Thursday, August 30, 2012

Odds and Ends

At work the girls were pestering me for not having any pictures on my walls, so now I do: favorite vampire... it needs to be much bigger....
I do like my job though most days, so that is good. And the occasional perk. Like last week we got to skip some work and go to the Tigers game.
When I moved out last week I took some pictures of my empty apartment. It was sad, but I think it was good for me to have some closure and help wrap up 'the Andrew phase'. I had this wastebasket next to my bed, and I hadn't emptied it since all this began. Which sounds kind of gross now as I'm typing it, but even to see all those tears cried, and to hold on to the hope that God doesn't waste a hurt and will use this pain for some purpose He must have, was really helpful and healing for me.
Now on to kitchen/cooking news...
For some reason my roommate had this teeny bottle of olive oil in her pantry... What the heck? It holds like a tablespoon...
The other day I hadn't unpacked any of my food yet, but had some veggies from my mom's garden that needed to be eaten so I made a stir-fry of sorts with cheesy scrambled eggs. Super good!
And last night's dinner was a return to an old favorite, butter chicken. I LOVE this stuff. My grocery store inexplicably stopped carrying the packets though, I don't know why, so I found it on amazon and bought a 6 pack. So worth it.
Add broccoli and server over rice, yum. I saw on amazon that you can set it up to be mailed regularly on a schedule, yes, it is that good. I might need to get on the schedule :)
Tonight after work I am leaving to go camping/hiking with a friend. I am excited to see my friend and see a new place.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

straight teeth

My retainer cracked again last week. I got my braces off 15 years ago, but I remember asking my orthodontist if I'd still have to wear it when I was old and gray and he said yes, so I still wear my retainer at night. The one he made me was awesome, but one day it got chewed up by a little pomeranian, who shall remain nameless, and I had a replacement made by the orthodontist that I used to babysit for. I guess the materials aren't as good these days because they only last me about a year and then crack.
So this morning I went to the orthodontist to get a new mold made. I used to babysit for their son, and they are a great family. They gave my mom a deal to get braces and so she sees them too. After first meeting him my mom asked me later, 'does he kiss all his patients?' Haha, but yes, he is just a really sweet loving guy.
I went in this morning and instantly I hear, "Annie!!" and he swooped me up in a bear hug and kissed me three times! And just hugged me and told me everything was going to be ok.
I did call my mom when I left to tell her about the 3 kisses and we laughed.
So I am all moved into my friend's condo. Not to be too melancholy, but I did have this song in my head in my new bedroom. (different circumstances, but same old small depressing twin sized bed).
I met with my counselor last night, good talks as usual. I told him how it feels like a step back to be crammed into a small room, taking money from my parents, etc. He said to let people love me. And to reframe my thinking - not to think of it as a step back, but like a slingshot where you do get pulled back and then it propels you into the future. We talked about the different phases of my life this year, and now that the divorce is final and I'm out of the apartment - the 'Andrew phase' is over. We talked about that awhile. We talked about the next upcoming phase, which I wanted to label: 'scary'. He said it's ok to label it that way, but to know that scary won't last forever. I'm sure he's right, somehow I've already survived things I never thought I would. God is good, He keeps bringing me through.
"I will go before you and will level the mountains; I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron. I will give you hidden treasures, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name." Isaiah 45:2-3

Friday, August 24, 2012

Moving Out

This week has been a tough one.
I've been packing up our life and getting ready to leave the place where we lived as husband and wife. Our divorce has been final almost a month now, but moving out makes it seem 'extra final'. Every box is filled with memories and it's just plain hard. I can't help but remember that in December we were talking about saving for a house, and now I'm moving out and on alone.
This morning I heard this song I feel like these words perfectly describe me right now:
Why?, The question that is never far away, The healing doesn’t come from the explained, Jesus please don’t let this go in vain, You’re all I have,
All that remains
So here I am, What’s left of me, Where glory meets my suffering
I’m alive, Even though a part of me has died, You take my heart and breathe it back to life, I’ve fallen into Your arms open wide, When the hurt and the healer collide
Breathe, Sometimes I feel it’s all that I can do, Pain so deep that I can hardly move, Just keep my eyes completely fixed on You, Lord take hold and pull me through
It’s the moment when humanity, Is overcome by majesty, When grace is ushered in for good, And all our scars are understood, When mercy takes its rightful place, And all these questions fade away, When out of the weakness we must bow, And hear You say “It’s over now”
Jesus come and break my fear, Awake my heart and take my tears, Find Your glory even here.

