Sunday, October 21, 2012

Life Goes On...

Apartments, friends, feelings, schedules, routines.

These are all things that I am discovering, learning, searching for and understanding in my new life here.

Apartments. My husband and I have been searching diligently for an apartment. It is so difficult to find the line between being good stewards of our money and yet finding somewhere we can feel at home. We don't mind living somewhere that isn't the nicest place, but we would like a place where we don't wake up in the middle of the night because the roaches are having a party in our kitchen, you know?

Friends. Thank you Lord for letting me move nearby my sister. what an amazing blessing that has been. However, when you move to a knew place, you want to find connections, people you will see on a regular basis. In Morehead, I had Lambeth, of course, but I also had other friends that i'd run into at Wal-Mart, I new my hairdresser really well, and had other people that knew me around town. I want that community feeling here. I want my butcher to smile when he sees me coming, and I want to find my regular hair salon. I want to run into friends in the grocery store and when I'm on a walk. I want community. This takes time, and I'm not a very patient person. Yet, He is always faithful to provide, so I don't have to worry about it.

Feelings. So many new feelings. Homesickness comes in waves but less frequently now. Joy is constant. Happiness I feel whenever my hubby is in sight. Contentment fluctuates but increases with time. I am struggling with selfishness now more than I ever have. I never knew how spoiled I was until I got married. I have been shocked at how often I find myself upset and when I analyze it realize that I'm just not getting my way. God give me grace! And he does. Frustration and inadequacy come fairly often. Learning new roads, new stores, new everything can be frustrating, but at least they speak English here. I can't imagine what it's like for a new missionary transitioning into a whole new culture. Inadequacy I have always struggled with. My husband does such a lovely job of lifting me up and reminding me of the gifts God has given me. He also reminds me that it is GOD'S SPIRIT in me that does all the good and not me by myself.

Schedule and routines. This will come with time as I learn what my husband needs from me and what I need to accomplish during the day for my house and for my Herbalism program. No! I haven't abandoned it. I'm still working at it. And all of this comes with a need to learn how to balance my activities with the distraction of constantly available internet. I'll get used to it. I did in college.

Thank you Lord for helping me, and indwelling me with your Spirit, so that I might not lose hope and lose strength.

As the sun is full of light, 
the ocean full of water, 
Heaven full of glory, so my heart be full of thee.
Give me thyself without measure, 
as an unimpaired fountain, 
as inexhaustible riches. 
Come as love, that I may adore the Father, and love him as my all;
Come as joy, to dwell in me, move in me, animate me;
Come as helper, with strength to bless and keep, directing my every step;
Come as beautifier, bringing order out of confusion, loveliness out of chaos;
Magnify to me thy glory by being magnified in me, 
and make me redolent of thy fragrance.
~ From a puritan prayer

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Dinners for Two

Hello friends!

A new challenge has presented itself in my new married life: cooking for two! I have spent the last fifteenish years cooking for anywhere from 4 -16+ people. I was not sure how I could reprogram my brain to cook less. I find myself buying large amounts of food, dividing it into portions and freezing it. It's kind of like being in college again. That was a three year window where I cooked for one! Although there were times then that I cooked for a lot more than that. Some of you may remember the famous Friday night dinners. So I find myself making little pots of soup, and chopping pork loins into four big chunks. It's kind of fun making a meal and then seeing if there's any left over. Tonight I made roasted pork loin with a pineapple glaze and a side of fresh steamed green beans and mashed potatoes. Yum! I can't wait to eat it :)

Here's a little how-to for roasted pork loin for two!

  1. Take a full sized pork loin (1.79 a lb at Kroger this week!!) and chop it into four large pieces about four to five inches long. Freeze three pieces and save one out. 
  2. Place the piece you saved out in a pressure cooker pot with olive oil, sprinkle it with seasoned salt and garlic powder and brown it. 
  3. Then put the rack in the pressure cooker and 1 1/2 of water and a little salt. Put the lid on the cooker and bring it to full pressure. Cook it for about 12 minutes in a manual pressure cooker, 10 in an electric one.
  4. Meanwhile, place three finely chopped rings of canned pineapple in a small saute pan and add a tablespoon of brown sugar and 1/4 tsp of fresh grated ginger. Add two tablespoons of water and simmer for a few minutes until thickened.
  5. Let your pressure cooker fully release the pressure before you open it. Open it then and slice the pork loin, put it back in the cooker to stay warm.
  6. Place fresh, rinsed and snapped beans into a steamer pot and steam for twenty minutes with salted water. Top with a couple pats of butter...VOILA! Delicious dinner for two :) Enjoy! 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Are We Home Yet?

