Making Alabama Home :: An Update


An ocean has been crossed, as have many items off our to-do list and I find myself with a quiet moment while Ben builds a bedframe with his dad and I put the kid's down for a rest at our hotel.

I just poured myself some cold chai in under a minute, something I've longed for regularily for a very long time, and I'm marvelling at how much we have been able to accomplish in just a few short days. What feels like weeks can be counted on just a few fingers.

Here we are. We found a home that feels extravagant and luxurious compared to our sweet little Helsinki flat.  To be honest, I'm wrestling with the reality of such a large home. While it is nothing to everyone here, having so much space (like an actual garden area/yard and beautiful tub) feels too much. I want to treasure what a sweet gift it is, and simultaneously am honestly overwhelmed. It is obviously God's kindness, (even if we had a smaller place, it would be His kindness) and so I'm choosing to just look forward to the ways God will fill in all the space that right now feels so empty.

We've nearly set up everything we need to survive in the house and our kids are officially starting to sleep on regular intervals. God be praised. I think all of our emotions and feelings are really unstable and highly influenced by sleep/what we eat/what decisions we've had to make. So trying to problem solve this week, or have rational conversations seems to involve a bit more effort. You never really can plan for all these things can you?

But, even in the crazy of all this, there has been glorious kindness. God has come before us and is making it known in the sweetest of ways.

For instance, A few days ago we went to a Chick-Fil-A (a fried chicken chain restaurant) and the kids were playing in the play place. The first kid Eowyn has played with since moving here, was a little girl who arrived in the playplace as well.  Her name was Sadie. This is significant because Eowyn's closest little friend back in Helsinki is also named Sadie. So to discover that theres 'another friend named sadie!" was straight up God being extra sweet to my daughter. What was especially kind was that a few minutes later we met her mom, who happened to be a pastors wife at a local church and they invited us to check it out. I was crying in the kids play place when Eowyn shrieked at this tender hearted girl telling her name. I was humbled by the conversations after.

God, you're kind to my mama heart.

Ben's parents have been here helping enormously. With watching the kids while we sign three hour leases and shopping with us and getting us through all the hustle that is moving into a new place. The decision fatigue for us is greater than what I've ever known, so it's nice to have someone think clearly when really I've grown quite numb to this whole experience.

Our kids are doing okay. Elias is still hanging on to his cough, and his sister has taken over the sickness duty in his recovery. I think Eowyn has felt it the hardest out of the two. The lack of structure and complete unfamiliarity is hard, but I think its especially hard for a four year old girl.

And so we keep plugging away. Reminding ourselves it's only the first week. Patience is worth its weight, and to not panic. Our home is humbling, the logistics of cars and appliances and couches and things are falling into place, and we found a bumble bee the size of a small rodent. We're marveling at every angle of Alabama.

The biggest blessing has been how unfounded my fears were. I feared brash and passive agressive, and all I've met is kind and soft spoken. Thick drawls really do make words sound sweeter. We've already learned from years past that just because it's different doesn't mean it isn't beautiful. Alabama is full of beautiful. {It's also full of bugs. But, they're beautiful in their own right (once they learn to stop flappin in my face.)}

We've carried our dark and mildly sarcastic humor back from our British friends and it has served us well. Praise God for humor, it keeps the hearts warm and lets out the struggle.

For all of you praying for us, can I just pause here and say thank you? Thank you. This has been hard, but there has been a very clear sense of God's hand here. There have been things that have gone totally crazy, and yet we've been carried. Our patience hasn't run out, despite the pure reality that we struggle with this lack of structure, and there's been gentle reminders to have grace with eachother when miscommunication is happening, or when the kids are lashing out (and it really has been more lashing, then just acting) due to all the change. Thank you for praying. Your prayers matter.

Please pray we find a good obstetrician (Alabama is the worst state to deliver a baby in. Womp womp.) and that Ben's transition into work is wonderful, and for time and patience as we get all the details like drivers liscenses, library cards, and the rest all sorted. Pray we're able to buy the things we need, we've had to call our bank a few times because of purchasing SO MANY things in such a small time frame. It's been a hastle to try and work through. So many todos.

Looking forward to when our beds are set up and we stay in our house for the first night. Having the kids run outside in their first torrential thunderstorm, getting to the fun parts of decorating a home, and beginning to find friends.

And in the inbetween, grateful for family to help with the transition, God's kindness in allowing us to begin saving money a year ago (when we initially hoped to move) so that this transition would be easier (we have a gap of three years of no US history, so we have a lot of 'down payements' to secure heating, electricity etc.) and I'm especially thankful that we are making progress, day by day.

Day by day.

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