A Journey West – Grand Canyon

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I had no idea what to expect when we pulled up to the Grand Canyon. I knew my grandmother had visited many times, and LOVED the Grand Canyon, going back many times over the years. I knew that it was supposed to be a phenomenal view. But no picture, no video, no story can prepare you for the sight you actually see.

It. Is. Breathtaking.

We didn’t actually pull into our campground until well into the night, so we had no idea what we were waking up to. Turned out that our camping spot was literally just a concrete extension of the road right in front of the bathrooms. Gross, but convenient.

We all put on way too serious hiking outfits for the concrete trails we would be walking. But hey, we were ready for anything.

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Basically, we just stopped and stared a lot. There was a ledge that peeked out over the edge, and made for some great photo ops. Here’s Danny, snapping some shots of the Jobes. I HAVE NO IDEA WHY WE WERE OKAY WITH THIS.

But we all lived to tell the tale. And of course, the only person to be busted by the ranger, was Andy Jobe. ūüôā

Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 4.26.23 PMAfter sight-seeing around the South Rim, we took our rickety RV over to the North Rim and up some very rugged not-made-for-an-RV-roads. It was deafening and terrifying and awesome. I’m not sure if we were frightened or entertained or some strange concoction of both, but if you would have told us that wouldn’t be the roughest trail of our trip, I don’t think we would have believed you.

When we finally found a site, it was SO TOTALLY WORTH IT. We happened upon this clearing, surrounded by a half-circle of tall Ponderosa Pines and a smattering of other trees and plants. We were so far out, the stars were incredible. I mean, I have NEVER seen stars like that before. If it wasn’t 25 degrees out, I could have stayed out there all night. And I saw my first shooting star! It was a dream.

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(Thanks Danny for the awesome photo!)

 

We woke up before dawn so we could catch the sunrise over the North Rim. We almost missed it, we couldn’t find our way out of the woods to get to an edge. Eventually, as the sun started to peek, we just pulled over and walked to the nearest overhang.

As the sun rose, more and more of the Grand Canyon became visible. It was like every minute that passed presented a new sight to see. I felt so in awe of the creation that was before me.

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Can I just build a cabin and stay here?

My Wedding

ImageMy Wedding was beautiful and it was sweet and simple and lovely. But a part of me wasn’t THERE for my wedding. I have, what can best be described as, a kink in my emotional connections. Even after only being married for less than a year, I already look back at my wedding and think it would have been different if I had been different. If I had been more present emotionally, perhaps I would of had a different experience.

None of this has anything to do with the man I married. Or, perhaps it has everything to do with him. He is the most wonderful, loving and loyal husband that I could ever ask for. He is a GIFT to me and I have no idea how or why he chose the broken mess that is me, but he did, and I am so BLESSED because of it! But part of my story, part of what I am walking through is this irrational fear of abandonment and my (seemingly)¬†innate¬†ability to literally “disconnect” emotionally when I fear it’s¬†possibility. ¬†At the time of our wedding, I wasn’t even aware that I did this, and that what I was feeling (or lack thereof) wasn’t normal. I wondered why I didn’t have that¬†boisterous enthusiasm that I’ve seen in so many other brides. I thought perhaps it was nerves or just me. Yeah, I think I thought it was just me. I WAS UNABLE TO BE EMOTIONAL and I felt so abnormal because of it.

I made a lot of decisions mostly because I didn’t know what to do and the thought of making decisions entirely on what I wanted was overwhelming. I mean, how was I supposed to know what I WANTED? I didn’t even know who I was. I knew how I wanted people to see me, so that is what I did. I chose themes and images and decorations and songs based on how I wanted people to see me. Sure, I liked most of it, but it definitely wasn’t UNIQUE to me. I didn’t feel like it had that quirky part of me in it. It was safe, and presentable.

The funny thing is, it took getting married and it took this wonderful man who confronts my crazy to realize the deep rootedness (rootedness?) of these things. To realize that I struggle A LOT with being vulnerable and sitting in that vulnerability. Vulnerability makes me want to hide or run. Preferably both. and I was making this choice to open up my whole life, forever, to someone that is promising to never leave me. That takes a lot of trust and believe you me, A LOT of vulnerability and it was terrifying. At the time, the only way I could handle it was by disconnecting. My heart mourns for the wedding that could have been had I BEEN there.

But, I have to have peace. I can look at those pictures of us and see a huge mark in our story. The day that I began to find myself. The day that I chose to drop my fear, or at least hold it with my hands open and say “I can’t let go just yet, but I know that I don’t want this.” It marks the beauty that is marriage and the holiness that is the fruit of marriage. I remember being told that marriage isn’t intended to make you happy, it’s intended to make you Holy. Sounds scary, but me being more Holy is me being more like Jesus, and there is nothing more satisfying than that.

