Countdown: 1 Day!

It’s here! August flew by so fast, and my time in Indianapolis has come to a close. By tomorrow night, I will be back in the DC area to stay (for a while, at least). It’s been a good run here in the midwest, but my east coast roots are calling. I am excited to be back in the land of natural hills and humidity, and also for the new adventure of nannying and then hopefully heading back overseas sometime in the not-too-distant future!

Whatever happens, I’ll be ready, with the help of Jesus.

 

In the words of my friend the emperor:

Huge waterfall? Yep. Sharp rocks at the bottom? Most likely.

Bring it on. (Can you name that movie?)

Thankful Thursday: August 30th

It’s Thursday! I almost missed doing my weekly post for the second week in a row. Almost. Last week I was in Charleston on vacation, enjoying some R&R with no computer. It was a delight. Actually…that’s my first item on the list!

1. Vacation. One week at the beach with the fam, in a beautiful home, and in Charleston, no less. It’s only my favorite city in America. We got to visit the only tea plantation in North America (Charleston Tea Plantation, if you are interested). So fun, and beautiful!!

Charleston Tea Plantation!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Huddles Fro-yo. Last night was my Goodbye Indy party, and it was delightful. Not only was the fro-yo just as delicious as always (I got seconds, since it was my last time), getting to see so many dear people one last time made it that much sweeter. So blessed by these friends, and I will miss them!

3. Wedding festivities! Lauren and Jesse are getting married tomorrow, and I am so thankful and excited to get to serve them as their day-of coordinator. Let the fun begin!

Me and lovely Lauren!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. My parents. In the midst of wedding festivities, the moving chaos has continued, and today was load-the-truck day! My dad used his fabulous packing skills to load the truck better than any professional, and then they cleaned my entire apartment so I could go enjoy Lauren and Jesse’s rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. So thankful for them!

5. My apartment. I went by tonight on my way back to the hotel to say goodbye, and just spent some time thanking the Lord for His gift of that little home. I was remembering the first time I walked in the door in February 2010 it felt like Christmas. I could not believe that I got to live there! And it felt like Christmas every morning I woke up in that apartment. It has been a place of refuge, a haven, a place of community and joy and laughter, my first home-on-my-own, and I loved it. I am going to miss my patio, and the lake, and my neighbor, and my cave bedroom, and my kitchen, and everything else about it.

Moving Week

Moving week is always an adventure. The only place left to sit down in my entire apartment is my bed. And tomorrow morning, that will be taken apart as well, and we will be down to the floor. Good thing the moving van comes on Thursday. Almost everything is packed away in a box, with its clear label of where it is heading. More items keep appearing that need to go to Goodwill – trip #4 will happen tomorrow! I forgot to take my microwave on trip #3 today, necessitating the beginnings of a 4th trip pile. So far we have primed the office, living room, dining room and kitchen, saving only my bedroom for tomorrow. Every hole has been spackled, cabinets have been emptied, closets almost there. The final things left to pack are a mirror, and a couple pieces of artwork, which is good, since my only remaining boxes are mirror boxes. Anything left over is going to Goodwill, Gaby or the trash can outside.

Emptying out the fridge is always the trickiest part of moving. Meals end up being an interesting array of whatever is left, and then there are always those stragglers that you just don’t really know what to do with. Like blueberry ice cream topping, or a giant bottle of ketchup. It’s not like I am going to eat 20 hotdogs for dinner. I don’t even have buns! Or hot dogs, for that matter.

Sorting my life

In preparation for this upcoming move (countdown: 5 days), I have been doing a lot of sorting and purging. Downsizing from a 2 bedroom apartment to one room in the basement and a storage unit down the street causes one to re-evaluate absolutely everything you own. Will it fit in the bedroom? Is it worth paying every month to store? When was the last time I wore this shirt or these pants? Why do I own _______? Where did ________ even come from? How necessary is ______ for my survival? Will I regret getting rid of _______ in 2 months, 1 year, 5 years?

And so began the piles, which then moved to boxes, or to the back of my car for a trip down the road to Goodwill. There is the “home” pile, the “storage” pile, the “Goodwill” pile, the “sell on Craig’s List” pile, the “throw-it-away” pile and finally, the “I have no idea pile” (I have a feeling most of this last collection is going to end up with Gaby, my neighbor).

