Sep 1, 2015

Blog-tember Challenge // day 1: introduce myself

Last year, the lovely and creative Bailey from Brave Love Blog started the Blog-tember Challenge where she posted a prompt for every day of September for fellow bloggers. Throughout the month, many bloggers got to know each other and grow in their blog "family" through this fun challenge. I sadly was only able to join for a few days last year, but even those few posts were fun. So when she started posting about the upcoming challenge again, I decided I'd try to come along for the ride for a few posts a week.

Today, as the first day of September (whaaaaat?!), the prompt is an open-ended introduction of yourself, so here I go!

Chapter One: I am born …

Just kidding. 

I'll spare you the full memoir and instead introduce you to my currently crazy beautiful life. 

{1} I am getting married in 46 days and 17 hours. 
{2} My last day of work was three days ago and I do not yet have a job lined up (and let's not even think about grad school loan payments, eek!).
{3}I am moving 2,000 miles away from family in 8 days.

That's just a hint of the crazy! So many changes are coming my way in the next six weeks, from my zip code to my last name, things are changing faster than I can keep track!

 Thankfully, and ohhh sooo joyfully, there's a whole lot of beautiful in the mix. 

{1} I am marrying a man who far exceeds anything I could have ever hoped or prayed for in a husband. He is my blessing and my joy, my best friend and the love of my life.
{2} I am able to look back at three years of working with an amazing group of people whose compassion guided the care they gave to the families that came into the pediatric clinic I worked at.
I get to prayerfully and purposefully dive into the job market and patiently look for a new job.
{3} I am moving to Texas, y'all! I've already fallen in love with the state since being courted by a handsome Texan (one of my first nicknames for him was "Alamo"… It didn't stick) so although it's sad and scary to imagine leaving everything I know in the Pacific Northwest, I get to start life with my soon-to-be husband in a city filled with history, sight-seeing, culture, and enough BBQ and Tex-Mex fit for a (Southern) king! And above all of that, I get to kiss long-distance dating goodbye & catch up on some long over-due kisses! YES, PLEASE!!!

One thing I should probably introduce about myself (it may go along with the crazy… )  is that I love my plans and schedules and lists and goals and organization (but, apparently not my commas), so all this change has been rough. I have no idea when I will get a job or if I'll love it. I have no idea how I'll brave my first summer in the heat of Texas next summer, because I am a major wimp in the heat! I can't tell you what Greg and my marriage will look like in ten years or what the first thing we'll fight over as Mr and Mrs. For crying out loud, I don't even know where I'm going to fit all of my adorable teapots in the apartment that will soon be our home as a married couple.  So many unknowns! 

I tend to lean towards worrying and anxiety when there are so many unknowns, and this summer has not been exempt at all. There have been days I worried myself to tears and days when I felt numb from fear of what I couldn't control or know yet. Because, really, there isn't a script that's given to us to read ahead of time. We can't proof-read or edit it either. I can't skip over to Chapter 11: Elena is a Wife or Chapter 15: Elena is a Mom. It doesn't work that way.

Instead, I can trust in the One who knows the unknowns. The One who holds the pen to the proverbial script and who knows when to write each sentence. He knows when to set the period in it's rightful spot and when to leave some silent spaces (oh, I don't really like those pauses! I just want to get the show on the road, no time for the space bar!) or when life comes fast and feels like a run-on sentence (uhhh, yes, that would be right now). He holds the pen and I am so glad He does and I don't. 
One of my favorite things to remember when I get worried about what I cannot see yet is this beautiful and humbling quote by Corrie Ten Boom:

"Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God"

Through the seen and unforeseen changes that may come, I choose to trust the trinatarian God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. His faithfulness, love, grace, forgiveness, patience, protection . . . it has never failed me and never will. 

So, what I am trying to get to is this:  let me introduce myself.


