Saturday, May 24, 2008

A cardboard house

The bookshelves are empty. The CD shelves are empty. The DVD shelf is empty. And many, many cardboard boxes are filled. There are even more boxes waiting to be filled. These boxes pretty much fill every empty space we have. It is driving Laura a little crazy since she likes to have everything put away. But she knows that her sanity in that area is a small sacrifice at this point.

Speaking of sacrifice, is it right to consider getting rid of most of our belongings as sacrifice? I would have thought that this kind of sacrifice would make me feel more spiritual. It doesn't really. Instead, it makes me feel more practical. We can't afford to store our stuff. We can only impose on our parents so much by stashing stuff at their places. (Thanks, moms and dads for letting us store stuff!) We can't take it with us and we can't leave it here.

It is kind of surprising when I look around and inventory the stuff we have accumulated. It breaks my heart to call it stuff. I like our "stuff." And yet, I am finding it surprisingly easy to get rid of so much of our "stuff." If you had asked me a year ago if I would be willing to give away, sell, or store our belongings I would have said 'no way'. Put away all of my CDs? Get out of here. Sell the TV? How would I live? Put away the pictures on the walls that I like to display? How dare you deny me my art!

Still, the practical thing is to strip down to the necessities right now. In a few weeks we will probably be sitting in camping chairs eating from a card table but it is going to be okay. As we strip away all of our "stuff" I am seeing how easy it will be to get by.

So is this process a sacrifice? Hardly. I would have said it would be a sacrifice at one time but now I see it as the way things have to be. And that is the lesson to be learned. As Laura and I have come across challenges we worry. Once we pass through them we think, "That wasn't so bad." And before we come upon new ones we know that we will get through them. We have started to look at things differently. We have started to adjust our way of thinking to match the plans God has set before us. Yeah, we get headaches, feel tired and frustrated. But ultimately, we adjust our way of thinking and feel confident that things will all work out.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Our new home

We received an email this week with pictures of the apartment we will be living in while in Germany. I have to confess that I had reconciled to living in a deep dark hole of an apartment in Kandern. I figured that if I prepared for the worst, I could be pleasantly surprised. And I was!
Here are a couple of pictures...

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

to the Bay Area and back...

This weekend, Adam and I had a whirlwind trip to Nor Cal. We drove up early Saturday morning. By early I mean we left the house at 6:30 am (and we slept through our alarm which was set for 4:40 am). We made it home in great time and had lunch with my family.
Next on the agenda was the Salinas-Lineback wedding which was absolutely beautiful and a great time. We celebrated with the newlyweds until late that evening.

Sunday morning we shared with the adult Bible study class at Fairway Park Baptist Church, my parent's church. We were blessed by the questions, prayer, and financial support that were offered. Adam was especially delighted to meet a couple that had been friends with his grandparents.
Our next stop was Lighthouse Bible Fellowship for morning service and then a meeting with the elder board where we were similarly encouraged by prayer and the promise of financial support.

It meant a great deal to us to experience the support of the churches we have been a part of. It was much deeper than just the financial support, it was also personal, emotional, and spiritual support that we desired and were blessed to receive in abundance.

It is a scary thing to decide to give up life as you know it, to pack away your belongings, move away from family and to say, "Ok Lord, we are willing to do this thing. Make it work!" This weekend, we saw that the Lord is making it work.

Although Adam and I arrived home Sunday night exhausted, with the promise of exhaustion all week, we were nonetheless revived.