Before moving to Aberdeen, I remember praying that God would bring me just one good friend. Just one. That’s all I needed. Never did I expect my prayer to be answered with such abundance.
Moving to a foreign country is exciting but also terrifying. We worried we’d be the only American couple in our demographic and that the locals wouldn’t embrace us. We were concerned that we’d feel isolated and lonely and homesick. Our worries were wasted.
Never have we felt so welcomed into a community. Never have I had so many astoundingly thoughtful friends. The outpouring of love and support we have received in the wake of Forest’s birth has been remarkable. Thanks to Jillian, we haven’t had to think about food because she set up a sign up for drop-off meals to get us well into mid-December.
It’s true what they say, in these early days, preparing a balanced meal seems as daunting as climbing Mt. Everest. It’s been such a blessing to have our friends taking care of us in this way, especially after my 6 day stint in a Scottish hospital. Scottish food in general is pretty terrible. Scottish hospital food is hands down the worst stuff on earth:
Jonathan has remarked that the catered meals alone were worth having a baby for (but he hasn’t been the one up at all hours of the night breastfeeding…).
But it’s more than just the meals. Everyday I receive texts from friends asking me if they can pick up anything for me from the grocery store or take my dogs for a walk. At my core, I’m a self-centered person. I tend to stay in my own little universe and focus on my own little life, so it always amazes me when I realize that other people are thinking of me in such a real way.
It makes me want to be a better friend. Just not quite right now, because I just don’t have the mental or emotional capacity to serve anyone other than Forest… But I promise, once the dust settles and I start making heads and tails of this new life as a mother, I am going to try much harder to anticipate the needs of others and be there for them.
Before pregnancy, my love language was ‘quality time’ by a mile. All I wanted from my friends and family was good quality one-on-one time. I’ve always been good at not checking my cell phone while at dinner with friends or not answering call waiting when I’m in a conversation with my sister. I try to focus on whoever is in front of me and tune the rest of the world out.
Now that we’ve had Forest, my love language has completely flipped to ‘acts of service’. This Sunday, Jonathan took Forest downstairs so I could take a nap. He ran Bailey and washed the dishes and did some home repairs and cleaned the kitchen counters. He even babysat for an hour and a half while I dashed off to the AWA Craft Fair. I swear, I fell in love with him all over again.
It’s definitely a tough transition in life and when my mom left, I was quite hysterical and terrified about taking my parenting training wheels off. However, we survived our first week as a family of 5, with the help of our amazing village. I cannot fully express my gratitude for everyone who has volunteered to bring food, or let us borrow baby items, or answered my many asinine parenting questions, or have shared encouraging words and reassured me that these are the hardest days and things will get easier soon, or have simply prayed for us and lifted our family up to the Lord.
I’ve written many thank you notes over the past weeks, but they can’t even scratch the surface of expressing my gratitude. I am just so blessed and humbled by the kindness of this community and don’t know where I’d be without their continued support. Thank you to all my friends, family, and blog readers for your encouragement, generosity and prayers. I hope one day to pay it forward to each and every one of you.