Photo Credit: orchidgalore
Lately, I’ve been experiencing a lot of deja vu. I’ll be in the kitchen, putting clean cups into the cabinets and the sunshine will hit my face just right, or I’ll be cleaning and the smell of Windex will transport me back to April of 2010 when I was standing in the exact same spot unloading dishes from a cardboard box and cleaning the countertops of my new home.
You see, Sunday was our one year anniversary at our church. This time last year, my emotions were on a roller coaster ride stuck somewhere between scared, excited, overwhelmed and sad at all times (there was never an in-between). I’m not sure I’ve ever experienced such a time of high stress in my life. We moved all our things down to west Texas where my husband was starting his new job, but the girls and I stayed in Oklahoma for five more weeks so we could finish up the school year (I was working full-time at the school). We rented a smelly little house and began commuting on weekends. It was exhausting. Many times I had to pull the car over, lock the doors and beg the kids to let me sleep for 10 minutes just so I’d be able to drive the rest of the way. It was the kind of tired that even a Red Bull couldn’t kick.
I have no idea how I managed it–the driving, the single momming, the finishing grad school (yeah, I was juggling my last semester of research proposals and portfolio presentations during this time, too!), the comforting of daughters, the 9 to 5, the trying to unpack/organize a new house on weekends, the learning of faces/names at our new church, the delicate balance of living in two places at one time…
Still, there’s something sentimental about those crazy days. Though life was full to the brim, there was also a weird simplicity about it. The girls and I slept together in a full size bed each night at the rent house, partly to stay warm, and partly just to be close to one another during an emotional time. We read Little House on the Prairie books together at bedtime which made us grateful that no matter how difficult things seemed, at least we weren’t living in a drafty shack in the upper midwest battling starvation and constant blizzards. 🙂 I hated being away from my husband, but I loved being welcomed home with a big hug when we made it to Texas each weekend (it is true: absence makes the heart grow fonder). Meals were hardly healthy, but they were simple: a sandwich, a can of soup or take-out.
Have you ever had a short year? I can hardly believe a year has passed because I still feel like such a newbie. Everywhere I go, I keep seeing faces of people who I’ve never met and it makes me feel crazy. I keep thinking, “Shouldn’t I know you by now? Shouldn’t I at least recognize your face from passing you in the grocery store or the Dairy Queen?”
Right now, I’m reading a young adult fiction book called The Maze Runner. The story begins with a kid who’s plopped down in the middle of a strange land. He’s trying to figure out his place and his purpose there, but nobody has any answers for him. They promise him that he’ll figure it out in time. All “Greenbeans” (their word for “newbies”) do.
I’m still very much a Greenbean. Though I’m involved in several ministries at church, I have yet to find that one thing that is uniquely my area of service here. That’s okay. I’ll figure it out in time. Greenbeans always do. 😉
What were you doing this time last year? Do you feel like a “Greenbean” in any area of your life?