Laura Rennie

growing up

Laura R.Comment
A year ago I was wrapping up my final pieces for the newspaper I worked for. I was breaking the news to all our friends that we were moving to Maryland. We were house hunting in a city that we didn't want to move to. I was saying goodbye to Andy and heading to Uganda for my first missions trip. 

A year ago I was completely confused by God's timing and plan. I knew that Andy's promotion was a blessing and I felt confident in our decision to move, but I still wasn't thrilled with all of the changes.

Here we are, twelve months later.

printable here
I really grew up this year. I became more confident in myself. I was proactive about what I wanted. I forgave quicker and apologized more often. I slept more, read more, cooked more, explored more. I decided that moving to a city where I knew no one meant I should embrace going to the store with no makeup on, and embracing that mentality eventually lead to me caring less about how I look in general. I created space in my days for therapeutic activities, like taking baths, reading by the creek with my dog, buying myself an iced coffee or getting a pedicure.

Yet, the most vital growing had nothing to do with coffee or books or naps. It had to do with learning an important lesson: that happiness is a choice. If you take a look at a post I compiled two years ago about secrets to a happy marriage, you'll notice that I knew the importance of choices back then. I guess it's just taken me this long to fully get it. One event in particular hit this lesson home, and that was my trip to Uganda.

I had an absolutely fabulous time in Uganda, even though I was without my favorite person, without cute clothes, without a hair dryer, without my regular group of friends or my bed or my dog, yada yada. While there were many reasons why the trip was wonderful, I firmly believe that the biggest reason was my decision to stop thinking about me and what makes me feel happy and to focus entirely on Jesus and what makes Him happy. I prayed for weeks leading up to the trip (and I had many people praying for me) and asked God to help me set aside all of my self so that I would be completely flexible to do whatever He wanted me to do. I guarantee you that I COULD have had an awful time if I had allowed myself to give in to negativity.

This world is full of things that can bring you down. Negativity can creep in so cunningly that you don't even notice it at first, but it spreads like a disease. Yet we are given the opportunity to resist and to choose something better. I am happier in my marriage because I choose to be. I am happier in my work because I choose to be. I am happy living in a place I never desired to live because I choose to be.

And now, I find happiness through my misery, because all of this nausea and vomiting and mood swings and food aversions and gas and pimples and constipation are the result of a highly anticipated human being growing inside me. I couldn't be grosser looking happier. :)