Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Step One: with Grace, Peace, and Cardboard Boxes

I have decided that what we need here is a little direction. My nearest and dearest have wonderful directions for their blogs: remodeling a first house, life as a new mother, a hobby, a gift perfected inside a New York apartment closet, etc. Well, since my life with hubby Husker now has a new direction, namely north to Chicago, I've decided to sync (let's be honest, it's more of a re-sync) the direction of this blog with our life as we move from Texas to Chicago. But this sync comes with a confession, so let's get the heavy stuff off my chest before we dive into the mountain of boxes taking over our apartment (pictures to follow).

I am in awe of my friends, namely the young women who have recently taken that big step into marriage and raising a family. I have read so many inspirational posts about being a young and educated woman who is happy and fulfilled raising a Christ-centered family, I could burst. It makes me so happy every time I read one, really it does. I'm glad that they are not letting mainstream views on what makes a "purposeful" life shape their views on God's blessing of new life and family.


I am not there, yet. God has other plans for me, for the moment, and as much as I rejoice in His gifts to me and the direction He is leading me, I am a sinner and comparison is surely the thief of joy.

After I was accepted into grad school, I found that my happiness and excitement at this new stage in my life was slowly being drained away by my selfish need for praise and validation. I received many happy congratulations from those I texted (literally within an hour of getting my happy news), but after only a week I was feeling one "liked" my excited Facebook statuses, no one commented on my last blog post. I started to feel like no one supported where I was in life, that through the silence was a judgement that I wasn't a mom already and I was lesser for it. It was childish, really, and I know that. But seeing every uploaded baby picture or pregnancy announcement get 100,000 likes, and many posts about the blessings of starting a family (but none about it being ok for God to provide a path for someone to school or a career first) started to hurt. I was brought back to this hilarious cartoon (and I know that none of you will take this the wrong way and think that I think so little of posts about family and babies - they are great, this is just an illustration of the temper tantrum that *might* have happened inside of me for like, 5 seconds):

But then I prayed about it, and God worked with me (ever so patiently) to remind me that He has just as happy of plans for me, and that I don't need to compare myself to others and worry that they won't think well of me simply because I'm pursuing my master's degree. My family supports me. My husband supports and loves me.

So friends who are at a different place in life than me, please accept my apology for being so childish, selfish, and narcissistic. And keep on being the amazing women of God that you are...and I am going to keep going down my path, and I will do it with grace and peace.

Now back to that mountain of boxes...observe:

From here on out, I will be chronicling our big move from Texas (with it's sun, heat, low cost of living and free parking spaces) to Chicago (with it's urban style, four seasons, and often gag-inducing cost of living).

This is Step One: Being Box Lady and Box Boy

At the moment, hubby and I are looking at an end of July move date. So, for the next two months, we will both be dumpster diving for boxes. There is no way on God's green earth that I am OK with paying hundreds of dollars for packing materials when I can get used materials from work...or Target...or Wal Mart.

I hope you all stay tuned and laugh along with us. I have no doubt that trying to coordinate a total upheaval of life so early in marriage will provide a plethora of opportunities for laughter, humility, learning, and entertaining blog posts.



  1. Oh man, do I understand where you're coming from in all of this. It's really hard to compare between sets of people in life paths right now. Facebook doesn't broadcast anyone else's trials and all we see is the clean happy bouncy babies and perfect wedding photos and not the dirty diapers and bills. I've struggled a lot with the same things and its good to know there are a few of us in this boat.

  2. You've hit the nail on the head, Alison. We compare all of our weaknesses, doubts, and trials to a false dangerous! Glad we've both seen the light and hope with all my heart that we can both be more than happy with what we have! By the way, I've been meaning to ask...where do all of your fabulous quilts find a home? Are you for hire, could, say, a friend order a quilt from you?? :)

  3. I'm commenting!!!!! :) And I can sympathize as well. For I'm neither pregnant nor married nor being liked by anyone at the moment. :P But honestly, I hope that as the generation that lifted Facebook to its current status of deity in our lives that we will realize, like the Greeks and Romans of old, that these gods do not determine our lives. That we do serve a higher power, the One True God, who loves us and gives us the strength through Jesus Christ to see clearly the deception of the world and the lies that "likes" and comments can bring. I am trying to learn to content in who God made me and praise God that I am not someone who finds their self-worth through how many likes they receive on Facebook. Imagine if you were that person. How sad would you be? Be glad instead that you are using your life to pursue godliness and enlightenment that might encourage and challenge thousands of people in our generation and those to come. Think on these things and turn your eyes and your heart to the things above, and you will succeed, because Christ defines your success and not this world!

    1. You are awesome Ben, and your words, like Alison's, helped lift up my heart, to know that women and men of God are seeking His will in all of its surprising ways :) But you let me know if you get pregnant, we might have to re-think the "I'm happy with where I am in life now" attitude :p

  4. Ariel, you are absolutely living the dream. And it's your dream, and that's what's important. I knew very soon after I entered college that I didn't want to go to grad school, but it wasn't until halfway through my senior year that I decided I didn't want to "work" after college. Don't ever let anyone make you feel like you're a half-way person because of the way you have sought out your dreams and fulfilled your talents and gifts (which were given by God, in case anyone needs a reminder!) You're a strong, beautiful woman, and your ability to balance your marriage and grad school and work is just as beautiful.

  5. Ok, I took a facebook hiatus, so I didn't see your status(es), but I would have liked it/them. We are so excited for you, and especially excited that God's plan for you brings you closer to us! Lucas and I wouldn't trade our years (5 to be exact) we had together before we had kids for anything. Plus, you'll be close enough now that, should you ever feel the longing for pseudo-parenthood, you can borrow mine for a day :)

  6. So I've been sucking at facebook and blogs and most social media stuff as of late and missed all of this. In fact, when I read something on facebook about you being in Chicago, I was confused. So, the point of this post is two fold. First, CONGRATS WOMAN!!!! I remember how excited I was when I got that acceptance letter. Enjoy the long hours and toil of graduate life and loss of social life.
    Secondly, I also remember feeling as though I was being punished for not getting married and having babies when I went to grad school. I remember excitedly telling some people from church about it and receiving the response of "congrats! So, grad school has boys, right?" or something similar. I felt as though the work I had put into school, and the passion I had for this line of work, didn't matter because I was single and not procreating. I'm happy you are happy where you are in life and I wish you all the best AND I'm excited to see you this weekend :)