Thursday, May 31, 2007


It really stinks that immigration, particularly from Mexico, is such a hot political topic right now. FB's visa appointment is two weeks from today. He has filled out preliminary paperwork and paid something like $150 just to make this appointment. We've waited months for the appointment. Now there is more paperwork to fill out for the appointment. And it's a whole process just prepping him to defend his desire to come here and to demonstrate that he will return to Mexico at the end of his visit. We've gone back and forth on what to say, what proof to offer of his story, etc. At the end of the day, there is no guarantee that he will even be seen for his appointment. His pastor, when trying to come visit our church, was turned away and told he didn't have a chance before he even presented his case - money not refunded.

I wish I could figure out if it is any easier for FB to get a visa after we're married. There'd be some measure of solace in knowing that this ordeal is a one time thing. But all I can find on visas for the spouses of US citizens has to do with moving to the US, which is not our intent at this point in time.

Oh well.

Everyone just pray for favor on June 14th.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Quality Time

I had a great Memorial Day weekend. My one brother managed to come home from Ireland for the weekend, and another brother came with his wife and kids for the weekend. Only one sibling was missing, visiting with his in-laws. So we all spent lots of great time together Thursday-Monday. I can't remember the last time so many of us so thoroughly enjoyed each others' company. Everyone got along really well, playing assorted games together and chatting, enjoying good food. We even had Gram and Papa there for the day on Saturday. Plus, the weather was perfect. It was good. And I was able to enjoy the moment without getting depressed about similar times I will miss in the future (which has happened at other gatherings over the last several months). I just enjoyed it.

What a contrast to the amount of time I've had with my fiance of late. We chatted online for about 1 1/2 hours last Thursday, and another 1 1/2 hours Monday. And mind you, chatting by IM means typing everything you say, which means each of those consisted of the equivalent of maybe 45-60 minutes of real conversation. We had a couple of business items to attend to, such as preparing for the upcoming visa appointment, which further decreases the 'quality time'. There were a couple of pretty deep issues that came up, and it left me feeling frustrated that our conversations around these issues had to be so short and shallow. I thoroughly appreciate the technology we have to stay in touch, but there are definitely times that it just doesn't cut it.

It's too bad that increasing my quality time with FB means decreasing the family time to almost nill. For those who've known me a while, would you have ever guessed I'd purposefully move so far from home? My one consolation is that his family is similar to mine in many ways, and also enjoys spending time together, so at least I'll have a substitute for what I'll be missing. I'm sure at times that will simply rub in the pain of missing my family, but I know it will also help.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Back 'Up'!

It was a very good weekend.

It started Friday night. I visited for a while with my friend K and her husband, and then K and I spent a few hours working through our Bible study book (the one we've done a chapter at a time for the last 4 years...) and praying together. I listed off several things I wanted to pray about, including the possibility of going to visit FB and finding a place for the honeymoon. I had explained earlier to K and hubby about my rising frustrations with these two items, with flight prices fluctuating between the time I entered a search and when I chose a specific flight, and honeymoon options that were overwhelming me and cost way too much. I also made a point as we prayed of asking the Lord to help me go to Him first, rather than stress and complain about it for several days before thinking of prayer. We had both a good visit and a good time in prayer.

Saturday, I finally received the card that FB sent me close to a month ago. Very mushy, very sweet, and very fun to get. I did almost cry when I opened it, but they were happy tears, plus I had PMS in a big way.

Saturday evening FB and I had a 'date', as I like to refer to our times of chatting online. We discussed his upcoming visa appointment and the fact that the application form asks if he has a fiancee in the US (or spouse or parents or siblings, etc). He wasn't going to mention that fact, since they might think he'll try to stay here with me and therefore deny him. Hmmm. We also discussed my frustrations with finding an affordable flight and honeymoon. I know, this part doesn't sound like it was good, but I'm getting there.

We got started on the conversation about finding a flight when he asked me when I was coming to visit. I don't know how to explain the look on his face when he asked me that, but it was obvious he is really, really looking forward to my visit. And then when I tried to explain how I was getting discouraged with the rising prices and what-not, as he tried to hide his disappointment that there was any doubt about me coming...

I began to realize how very little the price fluctuations mattered, as long as they weren't outrageous. I ran the latest numbers by my dad that night, and all he said was, "So have you booked anything yet?"

I also explained the visa situation to my parents that night, and how FB will have to explain that he is engaged to a US citizen and coming to visit me. I made a comment about how it would really have to be the Lord. My dad made some response about that being a good place to be in, depending on God.

