Praying and Fasting Part 2

We prayed. We fasted. We’d talk about it all while we went on our family walks each evening.

That following Sunday that finished up our week was the confirmation we both felt we needed. The sermon seemed to hit the nail on the head for us and so we made a decision. The day before I mentioned the idea to my mom and it went better than I could have imagined. Not because they don’t think we make good decisions (maybe they don’t, I don’t know), but because I knew we were praying about the idea of moving away from them.

We decided to move back to Tyler. Where we have solid community. Where our friends are having kids the same time we are so Fitz can grow up with friends. Where we love our church. Where you can afford to live without having to make $80,000 just to survive on one income. I love the pace of life there. I love getting to live closer to friends in Dallas and our friends in Tyler. It’s where Weston can take a job until he finds the job and we’ll be alright monetarily.

Because we will always make time for our families. My sister is the perfect meeting point between my parents and us. It’s a solid 4 hours from Tyler to Buda, but as Fitz gets older and older that becomes easier. And it’s only 4 hours. Not a plane ride. Not a full day’s drive.

As we get closer and closer to our move date, it still seems like the right decision. We quickly and easily found a place to live. Weston has had a job interview. We have other friends there who have sent us tons of duplexes and townhouse to look at, they’ve sent Weston’s resume to all the people they know. And they’ve let us talk their ear off about this stuff.

Praying and Fasting Part 1

We have big decisions to make.
While talking about it with some friends they recommended we pray and fast over it. I’ve never fasted. In all honesty out of a fear it wouldn’t help or that I would fail. But with their encouragement and explaining it doesn’t mean we will get a clear “absolutely yes” or “don’t you dare” but that it helps bring clarity and reliance on God and pushes you outside yourself we decided to fast this week.
Sure, we’ve prayed about this decision, but because it could take us really taking a leap of faith, it felt like we needed more. That we needed to make sure we’re really stepping out of ourselves and our wants and seeing what God wants.
As I write this we’ve fasted from all social media for a few days. The first two days were easy. I was excited. I had daily bible reading to catch up on while feeding Fitz when I normally scan Facebook or Instagram or Twitter. But now we’re a couple days after that. The newness and excitement has worn off. I’ve caught up on bible reading. No one has to know if I checked Twitter. If I posted Fitz’s weekly photo. And I fluctuate between legalism of following the rules to get the result I want and realizing this is a small sacrifice to draw near to God and seek him better than I normally do.
I’ve been reading Prayer by Tim Keller and it couldn’t be at a better time. In the time when I’m supposed to be meditating on God’s word and filling my time with prayer, I need all the help I can get to pray well. To reorient myself and my thoughts and my motives. To better understand how to pray scripture and be encouraged that I can pray for whatever I want. Keller writes
If God’s will is always right, and submission to it is so important, why pray for anything with fervor and confidence? Calvin lists the reasons. God invites us to do so and promises to answer prayers — because he is good and our loving heavenly Father. Also, God often waits to give a blessing until you have prayed for it. Why? Good things that we do not ask for will usually be interpreted by our hearts as the fruit of our own wisdom and diligence…God will not give us anything contrary to his will, and that will always include what is best for us in the long run. We can therefore pray confidently because He won’t give us everything we want.
I still want God to literally just tell me what He wants of us. A dream. For someone to come up on the street and tell me. Any way that means I don’t have to try so hard to listen and see if our desires line up with His.

Rejection and the lessons to be learned

Weston has been looking for a new job since December with a few breaks in there for moving and Fitz’s arrival. But realistically, it’s been about 4 months.

He’s gotten to the final round of interviews with big companies several times only to be turned down for the job. Near the beginning of his search he was offered a job but decided not to take it for several reasons.

I don’t think either of us are quite at the point where we wish he took that first job. But we are both at the point of, “When will I (he) get a job?” “What’s the problem?” “Why not me (him)?”

And I’m at the point where I continually ask myself if I’m praying the right things. Am I encouraging him in the right ways? Am I showing him how proud I am of him and that I know he’ll do whatever it takes to provide for our family? Am I doing any of these things enough or well?

What is God trying to show me? Or him? Or us? As someone who prides herself on saving, budgeting, being practical, is God trying to show me how much I still need to rely on him for things? Being grateful for family who will take us in so we don’t have to blow through all our savings? Is there pride in either of our lives aside from this that we need to work through and how much we need rely on Him for provisions of jobs, of food, of clothing, of all our needs? I want to work through it to get to the end goal and I’m not savoring or rejoicing in the process – which I know I need to.

Babies and Moving and No Job

Things I am happy about:

  1. Our house is sold. We didn’t have to put it on the MLS. And we made out money back.
  2. Weston isn’t in a job that gave him more gray hairs in 3 months than 4.5 years of marriage has given him.
  3. Fitz is here and made us parents
  4. Parents who let us live with them and that saves us money while Weston searches for a job.

Things that don’t make me happy/I struggle with:

  1. Weston not having a job. There’s tons of open jobs, but then they want more experience than you have, or expert knowledge in ____ program, or something else.
  2. Living in a town we don’t know if we’ll stay in. This in itself isn’t bad, but it’s been part of what has made it hard to plug in somewhere. I will be going to MOPS for the rest of the semester to at least get to meet some people. Weston has some guy friends who live in Austin he’s been able to hang out with a few times. And we’ve gotten to spend time with Weston’s family several times and will get to again this month.
  3. Not having community. In Tyler we LOVED our church community. We built solid friendships and it was life giving. In College Station near the end we were there with a couple, but overall just didn’t have a solid friendship base. Granted, we were only there a year. It is what it is. And now we’re somewhere new. We aren’t in Austin Austin so the friends Weston has here are pretty far. They have lives already and are plugged in places. To drive 45 minutes for church seems a bit crazy when we are living where there’s a plethora of churches as well. Add having a baby in and we haven’t even been to church since living here.

