When I am pregnant, I tend to get a little irrational. I am NOT pregnant, but I found that living in a faraway place where I didn’t know anyone felt a lot like pregnancy. I didn’t make that connection until Jeremiah told me he had to go to Chicago for four days, and I responded like this:

“I don’t know if you can do that. I am serious, Jeremiah. What if something happens, and you’re way over there and I’m way over here by myself with the girls? I mean, I’ll be ALL A.L.O.N.E!”
To which he calmly responded, “Are you worried that you’ll go into labor? [sly grin] It seems we had a similar talk to this the last time I had to go to Chicago, and you were really pregnant.”
And he was right, I wanted to be left alone right then about as much as I wanted to go through child-birth without him. I was panicky. It was weird, but I couldn’t shake it for days. The “you might just have to tell them ‘NO’ about Chicago” axe hung in the air for several days…until I met Azurae (and Juniper, that cute little munchkin beside her):


Azurae is from Orlando, went to college at Samford (which is in Birmingham, AL and Jeremiah’s Alma mater), and now lives here in Seattle. She is friends with–my old neighborhood, basically–but it was actually the Klings (who now live in our former home) who virtually (through the internet kind of, virtually) introduced us. Have you drawn a diagram to put all that together :)?
The first time we met, I was sweating profusely, partly from nerves but mainly from pushing Pace and Mary Aplin up these Seattle hills [insert mountains] at a dead sprint because I was running late (surprise, surprise!). Despite the sweat, she threw her arms around me and gave me a big ‘ol hug, then held me back at arms length and grinned at me with those dimples (I thought about you, SB :)). I knew then and there that I was going to like this girl. She then apologized for being late and we both had a good laugh over the fact that we are both perpetually late…a match made in heaven 🙂
We live in the same neighborhood (Although, she lives in a MUCH less scary part of it than we do) and we have seen each other almost every day since. I told the Klings, “I have spent a good bit of time with Azurae, and I still feel like there is so much more of her to know! She is fascinating.” Stephanie’s answer, “I’ve known her for years, and I still feel the exact same way.”
For instance, when she had the girls and me over for lunch, this is what she served:

Insanely delicious! I asked her how long it had taken her to make that (Can you see how many different layers there are?) and she laughed and said, “About a week.” Oh, ok. No big deal. I once made a pot roast that took a day… 🙂

So she loves food and has been an invaluable guide to good eating here, but she also loves Jesus. Her husband, Danny, is a musician and he is in one of the bands that plays at Mars Hill.
Now, several people told us about this church and the pastor, Mark Driscoll, before we moved. I nodded and smiled as everyone talked about how awesome the church was, how it was blowing up all over Seattle and Pastor Mark was awesome… Can I just tell you honestly that that kind of talk turns me off from churches? When I hear “huge” I think “watered down message and lack of truth.” When I hear “awesome” I think “neon lights and rock bands playing music I’ve never heard.” Basically, not my idea of a lovely Sunday morning–and you can bet your bottom dollar that they probably meet at night too 🙂 I sound like one of those old people at church who get mad if you sit on their pew don’t I? I like tradition. It comforts me, call me a prude if you need to, but I like to hold a hymnal. I completely understand that God doesn’t say (or care!) what time we go to church, or what we wear, or how we sing praises to Him, so long as we do it. I just had some little preferences tucked away and wasn’t sure I would like Mars Hill.
I was wrong.
We went with Azurae and Danny 1) at night 2) there were flashing lights and a rock band 3) people were wearing everything under the sun…but it didn’t matter one bit. Because we got to be wrapped up in a crowd of people who love God. You could feel it as we sang the songs I didn’t know. You could hear it in the Truth that poured from Pastor Mark. You could know it by the way God spoke to my heart. After feeling bombarded by the sin all around, it felt like a spring of living water to hear Truth spoken plainly. Not “politically correct” words that were right but wouldn’t offend anybody, but TRUTH. How sweet the sound!
So, I made a friend. I found a church. I no longer feel like an unbalanced pregnant woman wondering who I could call if my arm got cut off and I needed somebody to drive me to the hospital…because those were the type of thoughts I was struggling with 🙂 Thank you Jesus!