My name is Elena. I do not have it all together. I sometimes feel like I do and then I eventually realize I wasn't even close. But, that's ok, because I was never meant to have it all together anyway.  I am in love with a handsome Texan fella named Greg who has been, apart from God's saving grace, the best thing that has ever happened to me. We get to start life as a married couple in 46 days and 16 hours. In some ways we have no clue what we're getting ourselves into, but we know that we'll be sustained by the Greatest Love this world has ever known because God has been so good to us so far and there's no way He's going to let us down from here on out. It's not Greg and my love thats the greatest. We are going to fail each other at times. But the Greatest Love is God's love for us.  His love will sustain us. And though my last name may change along with my zip code, my job, and so many other things, I know that God's character and His love for Greg and I will not change. And that right there . . . that makes all the change bearable. No, let me say that again… that makes all the change more than bearable. It makes it joyful and exciting and the greatest adventure we could ever dream of. 
(photo by SpottedStills)

25 comments:

  1. Be still my heart, I am SO SO SO excited that you're joining in the challenge! And I'm SO SO SO excited you're moving to Texas! We will have to have an Austin day date or something in the near future. You are going to be a beautiful bride, and I am constantly encouraged by you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bailey! HI!! Thank you for your excitement! Yes, an Austin date would be so fun! Thank you for doing the challenge again this year! What a fun way to meet new gals and grow in this awesome blogging community!

      Delete
  2. So happy to have found your blog through bailey's! congrats on your upcoming wedding. marriage is the best! I've been married for two years and God has just proved to be so faithful. He is so so good!! I moved away from my family after getting married. So if you ever need any encouragement, let me know!! :) it took a good six months for me but God is always there! I can already tell i'm going to LOVE your blog! -katie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Katie! I look forward to checking out your blog as well!! Amen, what an encouraging testimony that God has proved Himself faithful during your two years of marriage! Yes, I am always up for encouragement!! I am sure it will be a big change moving to Texas, but I am trusting it will be a joyful change since I'll finally be with my fiancé after nearly two years of long-distance dating.

      Delete
  3. Elena, I absolutely love this! Your heart for the Lord is BEAUTIFUL. I cannot wait to keep following along with all of your posts-- so great to connect with you through sweet Bailey! xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Rachel! I am so glad for Bailey's Blogtember challenge! I get to meet sweet new gals!

      Delete
  4. I love this!! I'm so glad I found you through the challenge link up! Moving to TX far away from your family and having so many unknowns sounds super scary but SO exciting! Enjoy every moment.One day you'll look back and have the best stories to tell about these adventurous times in your life. Also, enjoy wedding planning. It goes by so fast :) Take care! I look forward to reading your blog more in the future :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, so scary and exciting is a perfect way of putting it, Jessica!! Ahh, I love what you said about enjoying the moment because there will be great stories about this adventurous time! Amen to that!

      Delete
  5. Excited for the next season in life! :) God is good!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Congrats on your upcoming marriage!!! Married life is just the best - you'll love it! You say you don't have everything together, but who does?! Life is just a beautiful mess :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aww, thank you, Alex .. I am excited for married life! And yes, it truly is a "beautiful mess"!

      Delete
  7. Congrats on your future marriage. Enjoy your move to your new home. We are also moving in two weeks to California. Exciting. It's nice to meet you and hope you have a great week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Congrats on the move to California, Stacey! I hope it goes smoothly for you! Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  8. Now how cute are you! Just stumbled upon your blog via Blogtember!!! I now have to peruse through your oh so cute blog!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Cheers for your long distance dating days being over--marriage is the BEST!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, yes, yes!! Cheers indeed! I am SO ready for it to be over. It's been the worst these past few months being engaged because we know the end is in sight, but it seems to be passing by sooo slowly!

      Delete
  10. Okay YAY for finding your blog via the Blogtember Challenge. Your heart for Jesus is just YES- He is causing the love He's given you to overflow onto others and that's beautiful. Congratulations on your upcoming marriage- my husband and I have been married for almost three years and it's been the sweetest ever, it goes by so quickly.. I feel like I was counting down the days so recently! I live in Texas, too! So much to say about your post. Can't wait to follow along through the challenge. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Victoria! Your comment(s) made me smile so much! I LOVE your blog! Thank you so much for your sweet words.. that's my utmost hope for the blog (for His love to overflow to those who read the blog). Yes, the countdown is now down to 44 days! I remember when it was 100 and I was wondering if I'd ever get there but it is coming up soon!

      Delete
  11. Aaaaaannnnd I just went to your about page and realized you're not just Elena, you're sweet Elle Alice who I sometimes get precious comments from! Love this!! XO

    ReplyDelete
  12. your life sounds like it is full of adventure right now. I am sure everything will fall in to place as it is supposed to! Good luck on your wedding day, can't wait to see pictures!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much! I will definitely post photos! :)

      Delete
  13. You are in such a beautiful season of life! I'm looking forward to following along! :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thank you, Aubrey! Yes! You're right, it is such a beautiful seasons!

    ReplyDelete

I love to hear your thoughts!

Elle Alice