Friday, October 21, 2016

Over Tea //

That old saying about life beginning over again in the fall? It's ringing especially true this year. This summer was hard. Not bad, big difference, not even without pleasantness or rest or delight, just hard. There is so much worth in a journey, great growth through trial -- whether suffered well through or not, and much to learn by looking back once youre on the other side of it. I'm truly grateful. Just as I remember being as a young teen looking back on how I was disciplined as a child. Luke and I are thriving.

A few weeks ago we spent my birthday at a friend's wedding. We had the privilege of singing in their ceremony and, a first for me, I led the first worship song we sang that day. Of all the songs it could have been it felt so hand-picked for me. "It Is Well" by Bethel's Kristene DiMarco is anthem like, a modern-day Psalm in heart. The ideal first sentence in a fresh chapter of my life, but also of our life together -- Luke's and mine. I truly believe that Twenty-Four is the year of double blessing for me and a friend nailed that with her birthday wish to me: "I pray this year is even more blessed than the last one." Considering that my Twenty-Third year was possibly the very sweetest of my single years and an intense one in regard to heart break and healing, as well as the year that I met and was pursued by and became engaged to and married Luke Osicka, as well as the year that I became a mother -- two things (marriage and motherhood) I had faithfully waited my entire life to step into, knowing I was called to them from the earliest ages -- it's hard to imagine it getting better from here. But the Word says we always go from glory to glory. So I'm stepping in.

The love story, the wedding, the life, the pregnancy weren't all as I had always imagined and wished, but I loved them. I wouldn't change them. The past five months (of the seven we've been married) living with other people and having unreliable income have been very challenging. Luke responded far better to the stretching. He responded the way I'd like to say I did. I grew nevertheless, which is the gift of trials, and with the next ones may I be found rejoicing at the outset of them knowing that that gift is ahead of me again. We've been promoted in a sense though from utter debters, practically homeless, to Luke being employed on the spot at two of the three top restaurants in Eau Claire and moving into a friend's beautiful and spacious home on our minimal budget while they're overseas. Everything that needs to be paid is being paid, we've found a rhythm to our living at Luke's mom's house north of town, him working in Eau Claire, and me seeing my family more than I have in the past two years combined.

I'm built to make beautiful things and am ready to have a space of our own to do that in again but there is so much more. I want to dress my ever-changing body beautifully, to take aesthetically pleasing photos of my everyday again, go to beautiful places and get to enjoy beautiful foods and drinks on our own dollar again, create a new area of our life that's beautiful just for Baby O. I want to make and sell and promote beautiful things. But just as there were so many years that I couldn't control the timing on my getting married or having children, I'm now in a season where I'm very limited to the beauty I can cultivate. And in that place of wrestling and wishes the whispers break through that Papa God is more focused than ever (an oxymoron with our never-changing God, but He is always doing a new thing) on making beautiful things in my life -- mainly in me. So while I now have the time and the space for this creative outlet it won't be for the posts I've been dreaming of these past months (making a new home, changing our wardrobes as a couple, picturesque travels, enchanting gatherings, or homemade baby things, etc) they will be posts I am as delighted by I'm sure because they're going to be birthed in the secret place and collect vision for the future and tell an untold story of a Beloved's faithful presence through the wilderness (see Song of Solomon 8). The new song (read: life) growing inside of me and the whole life I've lived with the Father of Lights and the real example of a life of faith I have in my husband are more than enough reason to sing -- in any circumstance -- and the best is still always yet to come.

P.S. I'm fixed on this portrait. The laughter that bubbled out of me continuously during the ultrasound I never want to forget. Such victory through Jesus. Seeing our little dancing babe squirm and scrunch and flip about and kick at the edges of me was a pure, pure joy. Of all the children I have loved, it's still surreal that this one is actually my own.

What the Littles Wore //

Babies don't need as much stuff as most have and parents don't need as many gadgets to take care of them as they think at the start. Clothes are tricky because styles change and hand-me-down's are pointless if they are worn through and most figure "why would we spend much money on clothes when babies grow so fast that they only wear each piece a few times". Yet babies spit up and wet themselves and have blow out diapers so they end up in more than one outfit most days, requiring a good collection of pieces. Ive done childcare for my whole life and learned a few things but I think parenthood is as much a journey of discovery, of trial and error, as childhood is.

Luke and I are choosing to invest in fair trade, eco-friendly, organic things for our first child, and all gender neutral clothes, trusting that the high quality will make them last through many kiddos' use and are, therefore, worth the price (beyond the established principle of valuing life enough to be sure that seamstresses and factory workers and farmers are all treated well in the process of the making of the goods we support with our purchases). Our Baby List (online registry) reflects this. That being said, there are so many adorable items that aren't gender neutral -- little vests for boys and dresses for girls. Here are some pieces I can hardly resist.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Month Four-Six // our journey

JUNE we were hosted for two weeks by the friends who had originally introduced Chelsea to me before I began my DTS (discipleship training school) at YWAM (Youth With A Mission) Northwoods in Weyerhaeuser, WI last fall. With no lead on a place to live in the Twin Cities and no feedback on sent-out job applications Chelsea’s Dad then offered us a rental unit of his to live in temporarily in Pepin, WI. We only spent a week there before transitioning again but in many regards it was like another honeymoon — although I say that we’re always on our honeymoon. Unrevealed to us, until weeks later, Baby Osicka joined our journey during this time. Our album “Never Far” was released digitally via BandCamp on the 23rd and was on Spotify, Google Play, and iTunes, etc. a few days later. Its best found in searching the net with the adding of our band name, “Mid Air Never Far.”

