Blushing bride.

3:31 PM



   I am going to post some pictures from my sis-in-law Stephanie's bridal shower, even though she is already married and happily honeymooning right now, because late is truly better than never.  Sometimes.

   I hosted it at our house, and my sis-in-law Jessi basically took care of the rest.  I am coming to love joint parties more and more.  I've thrown a couple of birthday parties with my sis-in-law Amy, and I tell you...that is way to go!



 

   For some reason this wedding, more so than others, has taken me back to my own joyous day with much retrospect and reflection.....and one of the reasons (and probably the main one) is because she too (like I did) is moving thousands of miles away from her family to a new community, a new church, and a new home.  I to Oregon, and she to Ohio.

   I remember feeling so fresh and shiny and sparkly about it all, and she too, is just glowing, as you can see in the picture above.  Everything felt within my reach.  Any dream was attainable.  Nothing could drag me down.  Not even moving.  Actually, I even looked forward to moving away!  It seemed like such a fresh start.  A new chapter.  And boy, was I ready for that.

   And while I have somewhat adjusted and acclimated and all that jazz, I still have my days when I feel like my insides are trying to be on my outsides, and everything is just sort of crushing down around me and trying to swallow me whole.  Those, of course, are not the things you tell to shiny new brides.  But I just cannot help but think of it whenever I look at her.  It's like I'm looking back into time 5 years ago, and seeing a bubbly, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed Shelley, eager to embark on her journey out West into her new life.

   So what things WOULD I tell her?  Well......I guess I would say this:

1.  Give your friendships time.  
   Don't expect friends to know you like your childhood ones, right away.  After all, your Oregon friends have had 20+ years to accumulate their knowledge of you, so the Ohio ones have a lot of catching up to do.

2.  Cut yourself some slack.  
   If you have a down day, week, year, whatever...it's o.k.  Don't try to deny it, justify it, or ignore it.  It's o.k. to feel that way.  Just keep showing up, day after day, being a wife and a friend and a daughter/sister-in law the best way you know how.  That's enough.

3.  DON'T COMPARE YOURSELF TO OTHERS.  
   That one is in all caps because, well...duh.  Nothing will deflate you faster, drain you quicker, or completely defeat you quite like comparison.  Trust me.  Speaking from experience on this one.

4.  Don't compare your in-laws to "your" family.  
   They are different people.  Different strengths, different weaknesses, and it's o.k.  The world is richer because of a variety of gifts and talents, and we are richer for it too. 

5.  Rebuke the lie that life would be better "back home".  
Because that's what it is, a lie.  The grass is greener where you water it. 

6.  Claim the promise that His mercies are new every morning.  
   And there's a reason for it!  We just don't have what it takes to get through the year, or to make it until next Tuesday, for that matter.  But in the morning when we wake up, His mercies are new.

7.  Go out of your way to build relationships.  
   Back home, people may have approached you or come to you, but when you're the new one in town, people can be shy and hesitant to insert themselves into your lives.  I know, I know what you're thinking.  "But I'M the new one!  People should be going out of their way to welcome me!" Trust me,  it doesn't always work that way.  You have to become comfortable with initiating contact.  The sooner the better.

8.  Ducks of a feather, flock together.
   Always stay true to the Oregon Ducks.  Just kidding, that's not what this one is about.  If you are feeling extra pangs of homesickness and it feels like everyone around you is surrounded by family on all sides, seek out someone in your shoes.  Someone miles away from their family (or maybe even both sides) who lives near you, goes to church with you, etc.  Find a way to reach out to that person, be a friend, or help that person, and before you know it, your own troubles will seem miles away.  This really, truly works.

9.  Treat your new home/state/community/church with respect.  
   Don't belittle it in conversation with others or even in your own thoughts (!!!) by pointing out all of its flaws in comparison to your old home.  Ha!  I have struggled with this one.

10.  And last but not least.....VISIT OFTEN!!!!  Obviously.  


We will miss having you around so much, Stephanie.

Ohio, you are receiving a gem.  Better treat her like one!!

That's all.


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7 comments

  1. I love bridal showers, probably because of the glowing bride, so in love and looking forward to her big day!
    Ohio is full of other "transplants" so hopefully she will be well cared for.

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  2. I love your advice. As a college student, attending a university 10+ hours from home... I miss home. A lot. Sometimes it's hard for me to see beauty in this new place, but I'm now realizing that seeing beauty is a choice.

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  3. I loved this blog, Shelley!! You did give such good advice...for older brides far from what used to be home as well! It was fun to see your pictures, too after having been to your home to celebrate Charlotte's birthday. Like you say, It is so important to water where you are at to make things green and healthy and not compare. I am so glad His Mercies are new each morning and He continues to love us right where we are at!

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  4. Great advice! I applaud my six sisters for following their men out west - now it's my turn to live in a new community! I enjoy reading your blog! Leanne byler

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  5. Thank you, thank you for this. I needed to hear it.

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  6. sweet post! looks like such a fun party!

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  7. This was SO encouraging for me to read!
    I recently (six months ago) got married and moved to Alaska....so all of those things that you wrote out were SUCH good reminders for me as I am still struggling to find community, to adjust, and to find a new life here.
    Thanks for sharing this!
    I am glad I found your blog from Casey's link-up!

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