our little sparrow – our miscarriage story

 

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It’s been 12 days since I was told the little life inside me that had barely begun had already ended. It was was shocking and as cliche as every movie, every TV show: “I’m sorry, but there’s no heartbeat.”

I know people don’t talk about miscarriage, but I want to because I like talking about the things no one wants to. I’m all about open communication. I’m the girl in the church who asks new married couples how their sex life is going. I’ll tell you all about our budgeting and savings goals. I blurted out “We’re pregnant!” to one of my close college friends just days after we’d taken a test, when we were just four weeks along. They say not to tell many people until you’re out of the first trimester, in case you miscarry, people nearly whisper, as if saying the word brings it about, like it’s Lord Voldemort or something. But we couldn’t keep it a secret; we were too excited. So I want to share our story of loss for the same reasons I wanted to share our news of life with friends right away — because I can’t keep it inside of me. And because October is Infant & Pregnancy Loss Awareness month, ironically enough.

Honestly, I never thought a miscarriage could happen to me. Sure, we’d always end the announcement by saying, “Yeah, we hear not to tell people so early just in case something happens, but we’d want support from you even if something did.” But it never crossed my mind that something might actually happen. My mom never miscarried and I knew my maternal grandmother had had 10 successful pregnancies out of 11 (I was later told she actually did have a miscarriage at another point, taking her “success rate” to 10 out of 12). We got pregnant basically without hardly trying, which I know is a huge blessing, and one I don’t take for granted, but all these factors made me think I was untouchable. It wouldn’t happen to me. Actually I didn’t even think it wouldn’t happen to me, I just didn’t think about it at all.

So that Monday morning when I wiped and saw just a little brown blood, I told myself not to panic. I’d known for reading every pregnancy website that spotting was fairly normal and half the time meant nothing. The blood was old and brown, not fresh and bright red. I didn’t have any cramping. I actually felt extra sick that morning, and they say if you feel pregnant, and I did, it’s a good sign. It’s when you stop feeling pregnant that things go south. But we were leaving on a multi-state road trip in three days, so I decided to call the nurse and just check to be safe.

The nurse called me back and said what I expected: it’s probably nothing, you can wait a few days to see if it goes away or gets worse, or you can come in just to check. I mentioned the trip and she asked if we had heard the heartbeat at our first appointment two weeks earlier. We hadn’t. At the time, the doctor said it was still fairly early (six and a half weeks), but we’d hear it the next time. (Now I wonder if it ever did beat…) So we decided to go for peace of mind so we could go to Missouri unworried.

I picked up Greg and we drove to the clinic in New Braunfels, and although I kept trying to tell myself it was fine, I started getting uneasy. What if it wasn’t? We prayed outside the clinic, checked in, and waited. We went back to the exam room and saw our doctor,  who seemed quite hopeful. She did a pelvic exam and confirmed I wasn’t “actively bleeding,” which was a good sign, and I still felt pregnant, which she also deemed a good sign. So she started up the ultrasound to finalize all the good signs, but  that’s when things changed.

For whatever reason, my body just never got the news our baby had died. It kept on going, pumping out hormones and blood and growing placenta, all while the life had gone from our child more than two weeks before. That’s why I still felt pregnant, why I wasn’t actively bleeding. They call it “missed miscarriage.”

They brought in another doctor just to confirm what the ultrasound was showing. I bawled. Greg held it together but only until the car. Our doctor assured me it wasn’t my fault and explained what could happen next. For various reasons, we chose to go with a dilation and curettage, better known as a D&C, a procedure in which the doctor dilates your cervix and removes the contents of your womb in a surgical environment while you’re under general anesthesia. We set the date for two days later, the day we had planned to leave on our trip.

Our trip. The timing. My lack of actual miscarriage symptoms. The only signs that something was off was the spotting on Monday. I had no symptoms of miscarriage at any point, not even spotting on Tuesday and Wednesday. I can’t help but attribute the whole timing scenario to the Lord. I almost feel like He said, “I’m so sorry. I’m going to let you in on this now so you use this trip and this planned time off to grieve and heal.” I fully believe had I not spotted on Monday, we still might not know we’d lost it. Our next appointment wasn’t scheduled until two weeks later. Finding out your baby passed away two weeks ago without your knowledge sucks. Finding out it died a month ago… I can only imagine it would be even worse. Or maybe my body would have gotten a clue, and we would have naturally miscarried hundreds of miles from home while on vacation. The alternatives horrify me, and although this is the saddest thing that’s happened to me, I’m grateful for the way in which it happened. I see the Lord’s hand in it.

