A letter

Rearview mirror, my golden birthday, and packing for He knows where…

In Year 3 on January 9, 2014 at 8:25 pm

Hi friend. The house is quiet with the exception of buttons ticking in the dryer.  My heart on the other hand, is far from quiet.  In a little over six weeks we will turn in the keys to our “Village” apartment and head off on a new adventure.  We just don’t know where exactly we will be heading yet.  I know this is probably alarming to you and almost anyone other than law school cronies, but to us it’s very normal, though not particularly enjoyed.  I think I am almost ready for anything, unless of course it is a scenario I had not thought of.   Sometime this week we should get an answer on a job possibility and that will narrow the playing field enormously.  Until then we will try to remain calm knowing today could be the day our life could change forever, or not.  It sort of feels like the days just before having a baby, and you know what that is like.

Not sure how it’s possible that I only wrote a handful of times last year.  That alone should tell you something about how my year was.  I wanted to write so many times, but didn’t.  I think what I really wish is that I could have sat on your couch and just cried.  Tears however, are hard to put on paper and often make a mess of things.

We’ve heard that phrase in growing up years, “If you don’t have something nice to say, then don’t say anything at all”.  In my valley times this last year, I know I often didn’t have anything “nice” to say and was reeling more often than not.  I kept hoping the season would change and that I would have my normal assortment of updates to share.  I guess I can’t predict season’s lengths very well and realize I could wait my whole life to share while waiting for change.  I should have shared, hardship or not and know it would have lightened my hefty load.  I’ll try to do so in the future, for me and for you.

I don’t want to bore you with each detail of all that took place, I’d rather spit it out and get to the good stuff, because the good stuff is really good.  January started with intense foot pain, July revealed neuroma’s (pinched inflamed nerves) in each foot, and 12 doctor’s visits and 10 months later, in October, I was diagnosed with Undifferentiated Inflammatory Arthritis (Basically, it is the stage before Rheumatoid Arthritis which is an auto immune disease that attacks the joints.)

As you can imagine, laced between all of life’s normal events, finishing law school,  and a year of constant physical pain were many tear soaked nights, dances with fear, prayers, and a whole lot of clinging to Jesus.  My faith also grew enormously and I have never been more confident in His ability to heal than today. My day is coming soon! Every day when I wake up I say to myself, “today is a great day to be healed”.  One of these days, it will really be my day.  I can’t wait.

Seven weeks ago, after and unsuccessful 8 week gluten free trial (unsuccessful in the fact that it didn’t cause disease remission), I began a daily medication that will aggressively go after the disease.  It was his second choice medication, but without the serious risks of his first recommendation.  It was said to only be successful in 30-40% of the people and I am in that percentage!  PRAISE GOD! It takes roughly six weeks for you to start to see the effects, and I started feeling big improvements the week of Christmas!

You know what a nut I am about golden birthday’s and this year of all years was my very own golden birthday.  Who get’s to turn 30 on the 30th?  Me!  Smiles unending.  Leading up to December I was pretty discouraged…maybe really discouraged.  I had a few really rough weeks in early December where sleep was spotty and even getting dressed in the morning was a chore.  Somedays I didn’t feel normal-ish until lunch time.  Golden birthday’s are a once in a lifetime deal, period.  You don’t get to redo them, they don’t come back.  David finishing law school is also a one time deal.  I just wanted to feel better, to feel like myself.  I wanted to not be in pain, and to celebrate life!  Well as we both know, God is so amazing, and so faithful!  So amazing and so faithful!

David finished his last final on December 11th and walked through the door with his Juris Doctorate!  I am more proud of my man than ever before in our lives.  He has not only persevered the intense regimen of law school, but has maintained a thriving family, and graduated with a higher gpa than his undergraduate.  If you didn’t already know, this is almost unheard of.  I love him so!  We celebrated big time with Paul and Elle over a homemade steak and frites dinner–an all day labor of love.  No, literally, an all day labor of love and worth it!  Then, just like that vacation was upon us.  I think we were a bit stunned, and maybe still are contemplating “being done with law school”.  When we started this journey we both thought it was never going to end and then one day you wake up and bam, it’s over!  If only it felt that easy along the way.  We vegged, took the kids to see Santa, vegged and then vegged some more.  It was wonderful. Wonderful to be together and wonderful to complete the chapter of law school.  I was starting to notice improvements slowly the 3rd week of December and by Christmas was consciously aware of feeling better.  Less pain, more mobility, and a whole lot more like myself.

We had talked Golden birthday talk many times and the same conclusion was always made…we don’t have any money, or a job and we just finished law school.  David had promised we would at least spend the day together, just he and I, and have dinner to celebrate. I did all within my power to not have any expectations and really by the time my day came, I had very few.

David casually mentioned: booking an airport hotel by the city, taking me to rochester, staying in hostels, driving back home to Virginia Beach (only our kids wouldn’t be there), flying to vegas, and a nice day trip to Niagara Falls (I actually think that would be fun).  He finally told me to pack for two nights away and we ventured out early the morning of my b-day.  We arrived at the map quested parking garage in Manhattan, and to my relief, I did not have to barter for a hotel room, he actually had one booked just around the corner. He encouraged me to go peek at the hotel bar while he checked us in.  I did the full scan of the room and thought to myself “that looks a lot like Bonte’ and Lee”, only to really look and see it WAS Bonte’ and Lee.  Now I was crying and screaming, “Oh my gosh, really?” at least a dozen times.  This was already the best birthday ever and it had only just begun.  They had been planning this golden celebration for six months.  I am still in shock no one gave it away, especially mom!   They had the whole day booked; shopping, relaxing, a quick stop for an afternoon snack at The Ace Hotel, and dinner at Balthazar’s which was superb.  Mid appetizer, David casually plopped a nice little white box adorned with a tiny gold bow onto the table in front of me.  I had taken him to see a bunch of jewelry at Main Street Jewelers in the town he grew up in earlier in the week. I had found several things I loved, of course, but had found this beautiful gold barred stud for my second piercing and it was affordable. I was certain upon seeing the box it was such.  Instead it was the gorgeous, vintage, full of character and charm, real gold and real diamond ring to pair with my wedding band.  Tears welled again and  I felt like the most loved and special lady in all the world.  Tables around us were whispering and pointing and smiling all around.  For the first time in almost a year, I was feeling good, a birthday gift in itself from God.  On top of feeling good was this wondrous celebration.  I was over the moon.  I truly was.

We then spent the 31st reminiscing about our favorite part of the current year, and dreaming and scheming for the year to come.  One thing we know is that in God, you always go from glory to glory.  Always.  And, His best is yet to come.   How can we not look to the coming year with exploding expectancy?  How can we not?

This is why I said I wanted to get to the good stuff.  It’s really that Good.

Love you dearly.  It’s going to be a rockin’ year.


David, just before killing it in his Trial Practice final of which I got to watch.  So proud!

This is a letter of recommendation David received form General John Ashcroft, attorney general for President Bush.




Enjoying NY Snow!



New York City decided to fly gold banners for my birthday!  I loved it!





  1. Thank you for your honesty. I struggle with knowing how much of the bad stuff to share too. At the end I think it encourages people that our walk with God is not about ease. In reality its more about faith and how we respond to suffering and difficulty. This post was a great encouragement to me! I can’t wait to hear where God sends you next. -Molly R

  2. oh Bep! You’re gonna make me cry again. Good is so good! I only wish I could have snuck into the hotel bar to surprise you as well 😉 Looking forward with you to all God has for 2014 🙂

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