What’s Up, Straws?

The straw that broke the camels back.

Isn’t it true how in life when you are already amped up, the tiniest things become big ones? Shawn started back to work this week and so I am flying solo over here with negative 30 degree temps. I have spent the first three days of his working in three different locations. Moving my entire crew from one to another, in sub zero temps. Learning to drive in snow, finding our way in this new city, you know…life as a mom, but post cross country move life as a mom. Nothing I am doing or going through is really particularly a big deal, but when you add it on top of the the emotions of moving and managing the emotions of my four littles, all the while trying to support my husband and adjust to our temporary gypsy lifestyle in Missouri, well then we have another story. There has been a lot of straws. Some of them no big deal, just funny. Some of them making me burst into sobs.


First the cold. If I had a dollar for every one of my California friends who texted or emailed and said, “What does that actually feel like?”. Really the best way I can describe it’s general suckiness is the feeling of being in labor. And really they don’t feel anything the same, but they both suck equally. Labor is way better because at the end you get a baby, but we aren’t talking about that. I had to fill up my car the with gas at -28 wind chill and it took me two tries. Literally. I would like to hope that my general helplessness is partly due to the fact that I have spent four decades in California and I am not acclimated to this kind of cold, although really who is? Bottom line. It’s awful.

You know how you hear about places, but have never been to them? Des Moines, Iowa. Definitely heard of it, but have never been there. Tonight my boys and I set out in search of Trader Joes and while en route I saw a sign to Des Moines. It caught me SO off guard that I live somewhere that there is a sign to direct you to Des Moines that I momentarily spazzed and missed my turn off. Thank you technology and the instant rerouting.


My clock in my car was on Cali time and I thought I’ll just leave it so I don’t have to change it when we go back home. Then I remembered, we are not on vacation. Ooops. {this is the one that got me. grab the kleenex}. I just keep doing that with different things. Not sure when this will sink in truly.

We were driving through Chick Fil A and I paid the drive through dude and in the transfer of money from my hand to his, a coin hit the ground. That’s happened before and most of the time they go, “no worries”. Right? Because A, it is just change. B, they can get it later and C, whose fault is it really anyway? The drive thru dude looks down and says, “oh, that was a dime, could you pay me another one please?”. I repay.

…and oh the dry skin. really? someone point me to the nearest vat of body lotion. Please and thank you.

Speaking of the cold, the “really” cold day? My window decided to stay like this for awhile, while I was already out and about. My daughters hair was still wet from her morning shower and it had little icicles in it within minutes.


…and further more, one should not wear converse in this weather because well, it’s just dumb. Your feet get cold. Really cold and they never warm up. Ever. And going out with wet hair? There are no words for allowing that behavior.

We moved our hearts from the country property and into the fixer upper colonial. My husband and I were chatting on the phone and decide to make an offer as our realtor beeps in to tell us it was sold. I think I went to the deep end of the pool for about an hour. Ultimately I packed up my bags and moved my heart out of that one too. Still looking….

“The strength of patience hangs on our capacity to believe that God is up to something good for us in all our delays and detours.” John Piper {Thank you to my sweet friend Louanne for this reminder!}


I spent an afternoon at a chuck e cheese this week. I went to order a large cheese pizza which cost 11.99. I had a $2 off coupon. My total was still 11.99. I noticed she had charged me for extra cheese. I told her that I didn’t need the extra cheese. She told me that if I didn’t order the extra cheese then I would only get a crust. I said, “but the menu says cheese pizza is 11.99. So it really is 13.99?” “Yes”, she says. I’m entirely confused at this point and just to make life dangerous, I forgo the extra cheese and get “the crust”. The pizza arrived 15 minutes later…with cheese. I’m still confused.

I love getting older for only one reason so far, but that reason is a big one. When I moved to Elk Grove, Ca from San Jose, Ca 8 years ago, I seriously thought my life was basically over. It was so difficult for me. We had so many stinkin’ things go wrong it was not even funny. A small fire in the kitchen, our car was stolen out of our driveway, and my dad had a life threatening experience with diverticulitis just to name the highlights. It was rough. It is rough if you let life circumstances dictate your emotions. The more experience you have living you just flat realize that you get through it all and you can get through it thriving.

I am trying the best I can to fill up each day with Jesus. Fill up myself and fill up my kids. I just don’t want to be in a place where an exchange over pizza, a dropped coin, or a house deal gone wrong gets the best of me. I will spend the next weeks getting lost, being confused, learning and learning, and a whole bunch of other things and I can do it all with peace in my heart.

This first week here with our new church family has ultimately been awesome. We have experienced lots of new things already and have been welcomed so fantastically here, my heart is full. We have moved into our short term furnished rental and I am excited to have spent the day putting things in drawers and putting suitcases away, for now, in the closet.


I have been carrying all the cards I received in my last days in California in my purse for emergency reading. Tonight I lined them up on my dresser. My girls back home are the wind beneath my wings and I love them for it. Eight years ago when I was at a huge low after our move, I met them all and they have been there ever since and always will be. A reminder that God takes care of us. He loves us. His plan and purposes are not to hurt us. He cares.

I am excited to be here. Excited to get settled. Excited to meet people.


Homesickness comes in weird strange waves. Fast and Furious. I seriously try to feel them and work through them. They will come less and less.

…and I am thankful for God’s big fat gift of peace. Just an overwhelming sense that everything is ok. This is right. This is good. He sends continuous confirmations my way. Our first Sunday at church, I was reminded that God wants us to live a life with a vision so big it requires divine intervention. A life that keeps us desperate for Him. I agree.

All these little funny things that happen in life can be triggers or they can just be life. The bigger things in life like my kids getting sick, car accidents, cross country moves, etc. start to have more pull on my emotions and my thoughts. My focus must remain, Jesus.

…and so I am centered, no really. Jesus does that. He makes all the straws be, just straws. Just things. Just experiences. Not really capable of breaking any back, camel or otherwise.

Praise Him.

“Whatever you focus on, you always move toward.” ~Rick Warren

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10 Responses to What’s Up, Straws?
  1. Rikki
    January 9, 2014 | 6:44 am

    Hugs to you, Darcy. And prayers. Love this update–can’t imagine such a big change but I’m trusting God with you. And, Des Moines–yay!! 🙂

  2. Cathy
    January 9, 2014 | 8:26 am

    Isn’t it the most miraculous thing ever to be a living breathing example of God’s strength being made perfect in weakness? It sucks but it’s SO good. Only someone who has walked a long road with Jesus can understand that paradox. Love you, friend.

  3. june
    January 9, 2014 | 9:22 am

    : ) xo!

  4. Lourdes
    January 9, 2014 | 11:11 am

    Truly inspirational, Darcy! I love the way your express yourself with that balance of humor and sentiment. You are amazing and one of the strongest people I know. You are going to thrive wherever you are. God says so! 🙂

  5. sandy asplund
    January 9, 2014 | 12:08 pm

    I know in time you will be settled and look back on this. I know it doesn’t make things easier. I’m sure you gave changed the state name to “Misery” by now but that will eventually change too.

  6. Laure Covert
    January 9, 2014 | 6:17 pm

    Hey! Hang in there – Spring is coming and wow ! it will blow your mind! We did January in Nebraska years ago and I thought I lived in the Arctic Circle…diapering the baby at 6 am and looking out at the outside thermometer at 0 degrees ! You will connect well to new people who will love your Californian ways – so exotic 🙂 Blessings!

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