Thursday, January 22, 2015

Oh, Rhode Island... the move that moved me...

Above are our family pictures from this past fall. I think I could easily look back at any fall pictures we have had thus far in our marriage and tell you quite a story of that year. Looking at these, I have a heart full and eyes full... of tears. It has been quite a year.

I miss Nashville, my tremendous girlfriends, the couples we love, my godchildren, the close proximity to our families (and the lake) and the warm weather... oh, just more than words would ever be able to express, I miss it all so much. I certainly do not feel as if I am home here, but, the trade off for what I gained when I lost so much is something that I will never regret.

So as to not write for hours tonight ... because I am so sleepy already, I would at least like to sum it up here because I pray I never forget what the first year of Rhode Island did for me, my family and my marriage.

The 15th of January made it a year. I traveled up here 7 months pregnant, to a house we were renting that I had only seen online.... and we jumped in.

Strength. I have to say that I doubted the grace and strength God gave me to pull this off. To move, while pregnant with three kids into the snowy winter of a town where I knew not one soul... now, that was CRAZY. The Lord provided. It was one day at a time. When you look sometimes at the whole picture and you are not there in that moment it seems like so much more... but, you are not there yet and his grace for that moment has not yet reached you... so hang on, it will come.

Being alone. Being alone without friends. Alone without family. Alone without a community. It reminded me of so much. Who is important? Well, friends, family and community. But who is most important? Patrick and my four children. Never before and maybe never again will I have the opportunity to spend SO MUCH TIME alone with 5 of the people I love most in the whole world. It has been a gift... to spend time. So many distractions to keep us busy before. Here we have really seen one another, gotten to know one another and laughed more together than I ever remembered before.

Detachment. I did not yet experience this in the way that I have here. Complete denial and detachment from everything I was comfortable with, everything I started, including a moms group, a retreat, and a school. A new doctor, a new grocery store, new roads, new accents, new community. And really, what it came down to for me, which was so hard, was: in every sense of the phrase, not a soul to impress or make an impression on. It was just me and my little family. On an island. Literally.

My marriage. I have seen as time has passed here how my marriage has gained so much. We have started to really get each other. Not that we hadn't before, but in a different way. It comes with less distractions, but also because with this new job, no outside ministries for me, and a normal routine, we are able to see the needs the other has it a much clearer light. We are no longer living in survival mode, tag teaming constantly, and trying to get more than 5 hours sleep. I have so enjoyed my husband this year. I am so glad to have him home ALL WEEKEND LONG! No more writing a dissertation. Dr. Bentley is home with us in the evenings and weekends!

Simplicity. We have been able to look at so many aspects of our life and work on them. Our spiritual lives. Our diets... our food choices and my cooking, are becoming exceptional. Our toxic environment... we are continuing to purify all areas of our life, now that we have a moment to research it... beauty products, cleaning products, etc. The doctor... we are making it to the doctor, dentist and chiropractor on a very regular basis. Exercise... still a work in progress. Our finances... I finally took them over completely... and for the first time, we have a handle... it is such a relief. Sleep... we are sleeping more. Prayer... it is so tough to find quiet with small children, but we are making time and it's been fruitful to say the least.

Our kids. We have so many things to always be working on with our kids. About to get back into therapy for eating with Gabriel, but have been able to really work on his nutrition through other means (like sneaking food into shakes and sauces, soups), so happy to have had the time. Discipline... a huge work in progress (esp with Adam), but have had some time to read a few pages a day on how to do better at that. We pray to teach them through the way we love one another, so when we talk about kids, we first talk about us. It's really all they need, plus food, sleep, clothing and lots of affection! And since I am at home all day, easy peasy.

I will never forget this moment. I could still cry in an instant if you mentioned one of my friends to me, but interior peace is wrapped around those tears.

When we decided to move, Patrick looked at me and told me that he was just so grateful to have someone who would do something so incredibly hard by his side. That's what its about, right? It has paid off in so many ways already. God has really been there, as we struggled, cried, detached.... boy, did it all hurt super bad. God has provided simplicity, clarity and strengthened our marriage and family. Thank you to St. Joseph, who answered our novena with this job...

Next time, when someone asks you, who and what would you bring to a deserted island... call me, I have some tips.


  1. Amen sister. This was my life in Birmibgham!! So glad you are letting God work in your family. And so grateful to still have you in my life even though the miles between us are many.

  2. Literally love you so much-- you and your sweet and beautiful and growing family! Thank you for this... I am praying for detachment and abandon too, so this was much needed! <3