JULY we moved into a community house, our own bedroom and all the living spaces shared, in Dinkytown Minneapolis. I was hired by a former YWAMer to do construction work — mostly painting. Chelsea and I reconnected with my first home church, Sojourn Campus Church, where I had been discipled after my life was forever changed by Jesus in 2011. We also spent much time with the folks at KPA, the community house I had lived in back then. Following our album release party at 420 Cafe in Eau Claire, WI and our move to the Cities, Chels and I continued to play live shows, even getting to perform with my old band and dear friends of mine called Fox and Swallow.

AUGUST brought continued steps of faith. As I sought a change of job we took a day to reevaluate vision for our future. Our friend’s business was still a year out from launching and we were released from that, Chelsea was desiring to settle somewhere and make it home as we anticipated a baby joining us, and so our season in Minneapolis swiftly wrapped up. We had only seen it lasting until the end of the summer and couldn't explain why, but here we were in August and that’s what was happening. Packing our room’s worth of belongings into a storage unit Chelsea and I, and our Great Pyrenees, Barley James, headed to New York City. We stayed at YWAM bases along the way on our five day road trip and were greatly blessed by those times with the Body. We had incredible favor on us during our journey out and, while God held us during our total of five days in the City, no doors for the long term ever opened up. Therefore we made the return journey, praying all the way for wisdom, guidance, and provision. During the drive Chelsea asked me what I’d think of staffing at YWAM Northwoods for their upcoming school. That’s all I needed to hear. We were in Eau Claire, WI through the end of the month with our sights set on serving in Weyerhaeuser, WI at YWAM for the next two years. We were awaiting confirmation from the leadership at the base that they wanted us on staff but we were also moving forward in faith and support raising while we waited. 

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Still //

Something beautiful about blogs is that they wait. Having a space that grows with you and is so open to the flow of creativity -- heavy or sparse. Like a lifelong friend who you dont see or even speak to for a year but then you catch each other for a few hours and pick up right where you left off, that's a lot like this space. July is an update in and of itself but here we are in August and I have new news. Sometimes I dont write simply because I dont know what is happening or where we are going or what we are doing, Im just taking one day at a time. This past month in Minneapolis has been that, certainly, but its also been a wonderfully still season and Ive been soaking in that. News always gets out eventually and it will be exciting but for now Im still savoring the final days of stillness before another wild adventure ensues. This is the life. 
Little life glimpses can always be followed on Instagram: @chelsea_pea

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Month Three // our journey

Our car full of things, staying in guest rooms, living on a prayer, quite literally except for the generosity of friends, family and the blessing of some work-for-hire jobs here and there. Forty days like that was not easy -- the only resource we had most of the time was gas in our car and with all the miles we tracked between Eau Claire, the Cities, and Pepin we ended up driving a lot of miles on empty and then Daddy God would give us enough to put some more gas in. Luke thinks this is not even half as crazy as the life we will lead in years to come, traveling or being on the road for months at a time, but it was plenty challenging for now. In the midst of it all we took moments to just be. Going swimming with Barley in the river in Eau Claire, a short film showing in Minneapolis with friends, a week long "second honeymoon" in Pepin (the first chance we had to stay in a space all our own in almost a month since leaving Milwaukee and where we were so broke we could only afford ramen and eggs for every meal from the dollar store but we splurged on a shared cup of coffee a few times), and an evening cookout at a friend's lake house. Luke worked as much as he could. I took the chance to rest as much I could. We learned so much grace for people who are on the road a lot. You cant hold a steady job like that but, boy, do you still want to work and meet your needs and bless others. Encouragement was so needed. We clung closer to each other through that, thankfully brief, season than I could have imagined. Finishing our album in that time was a great breakthrough and celebration. Showing it to friends and family was precious. 

Transition that seems perpetual is taxing. Not being able to take care of your own dog much is challenging. Being broke is really rough. We saw Daddy God be so faithful to us, even sweet, through the forty days of no-home and essentially no income. Luke handles it all much better than I do. Im so glad he leads us -- rejoicing always in the opportunities we're provided by circumstances to grow and to see God move. We arent where Id ever thought we would be, but faith in the midst of the journey is what counts the most. Saying no to depression or anxiety or anger and instead cultivating hope, because it doesnt disappoint. P.S. Love is free.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Month Two // our journey

In May we were wrapping up the short season of shared life we spent in Milwaukee. We worked together a lot -- at my job, getting Luke to work, at coffee shops, trekking back and forth to the Cities to record our album. We sold lots of our things so we could travel much lighter, packing up and moving out. Luke was blessed by how willing I was to part with the life Id spent years building to bless my future husband with. We went to weddings together -- first time Ive had a date to a wedding, and now I have one for life. We ate out, got coffee, walked our dog, ate ice cream, watched basketball, gave what we had to all the homeless people we saw. These are some sweet memories in the midst of the just-getting-started craziness that our life together was becoming.