Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Small Joys

I just remembered about a pair of shoes I bought right before we moved.

In a moment of perfect, random clarity, I remembered how much I liked them and where they were packed, and where that box was now. I ran upstairs, directly to the box they were in and pulled them out.

It was like Christmas morning.

Ah, brown leather, sturdy (but cute) soles, little clasps, comfy and cozy and perfect for fall.

It's the small joys, isn't it?

Deep Thoughts over Diet Coke & Macaroni

Diet Coke, Annie's Mac & Cheese, and broccoli is probably my favorite lunch. And as I munched today, I was pondering something that's been on my mind for a while now, something I've been thinking about over Diet Coke and Mac & Cheese.

From 1 Corinthians 9 But we did not use this right. On the contrary, we put up with anything rather than hinder the gospel of Christ. I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.

Do you know why I have been thinking about this? Because, not to sound rude, but I think we generally suck at this as the Church. I mean, some people get it right and I'm not trying to be mean or unhelpful. It's just lately, I've been personally dealing with this problem a lot, and seeing it a lot, and hearing sermons on it a lot, and all that. So I get it, that means I'm to be more convicted of it than any of you reading this.

This is a concept that is totally against our nature. It seems that the other "root of all evil" is comparison. Why would I want to associate with and work to better the people I compare myself to so that I feel better about MY life? Then how will I feel good about ME?!?!?!?!

What a crummy attitude, right? What a sad perspective. I don't need to feel good about myself, because the truth is, we all are broken, destitute and helpless. The truth is, the love and grace I have in my life was given to me, sacrificially, when I did not deserve it.

So... back to all things to all people. I think most of the time the only way we get this right is so that other people like us. We don't want people outside the church to label us as "those lame church people". We want to be the "cool kids", so we are like, "Sweet. All things to all people. I can do this and be awesome."

Fail. Because it's not about people liking me. It's about Jesus, isn't it?

And some times, we go the total opposite. Like, if we haven't pissed someone off lately, we haven't been doing our "duty" as Christians.

Fail. It isn't about making people feel agitated at us so that (again) we can feel good about ourselves fighting a war we made up. It's about Jesus, isn't it?

I know what you are all thinking. What will happen if we become permissible, Chrissy?! We have to take a stand. We cannot become tolerant, post-modern, inclusionists.

If that is your conviction, than trust the Holy Spirit to guide you to follow through with it in a way that is good. I'm sure it will happen. And it is obviously the nature of any religious body to have convictions and not not just be without any sort of... I don't know the word I am looking for... ideas maybe? And if you just want everyone to agree with you and not try to change you or challenge you, you probably don't want a church at all. Jesus was all about challenging our ideas and changing us. And besides, we don't even agree amongst ourselves, but we accept that.

For those of us who have become too lazy to want to be challenged with truly being all things to all people, we need to wake-up. Because whether or not we like it, the Gospel we have requires a lot more sacrifice than we'd like to give. For the rest of us who are just desperately trying to believe we are part of some elite, better-than-you-club, we need to suck it up. Because whether or not we like it, the Gospel we have is a lot more inclusionist than we'd like to admit.

It's not us vs. them. It's God reaching out to us.

That's my thought for today. It isn't complete. I will write more on this, and on one of the most beautiful, hopeful parts of the Christian faith (to me) later. But this is enough for now.
Ah, yes, the picture of me and Otis. What does this have to do with anything? Because I realized that Otis is better at this than I am. He is nice to everyone, he would never intentionally hurt anyone, and he is continually content and joyful. He will play with those who want to play, sleep with those who need rest, be gentle with timid children, be loyal to his less-than-deserving-owners, and put up with a lot of neglect and abuse before giving up on you and walking away. That's right. I just got beaten by my dog at being all things to all people.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

We laugh a lot around here.

