“For us, whatever’s undergone,
Thou knowest, willest what is done,
Grief may be joy misunderstood;
Only the Good discerns the good.
I trust Thee while my days go on.
Whatever’s lost, it first was won;
We will not struggle nor impugn,
Perhaps the cup was broken here,
That heaven’s new wine might show more clear.
I praise Thee while my days go on.
I praise Thee while my days go on;
I love Thee while my days go on:
Through dark and dearth, through fire and frost,
With emptied arms and treasure lost,
I thank Thee while my days go on.“
Elizabeth Barrett Browning, 1806-1861.
These stanzas comes from Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s poem, “While My Days Go On.” I’ve been thinking through these words all week – what does it truly mean to trust, praise, and thank God, while my days go on? And, days really HAVE gone on! Since my new job at Meridian started in February, I have literally been in tunnel-vision mode with this new calling and undertaking. It has been exciting, challenging, tiring, eye-opening, and fulfilling. It has given me fresh dependence on God for daily – and hourly – grace. And, now, on this holiday weekend, I’m finally taking a deep breath to reflect on the past 90 days, and how God has faithfully – and powerfully – met me.
February kicked off with my friend Demi’s wedding down in Durham, NC. It made for a fun road trip with three girlfriends, making new friends, lots of dancing, celebrating, and of course, good Southern BBQ, which was served at the wedding dinner:
Then, my new job started at the end of February. Since its beginning, I have been swept into the exciting world of diplomacy, ambassadors, embassies, international affairs and news, and working with U.S. corporations/organizations who are doing business and establishing relationships in specific regions worldwide. I feel like I am working AND in school — in addition to my responsibilities, I have also had the opportunity to conduct research on specific countries, and this has kept my mind fresh to glean insights and new knowledge in ways I could never have anticipated. While I am still climbing a steep learning curve, I have been so well-supported, and so appreciate my co-workers, who are patiently teaching and helping me. Despite a difficult commute from Gaithersburg, I wake up every day excited to go to work, and that is such a meaningful motivator.
In March, a highlight was planting my own garden plot on Meridian’s campus. Any employee who wished to participate was assigned a particular plot, and could plant whatever they wished in their little box. I chose to do Mint, Tomatoes, Hot Peppers, and Super Snap Peas. I must admit, I’m not much of a gardener, so it’s a good thing that Meridian’s landscapers help take care of the plants, the watering process, etc. I do check on them every once in a while, but can’t really say that I am ‘managing’ my own produce — yes, I know, sort of a cop-out on cultivating my true gardening skills, but what I can?
In April, I had the privilege of spending a weekend with these girlfriends on Lake Anna.
Lake Anna, April 2012
Alexandra (second from the right, moving in) has become one of my best friends in the past 6 months, and we were all there to celebrate her 27th birthday. I can’t remember the last time I did this, but all of us girls stayed up until 2am on Friday laughing, enjoying fellowship, talking, sharing questions, pondering scriptures, and eating cookies. While all of us girls attend different churches in the greater DC metro area, we have all found common ground in Christ and in the Gospel, and our friendships have become such a rich source of perspectives, views, and experiences of the Word and God.
Alexandra has been such an incredible friend to me, and we always laugh at how much we have in common, including a passion and love for Africa. Alexandra has this thing called, ‘I Love My Life’ moments, and has shown me the beauty and freedom of thankfulness, and regularly cultivating a heart of gratitude for the many blessings in life, including friendships.
To usher us into the merry month of May, my Mom, best friend Britt, and I hosted a smashing Cinco de Mayo party, which included fresh Tortillas overnighted from Britt’s hometown store in Tucson, Arizona. We had over 50 people come, and it was such a blast to serve fresh Watermelon Sangrias and Mint Mojito’s, along with Chicken Enchiladas, Quesadillas, and fresh salsa and quacamole. The house was loudly filled with laughter and conversation, and out in the back-yard, people enjoyed corn-hole competitions.
Also this month, I’ve been enjoying a lot of road-biking. Just yesterday, I joined a Triathlon Road Bike Club and did 40 miles for the first time ever. It took me 2 hours and 40 minutes, and I was completely spent at the end. Of course, I credit my lucky jersey from Bill Held, and perhaps a bit of endurance, but mostly just my stubbornness and sense of self-competition 🙂 Still, it was great training for my Triathlon in September in D.C., and so I hope to continue to build my endurance and strength throughout the summer.
Brett comes home from his study abroad in less than two weeks, and then we’re only 3 months away from family vacation in the Outer Banks in NC the last week of August!!!