On the drive to the hospital, as cheesy as it sounds, God spoke peace and comfort to us through some Christian contemporary music (Jason Gray’s “Sparrow”).

“If He can hold the world, He can hold this moment.”

I think He has our little sparrow in his hands. A few weeks before we found out about the miscarriage, I had spent some time journaling with God, and He shared with me His love for me and for our baby. I know He has our sparrow.

The D&C went fine. The worst part of physical pain was the six sticks it took the nurses and staff to get an IV and blood drawn. Our doctor even let us do one final ultrasound, just for peace of mind, just to check that God hadn’t allowed a miracle to happen. She was so kind and compassionate. I went home that afternoon, and after resting for a few hours and finally getting to eat something, with our doctor’s blessing, we left for Arlington.

It may seem crazy they we went on vacation literally hours after leaving the hospital, but I think it was what was best for us. We saw family (including my parents, grandparents, and two of my three siblings) and mourned with them. We spent a lot of time together as a couple. We checked in on each other’s emotions. We held each other as we cried. We laughed and had fun. We enjoyed amazing weather and beautiful scenery. We accepted feelings of sadness when we saw adorable babies in Mizzou clothing everywhere, but also started regrowing our hope that one day we will have adorable babies in Mizzou clothing. We worshiped in the church where I started to fully cultivate my relationship with God. We ate breakfast with the pastor who married us, who has mentored us throughout the years. We cuddled a fat cat. We ate amazing food. We wrestled through the complex thoughts of grief (Am I sad because we lost this baby, or am I sad because we lost the possibility of a baby? Or both? Or does it matter? Should I be more sad? Should we start trying again right away?). We drove through four state capitols. We saw one of Greg’s favorite musical artists. I bought a candle from the Fixer Upper Silos. I posted a lot of happy pictures from that trip and felt conflicted about it. I didn’t want to paint the picture that we were fine because we weren’t. But it’s not a lie to say we enjoyed the trip and we did have fun. The trip was a gift I am forever grateful for.

I’m also forever grateful for the man I married, my best friend, my rock of a husband, Greg. Many times over the last two weeks I have been overwhelmed to tears with love for him. Seeing his heart for our baby and for me through the last few months is astounding. I know I wouldn’t be in this situation without him, but I also know I couldn’t make it through this situation without him. I know he’s hurting, too, but even in his pain he serves me and puts my needs first. He watched the Middle Tennessee Nobodies just decimate my Tigers instead of watching the biggest game of the week (maybe season?), Alabama vs. Texas A&M. A&M ended up losing, too, but the fact that he went to that football game with me instead of watching his (actually pretty good) team, is just one of the thousands of ways he’s shown me love lately.

On our honeymoon, Greg I went to see the Seattle Symphony play a Pixar concert. They performed music from all the Pixar movies, accompanied by clips from each film. Right before intermission, they played the score from the opening montage from Up!

If you haven’t cried while watching this opening montage, you are a robot. And for the newlywed couple who’s marriage was less than a week old? You better believe we both cried like little babies! After the symphony finished their piece you could audibly hear the entire audience sniffling, which was pretty hilarious actually. Greg even overheard a college-aged girl on the way out for intermission proclaim, “Why didn’t they show the part with the goofy dog??”

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On the Tuesday after we got the news, I scrolled through the “miscarriage” part of Pinterest for whatever reason, looking for hope, other people’s stories, a chance to cry, something. I saw this image from Up! and I couldn’t contain the tears. I remembered our honeymoon and our first few days of marriage. I remembered watching that montage thinking it was sad, but it was life, and hopefully none of the hard things in that montage would happen to us. But even if it did, at least we could have each other. And we still do. And that is something I thank God for every day.

We’re back home now. The first day back at work was rough. While I was out, a few things happened with coworkers at my office and now we’re down two staff members for the next few months. It’s stressful, but my boss and coworkers are kind and understanding. Greg came back to one of the biggest church events bearing down on him, just about a week out. It was hard to go back into our normal routine when we’re feeling anything but normal.

God continues to meet us here, though. He gives us friends with listening ears and big hearts. He reveals other couples who have walked this walk before. He speaks hope and comfort to us. I know He grieves with us. He is here, and He works all things for the good of those who love Him. He also lost His own son and knows the pain of death. Thankfully He has conquered it, and we have hope in eternal life with Him.

