Saturday, December 22, 2012

light in the dark

I know their smell and the sound of their voices. I know every look. Every crease of their brow. I know that "uppa! uppa!" means "pick me up!" and that no one says "ok!" cuter than she does. I know just how his face will crumple before his tender heart gets the best of him.

Long after baths have been taken and prayers said, I will remember how they ran 'round and 'round the kitchen counters laughing and playing chase. I will recall how he told his sister "I don't want to hold your hand because there's a booger in the middle of your head" and every detail of her face as she squinted her eyes and scrunched up her nose at me. I will dwell on these things until they are etched in my mind forever.

I am their mom.

So much of who I am and what I do is wrapped up in these tiny miracles that are living proof that the very best of two people can exist in one person.

They are among some of my first thoughts of the day and on my lips as I pray for them before bed each night. I am their cheerleader, chef, and chauffeur. I am their rescuer that gathers them close when life...or the ground...smacks them in the face.

Being their mommy means I persevere even when I want to quit. I don't take sick days or vacation. And Lord knows, no one is more aware of the food pyramid than me. I spend my days doing everything in my power to protect them, defend them, and mold them. Being their mom means I love them fiercely and deeply. Unconditionally.

Simply put there is nothing I wouldn't do for these little treasures that are so much a part of me that it's hard to know where I end and they begin. There are no lengths I wouldn't go to in order to ensure that they are safe, healthy, and happy.

All these reasons and more are why I can't quit thinking about the moms of those 20 precious children that have escaped this world for a much better place.

I have no doubt they knew every tiny detail of their child's quirks and personality. Every like and dislike right down to the order in which they would eat, or refuse to eat, each food group at every meal. Their homes echo with the silence of that missing voice that will never be heard again this side of Heaven.

These thoughts haunt me as I hold my children a little tighter and much longer. I have never been more aware than I am now of the fact that in the blink of an eye I could find myself exactly where those women are now. The reality of that steals my breath until fear and panic threaten to overwhelm me. Some days it's easy to live my life as if evil doesn't exist around every corner. To pretend that the most innocent lives cannot be touched by it. I want so badly to believe that if I work hard enough and am smart enough I can shield my children from it.

But deep down I know that I can't. Because I am not the One in control. He holds the lives of those I love in the palm of His hand and there is no safer place for them.

The cold hard truth is that there is an evil one that has come to steal, kill, and destroy. He roams about looking for innocence to devour. He is terrible and full of our worst nightmares.

But he is not the winner. In fact, he is already the loser.

It's hard to remember that when we're faced with the very darkest of times. But let's not forget that light, even just a flicker, is never more apparent than when we can see it against the backdrop of night. We may not be able to say His name in our schools. His presence may not be acknowledged outright in the media.

But make no mistake, He is still here.

Every one of us was created in His image. There is no escaping the evidence of our Heavenly Father here on Earth. He is in every kind or heroic act, every piece of good news, and the unexplained miracles are the strongest argument for His hand among us. Take a moment and add all those things up and I think you will see, like I did, that He was, is, and always will be victorious over evil.

He is our hope in times such as these.

Isn't that the very essence of the reason we celebrate Christmas? He came to be our rescuer. To save us from the things of this world that can smack us in the face when we least expect it. He came so that our souls could be shielded from evil forever.  

He knows the sound of our voices. Every crease of our brow. He knows the number of hairs on our head and each of our days before one of them came to be. He knows just how our hearts will grieve when the worst comes to pass.

He delights in every piece of us. We are etched on the very palms of His hands.
He loves us deeply, fiercely, and unconditionally.

So let's live like the victors He's already said we are and be that flicker of light against this backdrop of night. That is how we can be a people worthy of the memory of heros and innocent lives.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

white as snow

Dusty surfaces. Laundry piled high. Unmade beds and dirty dishes.

This is my life. A constant game of catch-up in which I am almost always the loser. It's hard not to look around and see all the ways I'm not measuring up. Some days this "in your face failure" spills over into my attitude resulting in impatience and clipped tones. I think to myself,

Oh, hi, Proverbs 31 woman. I was just trying to live up to the standard that you have so graciously set. Obviously, it's going well.

