Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Peace

I'm sitting here sipping the most delicious espresso with homemade molasses/ginger syrup at the neighborhood coffee shop I've become a regular at in just 3 short days, listening to Nat King Cole sing Christmas songs, and I can't help but whisper thanks for the life I've been given. Christmas is just 2 days away, we've finally moved into our long awaited, prayed for, dreamed about house (unfinished as it is), and I'm a healthy 34.5 weeks pregnant with our darling firstborn girl who we get to meet in just 37 some days. Life is indeed full and I'm reminded constantly of His goodness when I stop long enough to pay attention. It's everywhere.

To say the past year has been hard would be the understatement of the century, but to say it's been good would be an understatement too. We are so incredibly blessed. This year has brought about more change than any I've known in my life.

  • We packed up and moved our life and business to Charleston, South Carolina for Lee's job 6 months ago, right around the same time we found out we were expecting our first baby girl! Talk about a major life change! 95% our belongings went into a storage facility in Charleston, and with only our summer clothes, dog and business, we moved into a furnished apartment where we spent the summer exploring our new city, eating at dozens of the most amazing restaurants, and frequenting the beach whenever we so desired. 
  • We celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary in August with a 10 day vacation driving up California's Hwy 1. We spent 3 days driving the breathtaking coast in a convertible, something I highly recommend you add to your bucket list if it's not already on there. Then we spent 3 days touring Napa and Sonoma's beautiful wine country, and ended the trip with a gorgeous 3 day weekend in San Francisco. 
  • After looking at 30+ houses the last year and a half, we were beyond thrilled to purchase our first home just 2 months ago! Not only did we find a home with everything on our wish list, but we got it well under budget which allowed us the means to do a complete renovation, leaving us with far more than we could have ever afforded other wise. 
  • Lee's had a busy year of travel. He's been on a dozen or so work trips, including 2 two week Asia trips and his first visit to Honduras. 
  • We've moved 3 times in 6 months. Yes, I said 3 times. All during one pregnancy. Talk about exhausting. This is something I hope to never relive again. 
  • We lived in temporary apartments in Charleston for 4 months while we were still house hunting and moved back to NC after we bought our house due to the complete renovation happening. My in-laws were so gracious to open their hearts and home to us, our dog, our stuff AND my business studio the last month and a half. We moved back to Charleston into our not-quite-completely-renovated home just 5 days ago. We are itching for the construction workers to finish up so we can clean, unpack, and this extremely pregnant girl can NEST and set up baby's nursery already;) I've only been waiting 8.5 months.
  • Our business, Tuck & Bont√©, received it's largest wholesale order to date with our biggest wholesale customer, Anthropologie. With barely a 3 week lead time from order to ship date, we received the order just 10 days before we were scheduled to move back to NC and Lee was preparing for his Asia trip. By God's grace, and the help of 3 friends (our first employees!), we were able to get it done and shipped in the midst of a move, with hardly a glitch. Talk about miraculous! This was our first order placed for stores and web, which is HUGE and a dream come true for me. I'm still pinching myself that God's been so gracious to our little, growing business. 
  • I've been blessed with an overall healthy pregnancy and a very active baby girl. Her physical growing and stretching me has been a constant reminder to me of all that God's been growing and stretching in my heart this year. We can't wait to meet and love this little person that's become such a part of our family already the last 8 months. And to think this is just the beginning of our life changing forever. . .
  • We've found the most incredible community of friends here in our new city in such a short time. For that I am eternally grateful. I've had my fair share of moves and it's always taken a couple years to feel like I have "people/friends". So to have found this in just a few short months is a treasure I don't take for granted.

I chuckle looking back over the last 12 months. God has a sense of humor. He really does. We typically start the year off with a fast, spending a few concentrated weeks praying and seeking the Lord for the coming year. I like to ask the Lord for a word for that year. What does He have in store for me, for Lee, and our life? After 3 weeks or so, I got my word.

Expansion:
the act of becoming larger or more extensive
a thing formed by the enlargement, broadening, or development of something
to stretch out
growth
increase
swelling, elongating, thickening, multiplication.

2014 was to be the year of expansion, and boy was He right. In every single way. We've been stretched literally, physically, financially, spiritually, geographically, and relationally; and grown in our trust, faith, patience, and any other way you can think of, I'm sure of it. Growth and expansion sound so exciting, and they are. . . but I never realized how uncomfortable it is to be stretched. Growing pains, taking on a new shape, being enlarged; it hurts. I've been brought to the end of myself over and over again, and experienced a total dependency on God I've never had before. It's been messy and wonderful. I've cried more tears and been more desperate and needy than ever before. That is uncomfortable for me. I'm the type that likes to have it 'all together', always have a plan, always be in control. And that has been shattered to pieces this year, for which I'm glad. If there's one thing I've learned this year it's BE FLEXIBLE, and it will make all the change, growth, and 'life not going like you planned' a whole lot easier. I think this year was a crash course lesson for parenting;)

If there is another thing I've learned it's this. He is my peace. Not my circumstances or everything going just right. He himself is PEACE, and I can have Peace in the midst of life's biggest storms. I love this:

"There is a part of the sea known as the cushion of the sea. It lies beneath the surface that is agitated by storms and churned by the waves and wind. It is so deep that it is a part of the sea that is never stirred. When the ocean floor in these deep places is dredged of the remaining plant or animal life, it reveals evidence of having remained completely undisturbed for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. The peace of God is an eternal calm like the cushion of the sea. It lies so deeply within the human heart that no external difficulty, or disturbance can reach it. And anyone who enters in the the presence of God becomes a partaker of that undisturbed and undisturb-able calm. " -Arthur Tappan Pierson

No matter what this year has brought you, I hope this Christmas you can experience this eternal calm, Peace Himself. 








3 comments:

  1. You look wonderful! I love asking the Lord for a word for the year. I know he doesn’t see time the same way we do, but each new year kind of does feel like a new season in a sense. This post provoked me to think harder about where He is leading us this year, so, thanks for sharing. Treasure the last few weeks of just the two of you - it’s such a precious time of preparation :) Merry Christmas!

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  2. Wow. Julie, this is so beautiful. Your words are inspiring! Good providence on your upcoming year, it will be a big one for sure!! (Exciting at that) I enjoy keeping up with all your posts on social media, reading/looking at all the events in your crazy wonderful life. Much love to the Watson's

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  3. I have been meaning to catch up on your blog for a while now. I'm glad I finally did. This post had me in tears. This past year brought a lot of change in my life and I find your story so inspiring and encouraging. Blessings to you in this new year! Excited for your little girl to come!

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