Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Walk Through ... Don't Just Read

““The Kingdom of Heaven is like…” is not a statement which introduces institutional principles. It is the beginning of a description of a place that He has been and we have not.” Bob Hamp: Change The Right Thing, Pt. 3

"This is a beautiful statement. Really. Beautiful is what came to my mind immediately. This was my revelation moment in this blog. I felt Holy Spirit whisper those words as I read them … and they instantly transformed (supernaturally) from words into a beautiful doorway, awaiting my entrance. "Walk through, don’t just read." That’s what I heard. And my heart has begun singing…" [my comment on this blog]
When Holy Spirit decides to breathe life into words, I'm generally unprepared for the moment. It hits me upside my heart like a locomotive running head long into the most ginormous pile of TempurPedic mattresses. I feel the force of the blow of truth and can hear the steaming hiss of wisdom; but instead of the impact being life-threatening, it's cushioned by grace, and the foreboding hiss is transformed into a life-giving whisper.

Revelation is caught in my heart in the same manner a water balloon is caught in a balloon tossing contest, except Holy Spirit is both the tosser and the catcher. He lobs up a balloon full of living water and then rushes over and uses a purposefully gentle motion to bring that balloon into my heart. Instead of allowing LIFE to hit his hands like a brick wall and splatter  - leaving the contents to evaporate on the ground  - He uses tenderness to absorb the blow so that same LIFE is given the opportunity to soak into my soul and become transformational.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Shock and Awe ... I Mean, Anger

Ok. So I guess I wasn't really prepared for how an apartment floor plan would translate in real life. The floor plan made everything look spacious and easy for downsizing. Real life made me think, "Oh crap. This isn't gonna be as easy as I first thought." 1100 sq. ft. looks very different in person. My first reaction was Shock. Anthony's was Anger. Not the show it kind, but the "I could feel his physical presence change when we walked in the door" kind. I wanted to look at everything, open every drawer, mentally move my furniture into each room. He walked through the place in 3 seconds (ok, it felt like that) and was like, "Okay, Babe. Ready to go?"

So it didn't quite go as planned. Does anything?

There was no arguing afterward. No big fight to get over. I just knew that seeing the size of the apartment felt like a kick in the gut to Anthony, and I half-expected it anyway. He's been vocal about the fact that he doesn't want to go back to an apartment but will if that's what it comes down to. And I? Well, I'm still a little naive, I guess. I've never really lived the true apartment life, with neighbors all around. I've lived in a couple apartments, but I've always been blessed where I lived. No huge complexes. No people above me. And when I did live in apartments in the past, I had much smaller kids and a smaller family as a whole. Really, I'm quite apartment ignorant, you could say. Maybe that's why I'm having an easier time making the mental leap to "just do this", while Anthony is trailing behind because he swore a long time ago, after purchasing his first house, that he'd never go back to an apartment again.

So after the shock wore off and we were given ample time to process our own emotions, we have come back to the place where if this is where we are supposed to dwell for a while, then we will. We've just got to make sure that "this" is God and not just us making the most sense of our circumstances.

I'm still gonna be looking online. I'm still gonna keep my eyes and heart open. This could be home for the next year. Or not.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Ready for a Change

The past week has felt heavy for me. Have I taken the time to get lost in Jesus? No, and that probably matters more than I'm willing to admit right now. But I do know that the heaviness is also because I'm in limbo and just want a new sense of purpose and direction. I'm ready for change, and I'm ready to simplify.

Living in a house this big for the past year has given me perspective that I didn't have before. I've discovered that with a big house, the responsibilities get bigger; and the cost of upkeep and time required just aren't worth the space itself, even with the beauty of the neighborhood. The reality is that we are not in a place financially to be in a house this big, and it's time to downsize.

In recent days, I've been talking to Anthony about truly downsizing and simplifying our lives and heading to an apartment for (at least) a year-long commitment. Doing this would require sacrifice on our end as a family, but it just feels like the best thing for us. I'm ready to leave the "property management" to the property managers. For now, I'm done with cleaning pools; done with mowing lawns, trimming trees and raking leaves; done with cleaning a huge house when we really only live in half of it for the most part.

So, I've been checking out every apartment complex from north Keller (Ft. Worth, really) to Grapevine and over to NRH. With our move comes the reality of being back to one vehicle again, and that has put certain requirements on my checklist of must have's. With that in mind, I've repeatedly come across a place that has actually crossed my mind many times over this past year ... the Venue apartments by Roots Coffeehouse and the NRH Library.

I'm writing this down now because I want a journal stone to look back on should this all play out the way it is in my head (or at least similar to it); and I want a place to point to that shows that God was birthing this idea ... or not.

The Venue Apartments are not the least expensive on the market, but they're also not the most costly, either. What they have/offer feels right to my heart, I'm just waiting to see if my heart matches God's choice.

The benefits:
  • With The Venue located in the same parking lot as Kroger, Roots Coffee, Starbucks and the NRH Library, we'd be within a few minutes walk of necessary locales (groceries and library for school) and those that would provide a breath of fresh air from our apartment space (Roots or Starbucks).
  • The location wouldn't put us any further away from Gateway's NRH campus (a huge need), actually we'd be 2 miles closer than we are now. We'd be closer to the girls for pick up and drop off. And Anthony would simply shift his commute from the 114 to the 121 freeway.
  • With Starbucks a short walk away, I could look into applying for a part time job at that location and not be concerned about having a second car or not. And when Teighlor turns 16, she may have opportunities for part time work at the library or even Starbucks or Yogurt Land?!? And she wouldn't even need a car.
  • And we'd be only a mile away from Taco Cabana! This probably isn't a benefit, though ... for our waistlines or for our wallets. :) But it was the yummiest thought yet!
And, being as real and transparent as I am, the thought of living in a place that's nicely decorated, with walls that match the floors and fixtures that work ... that part of apartment living really speaks to my womanly soul. No weird wall paper, no rocking toilets, no missing curtains/blinds, and windows with screens so they can actually be opened for fresh air. We could heat our home in the winter and cool it in the summer. Yes, this is all the fleshly part of me that just wants some normal expectations satisfied. There, I've said it.

So, we'll see what happens. We could be turned down for credit purposes. We could get there and not like them at all. We could have that "unsettled feeling" and choose to walk away because God's peace is not in it. Either way, like I said, I just wanted a journal stone to refer too when all is said and done. This thought process is either Godly direction or it's not. Plain and simple.