On a day that feels like a lifetime ago, I awoke to the sounds of "Going to the Chapel" thanks to my wonderful parents. I eagerly anticipated walking down the aisle to marry my best friend as I put on a beautiful, white dress complete with princess shoes and sparkling jewelry. My thoughts were not filled with the challenges and sorrows we would face, but rather that we would be doing life together...come what may.

May 22, 2004 was a day of celebration. We danced. We laughed. We may or may not have cried a little.

Finally the time came to make our grand departure. Rose petals floated down all around us as we made a mad dash for the elevator that would take us to our honeymoon suite. Once safely inside, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. I looked more than a little exhausted. My head was beginning to throb a little from all the hair piled high on top of my head. My dress suddenly felt very heavy. And was it my imagination or did I look about 12?

As the doors slid shut and several of our friends and family waved goodbye, it suddenly occurred to me that a chapter of my life was closing and a new one was beginning. It felt a little overwhelming, and now I had the feeling of being 12 to go with looking that age.

This is the part of the story where I tell you that even though I was deliriously happy to be married to the love of my life, I was exactly that. Delirious. Exhausted. Hanging on by a fiber of a thread that could break at any moment.

And it did.

 As soon as we got to our hotel room.

I laid myself right smack dab across that queen size bed and mourned the fact that a wonderful part of my story was over. And that somehow my suitcase of clothes did not make it to the hotel. Suspicious? Yes. Did Luke have anything to do with that? He says otherwise. I have my doubts.

Later, when my meltdown was over and my clothes had been delivered, Luke carefully took all of the bobby pins out of my hair and helped me wash the hairspray out. Always the one with the servant's heart. I will never forget that he did that for me. He had every reason to be frustrated with the emotional rollercoaster he had just committed himself to "until death separates us."

As I hung up my dress, I noticed some wax from the unity candle had dripped onto it. And the hem was no longer a pristine white but more of a dingy gray after the events of the day.

I never had it cleaned.

 It still bears the evidence of the day when I became Mrs. Keiffer and promised to love Luke well for the rest of my life. I look at the dirty hem of that dress and memories of family and friends surrounding us as we made that holy covenant flood my mind. I remember dancing with my dad. And then dancing with my new husband. The toasts and practical jokes that will never be forgotten.

 The most important dress I ever wore is dirty because I lived some of the most precious moments of my life in it. It symbolizes the beginning of a chapter more wonderful and definitely more messy than I could have ever imagined.

Eight years later, I don't feel 12 anymore. In fact, some days I feel much older than my 30 years. I love my husband infinitely more than I did the moment he took out those headache-inducing bobby pins. He is still married to an emotional rollercoaster, but the ups and downs are not quite as extreme. At least that's what I tell myself.

This is my life:

Only most days it looks a little less picture perfect and a little more like we're drinking some of that crazy koolaid.

Case in point:

I've traded clean clothes for ones smeared with crumbs and the occasional nose wipe. I still wear princess shoes, but only on those rare occasions that my Prince Charming and I get to escape for a few hours. And the sparkling jewelry? Well that would be my children that are constantly hanging on me.

Unmade beds mean that little treasures are here to sleep in them every night. Dirty dishes remind me that nothing is better than family time together. Even if most of that time is spent telling a certain one year old to quit throwing food on the floor. Savannah has never loved Brooke more. And dusty surfaces mean that we are making memories that will last long after I finally get around to that chore.

In the moments that I allow the voice of God to penetrate the chaos, He gently reminds me that the dirt and the mess represent a life well lived and much loved. His mercies are new every morning, and as His bride, He washes the ugliness with His grace.

So that everything is white as snow again.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

laughter is the best medicine

Here I am again for the second day in a row. I'm as shocked as you are. Truly. I have resolved to do better about recording the details of everyday. Partly because I gave half of my brain cells to my children and can't remember anything beyond yesterday, and also because I know one day I will want to look back and reminisce about the good 'ol days.

I love to laugh. It can turn your mood and your whole day around for the better. These are just a few of the things that have made me laugh or smile lately:

Savannah {our dog} recently had to have ACL surgery. It was not cheap. Savannah is not Luke's favorite. You can imagine how pleased he was to put his plans for our theater room on hold due to the unexpected expense. Still, he sucked it up because he knows how much Austin and I LOVE her. Obviously, she has to take it easy, which means jumping in and out of the car is not allowed. As Luke bent to pick her up and put her in his car, his pants totally split right down the middle of his backside from top. to. bottom. I cannot remember the last time I laughed that hard.

