So, a lot has changed since my last academically-oriented posts. I graduated with my Master’s in Counseling, so the academics are done for a while. That space in my brain is currently being occupied by Frozen lyrics and to-do lists, a welcomed change to the rigorous thinking and reflecting that I’ve been doing for the past 4 years. I know myself well enough to know that those things will return – I will want to read books again that aren’t young adult fiction (I’ve got my eye on you, Divergent series), and eventually re-enter the counseling world. But for now, I’m focusing on being a mama and learning hard lessons about myself while giving my life away to this tiny, adorable, hilarious, and wildly frustrating human.
We moved from St. Louis in May, and if I thought I missed it then, I had no idea how I would long for it when we moved to Atlanta. That place holds so many wonderful memories, and became the place we call home as a family. I remember moving there in the Fall of 2010, excited for the new adventure but nervous about being back in school and making a completely new set of friends. Those first couple of months were really difficult. I was lonely and ached for the close friendships I’d left behind in Birmingham. Now I am in that same place of longing again, but this time feels different for me. There isn’t the built-in community that I had in seminary. Although I didn’t know those people when I got there, they were there for the knowing. With the exception of a couple of my college friends who live in the area, we are in from-scratch territory in Atlanta. Also, making friends as a single person was a breeze! Throwing a child into the mix means not hanging out with people after 7:00pm (or between 1:00-3:00pm) unless they are willing to come over to your place while your child sleeps. It is going to be harder, but we firmly believe that community is worth the work. Now to find that community …
We’ve visited three churches so far (gosh, we’ve been here almost a month already), and are having a hard time not comparing each of them with the church we adored in St. Louis. Not that they are bad churches, but we just have to come to terms with the fact that what we’re passionate about in a church may not exist here. Or it might. Three churches is not a lot considering how many there are. It is the South, after all. We really don’t want to rush the process (we’ve done that before and it didn’t turn out well), but we are eager to be planted and in a place where we can begin to be known, and to know others.
Philip is getting a ThM at Emory University (hence the move to Atlanta). Things are working out so well for him there, and he is making great connections with faculty for possible PhD work in the future. His experience has been a confirmation that this was the right move. It is wonderful to see him flourish and get excited about the work he is doing. It is also a bit strange to not be in school right alongside of him. That is how our marriage has been spent up to this point since we met, married, and became parents as grad students. I’m not really missing being in school, don’t get me wrong, but I do struggle with having a Master’s degree in a field that I love and not using it. I know this must be a tension that a lot of moms feel – wanting to be with children, but wanting to be out in the world, too. And perhaps that will happen, but for now this is what works for our family. And I’m learning to be content, to enjoy this time with my girl, and savor the sweet moments I’m being offered by God in this season.