Feb 24

Coincidence

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I am pretty stubborn. Well let’s be honest, I am REAL stubborn. I tend to be easy-going in a lot of ways, but in the midst of life, I also have the tendency to want things to go my way. Well who doesn’t, right?

During our stay in the beautiful hill country of Kentucky in January, we learned that there is no Hebrew word for coincidence. Basically meaning that there is no such thing as coincidence if you believe in the Bible. We all loosely use the term, but it has hit me so much lately as I look at these major life changes that my little family is going through that there is no, zero, zip, none coincidence for those who trust in Christ.

As D and I were wrestling a few weeks ago with the order in which to list what schools that we were willing to go to for this next year, we were in KY, and our dear family friends kept telling us to remember that there is no such thing as coincidence. The day before Dan had to submit his final list, he turned on the radio at lunch and heard a sermon about being bold in your decision-making and being willing to step out there when the odds are against you. Okay…

Then on his way home, he turned on the radio, and guess what? Remember here… no coincidence 

That same sermon was on… And then guess what again?

The next morning, aka the morning that we had to submit this big list that could potentially change our lives drastically, the SAME sermon was on… okay God. We got it. So we did it, we took some bold steps, and made some leaps of faith, and now, well, even though our match day was a little different than we thought it would be, now we are moving to another state!

Now with that in mind, I, let me remind you again, am very stubborn, so my initial support in this move turned to a little stubbornness, because I decided that I changed my mind, and I did not in fact want to move. So Sunday, we went to church, and the sermon was on Abraham. If you do not know much about Abraham, then read Genesis 12, and you will see that God called him to move and leave all things comfortable behind, and Abraham willingly obeyed.

Yeah you’re getting it. Basically again, no coincidences here, the sermon was pretty much for me, because I was not being willing or obedient like Abraham was. So, I took a deep breath and decided that I needed to work on my heart.

But this is the glory of faith, simply not to know: not to know where you are going, not to know what you are doing, not to know what you must suffer, and with sense and intellect, virtue and will, all alike made captive, to follow the naked voice of God, to be led and driven, rather than to go. And thus it is clear, that Abraham with this obedience of faith shows the highest example of the evangelical life, because he left all and followed the Lord, preferring the Word of God to everything else and loving it above all things of this own free will a pilgrim, and subject to the perils of life and feather every hour of the day and night.
Martin Luther

On the way to Sunday lunch, I confessed my stubbornness to my sweet hubs, and I told him that my sadness was not a lack of support that I was just sad to move, and I felt like I was loosing Mary Anna all over again, but I know that this is what God is calling us to do. I apologized for being, well for being me, and vowed to trust him in this move.

Sooooo…. we got to lunch, and a few college girls joined us that went to a different church, and they began to tell us about the sermon, and …. guess what? …

Yep, no coincidences people, it was on Abraham. Apparently the sermon all over the city was directed straight to my stubborn little heart.

And then, yesterday as Dan started his drive to school, he turned on his podcast, and guess what! Dang-it people, the podcast was on Abraham being obedient to God’s call to go. To leave his people and go.

So this morning, I listened to the podcast, and I realized once and for all, there is no such thing as coincidence. I want to be more like Abraham, and I want to be willing to go when God calls me to go. Tim Keller said it perfectly, I do not want to let my circumstances master me.

We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.
Hebrews 6:19a

Keep Walking.

** If you’re interested the podcast is called Abraham and the Torch by Timothy Keller

Feb 12

On the Move

Literally… We have been on the move non-stop since mid December. It’s gone a little bit like this:

pack up

load car

oh wait… we have dogs, what are we doing with them again?

determine baby’s schedule

hop in the car

blowout on the side of the road … yuck!   <— meaning poopy diaper everywhere

usually spend the last leg of the trip with an unhappy baby

unload

pack up

load car

and you get the picture.

We have not been consistently home in almost 2 months, and we are exhausted. We did this whole pack up, load car, hand the dogs off in a parking lot gig this past Sunday, because Dan has been working in Birmingham for the past two weeks. I lovingly told him on Sunday morning that going out-of-town again was a “huge thorn in my side making me unable to breathe”. Talk about being a supportive wife here. I should get an award! Although I did not want to go, I did, because Monday morning we were getting really big news about our future.

Now traveling with a baby is HARD, and traveling for two months with a baby is beginning to feel like torture! This is why my support of leaving again started to dwindle, but I am glad we went. We woke up at 6 ish Monday morning, and patiently watched the clock tick, tick, tick, until 7 a.m., because that is when the big news would pop up on the computer screen. Right at 7, I went and got William, so that we could all find out as a family what was next.

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Dan applied to a bunch of different vet schools to pursue a speciality, and this past Monday morning was to tell us what was next. We all 3 looked together and found out that we were moving to a city that we have never been to! WHAT! Hello. Okay! Don’t get me wrong here, we are so excited, because to get a spot is a HUGE honor, but it is just a lot to process.

Monday was a bit of a blur, and D has been working long hours, so before he came home, I decided to go on a quick run to clear my head. Yeah well that ended with me face planting on the side of the road. Okay, now I am getting a little frustrated.

I now have bruises on my hands, all up and down my legs, and yeah my pride was a little bruised too!

