Quoting a quote. Recording a thought.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

from Anne Lamott-

My priest friend Tom Weston says that God's will for each of us is to have a
life. "And it is up to us to go and get one. Find some work, some love, some
play. Taste things. Be of service. Feed the hungry and clean the beaches and
clothe the naked and work for justice. Love God, love your neighbor. Help build
a world where it is safe to be a child, and where it is safe to grow old. And
love cats, and the occasional dog." I think this pretty much says it.
I periodically return to this pondering-- the living of an "ordinary" Christian life instead of a high-rollin' Full Time Ministry lifestyle. It is a beautiful thing to us-- though still uneasy at times-- to put ourselves at His feet with the rest of humanity, without the special status and influence that comes from being a vital part of a church (as volunteers or staff).

One of ye olde pastors wrote my husband recently, asking for his take on our Orlando experience and whether there were hard feelings. It gave us a few weeks of intermittent pondering, prayer, and struggle. (Truthfully, the struggle was mostly my husband's-- as Wife, I was an am essentially a nonentity to these men; my opinion has never been a matter of interest.) What do you say, when the four years there were four years of conflict, drama, power plays, strife, and galling unlove? He implied that we should feel warm and fuzzy and peaceful and want to go on fishing trips with him, and that he sensed that maybe that wasn't true, and that troubled him.

Bizarre. We spent years trying to share our concerns, our needs, our panic, with our leaders. He acts like it's all a mystery to him. I'm all for forgiving everyone involved, and will continue to do that (it is a process, I admit). But no fishing trips or warm fuzzies are going to be forthcoming to assauge anyone's sense of guilt. Simply put, your church, under your leadership, was a nightmare for us.

My husband wrote a beautiful, measured response last night and sent it, and I hope (but doubt) it closes the discussion. Quoting it here would certainly get me into trouble, so I won't. But I am tremendously proud of him for the way that he said those things.

And tremendously glad that we're saying them from here, rather than being embroiled in the drama there.

too long it's been, young jedi.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Yeah, yeah, I know. It has been a long time...

It's midnight, I drank coffee at 8 pm, and it looks like I'm in for some insomnia as a result.

Good time for some catchin' up, I suppose.

New Old House:
We love living alone again. The house is not as expensive to heat as we'd feared (ie as my father had direly predicted). It's an enormous project, overwhelming at times, but we love it. The yard is full of flowers and lilac bushes and an enormous arching dogwood (blooming now) that takes my breath away every time I see it. We have a small problem with the refinishing job on the wood floors, one I need to schedule a visit about this week. Oh, and our renter's insurance was mysteriously cancelled by State Farm last week. But that should be easily fixed or replaced.

Someday, I'll write about what I learned last week about its original builders-- a childless couple who owned a hardware store on the square. But I want to save that to be written well, as it deserves.

She is amazing. Talking a little, running around like a banshee, full of fun and mischief and will. Her favorite things are watching the Sesame Street Old School DVD episodes, taking baths, eating just about anything, and most especially running around outside and getting dirty. I am a little toddler-tired, and beginning the season of Weathering Tantrums Without Giving In, but so thankful and blessed every day that I get to spend my life with her. She is a wonder.

Orlando Houses:
Hooboy, not good. Our downtown home is still for sale. We thought we had a workable offer last week, but the offerers had misunderstood or misrepresented their financing qualifications. Our financial belt is tight, and getting tighter. Our tenants seem unable to buy the other house, and will be leaving at the end of their lease May 31. (They say they could have the money together by the end of June, but if they're wrong, that would ensure that we miss the best season for house-selling almost completely, and they're $40,000 short at this point. They've had a year to get their finances in order for this, and they haven't done it. I don't know what to do other than follow through with the deadlines we set, which means that they need to get ready to move out.) Which means their last rent payment comes in this week. Which instills a bit of panic in my breast, at the thought of having two houses for sale. We're sweating. But our best bet is to get that house ready and sell it early in the summer.

The downtown house is a big question mark right now. Why hasn't it sold? It's beautiful. We may drop our price again (we dropped it last month, which generated a lot of interest but no offers) and see if we can just get out of this. It's cost us so much money it makes me ill.

I hate feeling like we made a bad decision when we bought that house. It was a very good idea if we were going to stay in Orlando, which we believed we were at that point. But a year later, we'd decided to leave, and now, a year later than that, it's still up for sale. I worry that God's trying to teach us something, that we're not depending enough upon Him or displeasing Him and causing Him to not act on our behalf. Then I remind myself that that kind of secret blackballing is not the God I know, not the God that has been so good to me in my lifetime. I fret, I stew, I stay up too late at night worrying. Like this.

Enough said. Onward.

My attendance at a water aerobics class faded away with the move, and now that we're not residents at my parents' house, it would cost me $40/month to resume. Can't afford it. I'm trying to hoof Bird about in the stroller a few times a week, trying to do an exercise video occasionally, trying to eat well. Doing fine, I guess, but I feel less empowered about my health and shape these days. Oh, and we do all have health insurance again, which is good for one's peace of mind-- Husband in particular had been without for about two years. So, we survived that little gamble, thank God.

Just lovely, greying a bit about the muzzle and sleeping more as she gets older. Eight and a half years now-- easing toward old age. Peeing and sniffing all over her 1.8 acres with abandon whenever she's allowed outside. (Need to build a fence to better protect our two Outdoor Gals when our finances stabilize.)

...Assuming they do stabilize. (Back to money again.)

This is a long season of bated breath and trying to be assured of what's hoped for and unseen at this point.

He has always been faithful to us. I dislike the doubt that creeps into my heart over this. We truly have made the best decisions we knew how to make as we moved here.

So we wait, and try to feel out what our next move should be. Trying to be full of faith, not anxious, believing that whole Romans 8:28 thing.

It's getting harder as the weeks drag on, though.