I must say, one of the major perks about living on the East Coast is how easily (and affordably) we can travel to different cities. This weekend, Jeff and I hopped on the Megabus to visit his brother, Bob and Heather in Philadelphia. I had traveled there once with Jeff, but merely for a lunch-date with Jon. We stayed three nights and had a great time. Although Jeff and I have a heart for the city of Detroit, Bob and Heather tried to convince us that God wanted us in Philly :) Philly has a lot of economic (or lack thereof) similarities with Detroit - although it is obvious Detroit is in a far worse state. Philadelphia is more aesthetically pleasing compared to Detroit - there are beautiful parks (with hills and trails) dispersed amongst the city.
Jon works for Whole Foods, so we obviously enjoyed a delicious meal there. Jon also loves to cook - even though I'm not a breakfast food kind of gal, I couldn't resist his potato, sausage and egg feasts in the morning. I also had a Philly Cheesesteak for the first time (really, it's a man sandwich - meat and cheese.) Heather and Bob took us on a tour of the city when Jon was working - within city limits there are ghettos, parks, suburban homes and high-end condominiums. Very interesting...
(I realized as I wrote the last paragraph that all but one of my Philly experiences circled around food...hmmm)
My absolute favorite part about visiting Philly was......Godfrey and Francis (in the pictures below.) Godfrey and Francis are Bob and Heather's goldendoodles. I am in love. We took them to the park one day, and I spent several hours cuddling with them while the guys played videogames (I thought the 'videogame' phase ended when you got married?)
Jeff and I were really grateful for a good time, with good food and remarkable people in Philly.
Over the past couple of weeks I have been dealing with some major anxiety. Spiritual attack? Maybe... I have been having such a hard time setting emotional boundaries...I am in constant fear of a relapse (not of my own, but my dads.) I was stressing out about finding a job (which the Lord provided..) I am freaked out about not getting all of my hours for graduation.... it's exhausting. Also, never in my life have I had a problem with caffeine. Now, after I drink caffeine or have chocolate my heart races which keeps me up at night...THEN a lack of sleep stresses me out. It's an endless cycle.
To learn more about emotional boundaries, I've been reading "Emotionally Healthy Spirituality". Right now, I am learning about how generational sins effect our relationships with others. It's been pretty challenging and encouraging. I want to face these generational sins head-on so my children, and my children's children, aren't effected by them.
Well, I need to get some reading done.
Monday, March 15, 2010
So it's official...I've accepted a job offer! God has been so gracious to Jeff & I - I feel so blessed to have a job here in New York City starting June 1. For the past year or so I have been constantly stressing about finding a job in NYC. In order to be a speech therapist here for anyone between the ages of 3-21 (that's a HUGE age range!) I need to have my New York State Teaching Certificate. Well, the process of obtaining my teaching certificate is arduous, and although I am still pursuing it, I don't need it for an early intervention position (for infants and toddlers 0-3 years old.) AND I am automatically granted the teaching certificate after my first 9 months as a speech pathologist. God's provision is good. He is constantly reminding me that I DON'T have to be a stress ball about ANYTHING - it is in His hands. I am currently obsessed with learning more about the speech, language and feeding development of 0-3 year old babies.
The position is a 'home-care' position. Not only do I get to work with precious babies, but I also get to work alongside their family in their homes. This is such a great opportunity to love on families (and their children) with the perfect love of Christ. As I learn more about Early Intervention, I am realizing how great New York's program is, and how poor the state of Michigan's services are. A new dream of mine is to bring the skills I am learning (and will continue to learn) in New York City about Early Intervention to the city of Detroit. When I tutored at Hope (my church in Detroit), my heart was broken for the kiddos there - so many of them had speech and language, reading and learning disabilities that were not ever noticed or treated. Many of this issues can be detected at an early age, which can prevent the later development of more serious disabilities.
Sunday, March 7, 2010
As Jeff and I journey through lent, we have committed (along with many members of our church, New Life Fellowship) to take Sabbath. This has been SO difficult for me! 24 hours (from 6pm on Saturday to 6pm on Sunday) of NO work. No homework, no job applications, no cleaning....just stopping, resting, delighting and contemplating in The Lord and what He has blessed us with. Something major that I've learned within the past three weeks of lent is that the Lord has commanded us to take Sabbath and that we need to trust Him to get our "to-do's" completed on another day. Being intentional about spending time in the word, in prayer and contemplating what the Lord is doing in our lives...it has been life-giving.
Jeff and I are also reading our pastor's book, Emotionally Healthy Spirituality (Pete Scazzero.) Thus far, I get the sense that what he thinks a lot of Christians are missing in their journey through life is the integration of emotional health and contemplative spirituality. Recognizing that it is almost impossible to have a healthy emotional life without a contemplative relationship with The Lord and, vice versa, it is impossible to have an honest contemplative relationship with the Lord without emotional health. I totally agree with this idea. There are so many Christians walking around with their hyper-spiritual and over-involved lifestyles that are not emotionally healthy. In the first chapter, Pastor Pete discusses some of the signs of unhealthy spirituality. Something that was really convicting (and encouraging) in this section was about how it's unhealthy to die to the wrong things. As I struggle living in New York City - away from my family, home and the city of Detroit - I have been burdened with so much guilt and shame. Why don't I love New York City? Why does my heart long to be in Detroit? Why do I desire to be close to my family? I do not want my feelings to give Jeff the sense that I am dissatisfied with him, our marriage or where the Lord has us right now. Should I die to these desires for home? I often thought of Luke 9:23 where Jesus said, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me." Maybe what Jesus meant when he said this was that we are to DIE to the SINFUL parts of us, not our natural desires that The Lord has instilled on our heart. God plants desires in our hearts so that they might be nurtured and He can use those desires to bring Him glory. Ahh, so refreshing.
My baby brother, Peter (okay, he's no baby - he's 21!) just interviewed at Wayne State University's Medical School (the school I'm at, my dad graduated from AND my grandpa graduated from!) He rocked the interview, and will probably get in (Lord willing.) I CANNOT believe he is going to be a Doctor. I am so proud of the man he has become. Over the past year his heart has softened and his personality has really blossomed. I feel so blessed to be a part of his journey.
On another note, I have two job interviews tomorrow. One with a rehabilitation staffing company, and another with an Early Intervention agency. I'm just praying that God would make it obvious where He wants me - even if it's not at one of these specific locations. Please pray that He continue to lead my path towards the job where I will be used for His glory most. Please also pray that the Lord would continue to direct the path of Jeff's and my marriage and our future.
Lastly, something the Lord has really blessed me with in New York City is a babysitting job with a really loving family. The occupational therapist at my school has two sons and has had me come over to babysit a few times now. She has two boys (4.5 and 1.5) that are so precious. They have an affinity towards Jeff, too. Last night, Jeff and I went over there to babysit and the 4.5 year old couldn't keep his hands off of him! It was really beautiful to see my husband love on, connect and play with kids. It makes me excited to have babies with him someday (in the far away future, haha.)
Well, Jeff plays violin tonight at church (mmm, i love that!) so I have to get going.