As a side note, let me just tell you that I have learned a lot about selling possessions on Craig’s List. Pictures are vital. Always list it for more than you actually want for it so you can haggle. Be honest about the condition it is in – don’t sugarcoat it, or under emphasize its qualities. Give a phone number for people to text you (so many more responses than just the email…the difference was astonishing). And don’t always settle for the person who will take it off your hands for a much lower price. Chances are, someone will come along who wants it and will take it for closer to what you are asking!

Anyway, I digress. Back to my myriad of deep questions on the nature of possessions and their longevity in my life. Some items are no brainers. My 100+ year old Japanese Tonsu that was a birth gift will always be in the “home” pile, as will my antique iron bed that I have had since I was 6. Since Alexandre Dumas is my favorite author, my 9-volume collected works of his will also not be going anywhere anytime soon. The hope chest, tea set, pictures, china, photo albums and scrapbooks, gifts and keepsakes – those are the things that I consider worth storing and keeping for the long haul, no matter where life takes me.

But then there are things that make me stop and wonder where exactly my brain was when I put it in a box and carted it out here in the first place, and other things that make me laugh out loud.

For example:

  • An entire accordion file folder full of paperwork, maps, brochures and notes from my college Freshman year orientation weekend. Um, that was 9 YEARS ago. Pretty sure I am never going to need any of that information again.
  • The plaster molds of my jaw/teeth from my massive jaw surgery in 2003 (also, 9 years ago, just in case you were wondering), and yes, those went straight into the trash can
  • Hundreds of cards/notes from friends and family sent throughout the past 26 years, most of which were just signed “love, so&so”. I do still keep most cards that have substance written in them, though…
  • An entire jewelry box of mis-matched earrings that have been lost or broken over the years
  • My old AWANA notebooks
  • All of my summer mission trip support raising data, including every envelope sent by my fabulous ministry partners…from 2002-present.

What I have learned through this process is that I am really good at saving things (AKA a pack-rat…a condition that runs rampant in my family – at least I come by it honestly), especially if they have the remotest possible sentimental value. And that means that I am terrible at getting rid of anything that might be useful someday or to someone or just because I like it. But, necessity is a fabulous motivator, and I am learning as I sort and purge how to un-tie my heart where needed and re-evaluate the priority I place on my possessions.

Scaling down is surprisingly quite freeing, causing me to feel more mobile and less encumbered without all of this random stuff that I don’t actually need to survive. Although, some items aren’t a need, rather just an added joy or a blessing in my life, and I will keep those because they do mean something special to me. So as the piles begin to dwindle, the questions continue, and the answers hopefully come more easily. Keep. Go. Throw. Store. Give. Sell. Sleep. Repeat.

Lasts

In the midst of my transitioning, packing, purging and getting ready to move, I have started paying attention to my “lasts” here in Indy. With only 7 days total left in the city I am trying to cram in a lot – seeing people one more time, visiting favorite restaurants and places, doing things on my bucket list (most of those are not getting done, however) and at the same time actually getting everything packed and ready to go. Some “lasts” I have been well aware of, and others have crept up on me. Well today, one of them lept up and smacked me right in the face.

On the way to church this morning I was thinking through my schedule the next few weeks, and came to the realization that with family vacation and then moving, today was my final Sunday at College Park Church. Strange, really, that I hadn’t made that realization earlier, but it made today’s service much more poignant and sweet.

I started attending CPC in August of 2010, in the midst of one of the most spiritually and emotionally difficult seasons of my life thus far. Over the past two years the Lord has used this community of Christ-followers to bring healing, hope, and His grace and love in abundance in my heart. There is much from this group that I am going to miss, including my small group and the fantastic preaching and worship. I have learned so much sitting under the teaching of Pastor Mark, and am thankful that modern technology will allow me to continue learning from him in the future as I leave Indianapolis.

Speaking of his teaching, we are currently doing an excellent series on the Mortification (or, Putting to Death) of Sin in our lives, and today’s sermon was one of the best I have heard on this subject in a long time. I encourage you to listen to it here. You can also read the transcript of it, which is another great option. It is both challenging and encouraging; convicting and hopeful. Enjoy.