God promises that He can make all things work for good - so I'm counting on that.
My divorce class has talked a lot about grief, and how recognizing and embracing it is so important for the healing process. They say:
You will hinder your healing if you try to suppress the emotions of grief. Your losses are legitimate and must be faced. Many people say that the loss associated with divorce is worse than the loss of a spouse through death:
"In death there is closure because the person has died," says Dr. Linda Mintle. "In divorce, your ex-spouse is still out there. In divorce, you are mourning the death of a relationship that is no longer available to you, even though the people involved are still here." Wayne says, "Divorce is worse than death because in divorce that person chose to leave you. In death so many times the person did not choose to leave, and you know that he or she died loving you; whereas in divorce it's not like that. Your ex-spouse is gone, and he or she wanted to leave."

You said it Wayne, that's exactly why it hurts so bad.
"Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge." Psalm 62:8

Monday, August 20, 2012

Lake Weekend

My 'Kensington' friends and I have a long standing tradition that every summer we go up for a weekend to my friend Jill's grandma's place on the lake. There have been years with a lot of friends, and years with a few friends as things change and people get busy. It seems like almost every year we have boat trouble or it rains- this year was no exception!
This time it was a small group of just Jill, Josh and I as the trip was not quite as thoroughly planned as other years and another couple friends thought maybe it wasn't happening and made other plans. :(
On the way up we stopped at the local icecream place that has my favorite, hard-to-find flavor Eskimo Kisses. Delicious! My future roommate Becks trying to steal a lick...
Saturday mid-morning after breakfast and card games we went out on the boat
We made it one loop around before the boat conked out and we had to call to be rescued by the pontoon. Wa- waaah! No boating for us. We did swim out to the sandbar, laid in the sun, and play hours more card games, so it was still a fun weekend. But I do miss my seldom occasions to tube and waterski!
On the way home we stopped again at the ice-cream store :) two Eskimo Kisses in two days - I was so lucky!
Sunday was church, errands, and making these super good veggie burgers for lunch/the week
Pet peeve they are way too fat to fit in your mouth, but yummy!
Then Sunday afternoon went over to a friend's parents with them for dinner and sitting out talking in the sun. Came home and had a nice talk on the phone with my sister. It was really nice weekend.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Yet Another Weekend Wedding

One more wedding down, one more to go! The next one will be in October. I'm not 100% sure if I'm going to go yet, it's on the east coast, but I've always wanted to go to as many cousin weddings as I could, so I'm going to try.
This wedding was my cousin Theresa to her now husband Nik.
The wedding was up north and the reception was held at this llama farm, her sister got married there 2 years before. It was such a beautiful place.
This wedding was one of the most fun weddings I've been to in awhile (no offense other weddings I've been to!) The reason was that they did contradancing at this wedding! Most people haven't heard of contradancing. Its pretty much defined as partnered folk dancing. Anyway, it is a lot of fun. Here's a video I found on youtube.
These pictures don't do justice for the amount of fun that was had by all. We were a dirty, sweaty, happy mess.
Another good wedding, another good time with my family. I think each visit has been reassuring me that I'm not some horrible failure or black sheep. My counselor reminds me too that people know me and what I'm about. This ceremony wasn't without tears though. They sang the Great is Thy Faithfulness song, gets me every time! I do still miss Andrew and of course am still sad about us, but this time at least, I think I was crying because I am just so thankful for how God has been with me and provided for me this whole time.
I love these verses:
Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!
Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!
Psalm 34: 7-8 "The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them. Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him."

