Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy 4th of July!

We did most of our celebrating the 4th yesterday. We were invited to a neighbor's house to a dessert party before the local fireworks show. We invited one of Jon's fellow Hebrew classmates to come to our house before the party so we could walk over together. Jon's new friend, Elias, is from Tanzania and is here for 1 year. He has 6 children and a wife back at home! It is not uncommon for African internationals to come to Trinity for 1 or 2 years while their families are back at home. What a great sacrifice for them to make! I don't know that I could do it. Elias brought one of his roommates, Ferdinand, who is from Kenya. We made them eat with us (haha--I think they had just eaten but we gave them a place at the table and they ate some). It was wonderful to have some guests at our dinner table. We didn't get to do that as much when we were living in Anna as we did in San Antonio and I really missed it. I think we will get to host more here since we are living so close to the community we are a part of.

I made a rhubarb pie from a Williams-Sonoma recipe that was tasty and brought that to the party. At one point there were probably about 20 kids running around the backyard and playing together. When all the fireflys came out the kids ran around chasing them and putting them in jars. There was a huge table loaded with all kinds of different desserts--you can bet I was glad I passed my glucose tolerance test! I chowed down on some awesome chocolate chip cookies and some homemade angelfood cake. The boys got dirty from running around--there is more exposed dirt around here so by the end of the day of playing outside their feet are black with dirt along with their hands.

We waited until about 9:30 and headed out to find a place to watch the fireworks being shot off from the high school. All we had to do was go to the end of our block and turn the corner! I love being so close to the action. We happened to be standing next to our next door neighbors whom we hadn't met yet. I had a nice talk with the lady and met her kids. They are older but it was nice to finally meet our other next door neighbors. The fireworks started a 10pm and it was a good show. It was the first time we let the boys stay up that late for fireworks. They enjoyed it but they were getting pretty tired. By the time we got home and wiped them down, got jammies on and put them in bed it was 11pm. Of course they got up at the same time they always do-- 7am! They took super long naps this afternoon to make up for their lack of sleep.

Today Jon worked and when the kids got up at 4 we headed out to Frick Park. I found it yesterday on the way home from a food co-op store. The park has 2 playgrounds and hiking trails. I am proud to say that at 32 weeks pregnant I accomplished a good hike where the last part was completly up a very large and somewhat steep hill. It was a bit of a challenge but I didn't have to stop and rest. Then we went and ate at Qdobo and came home for bedtimes. The boys still got to bed a little later than their usual bedtime but it was worth it to have some good family time.

On a personal note:
I woke up this morning feeling sad. I miss my friends and long for a deeper connection with other women. I think my sadness was triggered from the party last night. It was fun to talk to other seminarians although I have to admit that I was a little sad I didn't get a chance to talk (very much) to other women who were there. Many of the women already knew each other and had relationships with each other. There was only one other new seminarian at the party (most people don't move here until August right before classes start). I felt my shyness come out and felt awkward at butting in on conversations already going on which made it easy to just play (okay, hide) with the kids and help them. I guess I just have to get over my shyness and insecurity and go up to introduce myself to people even if they don't seem all that interested. It is easy to revert back to the wallflower in me when I am in a new social situation.

Now that most of the unpacking is done and things are starting to settle into a routine I think my emotional constipation is getting unclogged (there's an image for ya). Things don't feel quite as busy so lonliness is able to creep up. I have been thinking more about the birth of the baby and am realizing what fears and anxieties I have that I need to pray about. There are a lot of things tempting me to live in fear right now (the biggest one is that we are currently uninsured--we are working on it though!).

I think the prescription for my sadness and fear is to spend some extra time being quiet before the Lord on our porch swing. When my mind is swirling with so many thoughts and emotions that seem to blitz me out of nowhere I think some silence will help. Now, if I could just have some discipline to actually follow through with it......


mamabrown said...

So sorry you are feeling sad, sweetie. You are right about having so many irons in the fire you haven't had time to think about anything except getting to the next chore.

