September 21, 2010

so each LVC house has a name…most having something to do with workers of justice, or big thinkers/dreamers…movers & shakers of history. ours is “Mandela” after mister Nelson. it is owned by the church next door and used to be its parish…named “Bethlehem house.” so we’re just really confused over here. but it’s lovely. it’s old and cute and has been lived in but kept up really nicely. i love my house. i am very thankful for it.

so there are 4 bedrooms, 1 downstairs and 3 up. the boys share the room down, girls, up. molly and alayna have their own rooms and rachel and i share. it’s a great setup thus far. mike knocks on the walls every time he comes upstairs…i think he’s afraid of us. we also have a sketchy basement where mice live and flooding happens and couches sit on wooden pallets and laundry is done and bicycles are stored.

side view: (my room is the upstairs side window)

view from our front porch: (Albertsons parking lot. lovely, i know…we get some pretty great sunsets, though) 🙂 that sweet ride is my transport to/from work. the Farm van. you’re jealous…i know. molly and i carpool with the jesuit volunteers each day and larche provides the van. it’s a pretty sweet setup.

living/eating room: (and alayna playing the piano)

great great kitchen and cute cute molly making some hummus:

cute back yard complete with garden and a sweet tree for climbing (i know this from experience):

aaaaaaand mine and rachel’s room.

so that’s the tour of the mandela household.
more on washington, mount rainier, larche, simplicity/sustainability, and new-found biblical community soon and very soon. thanks for stepping into a piece of my new little world.

you should come for a visit. 🙂 ❤


awkwardly long vacation…

September 11, 2010

the church search:
i’ve been to 2 so far…1 could be promising, i haven’t given up in it…but i’d like to hear some scripture in a teaching…not an essay speech. 😦
I’ve never really had to church search…they’ve always kind of fallen in my lap in awesome ways. today i’ve been checking out the worldwideweb…AWKWARD!
the first website i went to said: “Where Jesus goes to church…” are you serious!? FINALLY I found the place!!! come on people…for real!? after that i found tv show churches and awkward podcasts that sounded more like a theatrical play and websites with pictures of church buildings that made me want to barf.

church! why is it so weird!? why can’t we just get together and worship and fellowship and serve and love? why do all of these other insignificant factors have to come into play and distract us from Him…

God…please help me to find biblical community.

being present in WA:
when all i’m thinking is that, i’m going to miss…
Graham’s college graduation
Darby Jean’s birth
New Maxwell baby birth (gender/name not known)
Thanksgiving with my family for the first time
Taylor’s first year of college
All of Caleb’s sporting events…
friends. family. a year of fellowship with those i know and love.

i keep thinking about my presence here. i think it would be really easy to keep good communication with everyone i know and love “back home” in all of my spare time. however, it would probably be at the cost of missing out on so much here for the next year.  not that i plan to lose touch with those in the east…but that i need to find balance…

God has me in Tacoma, WA from August 2010, until August 2011. I may never be here again in my life. this life may not extend to tomorrow even. but it’s easy for me to want to live in yesterday. because i know yesterday…we’re familiar, close, intimate, and comfortable. i am finding it challenging to balance yesterday and today. to find the worth and fleeting nature of the reality of this time and place and the opportunity and beauty therein. i don’t know that i will find a perfect balance. but i am thankful that i am aware of the danger of losing this next year to the nostalgia of what i have left behind. it will be there when i return…it will just look different. but that’s ok. this world is not my home. and even if it’s not there when i return…that’s ok too. everything’s going to be ok.

I look around and a lot of the times think to myself..“this isn’t home. where am i? what am i doing here? who are these people? where are my friends? this is an awkwardly long vacation…when do i get to go back?…” not in a depressed or negative way…just in a genuine confusion and disillusionment. however, it is a good reminder of how this world should be foreign to me…and is not and will never be permanent. as long as i am away from my Savior, i will not be home. i am a nomad.

i am learning about home. i am learning how to be present.

what i am learning from living in community:
my time is not my own.
my space is not my own.
my food is not my own.

i am not my own.

so i have lived alone in a 2-story, 2-bedroom cabin in the woods for the past 2 years. i have learned much “independence” and how to be alone. I think it NOT a coincidence that I have been reading blue like jazz upon my transition into Washington and LVC life.  particularly…the bit on community. it is rich with conviction…

don miller on living alone…
“when you live on your own for a long time, your personality changes because you go so much into yourself you lose the ability to be social, to understand what is and isn’t normal behavior. there is an entire world inside yourself, and if you let yourself, you can get so deep inside it you will forget your way to the surface. other people keep our souls alive, just like food and water does with our body.”

on living in community…
“if we are not willing to wake up in the morning and die to ourselves, perhaps we should ask ourselves whether or not we are really following Jesus.”
more to come on community…it is beautiful. ❤