Outside The Frame: Introductions

Hello all!

I’m SO glad that you are stopping by for our second installment of Outside the Frame!

Today is an easy day: an introduction!

Who are you and why are joining in with Outside the Frame?

I’m Suzanne and I’m co-hosting this here link-up! You can read more about the heart behind the link-up by clicking here.

Who am I?

I’m a lot of things. I could throw out a lot of cliché words and phrases. I’m a Christian. I’m a wife. I’m a Mom. I’m a foster Mom. But that doesn’t really tell you all that much about me. So instead I’ll give you a little drive-by into my life, hitting it up with the 11 biggest events of my life. I also want to note that I am first and foremost a believer in Christ. I accepted Christ when I was four and I honestly don’t remember it, so for me it was not a “big life conversion moment”. However, that does not make it any more real. Instead, I think it is woven into each of these 11 moments of my life, not an event in and of itself.

  1. Birth. I was born in 1991 in Scranton, PA. An interesting fact about my birth is that I am the only one in my immediate family who was born Stateside. Although we are all American citizens, both my parents and my brother were born overseas.

2. Tera, Niger. When I was just a few months old my parents returned to Niger where they served as missionaries. When I was a year old, they moved out to a remote village called Tera. We lived there until I was 16 years old. We had spotty electricity, spotty running water and I spoke the tribal language like a native (and could tie a skirt and a headscarf like one, too.). Basically, I was a native. To this day, if you ask me where home is, I’ll say ‘Tera’.

3. Furloughs. We spent four years in Africa, then travelled back to the States for a year. This pattern went on my entire childhood. Four years– one year– four years– one year. Yes, that meant moving a lot. That meant saying a lot of goodbyes. That meant making new friends every few years. That meant leaving one country, one culture and one group of friends and finding a new one, only to leave again a few months or years later. It also meant that all my friends overseas were doing the same- leaving and coming back.

4. Sahel Academy. Starting in 6th grade, I went to boarding school in Niger. It was only a few hours away from my parents and it was small and family oriented. I won’t claim that I loved every minute of it, but I did love it overall. I was able to go to school and be with my friends and be involved in the community. Sahel Academy, my teachers and my peers all throughout high school have had such a lasting impression on me. And this right here was my entire senior class. That’s right…all 10 of us!

5.  Cedarville. I left Niger and arrived at Cedarville the following fall. I went through a lot of culture shock, and a lot of difficult adjusting, but overall I enjoyed my time at Cedarville. I was an early education major, and my class load was heavy and often quite stressful (early ed majors actually don’t color all the time– although we did color sometimes!). I made a great group of friends and I got involved in several ministries. Looking back, I wish I had been more into my friendships and my ministries and care a little less about my grades, but you live and learn, right?

6. Theo. My freshman year at Cedarville I vowed I wouldn’t date. Until I met Theo. By April we were dating, by the summer of our sophomore year we were engaged, and the summer in between my junior and senior year, we were married. Theo is a catch, and I’m the luckiest woman in the world to have him. He is everything I ever dreamed of in a man, and so much more. Our marriage is not perfect, and neither one of us is perfect, but we are perfect for each other and we hope that together our lives bring more glory to God than they would if we were apart. This picture was taken before our first date when he officially asked me to be his girlfriend:

 

8. Wedding. We were married on May 26, 2012 in Saginaw, MI (Theo’s hometown). We got married outside on the soccer field and although our wedding was not lavish or expensive, it was PERFECT. The most beautiful day of my life.

9. College Graduation//The Real World. I finished up my final year of college and graduated out into the big, real world! Theo and I moved out of the our tiny basement apartment and into a real house with windows and a backyard! We LOVED “the real world”. It was like a breath of fresh air after going through him working full time and me student teaching. We traveled and we had fun, and I started work part time in the Kindergarten room of a local daycare.

10. Tera Evelynne. In November of 2013, we found out we were pregnant! We were so excited and I was incredibly blessed with an easy and beautiful pregnancy. On August 8, 2014 Tera Evelynne joined our family! She has completely changed our lives and we wouldn’t have it any other way! You can read her birth story here and the story behind her name here.

10. Little Miss. In the fall of 2013, Theo and I decided to take the leap of faith and begin the process to become foster parents. When we found out we were pregnant, we knew we wanted to continue with the process. Unfortunately, it took us a VERY long time to get licensed as foster parents, but in August of 2015 (a week after Tera’s first birthday), we received our license in the mail. Two weeks later, we got the phone call and “Little Miss” was in our home just a week later, at 3 weeks old. She has now been in our home for four months. She has taught me SO much about life, love, hardship, patience, sacrifice, and unconditional love. We would love to give her forever home, but we know that God knows the plans for her life, and we are going to trust in Him.

So that’s me!

What about you? Please write a little introduction post and link-up here! We would love it if you read through several other blog posts that are linked up and took the time to leave a comment. Let’s spread the love around! The next few months we will have bi-weekly blogging prompts and link-ups, and some of them require some vulnerability! Please feel free to get to know other ladies in this group so that you can be a force of encouragement and strength! We are challenging you to live life by focusing not only on the perfect little pictures on social media, but also by being willing to share life Outside the Frame!

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