What we love about this season...

Stacie:

Lately I’ve felt like Alice in Wonderland, as if I have lost my “muchness”. I’m not over the moon about this season of life, as I have come  to discover so deeply the interaction between transition and bittersweet. I’m not over the moon about getting sick off of eating too much cheesecake either (that happned a few weeks ago...it tasted sooo good, and felt soooo bad). And I’m definitely not over the moon literally, because I don’t like heights. I battle with feeling purposeless, friendless, passionless, and worthless. I am not. But it’s tempting to believe those things define where I’m at. With all my mood swings (bless Brett's heart for putting up with those) and jumbled feelings, I am humbled and at the end of myself. I see what I am grateful for so well,  and in this season of life there are a few things I absolutely love....

  • Wife in Training Kitchen and Sewing Time: The kitchen and I have long hated each other, our friendship take awhile to develop. Tonight I made dinner for my friend Ashley and successfully burned our Baked Brussel Sprouts. We ate them anyway. I’ve come to stand by this, “If you don’t believe they are burned, then they don’t taste burned”. As for sewing, I successfully know how to make custom curtains, pillows, and duves thanks to my interior decorator friend Julia Laing. Brett’s apartment (soon to be our apartment) is a decorated work in progress, and I’m loving using sewing to bring life to his place… even if a lot of my decorations look “girly”...his apartment sure smells like a guy lives there.
  • Serving others: Since I’ve been back I’ve helped others move, made food for friends, taught sewing basics, laundered Brett’s clothes every week, given out water bottles to those who don’t have any water (something I hope to do more of), listened to the heartaches of others, and prayed for those I love near and far when driving the hour-long road from my house to Brett’s. The praying is my favorite when I take the time to do it.
  • Porch nights and Musical Nights: Ashley has the best porch for everything… and if there are nights where all I do is sit on this porch and write, read, cry, or pray, I will be there. It is a space of peace and opportunity for my soul to be revived and restored. Her house is one of the cutest houses in Denton and I really hope I can make a photoshoot out of her roommates and their house, because it is too pretty not to capture. As for musical nights... a group of newly made friends and I have been watching musicals together every week. Musicals really are good for the soul. 
  • July movie releases: Spiderman AND Batman?!?! Yes. And Yes please.
  • Brett: Oh I haven’t forgotten about him. What does it feel like to come out of a long-distance relationship? The same way it feels to see your first shooting star, alive and enchanting. The same way it feels to get your braces off after too long, somewhat conscientious, awkward, and slimy relieved. My hubs-to-be has served me well since I started making my (almost) home at his place. He laughs at my corny jokes, holds my head in his hands when I cry and prays for and with me like no one else ever has. We are learning what it is to rest together, be productive together, and be in community together. We are learning to abide in our consistent and loving God as we embark on a life together. He has even agreed to be my blogging partner in crime. And I love him. 

Brett:

This season of life has been filled with joy, and yet has also been tough and tiresome. I took Latin I and II as a 5 week summer intensive and had to pretty much put any wedding planning (as well as any time with anything or anyone) on hold, except for the weddings I was blessed to be a part of over two weekends and Stacie. I’ve moved into a new place, started a new college degree, and for the first time consistently live within an hour of my significant other. In the midst of all this stress, beauty and business I have found joy (a love for and) in the following:

 

 

  READING

both Fiction and Non-Fiction, but particularly children’s books. Though Fiction has always been a faithful companion, I have found it to be of great comfort and a great escape into worlds of magic, mystery, adventure and the unknown. Yet also, fiction is so practical. I don’t believe there is a genre that better communicates the most important lessons of life than that of fiction. In particular, The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster, and the Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien have stayed by my bed for most June and July. Also, I have found challenge and joy in reading about a group of writers (The Inklings) as they worked together (whether knowingly or unknowingly) to write some of the most influential literature in the western world in the last 100 years. The Company They Keep by Diana Pavlac Glyer has been an excellent perspective broadener for me.

 

REST

has seemed very absent as of late. Running around on the weekends to dear friends weddings while taking Latin 5 days a week and working almost just as often really has hit me hard in the area of sleep and slowing down. However, there have been several days, whether by myself or with the significant she, that time for a nap or even just the ability to lay, unhindered by anything else, has happened. For these moments I have been most grateful. Rest is not something I am very good at, but I am learning. During this season of life, whether I always find it appealing or not (I’m a bit of a task-oriented individual), it has been necessary. I hope to continue to learn to rest well, and to reflect on this season of life as one of those moments when the process was moving along.

 

Closeness/Proximity 

 I am so grateful to finally live in a situation where Stace and I see each other on the regular. It’s quite awesome that I get to see her several times a week (in person mind you!) and that we get to make each other meals, enjoy each others company, laugh with each other, be frustrated with each other and challenge each other. It’s also hard because we get married pretty soon and in some ways we are beyond ready… and in others we are not. Both of these can cause stress and tension, as well as give us the opportunity to grow together. Taking all of this in stride (and trying to process it along the way), I have come to the conclusion that this will, in some ways, be the norm of my life. I hope I do not grow tired with learning more about Stacie, both the things I love, and the things I may not be as excited about. It is a joy to learn to love someone deeply and this is, in fact, part of the process. In some small and large ways, I feel I am gaining insight into what it means that God loves me, and most certainly learning what it means to accept that love and love him back.

 

COOKING  

Whether it is getting to experiment with brownie packages at the soon-to-be in-laws or cooking quick lunches for friends and each other, I have found great joy and creative release in cooking. It is a place where there is no paradigm (per say) and no limit to its complexity or simplicity. Whether one is making three courses or two cups (could this be the same thing somewhere?) cooking is a place to be open, unique and inspired. Lately I’ve gone for the rubbed sage, basil, and black pepper, on a variety of veggies and meats. Throw in cooked spinach, and you’ve got at least the base for every bit of food made at my house over the last month.

 

The Denton Square.  

 Now only a block away, it has been a haven of both work and rest. Whether its hunkering down at Jupiter House for a block of study time, enjoying the furniture and porch of the Oak Street Draft House, grabbing a slice at J&J’s or enjoying the shelves upon shelves of books atRecycled, it has been a place of productivity and solace .

Stacie Stine

Design Jamboree, Denton, Texas, United States