I love aquatic creatures! Alona and I back in 2012 acquired a pet turtle that we named Earl. Earl is a very entertaining little guy. He used to swim up to the glass walls of his tank and keep swimming with his head pushing up against the glass as though he was going somewhere. I would think he was stupid. Where did he think he was going? It would also make me laugh when he would get startled. For example, if I walked by the tank he would jump off his dock and into the water. “Earl, I’m not going to eat you. I promise!”
My sister and I had often said that we thought he needed a wife. So, while I was in Washington Alona bought Pearl. Pearl and Earl are the cutest little married couple. Earl loves the heat lamp and sits on the dock so that he can be under it. He is a heat lamp hog and his poor little wife never gets a turn. However, she is resourceful. She just climbs up on top of Earl and sits on his back to “sun bathe”.
We have always considered Earl to be more my turtle than Alona’s mainly because I had always wanted one. When Alona came home with him we decided he was both of ours but really, he’s mine. When Alona bought Pearl, it was clear that we each had our own. With me moving back into my parents house I realized that I don’t get to keep Earl. (I wouldn’t want to separate him from his wife anyways.) My mom does not like the turtles, so its not an option for me to keep him. Fortunately, I do get visitation rights. I joke that with this separation I get shared custody with the turtles.
It’s the little things that are getting to me. I guess the big things I expected but as things like the turtles come up I realize that I was not prepared for those changes. Yes, I knew moving back that it was short term. Then as we move forward with the wedding and the move things that I didn’t think of happen. They are small losses. But a loss is a loss and it causes your heart to some measure grief. I get a little sad when I think about no longer lounging on the couch and watching Earl butt his head against the glass. Other things about these changes makes me sad too like no longer having spontaneous sister movie nights where I insist on putting my feet across Alona’s lap (I tell her it’s out of affection but she doesn’t buy it). Its not like these things will never take place again, its just going to be different. I am trying to prepare my heart for my “new normal” that hasn’t happened yet. Part of preparing my heart for this is bringing the things that weigh on my heart to the Lord. I am encouraged as I remember that he sees me and knows my heart. He is with me in this season as well!
As I am preparing to move out of my place that I have shared with my sister for the last seven years (minus the year I spent in Washington), it feels like her and I are getting a divorce. Our relationship is one of deep closeness and shared experiences, starting from the day we were born (actually, starting from before we born)! We shared the womb together. She and I probably kicked each other while we were in there. Having a twin is like having a built-in-buddy. You experience all the “firsts” together, first day of school, learning to drive, graduation and many more. Now, my built-in-buddy is getting a hubby!
There is something very important that her soon to be husband needs to know. Sister Day!! This is a very important day that takes place more than once in a year’s time. When we were kids we often would decide that it was “Sister Day” and not let our brother play with us. Naturally he couldn’t, he is a brother and it was sister day! He would tell mom that we wouldn’t let him play with us. In our defense, we would tell mom that he can’t because it’s Sister Day. So, even though she will be married Sister Day must still be observed. I’m thinking 300 days out of the year should be set aside just for that.
My built-in-buddy and I will always be sisters but there is a change in our relationship that is taking place. She is getting a new buddy called a hubby. They will get to share the rest of their lives and experience many “first” together. I do not like the way these changes feel. It feels like my life is ending. I know that is not true. I did not realize how hard her getting married was going to be on me. Our relationship looks different these days as someone else has taken a very special roll in her life. I’m happy for her but at the same time it is hard. I love her!
My word for this season is “adjusting”. I constantly have to adjust to the many changes that are taking place but that’s so true in many areas of life. I have faith that God sees me and knows where I am at. The way my life looks today is not how it will always look. There is a plan! This is just part of it.
