Friday, July 1, 2011

Julie is Coming Back!

So, I forgot to tell you some big news.  Imagine that.

If you've been around awhile, you might recall that on August 1, 2009 our foreign exchange student from Norway arrived:  Julie.

The same month she arrived, we managed to conceive Lucy.  Not exactly the timing I was going for.  A teenage daughter was new territory for me...and so was a baby one.

I spent much of that year bewildered at God's timing.  I knew I couldn't see the big picture...yet that didn't stop me from complaining about how weird His timing was.  Incessant bewildered complaining about weirdness is not flattering. Trust me.

I still don't have the big picture.  I'm not meant to.  But I have more pieces of the puzzle, and when I look back on events from then until now I can smile at His way of weaving life together.  
Julie and I that November...I'm holding her stomach because her is flat and mine was not :)

Looking back, I can see Julie and I at the college visit we went to at a near by university.  We wandered around that campus that November day, joking about how she could come back here and go to college and of course meet and eventually marry the man of her dreams...her American dreams. ;)   We sat through the financial aid meeting, the question and answer time...ate in the dining hall (which made me want to enroll there and live in the dorms because the food was AMAZING...of course I was preggo so food itself was amazing.)

But I left that university that day knowing Julie would not be back here.  The idea was ludicrous.  College in Norway is practically totally paid for by their government.  And why would she come back to Iowa?  I mean really, have you seen Norway?!?  And if she was to come back to America for college, she'd certainly go somewhere new and exciting.

Looking back I see myself...overwhelmed.  One husband, three boys, one teenage daughter, one on the way, a dog, a ministry, and three bedrooms and one bathroom.  I went into survival mode, but survival mode doesn't often let you enjoy life fully...the way God intends.  

In early June of 2010, I remember standing in the airport with three boys and a 5 week old baby...saying goodbye to Julie.  She had to go through security and then sit on the other side of a window-wall.  We both sobbed.  And sobbed.  And sobbed some more.  I had such a feeling of wanting a do-over.  You know that feeling?  That feeling of knowing if you just could do it again, you'd be so much better at it.  

Late this winter, I got an email from Julie, sharing about how she was seeking out where God was leading her after she graduated from school in Norway.  She'd looked into all sorts of exciting adventures, but nothing felt quite right.  Meanwhile, God was lining up everything to fall into place for her return to Iowa.  

God does such weird things in such a great way, doesn't He? am fully adjusted to the four-kid thing.  My 3 bedroom, one bath house will soon be turning into a 5 bedroom 2 1/2 bath house...and my teenage daughter is returning.  And this time, I get to be her friend...well a mom-friend anyway.  She's in charge of herself this time.  No curfews, no telling her who she can't date (although I'm sure to have an opinion ;) it's different this time...and I'm excited about that.  That year of craziness had a purpose...a purpose far bigger than me.

One month from today we will pick her up from the airport.  What an adventure.  I'm thankful for God's version of do-overs.

*and if you're new, and would like to read more about the time when Julie was here, you can click on the link titled "hosting" under "Stuff I write about"*


  1. So in your 2nd to last paragraph I read,... "a purpose for a bigger me." Had to double check that one. funny stuff. Can't wait for Julie! So glad we got Lu out of the deal too ;)

  2. So excited for you and yours! What a special surprise!!!

  3. Oh how fun and exciting for each of you. I can totally relate to being in survival mode instead of enjoyment mode. Praise Him for do-overs. Blessings, SusanD

  4. That is so wonderful Sarah! So excited for you. Isn't it amazing the love you have for a once before total stranger? Our Julia is coming back for a visit in August for a month - after 4 years back in Germany, and we're so excited to see her again! We love her so much! I hope to have a chance to meet Julie one day.

  5. So exciting, I love how God uses the mind-boggling "What were you thinking?" phases in our life to give us exactly what we need and wonderful, crazy adventures too!

  6. What a great adventure! I'm glad this turn of events is happening!

  7. wonderful, that this relationship continues!!! she must be very fond of your family and I'm sure you're great role models for her!!!

  8. Made me remember back when my middle daughter Karen was an exchange student in Germany for a year back in 1991. It was horrible for us to be that far away from her during her senior year of high school but it was a wonderful experience for her. I am happy that you will be able to see your special friend again and can't wait to see how she may have changed since the last photos. Have a great weekend.

  9. I am jealous that you had such a great exchange student! We hosted one the same time that you did. It. Was. Terrible! But I am so happy for you all :} What an exciting time!

  10. I remember Julie's first visit. OMG the months, weeks and days leading up to her arrival were CRAZY! You were a mess of excitement, it was fun to watch the drama unfold on here.
    Yay for do-overs!


Thanks for commenting, you make blogging fun. :) If your comment doesn't appear right away, it's because it's awaiting moderation, but it will show up soon!

Web Hosting Pages