Saturday, December 27, 2014

January Joy

[Parts of this post were modified and used in our Christmas letter. I actually started writing this post first, but some of it seemed to make its way nicely into the body of the letter.]

Last December was particularly excruciating. There was just a lot of fear and I was incredibly overwhelmed thinking about our new life. We were so close we could almost touch it and a lot of days I was paralyzed by fear thinking about it.

On December 31st we dropped Peyton off at the airport, knowing we wouldn't see him again until he found our new home, I loaded up all our shit, and I flew twelve hundred miles with both kids and away from everything I had ever known to be home. Graves was super sick and it was a really hard day.

But the rest of January was such a special time. I didn't really share much because I didn't blog a lot during those weeks. I did miss Peyton a lot, but it was also a really wonderful time.

Bruce Springsteen released a new album that month and it was perfectly timed. Peyton and I spent a weepy (on my part) night live streaming it pre-release across the country from one another. That CD became the soundtrack of my life and one particular song, which talked about a "kingdom of love waiting to be reclaimed" became the anthem of my of my heart. I was so inspired and something in me knew that this adventure would be a true turning point in our marriage and in some ways, our lives. It has been, and truth be told, I'm still a little shocked at how much it has been.

My relationship with the children changed immediately, in a way it's continued to change since we moved. Without Peyton then, and without outside support from my family now, the children became more and more my little buddies. Of course there's still a dynamic of authority and of course I'm not actively trying to be my children's best friend. But more and more, as I have them with me almost constantly and as I have more grown up conversations with them (especially Annie), they feel like such sweet buddies. I felt this start while we were still at home. They were with me more than ever and I didn't have the breaks I was used to. But we adjusted.

One sweet memory involves how I was sleeping on the couch every night, partly because I felt safer and partly because the TV in that room was still connected and I couldn't go to sleep without it on. Anyway, both the kids were waking up a good bit more than usual at night and I chalked it up mostly to Peyton's absence and the tension of transition. They'd typically both join me on the sofa at some point and we'd all snuggle in. I loved it so much and I felt like I was providing them with myself through the night in a way I wasn't able to during the day with all the packing and things I had to be doing by myself. They both slept late (not the ridiculous way that screws your whole day over, but the perfect amount where I woke up well rested) almost every morning. I attribute that mostly to God's grace during that particular season.

I check Timehop on my phone most days to see what I was doing on this particular date over the past few years. It's coming up on the point where things are going to get really bittersweet and my guess is, it will be that way for awhile. I'm about to start seeing the flashbacks of the days and weeks leading up to our move and the days and weeks that follow. Again, if I had to guess, these little snippets of life will bring a lot of tears. Because the move was one of the most frightening but most amazing things I've ever done.

We had an AMAZING November and December has been mostly wonderful, but pretty much every day I either struggle with being homesick for Mississippi or being heartsick about only having a few more months. In the back of my mind, I kept thinking that living in this tension will probably get harder and harder as we count down towards May.

But I'm thankful for the past year and I'm also hopeful for some January Joy...

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