Tuesday we wake up, Dan leaves early again for work, and I am starting to really realize holy cow, I have never lived out of the state of Alabama, and I am moving in about 3 months. I just want to cry and/or shop a lot. I tend to want to shop when I am stressed. Not a habit that I would recommend picking up, especially if you have been on a students salary for 6 years strong like we have! The day granted me a little more time to process all that was/is happening, and as we sat down for dinner that evening, William proceeds to put his hands and his feet into my grits. I was trying to eat in a hurry, because we were just a mess with grits everywhere, and then I began choking on pork tenderloin.

Insert mommy fail.

My evening ended with a foggy brain from being put to sleep, because they had to scope me to push that nice little piece of meat on down into my stomach. So again I woke up Wednesday morning really in a whirlwind now with bruises on my arms from the hospital, hands and legs from my face plant, and now a raw esophagus that grants me the ability to barely eat. Oh and I am really hungry at this point.

I get in the car yesterday morning with everything loaded up once again, drinking my smoothie, which might I add at this point all I wanted was a greasy bacon, egg, and cheese biscuit, but dang if I was not limited to a smoothie. REALLY?!? And I started the trek back to Auburn, and my heart began to feel heavy. It was a drive that would for the first time make me have to process that this will not be my home for much longer.

Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.
Zechariah 4:6b

This verse has stayed on my heart. Because it is not by might or power that we pack up over and over again,  and now the theme will continue to pack up our home and move, but it is by His spirit. I am excited. I am sad. I am overwhelmed, but I choose to Keep Walking. I choose to walk by His spirit alone.

We are leaving the home that we moved into right after we got married, the one we lived in during vet school, the one that we prepared for our baby girl that she never came home to, and the one that we brought our baby boy home to. Y’all it’s our life. It’s our home. I am SO ready to leave this townhouse, yet my heart aches for this move. My bruised heart and body ache. I am tired.

I want to be packing for a Mediterranean cruise, but yet here we are again. We do all things together, and by His spirit. I recently instagramed a picture of all us jammed in the car and said this, “these days we’ve been on the road a lot… but this is life so we are embracing it and thankful to be together.”

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So we are home getting settled back in to get ready to pack up and leave again to visit this new city that we are about to call home. Together. But still without our Mary Anna.

Not by might. Or by power.  But by His spirit.

Keep Walking.

Feb 02

It’s Almost Over

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Not long after Dan and I got engaged at the mature age of 21, a family friend who is basically a second mom to me sat me down and told me to really think about being a wife to a doctor. Her husband is a doctor, and they married before he went to medical school, and she warned me about how hard it was to be the supportive role during that phase of life. I am not sure if she even remembers telling me this but she said, “Kari, if you do not think you can fully support Dan in vet school then don’t marry him, because it is not easy, and you are going to be alone A LOT, and it is not just a sacrifice for him, but it is a sacrifice for you too.”

Her and her husband are happily married, and she by no means was telling me not to marry D, but more warning me at what Satan would want to do to our marriage during this vulnerable time in our lives. Little did we know that during our first 6 years of marriage that vet school would not come as easy as we planned, we would lose 3 babies, and a lot of other trials would enter into our lives that would test us over and over again.

I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirits power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.
1 Corinthians 2:4-5

Dan has made sacrifice after sacrifice to accomplish, as he likes to call them, OUR goals. He is quick to always say that WE are graduating vet school, and WE did this together. In all reality, he worked his tail off and I filed some insurance, made cookies and lots of turkey sandwiches. But the real truth is that us wives do not get enough credit for our role in this whole process.

Now this does not diminish again what our husbands are doing by any means, but I think as women we take a supportive role so much, and our hearts are not nurtured like they should be. Ladies, it was just plain hard to sit alone night after night, while he was in the other room reading and re-reading about how to remove a kidney. And it was not easy to go to things alone during the late nights in the hospital. It got even harder when a baby came into the picture, and I did not just get to hand him off when daddy walked in the door, because daddy needed to study for his boards. We sacrifice just as much for our men.

I am beyond grateful for that conversation with a wise mom and wife long before we even began this journey, because I can honestly say that I have never resented Dan for what he is doing/chose to do. There’s not a day that goes by that I regret this journey of vet school. It’s almost time for graduation and the next chapter, and I am so proud of him, but honestly I am proud of myself. I am thankful that the Lord protected our marriage and used this time to draw us closer to Him and each other.

Each night as I would crawl into bed, a lot of times alone, because he was up studying, I would pray over our home and pray for the protection of our marriage. We did not get many dates or weekend getaways, and we sure as heck had no money, but we did it. We did it together, and most importantly we did it with the Lord. So as you and your spouse begin whatever journey is next for you remember that it can be long and hard, and you might spend a lot of time alone, but it is no small task to be the supportive role as a wife. The woman is the heart of the home, and the heart needs to know how the home would not function without it.

Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fail, because it has its foundation on the rock.
Matthew 7:24-25

As our world turns more and more to women’s rights, I pray that women turn more and more to loving and trusting our husbands. They need us! As a dear friend that we like to call honey says, “Our men are slaying dragons.” She is right. Our husbands come home each day to us, and yes we are worn out, but they continue to go to battle for us.

95 days until WE graduate vet school. Let’s do this, D! Let’s do this together. And I would do it all over again with you any day.