The One Where Lori Tries to Cry

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My family & I are freshly back for 8 days in Fresno. It was quite the trip. We arrived Friday evening and were whisked away to an amazing, authentic Mexican restaurant where we made up for the lack of airline food. We had left at 7am (CST) so by 7pm (PST) we were faint with hunger. Well, okay, a mild exaggeration.

On Saturday there was a church picnic at a beautiful park. We had a chance to meet some new people, refresh some friendships, and eat fist sized strawberries. Well, okay, a very slight exaggeration. There were games planned by the lovely Alejandra who had devised games that kids and adults could play together. Pure genius, huh?

Most of the week was spent meeting with church people, looking at houses & one amazing apartment, and enjoying the California weather. Harold had interviews with 2 different property management companies. He is awaiting  a follow-up phone interview with the company who, coincidentally, owns the amazing apartment complex where we want to live. Well, okay, not coincidentally.

We got back to the ‘ville on Saturday evening and have been recovering ever since. Right before we left on our trip, a realtor in town had a couple who he wanted to show our house. That happened the day we left. Today we signed papers selling our house! It’s stunning how everything is falling into place so quickly. We will be out of our house on July 1st. Which is coming round the bend at a ridiculous rate of speed!

In the last several days I have felt at turns overwhelmed, overjoyed, exhausted and full of energy. Mostly I feel like a good cry would really help! (It’s a woman thing.) I’m sure I’ll get there soon.

Thanks to everyone for their prayers. We have felt them and needed them!

Creating Our Reality

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We are currently in Fresno doing some footwork in preparation for our move in July. The weather is wonderful, we’re having a blast visiting our new family at Bread of Life, and everything feels like it fits perfectly.

Yesterday morning as Ann was driving us to church I thought suddenly “This is where I live now!” Hopefully my current Life Church family understands what I mean. We have about 10 weeks until we officially move but our hearts are already here. I feel a renewed sense of purpose which is so refreshing.

At Life Church I am busy handing all the multitude of things I do over to other people, which is sad, as endings can be sometime.

The house is finished and in the process of being sold and may well be by the time we get back. We have a solid offer that we might take. Everything is winding down and packing up. Our 21 year season is mostly done and the new one begun.

I feel the most awkward sense of excitement and sadness. Thankfully God meets me every step of the journey. Looking back I see his grace and blessing and looking forward I see the same. He is the one constant in every phase of my life and words will never express my deep gratitude to him!

For today off we go to explore the new land of milk and honey He has given us, with songs of praise in our hearts.

The Calm in the Storm

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Our house is, as I mentioned yesterday on Facebook, ridiculously clean. It has stayed that way this week because of a Herculean effort on our part. I have always kept a casual house, not too messy, not too clean. Because we are getting ready to put it on the market, we now have to live like obsessively clean people.

Since last weekend there have been lots of discussions on staging, packing, painting, etc. The owner of the largest realty office in town came by yesterday to see the house. A friend of ours, Jeremy, had told him we were getting ready to put it on the market. Mr. Realtor was very impressed with what he saw. He is bringing a young couple to see our home today.

We were a young couple when we bought this house 21 years ago. It was the first house we bought which means this is the first house we have sold. It is more emotional than I expected. All the cleaning, rearranging, trying to figure out what a buyer would see, gets to me sometimes. Everything seems to be moving too fast almost. I mean our house isn’t even on the market and people want to look at it.

In the midst of this we are going to go to Fresno to scope out the land, looking at neighborhoods, jobs, etc. I have been thinking more about Peter, walking on the wet, sloshing waves, his eyes on Jesus keeping him calm and full of faith. Oh, and the part where he looks away and ker-splashes into the ocean as if someone had dumped Peter into a dunk tank. Of course Jesus rescues him.

So today I am avoiding the dunk tank, focusing on the only one who can keep me safe and dry, Jesus Christ, my calm in the storm

Cutting the Apron Strings

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It has been quite the week emotionally speaking. My husband and I are experiencing a disconnecting of ourselves from here. Our church is currently undergoing some major changes. People are stepping into different roles, the school is getting a major overhaul with training classes starting soon for the teachers and lots of other new things are happening.

I am trying to be happy seeing things come to pass that we have worked hard towards over the years. But I also feel like “Really? Now all this happens? Why not a couple of years ago so we could enjoy it all?” Of course all timing is in God’s plan and for his purposes. And I will acknowledge that some stuff couldn’t happen without our moving out.

The hard thing for Harold and I is that we aren’t in the middle of it all, like we have been for the last 20 years. Standing by the sidelines seems alienating, which in reality no one is doing that to us. We are still asked our thoughts on various things, we still are helping where we can, it is just that we can’t do the new stuff.

Harold and I have worked to “leave a deposit” as they say. We know that we are going through the necessary separation as we shift from one place to another. I feel like I’m getting spiritual stretch marks from this growing thing inside me that is Fresno. The labor pains are almost upon me but I know when I hit transition I’m gonna put up a bit of a fuss.