    But we’re finally at a place where I feel comfortable taking Fitz to church so we tried one today. My prayer is that we don’t let our unknowns keep us from getting plugged in now. Even if we’re only here in Buda for another month, I pray we are invested. I pray we don’t waste our time here. And I pray we make some friends.

I joined Plexus

Don’t judge. Okay you can judge a little. I’m still judging myself some.

In the past 6 months or so several people with whom I’m friends on Facebook have joined and posted all the time about it. Not until one girl, who is a nurse, joined and started posting did I start looking into it. I thought, “okay this girl at least has some medical background”. She talked about how it’s helped her genetically high cholesterol, her allergies, and other problems she’s had. She didn’t do it for weight loss. I’m 26 with high cholesterol. I have horrible allergies. And then reading that it could help boost your milk supply if you’re nursing, I was interested.

I text my sister about it, turns out she takes it. She said she loved the Probiotic.

Okay, I’ll try it. I order the Triplex which has the Plexus Slim drink powder, BioCleanse, and the Probiotic. Before I started taking it, I took pictures of all the ingredient lists and asked my OBGYN to make sure it’d be okay with nursing. She approved so I figured I’d give it a shot.

I can’t say whether Slim has given me more energy because I still want my coffee everyday and probably won’t give it up. I don’t know if my cholesterol is lower because I haven’t had it tested. My allergies haven’t bothered me, but as spring weather comes in full force I’ll be able to tell more. My weight loss from having a baby had plateaued the past few weeks and then I weighed myself yesterday and had lost 5 pounds. And today I pumped for the first time in 3 weeks and from the same side Fitz had just eaten on, I got 4 ounces!

Now that part is impressive to me. And that’s why I decided to join. I’ve never been lacking in milk, but had to plan when I’d pump and what side. And this had never happened.

I’m not a crazy Plexus lady. And I hope to never be one. But I’ve tried it and so far I’m impressed.

 

Motherhood

People have always said motherhood (parenting) is insanely difficult. I’d internally scoff at new moms who would say it’s so hard yet so rewarding. Surely, changing, feeding, and putting a newborn to sleep can’t be that trying. Why on earth would people think it’s difficult? Sure, once the baby is older, it’d be more difficult. When they start having an attitude, or can move around and get into everything. But when all they can do is lay there, why aren’t you getting anything done around the house? Why can’t you be on time?

7 weeks in and I’ve still always been on time – and that’s probably more of a testament to my upbringing than anything else. I know my day is coming when everything falls a part and we’re lucky to make it out the door in one piece, much less on time.

But I owe a huge apology to every single mom I’ve silently judged. Motherhood is hard – even when they’re newborns. You’re exhausted. Sometimes it seems like nothing you do will make your baby stop crying. You have plans for everything you’ll accomplish that day: laundry, dinner, cleaning the bathroom, and that day your baby decides he wants to be held all day and wants to eat every hour.

Do you know how many baskets of clean laundry are in our room right now? 2. And there’s another load in the dryer. Do you know how many meals I’ve made? 0. Weston has taken care of it or my mom. Our bathroom has been half cleaned for a couple of days now.

Part of it has boiled down to what seems more important to me at this point. I want to enjoy this time where Weston is home everyday and so we go on walks, or go get coffee as a little family.

But I will no longer say that motherhood surely can’t be that hard. It is hard. It’s exhausting. Sometimes this little bundle of joy is anything but a bundle of joy and you are about to completely lose it. But it is rewarding. That first time they smile at you. Watching them sleep or watching them be enthralled by a new toy. And you are once again reminded of the gift they really are.

I’m not doing this alone

I’m an introvert. I don’t particularly like small talk – mainly because I’m really bad at it. But after living in Austin without friends for the past 6 weeks, even I was ready and willing to go meet new people.

My mom had encouraged me to go to their church’s MOPS group, so yesterday I went. The small talk wasn’t any easier for me, but it was worth getting out of the house and talking to people. I had Fitz with me and when he started crying when I started eating brunch, multiple women told me to let them know if I want them to hold him while I eat, or just to have a break. I took them up on it. To have my hands free while Fitz was being put to sleep. The hour break to be able to eat with two hands.

The majority of the time we’re at home I’m trying to keep Fitz myself so Wes can search and apply for jobs without distraction. He’s always there to help, but sometimes I forget that.

This morning Fitz was a little on the fussy side so I decided we’d take a drive and go through the Starbucks drive-thru. We get there and there’s a line to the feeder road so I give up since he cries when the car isn’t moving. Wes comes downstairs and reminds me that we’re a team. That he can take care of Fitz if I need some time alone. That I should never feel bad waking him up to change Fitz, rock him, whatever. I can always say, “Please take Fitz, I need some me time”.

I like to think I can do everything alone. But yesterday and today reminded me I can’t. I get tired, and impatient and know I need help. Because we aren’t meant to go at life alone. Any part of life.