bloom.

A wonderful friend and mentor, Kate, encouraged me to have a word that will define 2017. She chose “bloom” and I totally copied her.

Shortly after our move to Germany, my grandmother sent me a sign that read, “Wherever life plants you, bloom with grace.” A message that brought ALL the feels. First because my beloved great-grandmother was a lover of all things flowers and well, anything with a hydrangea will get me teary. Second, my grandmother is easily one of the strongest and selfless people I know (yes, I have tears right now). In 2005 my grandfather had a stroke that changed our lives. And through it all, my grandmother has been there. Taking care of him, fighting for him, loving him. She is the true definition of this message.

So, naturally, this is my motto. This is going to be my goal. To bloom. To bloom even when it’s cloudy, even when it’s dry, and when the soil pH is off balance.

The first 2 months in Germany were, miserable. Don’t get me wrong, I love it here and I love that I am finally with my wonderful husband. But – it was rough going at first. I didn’t have a car, I didn’t have friends, I didn’t have my stuff, I was moving in to an apartment a boy lived in for two years (#icleanedfordays), I didn’t speak the language, I didn’t have a job or new school year to look forward to, I didn’t know my way around… I was driving the struggle bus for longer than I care to admit. I remember calling my Mom one day while she was at school setting up her classroom and I LOST it. I wanted to be putting up posters and rearranging desks and making copies. But, I was stranded in a foreign country trying to figure out how to boil chicken (Mary’s guide to cooking post coming soon).

I had applied for jobs – substitute teaching, educational aide, library technician – with NO luck. I had tried to make friends and put myself out there, but found it harder than expected. I was sleeping A LOT and spent my time on Pinterest wishing for all those pretty pictures to come to life. I was a pity party of one. It was affecting my relationship with my husband – I was sad and frustrated and he didn’t know what to do.

It wasn’t until September that I decided I’d resubmit my resumes and job applications one more time and then leave it. I finally accepted that God didn’t want me to work right now – for whatever reason. I started reading more books, taking less naps, working out with WONDERFUL women who have become even more wonderful friends and mentors, getting more involved in our community, taking the plunge to drive without the GPS, and just letting the misery go. I started a hashtag, #whenyoureanunemployedhousewifewithnokids, and realized this is the only time I’ll be free to do my thing. To spend an afternoon ignoring the laundry and going for a walk, or to travel with my husband, to read all those books I’ve always wanted to but didn’t have time. This time is a gift and I was wasting it. Not anymore. I am blooming in this wonderful place where God has planted me.

Here’s to more flowers.

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