to be transparent and share our life with you, the reader, so you can see God’s glory in our life and maybe glean something along the way.

i realized today what a day might be like in korea. we won’t have a car since it will save us money not to have one (insurance, gas, maintenance). aaron got up for pt formation at around 4:30 and left around 5:15. i got up at 6:15 to my sister calling me (it was 8:15 in illinois). i got up, got ready, and went out for breakfast with some fellow army wives (and one girlfriend). one of my friends came and picked me up since aaron needed his car today for all his outprocessing stuff. he picked me up and we got lunch (so sick of eating out by the way; we’re going to the store tonight to get some real food). i did some laundry, watched some tv and took a nap. that’s been my day.

i have been either working or going to school full-time since i was 14 and got my first “job” teaching piano, babysitting and tutoring. to not have a job to go back to in the fall is unnerving. and since i don’t know when my command sponsorship paperwork will go through, i can’t apply for jobs yet. last time i tried that, orders changed, haha. sometimes, though, i think.. i have this degree, and we’re paying on this degree, therefore i should use it.

i think if i don’t get a job right away i will still enjoy being a stay-at-home-wife. i hope to volunteer and get involved on post. we want to live off-post, which is totally feasible since the wait list for Camp Humphreys is up to 18 months long. we would like to also get involved in a korean church. and learn korean. and learn to love the culture and the people.

like i’ve blogged about before, aaron and i have had both the roles of breadwinner over the past two years. it’s awesome when i’m working too because i feel like my life has more of a purpose (i obviously believe that teaching is my calling) and i can contribute financially. aaron is supportive of whatever decision i make, or we make. we will be financially stable enough for me not to work in korea… that’s was the whole point of me staying back this year to complete my second year at midland.

this is when i need to cry out for reassurance and guidance. i have the world open to me right now and i don’t want to squander any of it. my priority right now is to seek the Lord and find my identity in Christ, not in any job or role or relationship. my second priority is to love my husband.

i love this song by kristi northup:

“Jesus, do something new in me
It’s not that I don’t love You anymore
I just feel empty
Jesus, I’m tired of spending time
On things that may appear to be for You
But they define me

Restore to me the joy of my salvation
The genuine elation I found when I found You
Restore to me a passion for what’s holy
A longing for the lowly in everything I do

Jesus, sometimes I just forget
How quickly I can lose myself in You
When I cease striving
Jesus, I want to just let go
I’m longing for that secret place, and yet
My flesh is fighting

Take not Your Holy Spirit,
Take not Your Holy Spirit from me
But grant me a willing spirit
A willing spirit to sustain me”

and this verse caught my eye this morning:

psalm 145:19
“He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them.”

by looking at these photos, how can this world not be created by a loving and omnipotent God?

oh, and this love that was knit together before either of us were ever born. if there is evidence of how God works through hardship, it is us.