The Other Stuff

As I’m KonMari-ing my house (organizing all the things), I feel pretty good about it.  I’m now down to a box and a steamer trunk to catalog.  It feels great.

But then I woke up this morning with a sense of dread in my stomach.  Did I throw out too much?  I couldn’t think of anything that I trashed that was of great value to me.  Perhaps this is part of the purging effect: There’s a decent size hole in my stomach.  Now that everything in my house is in running order, perhaps I’m next.  I don’t think my brain has caught up to my KonMari-ed possessions.

I went to church this morning, and on top of the empty feeling inside I’m having a horrible
“Awkward Introvert Day” – which happens occasionally to me.  There was a scripture spoken today that hit me right between the eyes:

So therefore, none of you can become my disciple if you do not give up all your possessions.  (Luke 14:33)

Whoa.  Today’s sermon spoke of the preceding verses of taking stock of your life before before following Christ because it is such an investment, a promise you don’t want to go back on.  The Lord charges us to be good stewards of what we have as well.  The tidying marathon has spiritual implications I hadn’t considered.

I should also add that there are some other things in play right now: I applied for a job, a career change to be more specific, and it’s been a month since my interview with crickets for an answer.  HR assures me the position is still open and has not been filled, as they’re still deliberating (there were many applicants), but I am growing restless for an answer.

On top of that, I decided last spring I wanted to pursue a technical writing certificate.  This was in part to a career change, but even with the possibility of a new career on the horizon, I’ve decided to still pursue it.  It’s an online course through a well known university system, I can swing the tuition, and I could use a challenge in direction with writing – not to mention, it’s a great resume builder, regardless of what career I choose.

I also was asked to be on a leadership committee at church, which I accepted, and now have some behind the scenes planning to do.

And then I decided to KonMari my house!

Perhaps what I’m feeling is just a sense of upheaval.  While I embrace change (I do love adventure!), sometimes too much at once can cause this INFJ to spiral.  I love my quiet time, and this season of life, I believe that will be in short supply.

Despite all the befuddlement, this is where I need to be.  The past few years I’ve been drifting with the wind and currents: now I can feel my sails unfurling.

Here’s to discovering new lands.

 

Four Nine

The date echoed in my head.  9 April.  It was like recalling a dream from months ago: I knew it had significance, but I did not know why.

And then I remembered. It was his birthday.

He was my first real boyfriend, my college sweetheart.  We dated for a solid year and half before things began to warp like an old record.  We started out starry-eyed and in love; he was the ying to my yang as we shared so many adventures together.  After that first beautiful year and a half, we had several intermissions and reboots of our relationship, all of them foiled – mostly because there was always another girl or he was too selfish to care.  The emotional abuse he inflected on me should not have been tolerated.  We were not compatible, no matter how much my heart told me we were.

It’s been over a decade since  we ended it all.  A year after our last attempt at being a couple, we met in a dusty midwestern bar at my request – the kind only washed up locals go to – and aired all our grievances, caught up on each other’s lives, and reminisced about those good old days.  Not only was it cathartic, but I also got to spend a few hours with the same guy I had fallen head over heels for so many years ago.  I knew that persona was temporary, however.  We ended on a good note as we hugged in the parking lot long after last call was announced.   While it felt good in the moment and as now looking back, the days and weeks that followed that meeting left my scarred heart bleeding and infected.  The ebb and flow of time have softened that scar.  I told him never to contact me again before we parted.  Here I am, nearly 15 years later and he still has kept that promise and I am grateful for that.

I found myself thinking about him randomly, on his 34th birthday.  I know so little about his life now, but I choose to keep it that way.  It meant taking people off of my social media feeds that were still strongly connected to him, despite the fact he lives over 1,000 miles away.  This cold hearted sniveling super rat (as Holly Golightly would say) is a husband and father now.  His wife is a nurse, blonde, and has one of those smiles that lights up a room; I saw a picture of her once.  I don’t know what he does for work, but I’m going to assume it is in the same vein of his college major.  Despite the healing and the time that has passed, I have no desire to reconnect with him or view his online profiles or to know details about his life.

With all these thoughts swirling in my head, I found myself praying for him.  Last I knew, he was not a Christian.  His priority had always been himself.  Maybe it’s different now with a family; maybe it’s not.  I lifted him up in prayer in honor of his birthday, that the Light of Christ may shine into his life.  That he may turn to God in those moments of both triumph and disaster and for a truly spiritual Christian to reflect the love of the Father to him and his family.

Perhaps we’ll meet again in Heaven, both of us washed clean in robes of white.  That would phenomenal .

So here’s to him on his birthday: may this 34th trip around the sun be beautiful and covered in the glory of the Lord.

 

 

Writing Challenge Day 14: Your life in 7 years

It will be 2023.

I’ll turn 42 that year – the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything – according to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

I have no freaking clue of where I’ll be emotionally/physically/spiritually/metaphysically this summer, let alone 7 years from now.

Sure, I have hopes and dreams, but those should  (in the human sense) have taken place at 32, not 42.  My husband will be in his fifties.  I know the Lord disregards age, but I do not even have a hint of what is to come in that time.  If anything.

There’s a chance of us moving – or putting our current house on the market at least – but nothing has been decided.  I love my little corner of the world here by the ocean, but I don’t know if that move involves a smaller house in our beach community or another cross country move, or if I’m repeating the past, a move further south.  As of the moment, there is no for sale sign and no plans.

So many variables, so little time.

I used to have a plan, but I don’t live like that anymore.  So much of it is up to the Lord, His guidance, and what will ultimately become of my job.  Rumor has it we’re merging with another company.  I’m not sure how I feel about all that.  But even so, the details haven’t been worked out yet.

I think that’s the problem with growing older when you don’t kids; the world is your oyster and you’re not planning life around little people who need you for everything.  I watch my peers from the past – all of them have kids – and they are in such different places than I.  In many ways, they are older and more adult than I am.  I’m just an overgrown college student without classes compared to them.

So here’s to tomorrow, this summer, this fall, this coming winter – what events will shape me in the year of 2016?  That is the bigger question.

Christmas Eve: A Silent Night

The clock struck 12 and I was still frosting cookies this Christmas Eve.  I made a huge amount of cookies for the Christmas banquet at one of the homeless shelters here in town.  My only regret is that I ran out of the good made-from-scratch frosting and ended up using some old store bought frosting I had in the pantry.  It didn’t taste nearly as good as what I made from scratch.

My husband was asleep upstairs, so I had myself a silent night, which is unusual for me when I’m in the kitchen.  The first few verses of the song silent night were running through my head, left over from the service at church tonight.  In reality, the gentle hum of the refrigerator and the purr of the fish tank pump were the melody in this silent symphony playing.

John Acuff once tweeted that we get to an age where we stop asking “What’s next?” and start asking “What is now?”  I’m there.  I’ve been there for awhile, despite still clinging onto the next thing.

I was hoping the next thing would be the exact opposite of silent.  And yet, here I am, on Christmas Eve, with a house so silent, that it would sound the same if no one was home.

And so far, the silence continues.  Perhaps for the rest of my born days.  Perhaps this is just an interlude before the volume is turned way up.  I can only guess; the Lord is taking care of that part.  And while I have no idea what is in His will for me, I continue to trust, though blindly stumbling into the future.

And rather quickly, I might add.