Young and Free

Laying back on a crash pad, dusty white hands behind my head was just what the doctor ordered this week. As I gazed up at my husband who was climbing a high bouldering route, I felt “normal” for the first time in a long while. Climbing was fun, too. I worked through about five easy-ish routes and called it a night because one of my fingers was throbbing from a cut I earlier gained. But I didn’t care, for I felt young and free.

I felt as such because I was enjoying an activity of my “prime.” And I was on a date with my handsomely rugged husband, watching him kill it on the wall. And there were many seemingly young and free individuals surrounding me in the cozy rock gym. I took the stairs to the loft, washed my hands in the giant metal sink and perused the “Resting Place.” A substantial wooden table with its chairs sat in the center of the dimly lit room. One wall housed bookcases of comic books and adventure magazines. I took a seat on a couch opposite the books, letting my thoughts continue to trail.The diapers and rice cereal and spit up and pulled earrings were behind me for now and I was in heaven. It wasn’t but a few minutes before Dave joined me. He often checks in on me and I like it. I appreciate how he constantly derives how he can be helping me and seeks to understand how I am doing. I need it these days.

You see, motherhood hasn’t been a walk in the park. Don’t get me wrong, I adore spending my days with Alisan. She is cute and easy to love, especially with all her new little babbling and baby tricks. Being a new mom has been rough in the aspect of T-I-M-E. I wake up early to her screaming her little lungs out and by the time I gently lay her to sleep at night, there are counters to wipe. By then, I’m more than ready to hit our creaky, government-issued bed. She and I do have a ton of fun in between. I break up the feedings, laundry and errands with long walks around town with the pup, lunch with friends, story time at the library, Bible study… It’s all so very fun, it’s just that I can’t always do what I used to. With a baby attached to me like a kangaroo, I can’t go to a yoga class whenever I’d like. I can’t hike a hill and read a book. I’m not able to do a great many things because…nap time….and nursing. I’m not complaining. Regrettably, I sometimes I do complain because sometimes I get sad. But when it comes down to it, I gladly give up my age old pleasures for the honor of raising a daughter. Gosh, that’s weighty. And God gave me this specific job for this specific time and this specific (little) person.

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Back to time. Thursday nights are special. Every other Thursday evening, Dave and I date like we’re still dating. We climb, we coffee shop, we walk the beach. I’m grateful for those three hours and our dedicated babysitter. It’s been remarkable for our marriage and I might could write another post about this another day. On the opposing Thursdays we have alternating personal nights. Those are good too. This weekly routine has been essential for us. It’s just one night a week and doesn’t feel like much sometimes, but I get to look forward to it with so much excited anticipation. I feel young and free. I feel like myself. Extended moments to journal and drink a cold brew is all I sometimes need to rejuvenate my mind and get ready to get back to it.

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Yes, I’m a wife and mother. These are my roles. I understand there are seasons and that I’m growing up. I am learning to embrace all this season has to offer. Caring for a little human, cooking healthy meals for my family, clinging to the Lord’s promise of peace during fussy spells, praying dangerous prayers for my family, learning to better love my husband and learning to make bread rise (two takes last week, both failed) only scratch the surface!

My life is beautiful. But it’s wonderful to step aside and reflect, connect with my husband and my Father. I’m grateful to Dave for being my biggest fan when I feel insufficient and overwhelmed. Who said having one kid is easy? 🙂 And I’m grateful to God for walking with me up the stairs to the nursery and down the street to the grocery. Your quiet whispers keep me focused on that which is of true importance.

I may not be getting any younger (the silvers atop prove this), but I can confidently can say I’m becoming more free. Whether I’m out on the town on a Thursday night or trying to squeeze in time with the Lord during morning nap, my soul is exploding all the more, with each passing day. His love is at work in me beckoning me to indulge in and share of His freedom, if only to my babe and pup that day. Before this turns into what looks like one of my journal entries, I’ll call it a night.

One Month Married

My least favorite part of the day is “zero six thirty” when David leaves, cycling down the road to work. This is also my most favorite part of the day. Early mornings in their shadowy darkness and quietness are lovely despite my best friend leaving. I start the dishwasher, make the bed, pick up the house, and sit down on the couch by the kerosene heater. The only thing that could possibly disturb the silence is the back-door-neighbor, a green-eyed pit bull who lives in the dirt behind a chain fence. If his owners have not yet let him out, all is silent and communion with my Father proceeds in peace.

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Twentynine Palms, California. I’m here. Rather, WE’RE here. David moved here to the Mojave Desert in the fall for Communications School and I joined him after our Christmastime wedding.

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I’m married! I’m married and I love it. Plainly, it has been just one month (to the day!), but I rest certain, knowing I will forever delight in this decision. David is the most caring, calm, God-loving, intrepid, and handsome man. There is no one else with whom I would rather spend my time. I like eating cereal and toast with him before the crack of dawn. I like when he rolls in the door all sweaty (sorry, Dave) in the late afternoon and I get to kiss his face. I like running with him. He is so kind to do this with me though his mile time is four minutes faster than mine. I like when we pray together. I like reading together. He can stay up taking in C.S. Lewis stories on his Kindle for what seems like hours while I doze off after a few pages. I like that we can talk about anything, even more things now that we’re married. I like long drives with him and slowly grazing bookstores together and hiking mountains and climbing rocks. I like visiting friends from church and listening to him talk so purely and joyfully. I like going to Del Taco with him….sort of. We visited once and both agree we can most definitely live without returning to the local fast food joint. But I reckon I’ve made my point. I like to do most everything with my husband. Call it the honeymoon stage if you like, but married life is terrific.

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This season is undoubtedly a testament to God’s never-ending faithfulness. I’ve prayed long and hard for my husband. God did clearly intersect our paths. And our new path couldn’t be better. Am I naive to the fact that trials and less than awesome times may materialize? I don’t think so. If truth be told, I sometimes wonder when they will eventually happen. But for now, I am living in gratitude for these days and pray I can do so when life brings valleys. And when I’m stuck in a ditch, I rest assured Dave will help to pull me out. I pray I can do the same for him. When we’re down there together, we’ll have a hand to hold.

I thank God for this time in Southern California. I am grateful for the blessings of a sweet, sweet place to spend time as a newlywed. The mountains and our little home and the people in our lives are beyond what I could have hoped or dreamed. I am getting to know my husband better by the day, by the hour. And I love him increasingly more. Time here will be short-lived, for we are headed to Okinawa in April. I am thrilled and prayerful about the coming months here and abroad.

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In short, marriage is GOOD. My friend Stephanie Wilson once said, “marriage is like having a slumber party with your best friend every. single. night.”