I booked a flight before going to bed that night. It'll be a long day of travel, both ways, and it cost about $100 more than I had thought (although I am splitting it with Dad). I still felt a little unsure as I went to bed, wondering if I'd gotten a good price.

I got up Sunday morning, thinking about some of the things that have been a drain on our finances the last month or 2, including this unplanned flight. I followed that thought up with some of the things we will be needing money for in the coming months. Then I got thinking about the visa situation, and how in my fleshly understanding, it will be a miracle if FB is approved. And then an old song came to mind: Jehovah Jireh, my Provider, His grace is sufficient for me, for me, for me. Jehovah Jireh, my Provider, His grace is sufficient for me. My God shall supply all my needs, according to His riches in glory. He will give His angels charge over me, Jehovah Jireh cares for me.
I choose at that point to start focusing on God's ability to provide for me, and how faithful He has been to do so in the past. Suddenly, I was kind of excited about the visa situation. If it will take miraculous favor of the Lord for FB to get approved, then that takes a lot of pressure off of FB and I to figure out how he can win approval. After that, I went and counted the days until my trip - it is only 32 days away!! :) The cost of the trip suddenly didn't matter at all.

When I walked into church, they were singing a song about the Lord giving freedom. I almost immediately began to tear up. I remained on the verge of tears throughout worship, impressed with the presence of the Lord all around me, and His very real desire to provide freedom in the areas of my heart and mind that I had allowed myself to become a captive. Not to sound redundant, but it was very freeing.

As if the work the Lord did in my heart wasn't enough, as if the fact that I am leaving to see my love in 32 days wasn't already the icing on the cake, as if I could be more excited about the surety of the Lord showing Himself strong at the visa appointment...

I babysat for a family from church Sunday evening. After the kids had gone to bed, I sat down at the computer with my friend M to show her the kind of searching I'd been doing for a honeymoon. She started asking questions about options, and we started playing around with searches. We opened one page that had little to no information on it, and if I'd been alone, I most likely would have just moved on. But she encouraged me to click one of the links, and one thing led to another, and we found this. I think I may have found the perfect honeymoon place again. And at an even more affordable rate than the first place I looked at.

SO, to recap my amazing weekend:
*I exchanged my stress and anxiety for the Lord's peace and joy.
*I started getting pretty excited as I asked people to begin praying for the Lord's favor for the 6/14 visa appointment.
*I got a love letter from the man I love.
*I booked a flight and get to see said man that I love in 32 days (and counting)!
*I found a great honeymoon option, thanks to a great friend!

And we have another date tonight, so I get to share all my fun news!
(I just reread this post - I hope it isn't too rambling...)

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Slightly bummed

So, as it turns out, Dad's frequent flyer miles are not going to work for me to get a visit in this summer. He has graciously offered to pay half of my airfare so that I can still consider a trip. But it isn't quite as exciting to consider a $250-$300 trip as it is to consider a practically free trip. Plus, I felt like I had hardly anything going on this summer and so could easily take off. But it turns out that the timing is very tight to fit said trip in. For example, I had almost forgotten that moving is actually a really big deal and does indeed impact when I can travel.

All of that isn't so bad. However, I had thought I'd found just the right hotel for our honeymoon. Right location, great room, awesome price (read: in our very limited price range). My astute brother, who kindly checked the place out at my request, noticed that the owner is currently under FBI investigation for some scam. A little further research on my part indicated that most likely, because of this, the hotel will end up changing hands over the next several months. So it may not be a great idea to book there right now, as it is hard to know what will be happening between now and when we arrive. But so far, I have not found anything else that has what I'm looking for unless it is about twice what I am willing/able to pay. (Side note: I can hardly believe that there are apparently a lot of people out there willing to pay $750 a night!!!)

What this all adds up to is that I am a little bummed because my two very exciting things (a free visit and a great honeymoon spot) have both kind of fizzled out on me, so to speak. Oh well. The good news is, a visit is still an awesome thing and is now much more in my price range. And the honeymoon, I have a feeling, will be great no matter what hotel we end up in.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

It's been a while

I knew I was starting off too zealously. I posted almost everyday that first week, in my beginner's enthusiasm. And now? A whole week has gone by with nothing to say. Part of the problem is that I have been reading instead of hanging out on the computer lately. And when I have been online, I've been investigating honeymoon and airfare options. But I feel like I need to be a responsible blogger and buckle down here. As someone who reads several other blogs, I know the fun and excitement of new entries, and the disappointment of several days without one. Something about reading other people's blogs is kind of addicting, I think.


