The In Between Part 1

Staring at the keyboard and praying that your fingers will just start typing some meaningful words in that blank white box is overwhelming. Especially when you've inadvertently neglected your blog for the past {oh I don't know like 2 months}little while. I have good intentions and a heart so full of emotions, challenges, lessons, and craziness that I just haven't known where to start. It has felt like a very "in between" time for me. I technically accomplished the summer plan of traveling around the world only to sit down and wait for the next thing. So let me just fill you in on "the in between."

In case you missed it, I got back safe and sound from my kind of home away from home. The last few weeks of my trip were a complete blur, so I'm not entirely clear on what happened except that the whirlwind that was my schedule just got away from me. If you keep up with me on any from of social media, you would have to have been living under a rock to have missed a precious little, blond-headed, Ukrainian girl who stole my heart right out of my chest. If you need a reminder, here she is:

I don't know how I walked away that last day without becoming a complete mess. But by the grace of God, I trusted that He has that little girl and her precious brother {& all those other little blessings} in the palm of His hands. That last week went by so quickly that I barely had time to catch my breath before I set out on a plane ride back to the U.S. I was thankful to be home, but I didn't stay there long.

Only long enough to love on these two little boys.

And of course we had to commemorate my homecoming somehow. 

Just less than a week later, I made the ever longer journey from Olive Branch down to Clinton to be the camp missionary at Garaywa. I've always {& I mean ALWAYS}loved Garaywa. As a cabin leader, it helped shape and mold me more into what God wanted me to be faster than almost any other experience in my life. You try being thrown into a cabin with a peer {for the purposes of making my point let's compare this to living with a spouse}for less than a week and then ... {brace yourself} 14 little girls between the ages of like 8 and 11. Talk about a crash course in parenting/motherhood/marriage aka some intense life experiences. But from that time on, my heart's desire was to come back as camp missionary. From the first time I was a camper, to hearing the missionary as a cabin leader, to being the camp missionary the fall mother/daughter ... I had to do whatever it took to get back there this summer.

One word to sum up me week at camp: Blessing. {you didn't think I could come up with just one word, did you?} I never dreamed that my week would be as absolutely A-mazing as it was. The cabin leaders. The best. The lead team. The best. The campers. The best. You get the picture, huh? I seriously could write 7-10 individual blog posts on that week alone, so I'll leave it at this. If you want to hear about my week at Garaywa, I'd love for you to just ask. {Seriously. It just blesses my heart to get to share about it}.

Well, let's continue on in this crazy blog post of my part 2 summer ramblings. Garaywa was epic, but Saturday and my time to leave came all too quickly. Fortunately {like I said before, cabin leaders=the best}, some of the awesome cabin leaders invited me to walk The Color Run ...... check that off the bucket list. I must do it again. It was an absolute blast. I will let the pictures speak for themselves.

Naturally, after having all that fun, there had to be a downer, so in I went to surgery to have my tonsils removed, my septum straightened {or something like that}, and my turbinators trimmed {yep, we definitely have turbinators or maybe it's turbinates in our noses ... either way, still a funny name}. Despite my objections, my mother took a before surgery picture.

Thankfully, she respected my wishes and spared me from an after surgery picture. Because after surgery, I entered into the two WORST weeks of my summer. I was technically sitting pretty until about 6 days following my surgery when I ran out of pain meds. I officially ran out of the real pain meds on Saturday night {only 8 days following my surgery}. Never have I experienced such severe pain. Boy, am I glad that is over. I was even one of the lucky ones who experienced a side effect of surgery which severely decreased my sense of taste. I. was. miserable. But now I'm 100% better and all the more appreciative of being able to swallow solid/crunchy/normal foods with no pain. Most unexpected side effect of nasal surgery: nonstop sneezing. Just keep your distance. I will sneeze at least 15 times a day. if not more. But what really got me through was the sweet little things like this precious card from my fabulous sunday school girls ... this seriously meant the world to me.

In the midst of recovering from my lovely surgery, I was attempting to make the most of what was left of my last summer as a {techincally} university/grad student. I saw family. sister. brother in law. brother. sister in law. nephews. aunts. uncles. cousins. grandparents. I think that pretty much covers it. I was keeping busy. And last but not least whatsoever, the biggest change in my life here lately is starting a big girl job as speech therapist at DeSoto Central Elementary. Yep, my mother once again went against my objections and took an incredibly sappy photo of me leaving for my first day of work.

There you have it. Jenna McMurphy, M.S., CF-SLP. That feels good to say.

Next up on my blog catch up will be my speech therapy room before/after pictures. I've been a little crafty here lately.

This is all what I have decided to fondly call "the in between." I've been in between a whole lot of things, God has been relentless about holding me accountable during this "in between" time to committing every single moment to Him. I'm just so thankful that God has brought to this moment, and I can look back on this summer and the fun I had and know without a doubt that He was glorified and made more of. I love living life for Him. It makes it all worthwhile.

Learning to be the Light,
 P.S. Sorry for the picture overload, but I felt it was necessary. :)