To My Kansas City Sisters…

You know who you all are. You’re an army of amazing women I am beyond blessed to call my sisters.

You are one of the biggest reasons why moving to Denver has been such a bittersweet transition for me.

I came to Kansas City as a newly-married, 25-year-old baby and you took me under your wings. Now, I’m a full-fledged ahjumma and I’m proud of it (well, minus the mini-van…soon!).

You showed me how to laugh about the things our husbands would do that would drive us crazy, and helped me realize that marriage is messy and imperfect and something you have to fight for every day.

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New Home, New City, New Season

Yes, you read that right…the Lees have moved to Denver, CO!

We’ve been praying about this transition since the fall of last year, actually. At that time, we didn’t know where God was calling us to next. But, we just knew. Although we loved Kansas City and it had become home for us the last almost five years, we knew that God had a new place and a new season in mind for us.

Long story short, my husband and I got connected to a Korean-American church in Denver (that connection is it’s own crazy, divine appointment kind of story), and we’ve been getting to know them since the beginning of this year. We flew out to visit a few times, and each time we felt like this would become our new home, our new family.

After we gave our “yes” to their offer for my husband to be the senior pastor (upon being ordained), it was a whirlwind of change.

I remember watching as our agent stuck the “FOR SALE” sign into our front yard. For the first time, it felt REAL. Yes, I know we had been talking about this for months, preparing our home to be listed for weeks, and sharing the news with those closest to us for a while now.

But the bittersweet tidal wave of change hit me smack in the face. Yes, we had so many new and exciting things to look forward to in Denver. And we knew without a doubt that we were called to that place. But that also meant we were saying goodbye to so many friends and so many memories that had shaped the first almost five years of our marriage.

This house on 108th Street would forever be etched into our memories. This was the place where we built our family. Where we brought home our first-born son. Where we watched him take his first steps and say his first words. This was the place where we built forever friendships. Where we ate around the table. Played countless rounds of Catan into the wee hours of the night. These walls held the rich sounds of laughter and joy. These floors had soaked up so many unspoken tears and prayers.

And yet, within 48 hours of being listed, our house went into contract. With an offer that was even higher than what we had listed it for.

And we knew. God was sending us out. Kansas City was our home. Now, Denver would become our home.

Miraculously, God also provided a home for us in Denver. And one day, we hope we can bring home more babies to this new home. Where we can some day watch Josiah become a big brother. The place where we will build new, forever friendships. Where we will eat, and play, and laugh, and cry, and pray once more. And as hard and good as this season of change is, I am so, so grateful.

A friend of mine once told me that change, no matter how joyful it is, always demands a period of grieving. Because you can never go back to what was. And that’s the way it should be. But in order to walk with confidence and hope into the next season, we must honor what was.

So in the midst of drowning in cardboard boxes and too much stuff, we’re doing the best we can. Expectant, hopeful, and excited for what is to come. But remembering all the good that happened in our first home. And trusting that there is so much more good to come.

Kansas City, you’ve been good to us. We love you.

And Denver, here we are. It’s gonna be good.

30

Today, I enter a new decade. My thirties.

Thirty sounded old a long time ago. Now, at 30, I feel like I’m just getting started with my life.

There are a lot of things I could reflect upon, deep thoughts I could write about as I leave my twenties. But at this point, there are just a few random, somehow related thoughts that are stringing together in my brain.

So, in honor of turning 30, here is a list of 30 things that are an honest reflection of who I am and what I’m thinking about in this moment.

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We’ve Come a Long Way // An Update on Josiah

I can hardly believe it’s already July and this is only my fourth post this year!

Actually, well yes, I can believe it.¬† Because despite all of my good intentions and the many blog ideas that are recorded on my phone, my days are now mostly filled with this kind of fun…

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Don’t even get me started on the time I found him in the living room, in his birthday suit, playing with his diaper…the diaper I had just put on him about 30 seconds earlier.

Thank the good Shepherd there was no poop in that diaper! ūüôā

Speaking of poop, a lot has happened since my last post about Josiah‘s progress after his last surgery in January. Read more…

Reflecting on Immanuel

The last couple of days, it’s been harder to answer the question, “How are you really doing?”¬† The truth is, I’m okay, I really am. ¬†And I know one day, this will all be part of the story.