Thank you for letting me share our story.

Pep in your step

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A few weeks ago, one of my coworkers challenged everyone in the office to submit a song that “always puts a smile on your face and some pep in your step.” Not necessarily your favorite song, but your go-to happy song. I had a really hard time choosing what that song would be for me, so in the process of deciding I made a playlist. And now I want to share it with you!

I present to you, Lindsay’s Pep in My Step playlist. Best listened to in “shuffle” mode. Feel free to subscribe via Spotify if you like what you hear! I’ll probably add more songs as I remember good ones. I just added the last two Ben Folds songs today after my friend Liz jogged my memory about some great high-school-era favorites.

Leave a comment with your favorite Pep In Your Step song, and I might add it to the playlist!

Show Me Everything You Got – The Rocket Summer
Around the Clock – The Rocket Summer
So Much Love – The Rocket Summer
Hills & Valleys – The Rocket Summer
Cross My Heart – The Rocket Summer
I Need a Break… But I’d Rather Have a Breakthrough – The Rocket Summer 
If it’s not obvious… I love The Rocket Summer.
My Dear – Bethel Music 
This ended up being my chosen song for work. It’s just so happy and upbeat!
Strong Love – Jon Thurlow
Thinking ‘Bout Something – Hanson
Y’all, Hanson is so great. For real.
On Top of the World – Imagine Dragons

When Will My Life Begin – Mandy Moore, from “Tangled”
Touch the Sky – Julie Fowlis, from “Brave”
This one makes me want to live Merida’s life in her opening scene riding horses and shooting arrows.
Liberty – Shane & Shane
The best part is that huge pause………. FOR FREEDOM YOU SET ME FREE!
Ho Hey – The Lumineers
Something in the Water – Brooke Fraser
Huddle Formation – The Go! Team
Mountain Sound – Of Monsters and Men
Little Talks – Of Monsters and Men
Umbrella – Mariè Digby
Letters – Branches
Home – Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes
Song For You – Jenny & Tyler
Angel at My Door – NEEDTOBREATHE
Anna Sun – Walk the Moon
Ever Lifting – Christy Nockels
Oh, Happiness – David Crowder
“Oh, happiness! There’s grace! Enough for us and the whole human race!” If that doesn’t put pep in your step, I don’t know what will.
4ever – The Veronicas, from “She’s the Man”
Dancing in the Moonlight – Toploader, from “A Walk to Remember”
We Are Golden – MIKA
This will forever remind me of my college dorm residence hall days.
Pennies from Heaven – Louis Prima, from “Elf”
Like a Child – Jars of Clay
Sing Us a New Song – Karla Adolphe
The Everglow – Mae
Nothing from Nothing – Bill Preston, from “Elf”
Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m Yours – Stevie Wonder, from “You’ve Got Mail”
Move Forward – Bethany Dillon
Party in the USA – Miley Cyrus
Not ashamed.
Shape of my Heart – Noah and the Whale
No One Else – Karla Adolphe
Shake it Out – Florence + The Machine
No Sleep Tonight – The Faders, from “She’s the Man”
Zak and Sara – Ben Folds
Annie Waits – Ben Folds

My Favorite Things Friday #2

I did a post like this back in the spring, but I want to make it a more regular thing! I even thought I had a few drafts of lists half-written, but I can’t seem to find them now… hm. Anyway, maybe we’ll make this a Fridays thing.

Here’s some stuff I’ve been loving lately.

1. Essie Nail Polish

Not gonna lie. I’m kind of mad about this one. Essie nail polish is not cheap. It’s like $8, which seemed ridiculous to me. Until I impulse bought a bottle and found out IT’S WORTH EVERY PENNY. Be warned, you probably will never want to go back to $3 nail polish again. My friend Brittany agrees.

2. MyFitnessPal

My doctor and many friends have raved about this little website/app, but this summer I committed to using it daily during a work-sponsored weight loss challenge, and it is awesome. I guess now is as good of a time as any to say that this summer, through healthy, balanced eating and exercise, I’ve lost 20 pounds. So wahoo and thanks, MyFitnessPal! I plan to keep using this handy tool as I continue to adjust my lifestyle to a more healthy routine now that grad school (slash school in general) is over!

3. The Pioneer Woman’s Iced Coffee

I make this by the gallon and drink it daily. Texas is way too hot in the summer for hot coffee. Iced is the way to go, and if I’m good and limit myself to one generous glass a day, the gallon of coffee concentrate lasts me a good two weeks.

