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.