We took a family trip to Best Buy the other day because I wanted to speak Luke's love language and I'm secretly hoping he'll take me on a date to Pottery Barn in the near future. That song "Good Feeling" came on over the speaker system and both of our kids broke out in their best dance moves. As an added bonus, Austin decided to sing the song for the rest of the day. His version went a little something like this: "Whoa slow down. I've got a feeling." The actual words are "Ohhh sometimes, I get a good feeling."

Austin loves going to Spanish class at school mainly because they usually go to "the big playground" afterwards. Whenever I ask him what he's learning he tells me hello in Spanish is "Hola!" {pronounced like Lola without the "L"}

Until just recently, Austin would add a "t" at the end of random words. For example, he would say "tennisT" and "mineT" even though I've told him that the "t" at the end is silent...

After a week long business trip with some co-workers, I was telling Luke what I pictured one of them looking like in my head. I wasn't even close. So then it occurred to me during a rare moment of quiet in my car that it is quite possible that NONE of the figures in the Bible look like I picture them to be. This is going to make finding Esther and Ruth a tad bit difficult when I get to Heaven. Then again, I would like my new body to look like Carrie Underwood so maybe there will be a round of introductions at the Pearly Gates.

I love the way Brooke will make up songs and sing them in baby talk. I also love how she tries to sing the words to "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star"

My littlest sister Claire told me that the person she is most looking forward to meeting in Heaven is Noah. She wants to ask him what it was like to build a big boat while everyone made fun of him. According to her..."He could have just chosen to die in the flood and woken up in Heaven." Problem solved. I'm glad God didn't choose Claire to build the ark. I kind of like rainbows.

Brooke and I frequently have conversations throughout the day. I speak in English and she answers in "Brookese"

My parents are in NYC for the first time. My dad just texted me a picture of the Statue of Liberty and said "Goodbye Lady Liberty. Or Lot's wife. Whatever."

Austin tells us on a regular basis that he wants to play soccer, tennis, or baseball because they are the safest sports. Why is it important to only play the safe sports?"Because if I get hurt and can't play my team won't win." Clearly we still have some work to do.

The other day Austin asked me "I can't marry Brooke, correct?" Cue the crickets.

A big thank you to my family for keeping me entertained. Of course, I'm always happy to return the favor. Have a happy Tuesday!

Monday, October 15, 2012

playing catch-up

Well. When I signed on today I wasn't even sure good 'ol blogger would remember me. But lo and behold, it did. And then I panicked when I saw all the changes. But here I am anyway and so much has happend since the last time I recorded my thoughts about our lives lately.

Let's get started shall we? Life is so full and wonderful here in Rockwall. Our house is feeling more like our home complete with pictures on the walls. That makes such a difference, doesn't it? It took me awhile to decide where I wanted everything because I really think you need to just live in a new space first before you start deciding how to accessorize her. This drives Luke especially crazy which won't be a surprise to anyone that knows him well. He is task-oriented and was a man on a mission when it came to unpacking boxes. He also despises hanging things on the walls mostly because he is a perfectionist and doesn't do anything half way. I love that about him. Slowly but surely, I figured out where I wanted everything and Luke began the task of carrying out my vision. My favorite wall so far is the first one you see when walk in our front door. It's filled with pictures of our little family. Sweet memories that make me feel so blessed everytime I walk by. Pictures of our littlest treasures, our last family picture {Brooke was 4 months old. Clearly we're long overdue for a new one}, a tribute to the city where "Luke and Aimee" officially began, and a sign that says "Home is where your story begins." Our wedding album, which I lovingly refer to as The Book, sits on the console table underneath and is a reminder of the day that started all of this craziness. I wouldn't change one single thing about my life and who I share it with. God has been so good to me!

We have gotten involved in a church and attend a Lifegroup on Saturday nights, which is full of the most wonderful people. They are sarcastic just like me and Luke and they love Jesus with their whole hearts. Just last night we attended the baptism of two of the kids from our Lifegroup family. As I stood there watching them profess Jesus as their Savior and that they had asked Him to come into their little innocent hearts, I was overcome by emotion. Thank goodness for sunglasses to hide tear-filled eyes! I'm not one that makes crying look pretty. Who's with me on that?! There we were, a group of believers celebrating together the most important decision anyone can make. What a blessing it is to walk this parenting road with these people that strive to raise their kids the same way we do. May our children be among the next generation of those that love God passionately and have a heart to win souls for Him!