4. Objectify Homeware Clock from Etsy

Greg bought me this clock for my office as a graduation gift, and it is totes adorbs. It was also way more expensive than I would ever pay for a clock, but that’s what boyfriend’s graduation gifts are for. 😉

5. Cat Bank

While we’re on the topic of Greg gifts and office decorations, let’s mention my amazing cat bank. I keep this box of cute on my desk, and the students love it. Greg got it for me for my birthday!

6. NYX Eyebrow Pencil in Taupe

I’ve never been committed to an eyebrow pencil before, but now I am. I got mine secondhand from a coworker trying to simplify/eliminate her beauty product stash, and now I’m addicted.

7. Downtown Abbey

I jumped on the Abbey train this summer, and I do not regret it at all. Even after the season 3 finale. *tear*

8. Audrey Assad

Check her out on Spotify, y’all.

9. This American Life

If you’re not familiar with This American Life, it’s a weekly podcast that focuses on American stories based on a theme each week. Theme range from “Summer Camp” to “Red vs Blue” to “Loop Holes” and cover human interest stories, poetry, fiction, comedy, and news reporting. Subscribe and give it a listen or check out TAL’s favorites to get you started.

10. $0.87 Map Coasters

I made a version of this DIY craft for Greg, and it cost me a grand total of $0.87. I should have made a tutorial! I used Google Map printouts from the places Greg and I have lived during our friendship and relationship over the past 15 months. Best/thriftiest sentimental gift ever.

That’s all for now! Subscribe or check back for more Favorite Things Fridays posts in the future!

My favorite things! Part 1

So I was just thinking about how there are some products/things in my life that I LOVE, and I decided I wanted to share them with you! This may be a series, so here are 10 of things I’ve been loving lately.

1. Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm in Hibiscus and Red Dahlia
I’ve been trying to experiment with lip color lately because I’m 24 for goodness sakes and I should stop being terrified of lipstick. After some trial and error, I actually don’t like lipstick really (but I am also no longer terrified of it!), but I do love some lip stain/balms, and this tinted balm! Adds the perfect amount of color and has the nice feeling of balm, too.

2. Mazvita’s Angels flower hair clip
I made a few flowers for Mazvita over spring break, and I have to say I am now obsessed! They’re super easy to make, but I would recommend buying one from Mazvita on her Etsy store! (Click the photo to link to her store.)

3. The Office on Netflix
I know some people think The Office is lame now, but I still love it. I’ve been rewatching some of the more recent seasons on Netflix lately.

4. The Lizzie Bennet Diaries on YouTube
I’ve written about this amazing web series before, but I have to plug it again! Lizzie and Darcy FINALLY got together ON MY BIRTHDAY. So that was a great day. Watch it now!

5. The Brain Scoop on YouTube
Another Hank Green brainchild about an adorable 20-something natural history museum volunteer and the cool animal things she does in Montana. It’s sometimes gross (I watched her skin an entire wolf), but always entertaining and informative!

6. Sweet Pea scent from Bath & Body Works
It’s old school, but this has been my signature scent since high school. I’ve been wearing it more frequently recently, though!

7. Dannon Oikos Black Cherry Fat Free Greek Yogurt
I have this yogurt pretty much every day for lunch, which has earned me the nickname “Yogurt” with one of the ladies in my office. Yummy with 12 grams of protein!

8. The Veronica Mars Movie
One of my favorite TV shows ever is making a movie thanks to record-breaking Kickstarter miracle!

9. Branches’ “Thou Art the Dream”
Greg introduced me to this folksy band, and I must say I enjoy them!

10. Gilligan & O’Malley Sleep Tee from Target
It’s warming up in central Texas, which means my room is absorbing the sun all day due to its poor insulation. I hate being warm while I sleep, so I do what I can with the AC and ceiling fan, but sometimes it’s not enough! I’m looking forward to warm nights in the comfy sleep tee that I can wear to bed but also walk around the house in without being… inappropriate. (Sleeping in just a normal T-shirt doesn’t quite work modesty wise.)

Willamette Wednesday: The countdown begins

First off, let me give you an update and start by saying that SUMMER HAS ARRIVED IN OREGON. Thank God. Literally. If I had gotten off that plane after spending the weekend in Texas and it had been cold and cloudy still… You could have called me Jack Shephard. (You bet I’m jumping on the gif train.)

“WE HAVE TO GO BACK.”

That being said, here’s what’s been up in my neck(s) (Oregon & Texas!) of the wood the past week.