Sometimes when I am lonesome and sad, a lovely old hymn comes to mind, It Is Well With My Soul. There is probably something much more contemporary that appeals to you but maybe you can translate the sentiment into today's modern language to make it pleasing to your ear. My grandmother used to hum this hymn (along with many others)while she worked in the house. But this one struck me one Sunday morning in church when I was sad about something and I liked the simple melody and the words. They comforted me and I realized that no matter what else was happening around me or to me, that as long as Jesus was in my heart that all was well in my soul. The Holy Spirit must remind me often when I feel sad and lonely...because these words fill me with peace and security...

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.


It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.


My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!


For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.


But, Lord, ‘tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh trump of the angel! Oh voice of the Lord!
Blessèd hope, blessèd rest of my soul!


And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.


Words: Ho­ra­tio G. Spaf­ford, 1873.

Music: Phil­ip P. Bliss, 1876 (MI­DI, score). The tune is named af­ter the ship on which Spaf­ford’s child­ren per­ished, the S.S. Ville de Havre. Iron­ic­al­ly, Bliss him­self died in a tra­gic train wreck short­ly af­ter writ­ing this mu­sic.

I found the words and note on It will also play the music if you care to hear the music.

Anyway, sorry I wrote so much. Just wanted to step through the blog and give you big hugs because you are still my baby and I long to comfort you when you are sad or hurting. I will be praying that your shyness will evaporate and that it is well with your soul. Love you so very much, Mom

Dawn Reiss said...

i've recently lived through an exceedingly lonely period with no immediate Christian community, and i've got to tell you, from personal (and very recent) experience, spend 30 minutes a day with God. while the boys are napping or while they're watching tv (if they watch tv). just make it part of your daily schedule. if nothing else, read the chapter of proverbs that coincides with the date of the month. i've been doing this for the past 6 months (along with published Bible study guides for my qt's) and they really sink into your soul.

i also revert to wallflower whenever i'm uncomfortable in crowds, so i know precisely what you're saying. it is so DANG EASY to give in to the temptation to hide behind the kids or retreat into yourself. i do that and it is a swirling cycle of guilt, fear, self-doubt, and laziness. i call it the "emotional abyss". i'm still working on not letting myself go there when i'm trying to make new friends.

pray specifically for things and God will specifically answer them. i will pray for you.

Anonymous said...

Praying for you, friend.

Kelsey said...

Oh Amelia. It is so hard to spend time with the Lord when that is the exact thing that will help you know? I don't know why I avoid it so much. Maybe because it's like ripping off a band aid and all of the sad and emotions I've been trying to avoid (but for me really just come out in impatience and frustration) spill over and just hurt for a little bit. For some reason your post brought tears to my eyes... I think it's because I miss you so much. It's so hard to find women in church that I can relate to who are honest and compassionate and above all put God as a priority in their lives. I've learned a lot from you in the past few years that I've known you and wish (especially now) that I had spent more time with you.
What an amazing opportunity for growth that God has put you in. I admire so much that you and Jon are constantly reaching out to others in ministry/council and in relationships.
I'm sad that you are sad right now. I'm all too familiar with the whole shyness thing. I'll be praying for you that God would bring you some sweet fellowship and peace. I'm glad you're my friend.

Tina said...

Remember this. You are a couragious woman of God. Sometimes life circumstances/ the enemy / whatever! - leaves us with a void. I think in those moments, if left unattended or in a state of rambleness, it is a chance to divert our eyes, our hearts from the Lord. A wise woman (your mother in law to be exact) told me a floundering quandry the other day, that she would not give up on me. It pierced my heart because I knew that God too, was right there - unwilling to throw in the towel and I was grateful. Grateful to God for His love and the love of friends and family and friends that are like family :) who will not let go. You my friend, are surrounded, no matter the distance!

Sharon M said...

I always feel particularly lonely around the holidays, even though we have lived here for two years. We had a nice 4th of July celebration w/ other Americans that are good friends of ours (and have been since we moved here), but it's just not the same. I'm used to doing this stuff with my family, and I like my friends here a lot (Arab and Western), but yes, I get sad too.

And since everything (heat, emotions, etc) seems to be magnified tenfold when you're pregnant, that doesn't help. I think your friends and family have given good advice in previous entries, so I won't add anything. Just know that I sympathize and love you lots!