Thursday, April 20, 2017

Hello Birmingham!

We are relocated! We are pretty much settled into our quaint little place in Hoover...and so far we are enjoying it. I never want to take for granted the incredible opportunity to travel for work with my husband, so I'm really trying to focus on soaking it all up & really living in the moment. So far, so good.

Hello Birmingham!
We moved into our cozy apartment on Saturday. And let me tell you, our moving day could be a post in itself. We worked at our home jobs the whole week leading up to it, so we didn't really plan it out much in advance. (So unlike me! I have very OCD personality tendencies.) I mean, we booked the U-Haul that morning, packed up our house in less than an hour, and headed south.

It was a miracle that it all fell into place. We had a clerical issue with some paperwork a company had filed wrong. Our apartment complex closed early that day due to Easter weekend. There were just several hurdles we had to cross (and pray through!). We couldn't have done it without the help of my parents. But somehow we pulled it off and went to sleep that night in our bed. In our apartment. In Birmingham.

I'm still laughing about that day and will for a long time to come.

On Easter Sunday, we went to church with my grandmother. She had texted me directions the night before. It was literally about two turns from our apartment. Nonetheless, that morning I looked up the address and plugged it in my phone. Long story short? We were late to church because the address took us to the middle of a neighborhood in Mountain Brook instead of to the church right up the road. Lesson learned: sometimes your grandmother knows better than your iPhone! ;)

And oddly enough, this is the only picture I have from Easter...we had lunch at the Summit while running some errands. We didn't take one formal Easter Sunday picture...but I really enjoyed getting to worship at Christ Church UMC with my grandmother. I'm grateful being in Birmingham for the time being is allowing me to spend more time with her! We also had a delicious meal at my aunt's house that night with more family. It was the best way to relax before a busy week.

Monday morning we started our hospital orientation.

And so began a week long of classes and learning a new charting system! Having each other throughout the process makes it exciting. Even though any new experience carries its own unique challenges, it's just better when you have your best friend in your boat. I would probably sink if I tried to tackle this alone.

Every evening after classes we've spent time exploring the city. Seriously we've burned a lot of gas this week just riding around, sometimes take the long way around intentionally. We've had different errands to run here and there, mostly buying stuff for the apartment. We went towards Chelsea and enjoyed frozen yogurt. We went to our neighborhood bowling alley and bowled a game (yours truly won). Last night we went to Trussville and enjoyed dinner at our friends' house...thanks to Kyle and Christina for grilling out. :)

And today after we left the hospital we became tourists and went to Vulcan Park.

The view of downtown from the park is incredible + it was a gorgeous day!

The history nerd in me loved the museum at the park. We walked through the exhibit and read a lot about the history of Birmingham. There was a whole section on the 1960's which is interesting to me, but always chilling and overwhelming. The Civil Rights Institute is one of the next things on my Birmingham bucket list. Even though this is a very small museum, I thought it was exceptionally well curated. It reminded me of the Apartheid Museum I went to in Johannesburg (except much, much smaller).

We took the stairs to the top of the Vulcan's pedestal...over 120 feet. Listen, you can probably tell in this picture we're out of breath. ;) You can't really tell because of the brightness but we are on the pedestal's observation deck and, from the top of Red Mountain, that's downtown in the background. And we easily chose to take the elevator back down. :)

So one week in and the best part of all this? In just these few days I think we have grown way closer together in our marriage than we had in almost a whole year at home. It's just us on our team. We have no one else really to turn to, and when problems come up we just have to handle them together. There's no other way. We get to spend more time together than we ever did before (we used to be on opposite shifts/different schedules) and when we come home in the afternoon we get to just hang out with each other. Especially at the beginning of the week, when we didn't have our hotspot Wi-Fi yet, you would be amazed at what all we talked about simply because we didn't have any TV or Internet to distract us. Quality time does me good. :)

As I'm publishing this post, we just got back in from walking around the nature trail at our apartment. It loops around a little pond and if you didn't know any better, you would honestly never know that you're right off a main highway. It's so peaceful and pretty.

If there's one thing I can say, it's this: If you have the opportunity, GO. Whatever is holding you back...give it to the Lord, and like I said in my last post, just get over it. Go for it! There were honestly plenty of things that could have held me back (and almost did), but I would have missed out.

Sometimes it's just time to break camp.

Did you know that the journey from Mount Sinai to the Promised Land that took 40 years should have only taken 11 days? Really compare those timeframes. What a difference! And there's plenty of sermons to be preached on wandering around the wilderness and freedom vs deliverance, but my point is this...the Israelites had been at Sinai (Horeb) almost a full year. Deuteronomy 1:6-7 claims, "The Lord our God said to us in Horeb, You have stayed long enough at this mountain. Turn and take your journey, and go to the hill country of the Amorites and to all their neighbors..." (emphasis mine).

It certainly isn't always easy, but it's always worth it. And I know that verse barely skims the Scripture and is far from in-depth but it makes the point. I think the Lord has so much more in store for us than what we try to limit Him to. Trust me, I've been there...and it's even still tempting now. But you just might be surprised where your journey takes you...and I can almost guarantee you that there's way more outside your comfort zone than you could ever imagine. Your Promised Land is waiting for you!

I say all of this to say...who knows where we will end up on this journey? But for now, we are going in and taking possession of our Birmingham.

Break camp. Turn. Take your journey.

"Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen." Ephesians 3:20-21

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