We are making preparations nearly constantly now. Our house to-do list is getting smaller. Today Harold fixed the laundry room door that always sticks. And, gulp, he painted over Evan’s growth marks on the door frame. He almost couldn’t do it and found himself surprised that he felt so emotional about it. I proposed ripping that part of the door frame off but that we vetoed. We took pictures instead. Which, in the end, is what we will do here right before we leave, take lots of pictures with our friends and family here so we can remind ourselves of how much they’ve grown.

And on an up note:

 

Running Around In Circles In My Mind

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REO Speedwagon certainly understood how I feel right now. So many things to do, to think about, to ponder, to decide. Right now there are to-do lists in several different categories which makes it a bit hard when trying to pick which one to tackle first. Today we are going to excavate Evan’s room which should be interesting. He is so much like his dad when it comes to keeping or tossing things. Me, I’m a pitch it kind of girl. I am sure there is some kind of happy medium but not in this family. Maybe we should have someone come over just to say “Are you sure you want to keep/toss that?”

We have 5 weeks to get the house ready to put on the market. Harold observed yesterday that in January it seemed like we had plenty of time yet now at the END OF MARCH (how did that happen?) it’s turning into a sprint! There are three bedrooms and 2 bathrooms to paint. Fortunately we will have help from our small group and my 11th/12th graders who offered, before I ever asked, to paint.

I feel like when we put that For Sale sign out front it will be a point of no return, a “this is it moment” in time. In a few weeks we will fly to Fresno to look for jobs, a place to live, and to get Evan signed up for insurance and a job. I have never been someone who can wait patiently, it’s just not in my DNA. When we return home it is quite certain that I will want to move immediately.

Several years ago a preacher named Kevin Leal spoke to our church about how transition feels like water being poured from one glass to another and you’re in the middle, free-falling. He was so right! I feel pushed in all directions, surrounded by things that must be done. I am grateful to God that I don’t feel horribly stressed just every day stressed.

Friday night I went to a Republican fundraiser, something I’ve never done before. My political history is Democrat>Republican> Independent. (I’d be nothing if they’d let me.) My best friend Patty invited me, so I went to hang out with her and a couple of other friends. So I got to find out who is running for what and why. I also got to see a real auction which was a blast and made me want to have one just because of the excitement.There are not many social invitations that I’m turning down. Soon it will be time for good-bye’s.

I will admit to being in a lot of Fibro pain so prayers are appreciated for that. In fact, I am home from church today which I do not like. So I dream and hope for a time when my pain will lessen or vanish for good.

Here’s the song that gave me today’s title. It’s also a song that Harold & I consider one of our songs.

7 Things I Won’t Miss and 6 I Will

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I won’t miss:

1. Driving painfully slow behind some kind of large farm equipment.

2. Watching local news story about reporter driving large farm equipment for the first time. (It was on last night’s news) 

3. Winter although this winter has pretty much been a piece of cake. 

4. Ice skating on sidewalks.

5. Only having 3 grocery stores to choose from. There were 5 when we moved here 20 years ago. 

6. Lack of dining options, especially when it comes to ethnic foods.

7. Dodging deer on the road.

Things I’ll Miss

1. The lack of traffic at rush hour or any hour really. Except during fair week.

2. Experiencing the true four seasons in a year. As much as I have hated the cold and the humidity, the change of seasons have always been amazing.

3. Catching up with friends at Wal-Mart. There’s been lots of great impromptu conversations in those aisles.

4. The bunny family that has lived under our deck for the last dozen years or so. It’s always so much fun to see the new batch of babies as they learn how to fend in their bunny world.

5. Having the UPS guy ask if I want the package he has for me dropped off at home or work. 

6. Discounted medical care from my many doctor friends who have made being uninsured much more manageable.

 

 

Fixer Upper

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Starting today we are in full swing getting the house ready to put on the market. We’ve gotten estimates and the workmen are at the house. Our first news of the day was that it will take $200 to fix the ice maker on the fridge, the fridge we will leave behind. The good news is that it is going to be in the fifties today so hooray for global warming. Our good friend Derek will start on replacing the eaves this afternoon, a miracle in February for sure!

All of this inspection and repair got me thinking this morning about my spirit. I realize that I need to take the light of the Word and look around. Are there cracks in my foundation? Do I have any old boxes in my head that have bad ideas in them that I need to get rid of? (I certainly know there are cobwebs up there!) I am sure my outlook could use a washing down.

Moving to a new place is a spiritual as well as a physical process, even if you are just moving around town. There are decision to be made, new people to meet, different routes to work or school which require a change in routine. It can certainly be overwhelming and stressful if we let it. So while I am inspecting my main focus will not be the details of the move, but the details of God and his peace.

Now if you will excuse me I have some work to do!