I pretty much quit doing the photo challenge…actually, I totally quit the photo challenge… but that’s okay. I was on vacation. Quite possibly the last one I’ll have for a while. While on vacation, I was surprised with my first ever baby shower (and- might I say- the best baby shower I’ve ever had). I went to a friend’s house expecting to kick some booty in Phase 10 (my FAVORITE card game) and we did end up playing but I walked in on a surprise that had been in the works for months. I can be such an air head sometimes because the simplest things seem to get past me (it’s not that way in my classroom, though, thank the Lord).
I walked in the door and was surprised to be greeted by my friends who were yelling surprise and throwing pink and blue balloons. I just thought to myself, “Man, I guess this is the way that they greet people they haven’t seen for a while.” And then someone pointed to the sign that read: The Beard’s Baby Shower and it all started to come together. Why Trinity called me late one night inquiring about my favorite color. Why Wes randomly asked what my favorite flavor of cake is (even though he already knew). Why everyone at my friend’s house (where Wes and I always stay) left so early for the party even though we were all still there. Why Wes asked me if I thought it was acceptable to lie to each other if the lies happened to be for a big surprise. Why, a few months ago, when Wes said something (I don’t remember what it was) and then he told me not to worry about it but there was gonna be something that I’d really like (last time he told me this statement, my sister bought me an authentic women’s Larry Fitzgerald jersey for Christmas!).
I could not believe that my daughters, my friends, Wes would go through the trouble to covertly plan a party. A party for me! Afterwards, I just kept thinking (and I keep thinking) that it was just too much. It was all too much. I felt so loved and so, so, so liked. I am grateful that my friends notice me. They see who I am and they like me. That’s kind of a big deal.
It’s like little things that add up to make something big. I know I seem to be waffling back and forth as to whether or not I want to live in California. I mean, it has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember but the reason that I’m wavering is because I don’t know if it’s God’s will. Sounds crazy, right? I read quote the other day,
“We would never imagine that getting our heart’s deepest desires might be the worst thing that can ever happen to us” (Timothy Keller, 6.30.2014. Twitter.com).
Not saying that moving to CA will be the worst thing to ever happen to me but I do know that moving to CA without God’s stamp of approval will make a seemingly good thing turn out to be just that: seemingly good. I don’t want that. I want to go where God says to go. And I want to be content in the stage of waiting.
The contentment portion is what gets tricky. It’s like I’m always waiting for the next thing. “I can’t wait for this weekend” or “I can’t wait for this day to be over” are all phrases that show discontent with what’s going on right now. Why can’t I be grateful and content right where I am…right in the moment? But I digress…
Back to the baby shower:
I walked in and was totally taken aback by the outpouring of love by our California family. I mean, they secretly planned a baby shower under the guise of a Phase 10 war! Ingenious! My (adopted) daughters made a little photo booth area with all sorts of different beards. I think the theme was books and beards. It was so clever. I told my sister-friends that I wanted to do a belly cast before BB’s born so they had someone make a cake for me in the shape of a belly cast. My sister friend sent a video that we watched at the party. People gave us books for BB. There were pictures of my ultrasounds and pregnant belly. My mom in law sent a baby blanket that she made along with her favorite book which had a special note to BB inside. I cried when I saw the book because I knew exactly who it was from. Pastor Jaren and a lot of my other friends hadn’t heard the book so he read the book to everyone. It was great. He’s a fabulous story teller.
BB has a plethora of bibles that cater to kids, now. Some of the bibles are even interactive! My daughters thought to tell everyone to bring a book because of my love of reading and the fact that I’m an English teacher. But, on top of that, they wrote special notes (in the books and on cute little flowers) for Wes, BB and me. I love that personal touch. I must figure out a way to incorporate these notes into BB’s journal.
It always takes me a while to get back into Arizona mode after we go to California. I started writing this post over a week ago but looking at the pictures made me nostalgic. Our vacation filled my love tank to OVERFLOWING! I’m so happy there. Here, I have to constantly work at being content and it takes me some time to get back to that middle place where I can remind myself that this is where I work and this is where a lot of Wes’ and my family lives. This is where Dee lives and, let’s face it, I’m not the best at keeping in touch…neither is she. This is also the place where I will give birth to my baby. And, I complain a lot but I do love the mountain views. The sunsets. The mild winters. I have a couple of friends here. This is where I met my husband. This is the place that I earned my bachelors and masters degrees. Where I got finally figured out what career I wanted to pursue. Where I got my first teaching job. Where I turned thirty. This is the place where I learned to love to run. This is the place where I ran my first half marathon. This is that place.
It’s easier said than done. Maybe part of the reason I’m still here is because I have to keep walking through it. I know that life in CA won’t be all glamorous but I can’t help but think how awesome it would be to live in the place where most of my friends live. To be involved in church again. I may have played it up so much in my mind that I’m setting myself up for disappointment. I don’t want to be disappointed.
I know that in CA, I won’t be going to Roscoe’s every weekend or playing Phase 10 every day… or will I? I probably won’t see my friends every day either but I’ll at least see them each weekend. I wouldn’t want to be on Facebook or Insta as much because the people I connect with on those social media platforms will be in the near vicinity. I noticed while I was on vacation that I didn’t get on FB nearly as often as I normally do. My CA friends/family and I connect through social media.
In this waiting place, I can be content. I can do hard things (like wait to see what God’s got up His sleeve for my little family). I can mature in many ways while I’m waiting. I can gear up for parenthood and other life changes. I can work on becoming the budgeting queen. There are a lot of things that I can do here…now… while I’m waiting.