So, although my wedding day wasn’t exactly how I expected it would be, I know that I WASN”T how I expected to be. But because of that day and the vows that were made, I am different. It was like diving into the deep end and being strengthened by the struggle. I regret nothing except that I would have found freedom earlier. But that is a very slow and very tedious process for me; one that I’m happy to have Geoff on the journey with me for. I am thankful for that wedding day, and I am thankful for the journey it began.

Modern Woman

I had a rough realization this morning. I AM NOT AT HOME. But, how can I be “at home” when my life demands that I be elsewhere?!

Let me explain my lingo. We are going through a “journey” at church called “A Journey Home.” It’s a series designed to help us understand how we view God and how we view ourselves all through this idea of feeling at home. The first week, we listed places that made us feel at home, like being surrounded by people we know, being with my husband, being alone in the woods. When you feel “at home”, you feel peaceful, known & loved, fully dependent on God, joyful, patient, trusting, building into friendships…When you don’t feel at home, you feel anxious, jealous,¬†judgmental,¬†power driven, manipulative,worried you’ll run out, passive aggressive, insecure, abandoned, alone.

This morning, Geoff had to prepare our crock pot meal while I was getting ready for work. The morning ran by fast and I just didn’t have time to put everything together. I stood in the bathroom feeling terrible. One of my GREATEST desires is to be a wife and a homemaker. Geoff gets to provide by working hard, paying for our home and providing physically. I desire to provide for our family by making meals, keeping up our house and making it into a home. But I can’t do that if I have to spend 9 hours of my day sitting at a desk in some stuffy office that makes me feel uneasy. I certainly do not feel at home here.

It is SO FRUSTRATING to feel like my only purpose right now is to pay for my student loans and I can’t do a lot of things that bring me joy. I never thought I’d say this, but I actually love cooking meals. I like learning about seasonings and how to prepare different types of food. I love being able to eat and enjoy what I prepared and seeing the look of satisfaction as my company enjoys what I made. I hate getting off work and feeling too exhausted to wipe down baseboards, do laundry or even cook dinner. How do women do it all?!

Maybe I’m just not superwoman. Maybe I’m weak or incapable of working and keeping a home. But I certainly feel like I’m failing at what brings me the most satisfaction. I know that staying at home and practicing home-cooked meals is not the fire that burns in all womens hearts, and I get that. But for me, this has been a very new and very real discovery. I see Ree Drummond (thepioneerwoman.com) and think about how BEAUTIFUL that life is! She LOVES to cook for her family and take pictures of them, soaking in the stories and moments that just happen. And she was even able to find a way to provide for them by doing so! Seems like a wild and crazy fantasy.

I want to be in a place that feels like home. But, I don’t know how to do that when I feel required to be somewhere else. I feel required to be in a job that pays well but doesn’t necessarily feed ME. If I do what I love or what I would like, then we crash financially. I’m sure there are lessons to be learned in this, but I’m mostly waiting for it to be over. Hospitality fuels me. And I feel forced away from it. Like I’m looking at this delicious apple pie and being forced to eat crackers.

There’s a lot of holes in my thoughts and a lot of things that I think / feel that I can look back on and offer my own “wisdom.” Like when Paul said that he was content whatever the circumstances. Or in Phillipiannes, when it says to be anxious about nothing, but rejoice in everything. Or when God tells us that if we delight ourselves in Him, then He will give us the desires of our hearts. Those are all the things I know, but they are not what I FEEL. I’ve always wanted people to see me as a woman who was close to God and sought his heart. Full of wisdom and knowledge. I’m kinda getting over it. If I’m never REAL, then I’m never going to be able to work through the ugly. And then it just get’s uglier. I am NOT okay with that. So, here it is, my UGLY.

I feel abandoned. I feel like God blesses all these other people and opens doors for them that help them feel satisfied and fulfilled, and I’m swimming against the current to keep my head above water. I wonder if God will ever allow me to be in a place of pure¬†contentment;¬†If I am worthy of providing help to people. I feel like I have to EARN EVERYTHING and if I have SOMETHING, if I don’t keep working to pay it off, it will be taken away. So this morning, I was angry at God because I feel like He is holding back on me. ¬†I don’t feel good enough to eat the Apple Pie.

A comment was left on my blog yesterday by my WONDERFUL mother-in-law that just came to mind. “When life is heavy and hard to take, go off by yourself. Enter the silence. Bow in prayer. Don’t ask questions; wait for hope to appear.” Lam 3:28, 29. And the scripture in Luke, “Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied.” Yes, God is good. I believe that He will give me hope and satisfy me. I need to lean into Him a little more and a little more often.

 

***P.S. If you’d like to check out more of this “Journey” I’m babbling about, you can view it here:¬†http://makethejourneyhome.com/