Robert came home today, walked into the kitchen, and paused as he came upon this sight...
...and sort of snorted-laughed to himself.
"What?" I asked, looking confused.
"Um... I know I told you to use your Spanish to try to make some good money, but really Chrissy..." He responded.

That's right. There was a scale and a couple hundred dollars in cash, neither of which we had when he left for work today.

My explanation? The scale isn't mine, and the money is from my drugs.

Both of which are true, none of which are illegal, and all of which cracked us up. The scale was actually something I borrowed to make his (non-drugged) birthday cake, and the money was a refund from an Rx that our insurance screwed up.

We were laughing so hard. You can't make this up.
And really, this blog does not condone illegal or drug related activity.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

There's no place like home.

Let's face it guys: I know quite a few of my friends (and family) are thinking,
"Why / how can she be so happy to have moved back to...

It's okay, you aren't judging me (or I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt). It's a valid question. I realize that as someone who has traveled a lot, lived in a lot places, and has some strange (and some times liberal) views, it would seem odd that I'm happy to live here.

Let me tell you the things I am happy to have back. Also known as "Why you should become my neighbor, because I love you".

1. Our price of living here is awesome. We have a big house. We can afford it. It's in a decent area. And we still afford the cars, the boat, having fun, living our lives. We can afford to be generous. We can get a bigger, nicer house, too. And for all you who think you wouldn't trade your place for Indianapolis just for the cost of living... well...

2. There can be a lot to do here. You have to find it (don't you anywhere?). We have a great zoo, museums, shopping, movie theaters, art district, etc. We have a full symphony and the tickets are dirt cheap. I wish we had an ocean, but I wouldn't pay ocean prices, so it's okay.

3. We have the Colts and the Indy500. You know you want to love them both, and Colts blue looks good on everyone.

4. We have great farmer's markets, orchards, and grocery stores. But no one judges you here if you still shop at a normal store and don't buy everything at Whole Foods. Yes, we have Whole Foods. And great sushi places. And great steak houses. Oh, and arguably the world's best donuts.

5. We have really pretty parks. No, they are not as great as some other places. But we do have them, and they are nice, and close to where you live. If you are into it, there are also really nice places to go camping. Which I don't do, but I know lots of people who do.

6. People here are fairly... normal. I hate to break it to you, but my husband would be hated if we lived in a progressive, liberal, Eco-friendly community. People would probably shun him. If we lived in cookie cutter conservative town, everyone would hate me. That's not cool. Your convictions are yours and you can't put them on everyone else. But there are progressive people here. There are conservative people here. Most people are educated, and there is a lot of diversity, and a lot of co-existence. In TN, I stood out like crazy. It's not like that here. There are people like me, people different from me, and people who challenge me.

7. We have great state schools (Purdue, IU). We have great private schools (Ball State, Indiana Wesleyan, Taylor, Notre Dame). And, since our cost of living is low, we can one day send our hypothetical children to these schools, no problem.

8. There are great churches. We don't go to the same church as my sister and her family. We don't go to the same church as Robert's sister and her husband. We all go to different ones, but all of them are solid. All of them are committed to the community inside and OUTSIDE the church. There are good choices here, which is something I really appreciate after living in Nashville and in Wheaton. Not that there aren't good churches there. But I felt like there was an abundance of churches and so few I actually would go to or recommend to someone.

9. The weather - we have 4 seasons. Okay, I don't care about that, but a lot of people do. I love fall, spring and summer. I hate winter. But after growing up in WI, I'm here to tell you -- it's better here. We still get it, but it's not half the year.

10. The world's cutest children live here. Okay, I'm partial. I know they are my niece and nephew, but you can't tell me that I'd trade any of these items for them. I'm home, guys.

So my friends, I have it good. Really good. Right here in hometown Indiana. I realize it's not a trendy and cool as so many places. I realize it sounds boring. But trust me, around here, there's never a dull moment.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Victory, and other updates

We. are. moved.