Less than a month to go!
It’s bittersweet to know I only have 18 days of work left as of today.  While I have immensely enjoyed Willamette and the Student Involvement team, in many ways I’m ready to get back to A&M. I’m ready to transition into yet another new position (two if you count my practicum hours in Student Government this fall), unpack my room of black trash bags, and catch up with my friends. I am NOT, however, ready to get back into grad school pace. This lazy summer of almost no responsibilities has been amazing, and one glance of what my life was like last spring according to my Google calendar makes me want to cry. Prayers for a different type of year than Grad School Year 1 would be much appreciated!

The nightmare that was last semester. (Times are off my two hours since my Google calendar is now set in Pacific time.)

But until Grad School Year 2 starts, I still have a lot of work to do here in Oregon! Yesterday I conducted my first focus group, and I still have two other large projects, and a student-run program to advise over the next 3.5 weeks. I know it will go quickly with all I have to do!

I’ve been “busy” (but not really)
The past few weeks have felt a little busier than normal for a few reasons, so I haven’t had as much “free time.”
1. It’s been awful weather, so I hadn’t spent as much time lounging in parks reading in my hammock of lazily exploring downtown Salem. 2. I’ve started to try to exercise more regularly and have started to attend a Bible study and community group regularly, which takes away from that unstructured free time I was relishing in during my first few weeks here. 3. I went home to Texas for my cousin’s wedding! This meant I spent several days prepping, whether that be from designing her wedding program, buying an appropriate dress, doing laundry, packing, or traveling.

The programs I designed for my cousin’s wedding.

Even though it’s been “busy,” it’s still been good. Going back to Texas was wonderful, even though it was exhausting. I intend to write an entire blog post about that experience, but I’ll give you a preview: Nonna was around her 100-person family for four days straight. Also she ate a lot of barbeque.

My brother and sister at the wedding.

Now that’s I’m back in Salem, I’m hoping these final weeks consist of a second round of many Skype/phone dates, more reading in my hammock now that’s it’s warmed up, more bike rides now that I’m more confident (I rode to Safeway and back Monday with a bunch of groceries, including a gallon of milk and a 6-pack of local apricot ale! That was a balancing act… And then last I rode to that coffee shop I mentioned last week! Mission accomplished!), and some final Oregonian adventures before the other interns leave. I think we’re aiming for a trip to Portland and some berry-picking this weekend.

Other notable but random tidbits
Two weeks ago I got sick of Felicity‘s inability to pick a guy to like AND the fact that the show only ever talks about relationships, and decided to take a break after finishing the second season. (This is why Voyager was great! Adventure and cool story-lines UNRELATED TO DATING. With a sprinkling of romance to keep it interesting occasionally.) I have since turned to Firefly, which took me a few episodes to get into, but I’m fairly enjoying for now. I might start Friday Night Lights next, though, so I can fit in with my SAAHE classmates who all watch it.

I’ve been getting into a lot of new music lately! My new interests include: Bon Iver, The Civil Wars, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes, Ellie Goulding, Fleet Foxes, Florence + The Machine, Gatlin Elms, Gavin DeGraw, Imagine Dragons, Jenny & Tyler, Katie Herzig, Mumford & Sons, NEEDTOBREATHE, The Lumineers, Of Monsters and Men, Vampire Weekend, and Walk the Moon. Any others I should start listening to

If you want to send me mail, I would not be opposed! My friend Cherise and I have been exchanging letters all summer, and it’s been super fun! You can address your notes to:

Lindsay Cochrum
Office of Student Activities
900 State St.
Salem, OR 97301

I left my Kindle on the plane ride to Texas. BUT NEVER FEAR! It was returned to me thanks to Southwest Airlines. I’ve been meaning to write a post on how much I love my Kindle (I was such a skeptic before I got mine…), and this separation might be just the impetus I require to finally record my love on paper the internet.

In case you ever wanted to live your late-90s/early 2000s Christian childhood and listen to PlusOne (the Christian N*SYNC) or Point of Grace, you can do that on Spotify. You know, in case anyone was wondering.

I think that’s all I’ve got for now! Hopefully I’ll have so more fun posts later this week and next!

Something’s coming

I feel like I’m on the edge of something. A precipice. Like I’m pressed up against a glass wall keeping me from falling forward and any moment it’s going to give way. Not in a bad way. Not in a I’m-about-to-fall-to-a-rocky-death way. Just in… a way of anticipation. Anticipation of something. But I don’t know what. Something is about to happen, maybe.