As I said, I've been reading a lot lately. I love to read. I tell people that I don't just read books, I devour them. The problem is, they also kind of devour me. When I am reading a good book, it takes precedence over everything else. All I want to do is get back into the book and find out what happens to all the people I've now identified with. I ignore all kinds of household responsibilities, fail to get any exercise, eat easy and simple (read: not always healthy) meals that can be eaten while reading, go to bed later than I should, fail to write new blog many ways, I become quite lazy. It is one of the reasons that although I love to read, I often deny myself the pleasure except on long weekends or vacations. I wish I was better at balancing my love for reading with the rest of my life. Especially since I live alone. If I don't read, I tend to just sit in front of the TV every night, which I don't really like.

I'm about 1/2 way through this really great, really dense series of books set in Bible times. I should finish them over the next few days. And then I think I better not get any new books out of the library. Especially since I have a couple of relationship type books that finally arrived in the mail from Amazon, in both English and Spanish. If I allow myself to read at all, I should work through those. For one thing, there is important learning that can occur, both in the area of relationships and in the Spanish language. For another thing, when reading non-fiction, I tend to pay better attention to the rest of my life rather than getting so sucked in.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Time is a funny thing

I ran into a woman last night that used to work with me. She left around Christmas time for another job closer to her home. We both remarked how funny it was that, although time had seemed to move quite quickly since she'd left, it feels like a lifetime ago that we worked together instead of just 4 months. I find that to happen a lot, and my best theory is that it has to do with how much has happened and how many things have changed in that period of time.

Turning around and looking forward, time can also play funny tricks as you look into the future. I still have 238 days until my wedding, less about 50 days until I move. Thinking of that in terms of how long until I can be with the love of my life, it seems forever away still. But then I consider that in a manner of weeks, I will be done working in the building I have been in for 7 years (all of my working years since graduating college). Or that in about 6 months, maybe a bit less, I will leave my family. And suddenly, it all seems so very short.
For those I have not already told (I've been a little bit excited the past couple of days), my dad told me the other night that he has some frequent flyer miles he'd be willing to let me use for a visit to Mexico sometime soon!!! :) I don't know if I can express how wonderful it is to think about seeing my love so much sooner than I thought we'd be able to.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Can I tell you... much I love my fiance?!!

Every time we talk, this is just reinforced all the more. I love that we can talk about anything, and it is never awkward (well, so far anyways...which bodes well for continued good communication). I love how often we find that the same things are important to both of us, even when culturally you might expect differently. I love how much better it makes me feel to talk through something with him that has been bothering me. And many other things. But I don't want to bore you.

On another front, my boss looked at me yesterday and said, "You're back. I can see it in your eyes." Meaning, he could tell I was over my emotional hump. Which made me realize, that yes, I did feel much more myself. And him saying it to me reinforced that feeling. It has been almost 3 full days since I've shed a tear, and I am generally feeling much more confident. That's not to say that it may not happen again over the coming months, but I am glad to have a reprieve :)

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

An Update...

Well, I didn't want to leave everyone hanging, wondering if I am doomed to perpetual crying. The good news is, I made it through all of today without crying once. Yesterday, on the other hand, I made it almost through the whole day, then lost it in a meeting with my boss at 5ish. The great thing about that is that I have a very unique relationship with my boss, and it doesn't phase him in the least when I cry in one of our meetings. He also doesn't read more into it than is there - he can usually accurately perceive the root of the tears, sometimes better than I can. On my end, these were half-way expected tears due to the topic at hand. Which, for those who do not cry as frequently as I do, is much easier to deal with than unexpected and/or seemingly pointless tears. So, I guess it is a mixed bag of progress. At least I am not crying multiple times a day in an on-going fashion.

My continued search for airfare has me pretty well convinced that I can't fly from here to there and back again for less than $500. (To be perfectly truthful, there are flights {at ungodly hours, with multiple long layovers, returning to a different airport than you started at} for $489, but...) I feel like I had another thought here, but I lost it.

On another note, I often struggle with finishing things well. I tend to peeter out towards the end of things, having lost motivation for it as I start looking ahead to the next thing. I am trying desperately to fight this tendency in my last weeks at work. Fighting it is similar to the feeling in bad dreams when you can't move as fast as you want to, no matter how important it is. So I'd appreciate any and all prayers on this front. I do want to finish out well. I want to leave all the bases covered, not gaping holes.

Ok, I'm off to write a love is long overdue.