Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Life, more and less

Our friend Lindsey leaves for the Philippines today. We met her at Pre-Field Orientation (PFO) in June. We're praying that she's the same blessing as an elementary teacher as she's been to me already.

On our end, we continue to pare down (5 bags and a skateboard, picked up by the Big Blue Truck today), sell (Craigslist), and give away (Freecycle) our possessions. It's messy work.

Here's a before and after of painting the upcoming bathroom. Friends, kids, and W continue to sand drywall in hopes of painting the basement this weekend. W hopes to put up cabinets soon so I can shift things from our kitchen. The next householders need the space!

In process:
our bath-to-be

What a difference
white paint makes!
Timothy, Melissa, and Kinsey (2) move in this week with the rest of their stuff. A bunch is here: I'm typing and grading Singapore papers on their kitchen table. Their boxes are crammed under the pool table (in our former dining room), sit atop the hutch in the family room, and fill K's future bedroom. The guest room is getting emptier: we moved its futon to the LR; and their bed goes in tonight.

Almost healed: one of the
bruises from having the
futon crash on me last week
I'm almost at a stand-still mentally. Visual as I am, I break into a cold sweat with the clutter of W's 3'X3' book scanner on the window-seat, our Le Corbusier chaise halfway under T's wrought-iron-base table, and my suffering houseplants ... and that's just the kitchen nook, never mind the rest of the house.

Lord have mercy. Thanks for prayers and smiles, hugs, and other comfort from those of you who say, "We've been there. We know. It's not forever." Love ya!

In the middle of this process, I've had a lot of time to reflect on God's character and His priorities:
Just big enough: a little
fridge @$75 from CL
  • How God sees us. Each of us is valued and beloved by him. Those unlike us are JUST AS PRECIOUS to Him as we are. He wants a relationship with every one of us, drawing us close through the cross and the power of His resurrection.
  • How each person is made. Parts of us reflect God's nature, beauty, and goodness. Other parts need renewal and refinement by God's grace ... day by day, month by month, year by year.
  • How we interact with others. Some of us fear closeness and proximity. Some welcome it. Still others don't care one way or another: they easily flow in and out relationships.
  • How we perceive and process the world. I'm mostly visual so what I see impacts my inner life. As a musician, I process life by walking over to play piano in the LR corner. I'm missing my well-tuned, beautifully-maintained Bosendorfer already.
    Mama-mia! What a mess.
  • How we process change and transition. W and I are moving ahead differently. With a full-time job, he teaches during the day. He is occupied with the build-out in the evening, racking up concrete accomplishments at both places. My full-time job - including lots of breaks - includes ordering my surroundings. My biggest accomplishment seems to be learning patience, waiting for others to finish so I can move forward with tasks.
  • Routines are important. Our kids came over for lunch Sunday. The normal felt good, pulling out pots, plates, and food, cooking, and eating together. When life is in turmoil, it helps to sit back, relax, and enjoy the familiar.
  • God's ways are wonderful, complex, and never quite expected. Reading scripture and praying for others keeps my mind on Him. I'm really happy and anticipating the future, most of the time. (Yeah, I write to process the rest. Writing and making music keeps me semi-sane.)

Read more:
*Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth. Psalm 124:8 NLT

*You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts
in you. Isaiah 26:3 NLT

*Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” NLT

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:17-2 ESV

*At the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth. Philippians 2:10 NLT

Moravian Prayer: Father, help us, protect us, and comfort us. As we walk through your world serving your will we know that you are there with us. Thank you for always being by our side. We are humbled by your mighty word. Amen.


  1. progress can only be made by getting through the messy stages of construction...you will make it and still be sane ;-)
    loved the photos as usual and the things you've learned about God list...especially how He loves each one of us and we are to love each other, even if we agree or disagree or believe in Him or meet with people who don't...we need to show them His love and then when they ask, tell them of His great love and care for us. I am proud of you two for this giant step and the chaos which you are bravely climbing through. You will have to depend on Him and prayer more than on the piano playing and the calm visual arrangements around you.
    Praying for and thinking about you every day.
    Leslie G

  2. So true - our confidence and security is in God ... and He is our peace. Thanks for those encouragements.