I’m only writing this because I can’t process this feeling. I don’t know what it means. I have to get this squirrely, disjointed thoughts out of my head and onto paper into written word.

I know I’ve been listening to Karla Adolphe’s “Safe Place” on repeat for about half an hour.

You whispered a song over me
I’m slow to answer, slow to speak
I found a safe place

Remember the day you called my name
I was a stranger, but You loved me the same
I found a safe place

How wide is Your love
How  high, how deep, it’s untouched
I’m not enough
I found a safe place in You

You are the one my heart is waiting for
You are my treasure, You are the key,  You are the door
You hold tight, You hold me quiet, You hold me safe

I know these past two weeks have been more relaxing and restful than I could have ever imagined. I’m not stressed for the first time in… I don’t even know how long.

The Mill Stream runs through the Willamette campus.

I know I’ve felt tears sting my eyes randomly over the past two days for seemingly (?) no reason. I know I saw the Mill Creek, after a week of low water and mud and rocks, finally flowing full and alive Sunday on a walk to the grocery store right as Jon Foreman sang “He makes me rest in fields of green with quiet streams.” I know this summer if a gift from the Lord.

But what else is it? What else is supposed to happen this summer? What am I supposed to do besides rest? What am I supposed to learn? Is rest all? I feel like it’s not. God’s got something in store for me, but I can’t figure out what.

I know this reminds me of two summers ago, but in a different way. Two years ago I was asking, “Why did you being me to Colorado, God? I feel just as dry and dead here as I did in Missouri. What was the point?” I’m seeing the point of Oregon; oh how am I seeing the point. But I want more.

I want to want God more. I want more of His presence. More of His intimacy. It’s there! I know it is. But there’s a pane of glass in the way, or something. What’s holding me here, Lord?

“For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.” -Pslam 84:11

I’m ready, Lord. Lead me through the fields and streams, through the valley, wherever you want to take me this summer. I just want to be with you.

Milan Monday: 2 weeks to go!

You can read all of my Milan Monday posts here.

Well, we’re in the home stretch! Less than 2 weeks to go until I’m in Milan. Crazy.

I recently found out I will be leading worship half of the time we’re in Italy for our daily “homegroup” times with the team. The other half of the time my teammate Karla will be leading.

It’s crazy to think about how far God has taken me through worship in the past year. I remember one of the last few canvas groups I planned last spring, I lead worship because Amanda couldn’t. I was so incredibly nervous. My fingers were stiff around my guitar and my voice shook. I was steadier at home in my apartment alone, but playing in front of 20 of my closest friends was nerve-wracking.

Then I came to College Station, and, well… summer homegroup worship was… less than stellar. It’s hard in the summer when people who normal do things like lead worship go out-of-town. So God slowly worked on my heart until I felt comfortable leading one week when a lot of people were out-of-town (ha!). Since then, the Lord has given me a lot of sweet times of worship on my own, and I’ve led for homegroup several times. God has also placed a desire to worship through viola on my heart, so this semester I started playing with one of the worship teams on Sunday mornings.

My progress musically this year is really astounding. I know I wouldn’t be comfortable playing and singing in front of others if it weren’t for my desire to praise God and the courage of the Holy Spirit in my heart. Thank you, Father!

So on that note (tehe), I have a prayer request! Please pray for fruitful and blessed “homegroup” times in Milan with our little team-family of 9. Pray for Spirit-led worship for Karla and me. Also please continue to pray for team unity, safe travels, and for the Italians and international students we’ll be meeting and interacting with on the trip. Just a few more days to go!

How you can get involved:

  • Prayer: I will have weekly prayer updates here on the blog. Please join me in prepping our team and the people we will meet in Milan through intercessory prayer.
  • Milan Monday: I will be posting weekly updates on our team’s preparation for Italy on Mondays throughout the rest of the semester. Check back here each Monday to stay updated!
  • Subscribe: Even easier than checking back each week, you can get all posts to Lindsay in Progress in your inbox! All you need to do it subscribe to my blog. This will send you email updates every time I post here. I’m not sure if that link works, so try it out and let me know if it doesn’t. If it doesn’t, you can hit the subscribe button on the right sidebar.

Texas is jealous of my love for Missouri

So remember that time I moved away from Mizzou back to Texas and how excited I was about that? Remember how craved Texas? Remember how I obsessed about Texas A&M? WELL THE HONEYMOON PERIOD IS OVER, Y’ALL.

