My friends Stacey and Allan renewed their wedding vows the first Sunday I was there, and what was really special to me was that No Longer Bound let Thad (and his roommate, Jason, who is married to my friend Kelly) go because there were several people that work at NLB that were going. It was so nice to get to spend time with him outside of the Bound, especially at such a sweet event in our friend's lives. It was also great because the seating was at the bottom of a steep hill that I never would've gotten my pregnant waddle safely down if Thad hadn't practically carried me.
|Kelly&Jason at the renewal|
During the week I got to spend time with hands-down one of my favorite families in the entire world, the D'Arienzo's. My friend Laura and her husband Anthony moved down to Georgia a few years ago and I had never been to their home, or met their youngest son Matteo, who turned two the week I was there. Being there was exactly what I needed in a lot of ways, the biggest being that we just got to relax and spend time together and I got to play many games of of cars with Matteo. I also learned lots of Mommy-things, as I got to watch how Laura takes care of her cloth diapers and she sent me home with some great baby books that I need to get read (and fairly quickly as I only have 6 weeks left til my due date).
I saw Thad during the week as well, as family is welcome to go to church with the men on Wednesday nights. A mother of one of the men in the program (that is particularly dear to our hearts), Mrs. Cheeseman, split some of the driving with Laura to get me there. It was awesome to spend time with her, as she's traveled down this road of addiction for awhile now and we had some awesome conversations.
It was so fun to go to the Wednesday night service with Thad because the Wednesday night service at the church they go to is more like a concert than anything else....and if you know Thad and I, lifelong members of the frozen chosen, you know that we are a bit out of place in that setting. And if you know Thad and I, you know that we laugh together. We just laugh and laugh and laugh together, even in the most inappropriate of times and places, we just make each other laugh, so basically....we had a really great time. I know that's a strange thing to say about a Wednesday night service, but we just have that effect on each other.
I stayed with Mrs. Cheeseman that night because the service gets over late and I was an hour away from where Laura lives. Once again, it is so awesome how God uses people and brings people together. She made me feel so at home in her home, and I loved getting to meet her family. It's always nice (and oh-so-encouraging) to build relationships with people who are going thru a similar struggle.
The final visit Thad and I had was mostly melancholy. Neither of us could escape that it was our last tiny bit of time together before Clementine comes, and that it will be a long, long stretch before we see each other again, or even speak to each other again. I woke up at the hotel Sunday morning at 4am and we just cried until our alarm went off at 6. We trudged somewhat awkwardly through church that day, and through lunch with the guys, and through the following hours of sitting together and waiting for it to be 4 in the afternoon, when I was getting picked up from NLB.
I felt strangely comforted as we parted ways and since I can't think of how to explain that now, its fairly obvious that it was a divine comforting. I had spent the whole day terrified of that moment and then when it came, I somehow had the strength for it. Thank you, Lord, for that. I only teared up at the airport and on the plane a few times, and didn't even have a major breakdown until yesterday so, God has been good.
Now that I have no more Georgia trips to plan for, I'm starting to nest...and it's kind of a relief. I don't know why I decided to start washing every article of clothing in my life this week, but I have, and that includes the few articles of clothing I have for Clementine and the couple cloth diapers I have, as well.
I am SO EXCITED for my baby shower, which is a week from Friday, and it has nothing to do with gifts and everything to do with the fact that I love that a whole bunch of people I love are going to be in the same room with me celebrating Clementine. I'm so excited about her, I love that other people are, too.
Thank you to everyone for your continuing prayers, especially as I get ready to deliver and as Thad struggles with being separated from us for Clementine's arrival. There is much to be joyful for over here and still a long road ahead for us. All for His glory.