18 Responses to “Azurae and Mars Hill”

  1. mitzi says:

    Wonderful on all accounts!!! I feel better you have not only a friend but a church home.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Praise Jesus.

  3. Anonymous says:

    God is good…All The Time!!!!

  4. Whitney says:

    I need a little bit more information about Azurae's lunch…..

  5. The Rigoloso's says:

    that's so exciting, abby!

  6. jj says:

    I've listened to a lot of Mark's sermons on podcasts. He's great! And that's exactly how I feel about our church here in Birmingham. So happy that you've found community so soon. Love reading!

  7. Ashleigh says:

    Awww. Sooo happy for you 🙂

  8. Stephanie says:

    I am incredibly happy about this post!!!! I'm so glad you're hanging out with Azurae – I'm insanely jealous but so happy for you. She is amazing, isn't she?
    And I'm thinking she led you to the Palace Kitchen for dinner, right? James and I went there, per her recommendation, and we loved that place. Azurae knew everyone in there- which is pretty typical. Has she taken you to this sweet little restaurant in her area of the neighborhood? It's on the corner of a block – I can't remember the name of it….but Azurae will know what I'm talking about. It's so lovely! I think you'd like it, too.
    Glad to hear y'all are doing well! We miss you all in Birmingham – the neighborhood is not the same without you!

  9. melissa richie says:

    yay! love that you met azurae and juniper! i was thinking about her last week and i wondered if anyone had put you in contact with her. such, such good news.

    i'm glad things are looking up. give those girls (your chicken wings AND azurae and juniper) big hugs for me!

    we missed you last night. it wasn't the same without you.

  10. Hank and Anna Uzzell says:

    I'm so jealous that you get to go to Mars Hill! We think Mark D and that church is awesome (at least from the podcasts that we listen to) Go back and listen to his Song of Solomon series… amazing!

  11. Wanting What I Have says:

    Oh yea!!! I am so glad you have such a precious new friend AND that you like Mars Hill!!! One day we want to visit, just to shake Pastor Mark's hand! He's had such a Godly influence in our marriage. He encourages me not to be afraid to speak the truth.

  12. Gail says:

    God is good! Church, and a new friend! Keep going and looking up while you do so…Thank you, Sweet, Sweet, Jesus!!!!

  13. Konie says:

    Abby, each of your blogs make me laugh and smile….just what the doctor ordered!!! :)) Thank you:))

  14. Kendall Boggs says:

    I'm so happy for you Abbs!!! and I'm like Whitney! I need more info on that lunch. What was that anyway????

  15. Katie says:

    Good news. Great friends and great worship….can't get any better than that! Oh happy day!

  16. Jennifer Key says:

    How fun to find these sweet friends away from home. I really enjoy reading about your adventures with your beautiful girls.
    What an awesome church to find!

  17. Mama Ohs says:

    Hi Abby! Don't know if you remember me or not. I am Danny's wife (Glenda's son, Dan). We live in Moses Lake, WA which is only 3 hours east of Seattle. We would love to meet up with you guys sometime when we are on the west side! As far as Mars Hill, one of my dearest friends is married to one of their music pastors. Her name is Shelly Jennings. Her husbands name is Bubba! 🙂 She is a sweetheart and I know she would be a friendly face to talk with. I am not sure which church they are part of, but I will find out. Which one are you guys going too? Hope you are doing well. Please tell Jeremiah hello from us! Take Care, Kyla Ohs

  18. Anonymous says:

    Abby, help is on the way. Alana is moving to Washington in a month! She will be on Whidbey Island! The two of you can discover Wa together and she can help some with the girls!

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