But at the same time, I’m wrestling. ¬†I’m struggling to contain the whirlwind¬†of emotions and I’m not sure what to do when I find an unexpected leak here and there.

When we started calling and texting all of our family to tell them that Josiah had come early, my aunt shared with me something I didn’t know I needed to hear until I had heard it…and it’s been echoing in the recesses of my soul ever since…

It’s okay to cry. ¬†It’s okay to ask God, “Why??” ¬†It’s okay to face the wave of emotions that will continue to come. ¬†Your tears and your questions are not coming out of a place of unbelief. ¬†You need to ask. ¬†You need to wrestle. ¬†You need to process. ¬†Because when you do¬†all of that before the God who is full of grace and mercy, you will begin to hear His voice. ¬†

I have declared the truth and I will continue to declare it all the days of my life Рthe promise of God is that He will heal Josiah.  And something immeasurably glorious is going to come out of all of this.

But some days it’s still hard.

The day before Christmas Eve, the NICU organized a toy shoppe event at the hospital where parents could come and receive toys and gifts for their child.  We browsed through the vast selection of donated items, imagining the day when Josiah will one day play with mega blocks and toy trucks.

We got back to his room to find the monitors beeping and Josiah crying in his incubator.

My heart broke.

How many other times has our little boy been crying in his incubator because his diaper is wet or his tummy is hungry and there is no mommy or daddy to meet his basic needs?

On Christmas day, we were making the hour long drive after church to the NICU when I started to replay that scene in my head again, asking myself that same question once more.

God…why? ¬†I asked. ¬†He’s alone right now in his incubator. ¬†What if he’s hungry? ¬†What if he knows that mommy and daddy aren’t there? ¬†How is it okay that my child is 34 weeks gestation, should have been in my womb for 6 more weeks, yet he already knows what it is like to be lonely?

And that’s when I heard Him. ¬†It was a whisper, but it was clear.

I AM with him, child.

The tears started to flow.

Immanuel.  God with us.  It was the word that I had chosen for my One Word for 2016.  It was the word that I had claimed for this year, not fully realizing just how perfectly it would come to pass.

This journey has only just begun.  Our first steps into parenthood have brought us into uncharted territory.  I know there will be more days that break my heart, but also more moments that will take my breath away and cause me to wonder how I ever could have lived any other way.  There is a whole future unfolding before us that we are only beginning to grasp.

But this I know.  Immanuel.  He is with us.  Today, tomorrow, and the next.  He will never leave us.  Through our treasured days and our dark nights of the soul, we are never alone.

God With Us // Reflections on New Year’s Day

It was just short of a year ago, on January 10, 2015. ¬†We had finished a week of honeymooning in Cabo San Lucas and it was on the plane ride home that this then two-weeks-a-bride wrote these words with a bit of fear and trembling in her journal – “Lord, as we are on our way home, starting this new season of life…please, please…be with us.”

It wasn’t until this afternoon, finally winding down from the joy and celebrations around our first anniversary, Christmas, conferences, and the New Year, that I finally read through my journal from 2015.

Sometimes weeks had gone by without a single word. ¬†Other days, there were pages and pages of thoughts, wrestlings, tears, and fears. ¬†But the common theme that kept reoccurring through my weak words was that despite our track record or our circumstances, somehow, we would love Him more. ¬†That we would know His presence in our daily lives. ¬†That we would trust in Him. ¬†That we would know that He was present with us. ¬† Read more…

Learning How to Love // Reflections on Our First Year of Marriage

There’s a reason why marriage is meant to last for a lifetime. ¬†I’m fully convinced it takes that long¬†to learn how to love someone well and experience all the richness there is to being loved by another.

In a couple of days, it will be our first anniversary…finally and already, with all the emotions of both woven into our ordinary lives.

What we’ve learned this first year isn’t necessarily ground-breaking. ¬†We also can’t claim that we¬†always do it well or that we’ve figured it all out. ¬†What we’ve learned is actually already pretty famous and summed up best somewhere else. ¬†But there’s a reason why it’s called the truth. ¬†And it’s made for an extraordinary journey.

So, what is it that we have learned this first year? ¬†Well… Read more…