On that note, Luke and I had the privilege of witnessing Austin become a Christian. There have been several opportunities to share with him the hope that we can have when faced with death. We talked to him many times about the gift of salvation and what it means to "ask Jesus into your heart." On October 1st, the three of us sat cross-legged on his bed while he prayed that sweet prayer in his little boy voice. I could not have been filled with more joy! Nothing could have prepared me for all the emotions I would feel as he made the decision of his life. Death has been defeated again and Satan cannot claim the life of my oldest!! About a week later, we were eating lunch with Luke's parents who had just returned from the funeral of a good friend. We were discussing Heaven when Austin looked at his Pops and said shyly, "You know what Pops? I'm a Christian." He pointed his little finger at his chest and I almost lost it right there in Olive Garden. I am just so proud of him. He has such a tender heart and I know God will use that mightily. Before he was born, we prayed that he would come to know Jesus at an early age. That prayer has been answered. We are so grateful!

We are truly blessed and I am so thankful that God would be gracious enough to give us all that we don't deserve. Still, life is not perfect and I would never want anyone to think that we have it all together. We don't. I have never been more aware of my need for Him than in this season of my life. This year we have been surrounded by suffering and the reminder that this world is not our home. Satan has used this to feed my fear of the worst happening to our family. Aside from God, my family...extended the most important thing in my life. There is no other group of people I am more loyal to than them. I prefer my family and, given the choice, would rather spend time with them than anyone else. I know that God wants me to trust Him with their lives and well-being. He is their Creator, afterall, and He is worthy of that trust. Good grief, He has every right to demand it of me. But He is so gentle with me and ultimately desires that it be my choice. I will be honest, this has been such a struggle for me. There are times when Satan shows no mercy and does everything in his power to use my fear to cripple me. He has come to kill, steal and destory and boy is he good at his job. Some days I can say to the him: Mission Accomplished. I am a work in progress and there are days I have to choose minute by minute to put my trust in the One that deserves it the most. And then there are the days that I fail to make that decision. Cue the panic attacks. No one loves me better or more than He does. No matter what the future holds, His plans for me are good. I am so very thankful for His patience and the promise that He will never give up on me!

Looking back at this past year, I feel like this new beginning in Rockwall is symbolic of God doing new things in my life. Challenging me in new ways. Not only am I finding myself forced to deal with some of my deepest fears once and for all, but He is also urging me to stand firm in my faith and what I believe. Even if it means I am standing alone. I realize that I started this blog initially to document our life through each season, but I also want to be able to look back and see what God was doing in my life. He is so faithful despite the fact that I am a hot mess most of the time. Nevertheless, He who began the good work will finish it to completion.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

for brooke

Even though it is a couple of months late, I still want to write my daughter on her first birthday. As you can see, having 2 littles has made life crazy but full of joy!

Dear Brooke:
After waiting for months that often felt like years, the day finally came for us to welcome you into our family. You were born with eyes wide open and as silent as the first hours of morning. Such a contrast already to your brother who cried for the first hour of his life. Since then, you have been anything but silent, and you still take in every detail of life with wide eyes and infinite curiosity. 

The first few months were rough. For us and for you. Still, we persevered together and thanked the Lord for caffeine and the ability to act like we knew what we were doing. We have loved getting to know you this last year and discovering all the ways you are fearfully and wonderfully made by our God. You are stubborn and feisty. You can be a Mama's girl but some days you just want your Daddy. Above all, you adore Austin, or "Bubba," as you call him. Your little face lights up as you say his name over and over when he walks into the room.

You know what you like and dislike. You hold to your opinions without wavering, and one day I'll be thankful for that trait. For now, there is molding to be done and we need every ounce of God's wisdom and grace to be the parents you deserve. You challenge us and force us out of our comfort zones. God is using you to teach me the importance of letting go of perfection and the crazy idea that I can do any of this life on my own.

I cherish so many moments with you. Rocking you to sleep while you hold tight to your paci and favorite monkey. Playing peek-a-boo and chase. Watching you play with your brother and love on him. But perhaps my most favorite moments are when you snuggle close and pat my shoulder. In those precious seconds, I know firsthand the blessing of the mother/daughter bond and pray that we are always close.

