I can't believe it's been over two months since I last wrote. So much has changed that it feels like a lifetime ago. Some snippets of our life lately:
In August we led the first youth retreat at our church's new campus. Our kids are the best in the world. We had a blast!
I got to go home over Labor Day - I hadn't been since Christmas and it was SO good to see everyone.
I reunited with some of my dearest friends on earth...
Got a new hairstyle...
And stayed in a cabin deep in the woods with my family.
I was in charge of dinner every night. We went all out.
Sue, my littlest, took her first plane ride to come back with me and visit. She turned 13 while she was here! I feel old.
Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream cake per her special request :)
Tigger had the worst withdrawal when she left...
What a little beauty :)
The Endeavor made its last flight over Nasa Space Center - and my balcony!
Our youth group keeps growing...
And getting closer.
(Also, WE MOVED!! Check out the before and afters above)
I discovered my new favorite cake recipe...
And a fall soup that is out of this world. More on that later.
I met my hero last week, and she was everything I dreamed of: warm, sweet, funny and so complimentary. Pioneer Woman, I love thee.
I've been on a serious bread baking kick lately. I discovered a no-knead, three-ingredient basic recipe that has endless add-in possibilities. I learned the hard way how NOT to remove the lid from a 450-degree Dutch oven, and bear the scars today. But this crusty deliciousness is so worth it.
Lemon, rosemary and cheddar
Cranberry, orange and almond. Slay me.
Changes on a broader note:
I quit work at the library in September when I was offered a job at a local pregnancy center, where I've volunteered weekly since January. I now work part-time as the Office Manager and a spiritual counselor. Not a day goes by when I'm not praying for clients, reading Scripture with them, telling them about God and helping them find God's purpose in whatever crisis they're facing. I could not ask for a better job and I am SO grateful.
Nathan now commutes almost an hour each way to an extremely demanding job, and he's studying non-stop for the GMAT. His dream is to get an MBA from a top business school. I have found such joy in picking up all the extra responsibilities around the house so he can be free to work and study. Every day I learn anew that God's grace is sufficient, and He is more than enough!
What our life will look like a year from now still remains very much up in the air. I miss my family more every day. I want to be closer to home, but more than that I want God's will for Nathan and me. Any place that God has not called us to would be miserable indeed. I am learning to embrace with joy every season that I'm in, and live every day to the fullest - not missing out on a single bit that God has for me here, and now. With the election I am reminded of the uncertainty of the future. It is enough to simply pray every day, "Your kingdom come, Your will be done." No matter how our circumstances change, I want to be nowhere else but in the center of God's will.