I mean, not really. I honestly do love Texas and wouldn’t trade being here for the world, but seriously, Texas is getting a little jealous and territorial, and I’m feeling a little smothered. IT WON’T LET ME CONNECT WITH MISSOURI. Some examples:

1. Homecoming
This year was Mizzou’s 100th Homecoming, and it was a big, freaking deal. I was trying to make every plan to go back to Missouri for the occasion, but it never came through, and the cherry on top was the fact that I had to work New Family Welcome that weekend. The fates did not want me to return to CoMO.

2. Mizzou vs. A&M (football)
The Tigers came to town at the end of October to play the Aggies. Along with the team came some of my good friends from Mizzou. Did I get to go to that game? Was I even in town that weekend? NO. Again for work, though this time it was for an all-expenses-paid trip to New Orleans, so I can only complain so much.

3. Mizzou vs. A&M (basketball)
The #3 ranked Missouri Tigers are coming to town to face off  against A&M this weekend. And I had the opportunity to go for free because I signed up for The Big Event. I, however, will be in Oklahoma City. For work. CRUEL WORLD.

4. Mizzou vs. A&M (baseball)
Our homegroup could possibly be going to Austin that weekend. This is just getting ridiculous.

5. Spring Break
I have the time off, but because Columbia is 2 hours from an airport and I don’t want to pay for a shuttle/spend my entire week there, I’m not going to visit. Besides, all my friends would be in school because we have different spring breaks. Womp womp.

But we haven’t even gotten to the pièce de résistance yet. Oh no. That’s what went down tonight. It’s a little different because it isn’t necessarily Texas keeping me away from Missouri… I mean in a way it is, but it’s almost like Missouri is trying to entice me and Texas is rubbing it in my face that I can’t make it work. Rude.

6. The Rocket Summer
I love The Rocket Summer. Everyone knows Bryce Avery is my favorite artist ever. I count him among the influential people in my life. I’m a little obsessed. Despite this fact, I have never seen a honest-to-goodness TRS headlining show. I’ve seen Bryce twice: once when he opened for One Republic at Harding University and once when he played a solo show in Dallas. I can’t count the number of times I have missed Dallas headlining shows because I lived in Missouri at the time.

WELL NOW THE TABLES HAVE TURNED. SORT OF.
I found out tonight that The Rocket Summer and Switchfoot (another one of my faves) are touring together in April & May. Guess where they’re playing on April 26. COLUMBIA FREAKING MISSOURI. Whyyyyy, Bryce and Jon, whyyyyyy? I waited patiently for four years for you to come, and you never did. I literally talked to Bryce about The Blue Note when I met him in Arkansas. This is just cruel. I mean, it’s still not a headlining show, but seeing two awesome bands within walking distance of where I lived in MO would have been so awesome. Thankfully they’re stopping in Frisco. And even though that’s kind of far away I WILL be at that show, dangit.

So Texas, honey, I promise to stay faithful to you. I am not going anywhere. If you let me see Missouri or some Tigers, I won’t run back to Mizzou with them. Seriously. I’m here for the long haul. Can you just lighten up a little?

 

Honey on my lips

(Justin Siebert, this post is for you because it contains reference to a Thrice song.)

Today God really loved on me and my heart with the little things. It started with the arrival of “fall.” I say “fall” because, as my friend Amy asked, “What does fall in Texas even mean?” I’ll tell you that it means I wore a light-weight long-sleeved cardigan and enjoyed the high of 74 and the brisk wind. Fall is my favorite season, and it was definitely a little gift from the Father for me to experience some cooler weather.

But God also blessed me at work today. I like Tuesdays a lot for many reasons. On Tuesday I get to pretend I’m a real person who isn’t in grad school. I don’t have class, and I usually work 8:30 – 4 or 5, depending on the week. I go to staff meeting. I forget that I have classes and midterms to worry about and just focus on my job and my students. I also teach my first-year seminar class on Tuesdays, which is by far my favorite part of my job. But God even went further and totally blessed my 4 p.m. meeting with excitement. Advising is the newest and most challenging aspect of my job, but after advising one of my student leaders today as he planned for lots of events in our organization for the next few weeks, I felt so joyful and excited. I’m actually looking forward to all the extra work that I have to do in the next few weeks!

All that to say that today was better than yesterday, and I attribute that to God’s little gifts to me.