Before you were born, God told me that you would be our "joy that comes in the morning." I had no idea then that that theme would be woven throughout the first year of your life. We have spent many hours on our knees in prayer for dear family and friends. Asking God for miracles. Believing His promise that after the night comes the dawn and with it...JOY! We have been reminded that in this world, we will have trouble but He has overcome the world!

You are our joy, Brooke. Our tangible proof that God is faithful and full of blessings for His children even when the storms surround us. When you face the ups and downs of this life, remember this part of your story! Remember that when you hold tight to Jesus, you can face anything with supernatural strength, grace, and Heavenly focus.

I never want to forget the little things about this season. How you laugh when you put your brother's swimming shorts on your head. The way you dance when any kind of music is playing or how you say "Awwww" when you hug us. I love how you scrunch up your little face and with squinted eyes, you let us know you're disgusted. These moments are fleeting and a reminder that ultimately you are on loan from our Heavenly Father. Be patient with us as we learn to let go in different ways and never forget that you are one of our treasures. We love you, sweet girl!!


Thursday, March 8, 2012


Rockwall: Chapter 1 has officially begun. How's it going? Well, like most things, it has it's ups and downs. I'm currently looking into a name tag for my car that reads:

Hi! We're the Keiffers. Obviously we're new here.

To Robert at Starbucks: Sorry for taking your tall cafe mocha. I wasn't even aware anyone but me ordered that size anymore. Unfortunately, I didn't see your name on the side of the cup until after I left.

To the SUV rapidly approaching in my rear view today. I'm sorry for being indecisive. I just couldn't committ to one of the 5000 ways to get to Starbucks from Target.

{I'm beginning to see an unhealthy pattern here. Or maybe my motto should just be "Give me Jesus...and give me Starbucks..."}

And finally, to the lady in the car behind me that waited as I backed out of a parking space after missing the turn to Austin's school, I apologize. I didn't see you coming down the one way road. Hopefully, it won't happen again. And by the way, I'm trying not to be jealous that you're dropping your child off at his regular Mother's Day Out program.

As I make this adjustment to a new place, I'm reminded of Ruth. She, too, followed someone she loved to a foreign land.

But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.
Ruth 1:16-17

This is not the first time I've followed Luke to an unfamiliar place. As much as I loved Baylor, we knew we would be happier if we could experience the college thing together. And so I packed my bags and headed to Tulsa. Even then I loved that man with all of my heart! Wanna know the only thing I was sure of as I filled out applications and applied for housing?

Wait for it...

Tulsa was a city in Oklahoma. I was fairly certain I would need to beef up my wardrobe a little since it does snow there.

That's it. Apart from the fact that I felt like it was where the Lord was leading me, I had no guarantees that Luke and I would even be dating when we graduated. Let alone engaged!

Fast forward three and a half years.

Not only are Luke and I engaged with an amazing group of friends, but I spent the majority of my time in Tulsa living with a girl from Kerrville, Texas. In case you're wondering, that's a small town about an hour north of San Antonio.

We met randomly in the lobby of our dorm and bonded over our love for Jesus, Texas, and the need to deep clean at least once a week. Is God good or what?!

So here I am again. Missing friends. Missing family.

Missing the familiar things that made me feel secure.

And while I scrub the dishes and wipe the spaghetti sauce off the stove, I tell Him that my heart aches for San Antonio. His reply is simply that He knows and He aches with me even if this move was His will in His perfect timing.

Oh, how I love that my God would walk this road with me. Even when the enemy tries to tell me I'm all alone, He reminds me that He is right here, holding my hand, as I begin this new season.

I recently did a study in which I learned that just before Jesus was born, God was silent for four hundred years.

Four. Hundred. Years. That's like as long as it takes Austin to get dressed in the mornings. True story.

I can't even imagine what it would be like to long and wait for a word from God only to hear nothing but complete silence. He used this time of famine, so to speak, to create a desperate hunger for Him because He wanted to world to be ready for what was coming.

His Son.

And what a celebration that night was! Stars were shining, angels were singing, and I would be willing to bet money that God blessed Mary with the best hair day she'd ever had because she was the mother of His Son afterall.

He was here. The prophecies had come true.

And the famine was over!

