Monday, November 12, 2012

Weekend Update with Jess

Looking forward in my planner earlier last week, I knew this weekend was going to be busy. Full. The kind I like and still have to take a deep breath to get through.

So while I should be writing a letter today, I think I'll wait. Today I'll share my weekend.


So Friday was work as usual but at the end of the day, I headed south a few miles to hang out with high school students. High school students? Yup. There's a retreat called Happening that really impacted my teenage years and helped me form a love for Jesus. When I was asked if I could help, I heartily agreed. I didn't realize at the time how packed my weekend already was. So what was meant to be a full weekend of assistance turned into an evening instead. I helped arrange things, purchased supplies, and got to know, and pray with, the staff.  As I was wrapping up my time with them, I was headed to chat with a friend before leaving.

Here's the thing about this retreat: there are some things they keep "secret" throughout the weekend until they are unpacked. In order to keep them a secret, they hang sheets in certain places in the host church to hide things going on on the other side. Harmless, right? Fun? Yes.

Unless, on the other side of that sheet, a 17 year old boy has decided to run, full speed, into the sheet without knowing what's on the other side.

And what, exactly, was on the other side?   You guessed it.


Before I knew what had happened, this kid smashed smack dab into me.  I spun, my glasses went flying, and both of us landed in sorry heaps on the floor across from each other.

When the retreat coordinator heard the smack and the groaning she came through the sheet to see what had happened and found us both in the fetal position.  She asked me how I was and all I could say (and think) was, "I can't tell you until I know where my glasses are. Where are my glasses?"  She led me to them and I placed them on my watering eyes.  We assessed the damage. Poor teenager had a bloody nose and a bruise that looked like a black eye. I had (and have) a very sore chin, along with a bruised foot and some back pain. The best I can explain it, it felt like my body was in a car crash. Only there was no car.  I iced my chin, made sure the kid (who "just so happened to be wearing a kU shirt--I am convinced he knew there was a Mizzou fan on the other side) was ok, and wrapped up my work to head home.

So that was Friday:).


On Saturday, my one and only goal was to run 20 miles. I mean, I had other goals but I knew (because of an unsuccessful attempt three weeks ago) this 20 mile thing was going to be quite the task.  What I didn't account for was the super warm weather. So Hubs and I popped out of bed at 7:30, grabbed some breakfast, and were on the run by a little before 9. Yes, it was late. But we never sleep in so we were thankful to have a chance to do so.

I wish I could tell you I rocked that run, that all was awesome, that we finished in record time, and I went on to finish my to-do list that day. Alas, it was a little less awesome and a little more, "wow I am still alive."  See, we took in so much water that I became a little wonky. There's an official word for it, I hear. It's called hyponatremia.  Basically, my body had enough water, per se, but it for sure did not have enough electrolytes. Or food. So, while I finished 20 miles successfully (after some walking and a lot of praying and positive self talk), shortly after that finishing, I had to ask another dear friend, who happens to date my brother, to come pick us up off the trail.  That would be fine. It would have been a story but not too crazy.

No, the crazy part happened when I got home. I went to drink water and, well, there's no dainty way to say it didn't stay down. No, in fact, it stayed on the floor (I didn't tell the hubs fast enough I might need a trash can). Yeah, four hours later, I still couldn't keep anything down. So I did what any good 29 year old woman would do.  I asked my husband to get me noodle soup and gatorade and I called my mommy.  It does help that mommy is a nurse:).

Mom said this was the last try. If this didn't work I would have to get an IV to fix my fluids. This did not sound like a good plan, for so many reasons. Lucky for me, when Hubs got home with the gatorade and soup, it did the trick.  Hooray!  It worked so well, I was able to make it to Old Navy's outwear sale. Can we say Mizzou Gold trench coat? We can.

So yes, I am fine. But it was rough. And we are re-working the idea of race-day nutrition. I am 3 weeks out.  If you have any suggestions, I am all ears. Seriously. The big plan right now is real food. Not beans or gel or stingers but food. Pretzels, potatoes, beef jerky, PBJ. I am going to try a snack pack and hopefully less sugar and more salt and carbs will help me finish. Because, darn it, I so badly want to finish.

If you don't have suggestions, will you just say a quick prayer that God will sustain my body through 26.2 miles on December 1? I want to finish this time. Then maybe next time we can work on the mechanics of it all.


So Sunday. Well, Sunday is a work day. It was a beautiful work day. Lots of kids. A sermon that reminded me of the goodness of our God.  And then, my very favorite thing that happens in a church (I really think).  We had a baptism service. Sweet friends from 7 weeks to friends in their twenties were washed symbolically with the water. We celebrated God's covenant promise.  We celebrated Jesus.  And we celebrated family and community. I cried for the entire service.  Grace. Water. Overflowing. Mingled. Beautiful redemption.  It's moving, each and every time I watch it.

This time in particular, one of our dear friends who adopted from Ethiopia baptized their sweet one.  We celebrated with her family after the service and it was one of those moments where beauty and celebration and pain and longing all sit and impregnate a room.  All mixed.  I mean, a year ago, our sweet friend wasn't here in this country. And here she is, gold sparkly bows in her hair. A room full of family and friends who are celebrating her dedication to the Lord.

And yet, it made me acutely aware of the hole I try to avoid. The little man. The one I talk so much about but rarely feel with all his force, for the pain it causes.  I want him here. I wanted him to be in the room. Or at least next year. I want it to be his baptism. And still, it's very unlikely he'll be around next year, or the year after that. Maybe even the next. It's a long, hard road.

How timely that at small group that night, friends who love us well in Jesus arrived with a celebration of one year of our waiting. What a surprise as they arrived with cake and Ethiopian side dishes and a card filled with the most beautiful words about our family and our adoption. Delicious. Satisfaction for the body and the soul. I cried. And smiled. And was so thankful for friends who carry us when this journey seems like it's unending.

Here's the cake:

(it says "Congratulations Eric and Jess! Waiting for our little Man. One year DTE")

Ethiopian Sambusas

Not pictured: crepes that were a stand-in for injera, the most difficult Ethiopian food to replicate (in my opinion). The crepes were amazing!!

It was a great night. We finished off with Bible study and prayer and thankfulness for our friends.

So yes, see why I needed a weekend update? 

Bottom line: we long for that little man but our life is so full and so blessed by the Lord.

I hope your weekend was beautiful.  Off to make dinner...


  1. Thanks for sharing your weekend!

    That cake is SO SWEET!

    Great job on your training! Hope your next run leaves you feeling a lot better though!

  2. The surprise brought tears to my eyes! Hope you find the right food combo for the race. PS- our husbands work together

    1. I agree about the tears--of course I cry all the time:). And yes, I did know our husbands worked together! Yours is the master of fun, yes? Just popped over to your blog and your little person is so cute. Can't wait to watch him grow.