Friday, August 10, 2012


It's been really hard getting used to my ringless finger:
I constantly think, oh I forgot my ring!.... oh yeah... still getting used to that.
Also, I can't really get a handle on my feelings this week.
I have felt some peace, but I've also felt something I just can't put my finger on. I am just amazed that it's over. I made it. I survived being divorced. There were so many days I never thought I'd make it through the day even, but God brought me through. A leader in my divorce recovery group talked about when her divorce was over she missed how she had so desperately clung to God during that time - and I think that's how I feel. I want that closeness and growth. I don't want to go back to my everyday life, just now without Andrew. I want life with Jesus.
I still need to focus on seeking God. He brought me thru this fire, and even though it's over, I still need to seek Him and trust Him for the future.
A friend sent me this from her devotions:
And I liked that. I will probably never understand why this happened, but I can still trust God, seek Him and have peace in Him.
My counselor said he noted something different in me, but not necessarily different good. He was worried about me repressing anger and growing bitter. So we talked a bit about people I might be 'angry' at. It's really hard to be angry at anyone, because I know this happened because of Andrew's choice- not anything anyone else did or didn't do. So I'm not really angry, but I am disappointed. Of course. I'm disappointed with people who could have said something and didn't, I'm disappointed at people who might have supported the easy way out, and I am disappointed that the divorce went through. I am, I didn't want this.
I remember divorce day my mom saying she thought I had been holding out hope, and I had! As long as I was Andrew's wife I was committed to him and our marriage, and holding out hope. In the end it wasn't so much hope in Andrew, but hope in what God could do.
This week mom and I had a good cry, talk and prayer about that. I do feel disappointed that God allowed this to happen, when I know He can fix anything. And we talked about how much God loves us- that He absolutely will not step over someones free-will. We know God hates divorce, and we know God desires people to chose Him and life His way - but if they don't, He won't force them.
And in the end I have a God who loves me, and still has good plans for me, and knows what He is doing. And that is enough.
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6

Monday, August 6, 2012

Another weekend wedding

This weekend was the wedding of my cousin David to his bride Dayna. I really like her a lot, and think they are a great match.
This wedding also marked my first wedding without tears! Although I am allowing myself to feel whatever I feel - it has been nice to not feel so sad lately. I don't know what it is, other than I've been praying for months now for God to if He didn't restore my marriage - to heal me. And I think He is.
Some pictures from the wedding:
Their family also started a new tradition of having the new bride hit a pinata at the brunch held the day after the wedding. So sweet.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


Today's my birthday.
Even when I was married sometimes I would think about how life is so different from what you imagined as a kid. I especially think about that now. I never thought at 31 I would be childless and going back to school, I certainly never thought I'd be divorced. I guess what I've been working on these past several months is facing the facts.
Last year on my birthday Andrew gave me a 5 year journal where you write a few lines a day and can look back and see how life has changed. Since this divorce stuff I thought I want a new one, I didn't want to look back every day for the remaining 4 years and live through this divorce all over everyday. But in other ways, I can already see how God has been providing for me and restoring. Now I think it might be really good to look back and see how God was there the whole time. And to have written proof of how he has moved and changed me, and hopefully I will see some of those famous prosperous plans He's always talking about! :)
My counselor told me that come new year eve's I would see that day as a completely new year, because it would have been a full year since Andrew announced he wanted a divorce. I think that will probably be true- but I'm also starting to feel hopeful now. And even though 31 sounds old and scary to be starting over, I see this birthday as a fresh new year.
Last night was the last small group for the summer. We had a BBQ and sat on the porch. It was fun. And the ladies in the group gave me something so precious:
They all signed this picture frame and wrote such wonderful things. It really touched me. That's one thing, I may have lost my marriage this year but God has provided such a wonderful community to walk through this with me. And for that I am thankful.
"Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." Isaiah 40:30-31