Monday, December 19, 2011

One Year in Aggieland: Changes

Sunday the 18th marked our one year anniversary of being here in College Station!  You can read James' post about how we got here on his blog, here.  Reaching this milestone has made me a bit reflective on what it has meant for us so far, being one year in to living our church-planting dream.  Over this week, I'm blogging about some of the lessons we've learned and the ways that we've grown during our time here.  God is (as always) on the move, and I want to document some of what He's done and is doing in our lives.

Today I want to talk about changes.  What has changed in the last year?  Well, when we moved here, Elijah wasn't even crawling, he was almost seven months old, and he hadn't yet cut his first tooth (I was so proud that he fit with the "all I want for Christmas is teeth" idea!).  Now he's working on teeth #s13 & 14, he runs all over the place, and is 18 1/2 months old!  I'm now six months pregnant with a child we had yet to even start trying for, the first ATS class hadn't begun yet while now we have 12 proud graduates, and there was so much unknown about this place!  We didn't know the half of what James' job at church would really look like, yet now he plays huge roles in implementing Sunday service, ATS, and many other things.

The way I do relationships has changed since being here.  Community, vulnerability, speaking the truth in love, all these "Antioch-isms" we throw around, they've all become a lot more real to me in the last year.  I've experienced what it is to step into relationships with people who have just chosen to be intimate friends with me instead of building those relationship over years (yes, they still have to be built, but there's already a choice there-how sweet!).  I've experienced more confrontation-type conversations than ever (you hurt my feelings when___, I felt _____ when you did _____, etc), but friendships are deeper/stronger for it.

Obviously, our parenting has changed since being here.  It feels like this is where Elijah has become a real person.  His personality has blossomed, and I've loved getting to experience who he is.  I also have access to some truly awesome parents in our church, and love getting to ask questions of the ones who've gone before, and bounce ideas off of the ones who are walking through the same situations.  Parenting is sure not meant to be done alone!  We've had to step into the world of discipline, figuring out what our rules for Elijah are and how to enforce them.  We've had to adjust schedules (of course!), learn to make plans and participate in community while guarding sleep and peace for our little one.  We're learning how to operate as a family instead of merely a couple, and Elijah is thriving!

Our marriage has changed since being here.  Several friends on the team who planted this church learned the hard way about living within healthy boundaries and margins, and not just "leaving it all on the field" all the time at the expense of health and family, etc.  Because of the lessons they've learned, we've had some GREAT modeling about how and when to say no.  I've learned that not only is it permissible, but it's healthy, to avoid making discipleship appointments on my husband's day off.  I've learned that I don't have to sacrifice the things I need to do around the house to accept every invitation.  James and I have grown in our communication, in self-awareness (well, he's always been pretty self-aware.  I'm growing!), and in true intimacy.  It's great!  I'm even more thankful for James now than the day I married him!

My whole lifestyle has changed since moving here.  This is where I've truly gotten to experience being a stay-at-home mom.  In Waco, I was teaching until Elijah was born, and then we were in the school of church planting, so while I was with Elijah all the time, I wasn't at home all that much.  I've gotten into the world of blogging (now I read lots of other blogs in addition to writing my own), I've jumped into sewing and DIYing, done furniture refinishing, and expanded my decorating style.  Sometimes I take Elijah to library storytime, we go play at the park, and we go grocery shopping during the day (gasp!).  I LOVE getting to stay home with him and be the Mom I want to be!  :)

Edit: Other posts in this series: One Year in Aggieland: Living on Support 
 One Year in Aggieland: Leadership

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