Dear friends,
       I feel as though I've been here for an eternity now and I keep wondering when I'm going to have to pack up and go home. Then the reality hits me that I AM home. The trouble is, it doesn't quite feel like home yet. For one thing, all my books, beloved stationary, fountain pen, odds and ends are still in a storage unit. I daren't unpack them because in six weeks or so I'll have to pack them again. That's right, I'm moving again. Our lease is up December 1st and we're off to a slightly larger place. One where I might just have room to set up a legitimate pantry or a craft area. One where the kitchen is not also the living room, and the bedroom.  
It's not easy to be trying to settle and not settle too much at the same time. I want to be home. I yearn to be home, and yet I must wait.
     This waiting puts me in mind of the verse that says

"Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head." Matthew 8:20

  Where was I? Oh yeah, I think I was complaining about not feeling at home yet in this cozy apartment with a memory foam mattress topper and luxurious embarrassing. I can't believe that I would even begin to feel sorry for myself when Jesus himself had NOWHERE to lay his head that was his own. He had NOWHERE that he could call home. He slept outside, under the stars, and in the cold. He spent his days giving, giving, and giving until he exhausted himself. I spend my days working, staying busy, yes, but also whining and complaining a lot. 
      So my goal right now is not to focus on not being home quite yet, but on my home with Bruce. It's not the place really that is home, but the people. I don't really miss Morehead City or the beach as much as I miss Mom and Dad, Paul, and Grandmother. So I need to fill that bit of loneliness with my new home, my new family, Bruce. How can I adjust my heart, my emotions, my mindset to feel more at home with him? This is the question I intend to explore and answer. Stay tuned to find out my progress. Love to all! MG 


Friday, October 5, 2012

A New Name, A New Life

Dear Friends,

      I am now no longer Maria Lorraine McNiel. YES it's true, I got married! I am now Maria Lorraine Goff. And OH, how I love it! So I thought I would continue my blog as a married woman now. Exploring the challenges of being a stay at home wife in the big city. I haven't gotten quite used to using a dishwasher AND a dryer yet. I do miss hanging out the laundry.
     But oh there are so many JOYS in being a wife. My husband delights in all the little things I do. Everything is like a little gift to him. The things that were routine to my family are so new and exciting to him. When I take out his shirt in the evening and iron it for the next day. When I greet him with dinner ready. When I tidy up the house and when I do the laundry. Each thing just gives him joy and thus giving me joy as well.
     I am learning also that missing home is not bad. Grief of this kind is not so despairing. It is merely one's heart separating itself from what it was knit to before and re-knitting itself to a new family. Tearing and repairing can be a mite painful. But it will not last forever. There are things I miss about home, besides hanging out clothes of course. I miss the water. I miss afternoons sitting in my parents room rehashing the days events. I miss getting breakfast ready with my dad in the mornings, and hearing his talk radio when I got in the kitchen. I miss my grandmother shuffling around the house and telling me for the seventeenth time that she doesn't know what she'd do without me. Yes, I miss these things. I miss exercising with Lambeth in the mornings and meeting up with her for Bible studies. However, I do not long to have them back. It is merely a letting go, a saying goodbye that hurts.
     When I begin to wax sad, I simply think of my husband. I think of his delight in me, the joy I have in helping him, and the joy of being in his arms and belonging to him, and the sadness seems to fade away. I have much to be thankful for. I can hardly wait to see where this journey will take my husband and me. Stay tuned to find out!

 P.S. Here is a picture from our wedding day, and the picture of the twins I promised ;)
Such a beautiful day in my life!
This is a couple weeks after they were born. They are now six months old.

 So yes, I am now a Texan. I live here in the big city, a country mouse trying to find her way. More to come! ~ Mrs. Maria Goff