19 August 2013

Day 1

Niceville to Nashville

"I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for He is right beside me." Psalm 16:8

Day 1: Niceville to Nashville

This morning, we did our last packing and cleaning. At some point, you've just done what you can. I felt so strange driving away. I don't think I was quite processing things. 
Our Niceville home just before we drove away.

We went down the street to turn in our internet router and my sweet friend Victoria was waiting in the parking lot. At 9 am. When she had family in town. She gave me such a precious gift. You guys. She MADE this.

Give me the greatness of heart to see, 
the difference between his duty and his love for me.
Give me understanding so that I may know
When duty calls him, he must go.
Give me a task to do each day
To fill the time when he's away.
When he's in a foreign land,
Keep him safe in your loving hand.
And, Lord, when duty is in the field,
Please protect him and his shield.
And, Lord, when deployment is so long,
Please stay with me and keep me strong.

Anyways, I kept it together- I even said sentimental good-bye things and everything. We hugged, and parted ways, and I was so proud I didn't cry. "Man, I'm really doing well with all this!" 

Not two minutes later in the car, Hubs asked some question I didn't answer followed by: "Lauren. Lauren? What's wr...wait...are you crying? Why are you crying? Are you ok?" Nope. I was bawling. Couldn't talk, ugly scrunch face, sobbing, heaving, crying. I had *on purpose* not even read her sweet card yet.

I got myself together after having this little moment (be warned: not the first, not the last), and we preceded to turn in house keys, turn off utilities, fill the tank, weigh the car, and head north.

We dodged a well-deserved speeding ticket 50 minutes into the trip. Contrary to your first assumption probably, I was NOT the one driving. You need to just know that Hubs doesn't pull the "military" card. I dearly love and wholeheartedly respect that he's not that guy. But not paying that small town speeding fine is one benefit we're choosing to receive joyfully because Hubs' I.D. caught the kind officer's eye. 

Alaska plates. We considered hitching on and jumping in for the ride.

The drive was beautiful and graced with a sleeping chiweenie. I spent the vast majority of 7 hours reading out loud to Hubs. Several days ago, I had shared a post with him from Jen Hatmaker's blog. So this morning, "Will you read more of that funny lady's blog?" I started at the very first post. We've made it to November 2011. I laughed every post- real laughter. I cried every post. Like had to pause to wipe snot off my face. Aching with the truth of this broken world and the call to action in my core. The ache that inspires community and purpose from shared pain. The ache that reminds you that you're alive  because someone you don't know and will probably never meet is honest in their hurts. The kind that had me turning to Hubs to say, "You feel this too, right?" 

Surprisingly, Hubs was the one saying, "Read another one." After EVERY post. This smart & hilarious new best friend stranger, Jen, had liberated me and my marriage from the emotional consequence of talk radio. We should be up-to-date on posts by the time we reach Anchorage.

After driving into Nashville and realizing that 8 months in a small town is enough to make you forget how to drive in rush hour traffic, we arrived at Hubs' parents' house. Jessie road-tripped like a champ and was completely content napping in her kennel with one bathroom break. She immediately began exploring the new smells and large, lush, green-carpeted yard. Hubs' mom Lea Anne made a delicious roast & veggie dinner for us and his Nana. 

We chatted and caught up on things until bedtime. Oh, and this:

Glory Days. Apparently your head gets bigger as you get older and
your old college helmet doesn't quite come off as easily as it once did. 

My favorite fun fact for today is that it is my sweet parent's 30th Wedding Anniversary. One of the biggest blessings of my life is learning from their love. It's not lost on me that there is something beyond beautiful about the fact that they are not only together, but that they also still love each other. It's easy to take for granted those things that seem to be the norm. But, don't be fooled. God works in them and through them and it's not the norm. It's beyond. And they work with Him and with each other and it is hard. It's hard work and it's a continuous investment in a Christ-center and a selfless surrender. Even the ugly parts are beautiful. Because it's not them. It's Him. They're the real deal y'all.

I stole this pic from Momma's Facebook status today. Lovebirds.


  1. Laureenia! Love love love this and I will be following you......love you long time...."I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not harm you; plans for a hope and a future! Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you! You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you," declares the Lord. Jer. 29:11-