But I also wanted to write tonight about a song that I have recently fallen in love with. Tonight at Discipleship class we talked about the importance of reading and studying the Bible. I really love the Bible and feel that God uses it a lot to speak to me. I love reading the Word and finding a verse or passage that just jumps up at me and says, “THIS IS WHAT I WANT TO TELL YOU TODAY.” Enter Thrice’s “Words in the Water”:

Then with water in my eyes
The words began to rise from their place
They were beautiful and dread
I reached for them and fed on each phrase
They were honey on my lips

I just love the imagery in this song of the words literally rising from the page. I have a really cool picture of it in my head at least. The other cool thing about this song is the conclusion. The song talks about how the book demands really high standards that honestly seem really unreachable… because they are. Romans 3:23 tells us that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. God cannot tolerate sin. But the best part is that the book also tells us how we can meet the demands of holiness because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. The next verse, Romans 3:24 & 25 say “and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith.” How lucky we are! We have been saved!

And when I lost all hope to look
Someone took that heavy book from my hands
All its weight they set aside
After they had satisfied its demands
I felt white and black reverse
And the lifting of a curse from my heart
Then like one receiving sight
I beheld a brilliant light in the dark

LISTEN TO THE SONG; IT’S SUPER GOOD.
READ THE BIBLE; IT’S EVEN BETTER.

525,600 minutes

Well, I am (unfortunately?) back in Texas. It’s nice to be back with regular access to cell service and computers, but the time away in the mountains had its perks: quiet, relaxation, family, friends, mountains, cool weather, etc.

Going back to the Y was weird. It was really good, but really weird. I haven’t been back there since August 7, 2010 — almost a year ago. Although it was all familiar and comfortable, it was also different. I belonged there, sort of. All the buildings were in the same place, but some of the furniture in the Admin has been rearranged. The mountains looked the same and the air had the same familiar smell, but the people there were different. While there were some familiar faces, there were also a bunch of new ones.

Like when I ate in the Spruce and Katy Welch didn’t greet me at the door. And the guy replacing the food on the line was not Barclay Bell. And the girl at the front desk wasn’t Alexandria Miller. The guy driving around in the B&G truck wasn’t Matt Beach. Allen Rivera wasn’t giving me ice cream at the Rustic, and Blanche Jacobson didn’t check out my stuff at the Craft Center. It was just weird.

Although LT 2010 seems like it just happened, in reality it’s been a year. 12 months. 365 days. And so much has happened in theat amount of time. As I sat in the Admin thinking back on all the conversations with various people I had there, I couldn’t help but think about how far I’ve come since the end of last summer.

This time last year…

  • I didn’t know where I’d be going to grad school.
  • I hadn’t planned a fall retreat. Or made enough food to feed 100 people at a Super Bowl party.
  • I didn’t know Amanda, Ben and Breezy as well as I do now.
  • I didn’t even know Katie, Michelle, Sam, Elaine and Allie existed.
  • I couldn’t tell Jason and Kyle apart.
  • I wasn’t as comfortable with sharing the gospel as I am now (though I’m still working on boldness for sure.)
  • I actually had never flat-out shared the gospel.
  • I hadn’t done canvas group follow-up.
  • In fact, I hadn’t been a canvas group equipper.
  • I had never led worship in canvas group.
  • I hadn’t missed a Mizzou football game.
  • I didn’t have a guitar.
  • I hadn’t admitted several things to myself.
  • I didn’t really think God could speak to me outside of reading the Bible and circumstances that just worked out a certain way.
  • I hadn’t explored the idea or read about spiritual warfare.
  • I didn’t really “get” the Holy Spirit. (Still working on understanding, but He’s making it clearer each day.)
  • No one I was close to was married or had children.
  • I didn’t have a degree in journalism.
  • I thought I’d be going back to LT this summer.
  • I had never seen more than a few inches of snow at once.
  • I had never been to Ohio (in my cognizant memory.)
  • I had never been on a mission trip.
  • I had never been to Tennessee.
  • I had never had a class with Jen Rowe.
  • I had never lived in my own apartment.
  • I had never carved a jack-o-lantern.

And of course those are just some of the random things I thought of at the time. So much more has happened, and all I can say is praise God!

A few weeks ago I was reading back through some old journals from the summer and last fall. There were several fears I was facing at the time, and it is amazing to see how God has worked through those fears and freed me of them!

So despite the fact that last summer seems like only moments ago, God has DONE WORK in the past twelve months. PTL.

And here are some photos. Because God made Colorado amazingly beautiful.

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