Overall, this move went as smoothly as I think a move can go. There were no emergencies. No one died. We didn't, like, forget Otis. They came, they packed, they moved us. A big shout out to the Bekins' local branches in both Nashville and Indy for making this a great move.

We had so much help this move. When we moved to Nashville, it was just Robert (who has a major back injury) and me (who is... uh... a weak girl) who had to get everything done. The moving company (which was terrible) got us there, but everything else was up to us. And Robert started working, like, 60 hours a week his first day there. So by us, I mean me.

On the way back, we had a place to stay. No worrying about the air mattress or the bed, or a shower or towels. My in-laws took us and Otis in and we didn't have to worry about anything.

My parents came down and worked their rear ends off unpacking us. My dad installed a shelf, broke down boxes, helped Robert with the heavy stuff. My mom was my right hand in unpacking the kitchen, the closets, and finding solutions to problems.

My sister and brother-in-law, who live 5 minutes away from us, opened their home to us. They fed us for every. single. meal. I didn't have to buy food for almost a week after we moved. Who has time to cook when they are unpacking? And how much Wendy's should we really eat? If you know my sister, she has 2 kinds of cooking: gourmet meals, or going out to eat. So, we were so spoiled.

Our friends and family have made us feel so... back at home. It's a wonderful feeling. We are so grateful.

But don't worry, I didn't forget how to be little Miss Independent after a week of having more help than I could ask for. There was one shelf I was going to have my dad assemble, but I didn't find all the parts until the day they left.

So I did it, all by myself. Using a power tool (which, btw, was the way to go. I'm never using a normal screwdriver again).

And now, I have a shelf. Total victory. I was so proud. Robert thought it was pretty great, too. Though he did have to help me when the tool ran out of power and I was stuck staring at it. Yeah, I married my perfect match.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

That was awkward.

I'm glad to be back home. I have more on my "fun" events on my calendar for the next few weeks than I did the whole time I lived in TN.

One of the things I love is having good people to spend time with. Since I am not working (yet) I invited my sister-in-law (also just moved and job hunting) over for breakfast. WHAT COULD GO WRONG, RIGHT?!

I'm watching my pull apart cinnamon sugar breakfast bread brown perfectly (recipe via pinterest.com, http://zoomyummy.com/2011/07/23/cinnamon-sugar-pull-apart-bread/) while scrambling a few eggs and I hear the door open. I had left the door open for my sis-in-law, so I didn't think anything of it and let Otis the Dog trot over to greet her. Lowering the temperature on the eggs, I walked around the corner to say hi.
At least this was a delicious success.

My first clue that something was wrong was when I saw a woman's reflection in the window, holding a baby carrier and I thought, "Why in the world would she have a BABY with her?!"

Walking around the corner, I saw a woman, her baby, her husband, and another random woman in our foyer. We all stared at each other totally dumbfounded for a few seconds.

"Uh... hi. Can I help..?" I mumble out, not sure if they walked into the wrong house or if they just had heard I was making breakfast and maybe wanted something to eat.

"We are here to see the house. They approved our showing." The realtor said.

And CLICK went the light bulb in my head. We had our house taken off of the "come and show anytime list" to the "call before so we can leave list", but it somehow didn't work out (obviously). I apologized profusely for being there, explaining that things had just changed and I was literally living in a different state a week ago and this was a terrible mix-up but they were welcome to look at the house.

My sister-in-law was totally confused as she walked in about 2 minutes after the house hunters arrived. We laughed about it later after they left.

The realtor was really nice about it, and I apologized again. And then I apologized for the boxes everywhere. And the not-put-away state of the house. And for my dog and sister-in-law sitting there while I made breakfast. Luckily, she laughed it off. She did say, "Well, can I ask you a few questions since you are here...?" so I was at least able to answer a few things for her.

It was the weirdest situation. And now I'm scared that I'm going to step out of the shower and have someone walk in, checking out the bathroom. Note to self, keep the bathrobe nearby.