One learns a lot about sacrifice when they have children. I do not have children of my own but I was a live-in-nanny in Washington for over a year. I should have started blogging during that time. The two little girls that I cared for gave me plenty of material! Things like pink tooth paste on the toilet seat and drawings on my car windows when it was foggy were normal parts of my life. Or being stalked! I would take a shower and as soon as I turned off the water, they would knock on the door assuming that I was ready for them. “Wait! Let me actually get out of the shower and put on my robe!!” Space was something I came to value (if I didn’t before, I definitely do now!). When you give up your life for someone else, that is a sacrifice. As a nanny, living in their home, my schedule worked around theirs. It was a sacrifice. It came with joy and sorrow. Sometimes the sacrifices we make in life are painful but in this case I made sacrifices out of love for those girls.
The hard sacrifice came when I decided to move back to Nevada. My dad was going through more cancer treatment than was expected. My twin sister was losing platelets rapidly and the doctors couldn’t figure out way. On top of that my sister got engaged! That was a bright spot in all of this. I could not be away any longer. It was extremely hard to be away and be able to fully be a support to them. I loved my life in Washington, my job, the girls, and of course the trees, waterfalls, and the seemingly endless places to hike. But my family needed me home.
The health of my family has improved some since I have been back these last 5 months. However, dad now needs to have rotator cuff surgery. This will take place the week after my sister’s wedding! Aside from that, right now life is all about the wedding. As my sister counts down the days to her wedding, I count down the days to the end of my life or at least that is how it feels. I get to move again when she gets married. When I moved back, I moved in with her. However, when she gets married her husband moves in. Heaven knows that I don’t want to live with the two of them! So, she gets the house and the husband and I’m moving in with mom and dad. The universe doesn’t make sense! This seems to be a season of constant transitions that I am struggling to keep up with.
Sacrifice can be very hard. Moving back to Nevada was hard. Preparing to move in with my parents feels even harder. I made these sacrifices because it what was right not because it was easy. I have grief over these transitions but not regret. They are producing growth in my life. As things change around me, I’m changing too. I’m growing into more of the “Alina” that God wants me to be. That is my prayer!
My name is Alina Bjerre. I was encouraged by many of friends when I lived in Washington and now that I’m back in Nevada to start blogging. So, here it goes.
Wonder Woman and I have a lot in common. We both “believe in love”, we are strong, Amazon women (clearly! Have you seen me?), and we both have great legs (I’m a runner). Aside from my blonde hair, we are practically twins. Another thing that I find relatable to Wonder Woman is how she fights for those who can’t fight for themselves. She and I just want to save the world!! Finally, Wonder Woman and I are single.
At this point in my life, I thought I would be married with kids. What gives? How did life not go how I planned? However, not being one to sit around and do nothing and being a very driven, goal setting personality, I pursued my passions! It’s been almost 7 years since my very serious boyfriend and I broke up. That was a devastating experience. When my heart healed I wondered what was there for me in life. I felt stuck. My mind kept entertaining an idea that I had long held in my heart but never acted on. That was to go to Bible School! At first, I thought about just auditing classes but I like goals. So, that was not going to be sufficient for me. I wanted to work towards something. I already had an AA in Early Childhood Education and was sure that a lot of those credits would transfer. So, I applied! During this time in my life, something that I often prayed that God would make me into the godly woman that he wanted me to be. As I prepared to go to Multmomah University to pursue a degree in Bible and Theology, I prayed that I would grow more into the kind of woman that God wanted me to be. I did not know at the time how much personal growth would take place and the many adventures that would come along the way as well.
Now that I am graduated I can look back at all the opportunities that going to school allowed me to have and how all of these experiences have been so forming in my life. I grew into a more of a Wonder Woman type other than a Disney Princess type. Between going to school, moving out of state to finish school while being a live-in-nanny, and befriending a homeless woman; which brings me to now, where I’m trying to sort out my life while my twin sister is preparing to get married. So, here I am, a single adult trying to be so many things for those I love. This is much like when Wonder Woman is trying so hard to save everyone that she can’t hear Steve Trevor. I need to continue to ask God to make me into the godly woman that he wants me to be. I have seen God’s faithfulness in my life. He is my good provider and my source of joy. Right now I need to be still and listen while I wait on him.