As I was listening to this lesson, I was struck by the fact that this is a time of famine for me. A famine of friends, family, and the familiar comforts that defined my routine. Even as I grieve the closing of the San Antonio chapter, I hear Him whisper to my heart that He is enough.

He has always been enough.

I am certain that at the end of this famine something wonderful waits for me. Rockwall is where we're supposed to be even if it feels lonely and foreign right now.

Maybe you are also in a foreign place. It doesn't have to be a new city. It can be a time of illness, change, or just the realization that life is brutal. All of the sudden, your world has been turned upside down and it's all you can do to keep your head above water.

Maybe you, like me, need to hear that He is here. He is constant.

And He is enough.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Time is a funny thing. Some days it seems to drag. Lucky for me, those are usually the days that Brooke has a million dirty diapers and Austin has just as many questions and complaints. And then there are the days that seem to slip through your fingers like running water. You blink your eyes and all of a sudden a chapter of your life has been written and that season has passed.

I remember the day that Luke came home and told me they were moving the AT&T headquarters to Dallas like it was yesterday.

We had lived in San Antonio for 6 months.

It was like you could hear my bubble popping. I know Luke heard it too because of the look on his face after he told me. A feeling of panic and anxiety overwhelmed me and I was just a little bit angry. Ok. Alot angry.

What was AT&T thinking? Moving the headquarters? Didn't they know that some of us actually liked it here. Had families here. Hopes and dreams too.

So I did what any girl in denial would do. I lied to myself and chose to believe that we wouldn't move. I told myself that Luke could be happy with the positions available here in San Antonio. Obviously, I conveniently forgot that little commandment about leaving and cleaving to your matter where his job takes him.

For the next four years, the knowledge that our time here was limited hovered in the back of my mind as I formed friendships and made memories. I held my breath any time Luke had a meeting with one of the "higher-ups" of AT&T. Each time the anxiety and sadness threatened to overwhelm me, I clung to the hope that by some miracle, we could stay in San Antonio.

I tried not to be bitter whenever Luke seemed excited about his career possibilities. Afterall, how could he not be excited about a move? A promotion to the city where his family lived? What's not to like? As you can see, I was hugely successful in avoiding bitterness...

Each meeting he had only confirmed to me that Luke was gaining the respect and recognition he had earned and deserved at AT&T. It became increasingly obvious that it was just a matter of time before he was offered an opportunity in Dallas.

One morning, I woke up with a sense of dread and anxiety like I have never experienced all wrapped up in a neat little package of sadness. In the words of Anne Shirley, I woke up in the depths of despair. I felt like I had no where to turn with these feelings. I didn't want to be a Debbie Downer to Luke's excitement about his career opportunities and I knew my family was struggling with this possibility as well. I am ashamed to admit that I didn't immediately turn to the Lord like I should have. But He is still faithful even when we are not.

I happend to read an entry on one of my favorite blogs that morning. I don't remember what it was about. All I remember was the way this verse leapt off the page at me:

Lamentations 3:21-23
Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope:
Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.

That morning, my Lord spoke to me as clearly as if He were sitting across from me just shooting the breeze and drinking His morning coffee. He reminded me once again that His grace is sufficient for today. He told me that when the day came to say goodbye and close this chapter of our lives, that I would not be consumed with sadness, anxiety, and hopelessness. He promised me this simply because He loves me that much.

A peace that I have not felt in 4 years replaced the dread and anxiety. I was still sad about the changes ahead but I no longer feared them. I finally felt free.

Two months later, Luke got an official job offer for a position in Dallas.

I waited for those same feelings to overtake me, but praise the Lord, they didn't!

On January 16th, a new chapter will begin for our family. Luke will start a new job in Dallas and I will begin the process of wrapping up the San Antonio season of our lives. There are still many unknowns and my heart is grieving already over the goodbyes yet to be said. I will miss lunches with my dad, playdates with friends, and Bible studies with families going through the same things we are. I will miss having my mom stop by and visits with Claire when she's home. I do not look forward to explaining to Austin why we can't see his old friends when he tells me he misses them.

Still, I am thankful for our time here no matter how much my heart aches. Living here was one of the desires of my heart that God granted, even if for just a little while. I am humbled that He would give me the gift of time in San Antonio with people I love. I am still tempted on a daily basis to dwell on the future instead of living in this moment. But I cling to the knowledge that I will not be consumed, and I am learning to savor the blessings of today without fear of what tomorrow holds.