It has been some time since I’ve blogged regularly. As a young college graduate with a job that amounted to sitting at a desk judging people all day, I had plenty of time to fiddle on Myspace or play Yahoo games, which both at that time were exceptionally cool, trust me. But as a mom who wants to be present in her kid’s lives and be actively engaged with them and with my husband when they aren’t at school or work, my blogging took a back burner. Actually, I’m fairly certain it’s not even on the stove anymore, just sitting uncovered on the counter neglected and fermenting. Occasionally I glance at it and try to decide if I should through out the whole mess in the pan or maybe there is a way to start over and create something fresh. Generally, the whole thing plays through my head like this, day 1: post, day 3: post, day 4-the rest of my life: lose inspiration, get distracted by life and forget about it for three or four years.
Over the past few months, having more free time has allowed me to sit down and do some writing. It’s been nice to get back into the practice. I have tried to figure out setting up a blog again, but things surely have changed in the past decade, so while I figure out the simple things, like how to make the thing not look like a Microsoft Office document from 1995, bear with me. As I begin, I am going to start with kind of a look at who I am now.
If you are my Facebook friend, or lucky you, my real life you know what my voice sounds like still friend, you know that I have the two awesomest kids on the block, the same cool guy husband and two cats, though those two are different than the two that I had when I blogged regularly.
We are in a tiny town in Virginia embraced by mountains and floating on South River, in a normal looking neighborhood in a house that doesn’t have nearly any of the character that our house in Ohio had, but meets our needs and the yard is flat so mowing is a heck of a lot less effort.
There are days that I ache for Ohio, for our family we left behind, the children who are quickly becoming adults, the emotional closeness that proximity allows, the adults who are still growing themselves. I miss our church, the building, the familiar walls and the easy pathway I knew to get to my seat in time to worship next to some of the most genuine people of faith I’ve know and sit under the teaching of certainly one of the most gifted sermonizers I’ve ever heard. Both Frank and Molly talk about the firepit behind our house on North North, the pit that they dug and then surrounded with stones and bricks, a treasured spot where we met with friends and family and really solidified our roots as a family. There are days that I would flee back there in a heartbeat and settle back into that comfortable life.
But Virginia, our Virginia, is so different than our first time here. In the beginning, the beginning of us, Kermit and I tried a few cities in VA, but found greed and racism and traffic, so rampant that we feared it would change our hearts into dark globs we didn’t like. Leaving, living and then returning, we knew more of what we were looking for, but more than that, we felt led back to a state we’d forsworn, called to a place with no jobs, no home, and only one set of friends who we hadn’t sat at a firepit with probably ever. We came, obediently responding to a call both of us felt.
I often say that since we’ve come, everything in front of Kermit has been bathed in golden light. He moves to the left and there are chimes, he moves to the right and angels sing. He’s faced adversity, certainly, but day in and day out there is such obvious assurance that he is where God wants him. I’ve had those times, too, where I can see immediate clarity to how I’m being used here, but much of my time has been spent feeling a bit like I’m mucking through mire. On the topic, I check in from time to time, and the answer is almost always the same, “I’m preparing you.” For what, I’m not sure, but if there is one thing I’ve learned since coming to the valley, it’s that His plans are always better than my plans.
I suppose I should say, we have found a church here. Well, before I say that, I should say this. Who I am now is still who I was then on this. My faith, my Christianity is a part of who I am. I do not walk my faith out in an attempt to diminish anyone else. I do not form my beliefs in contrast to my friends or my family or society, but rather in reflection of the grace and mercy and peace that I have received from Jesus. If my faith is insulting to you, I really do believe that it is on you, not me. I know that the people who love me and whom I love who have differing views on faith from me, have taken the time to understand my heart and I appreciate that effort. I will talk about God, both in real life and in my writing. I will love others inclusive of their stories and hope to be loved inclusive of mine.
Probably 9 months or so after moving, I returned to Ohio for a visit. A friend there told me she was going to start praying that either God give us a church here or that He would call us back to Ohio, because my heart hurt so badly at not being able to find something to fill the void left over in me. I returned and soon after we started attending the church we’re at now. It wasn’t some lights on, this is it, moment for me. I attended dutifully for quite some time, until one Sunday a sermon spoke about how you can even be selfish for good things, godly things, that selfishness was simply holding on so tightly to what we want that we have no place in our hands for what God has to offer. I dropped my hands and agreed to be fair to this place, to give it an actual chance instead of just attendance.
I grew to enjoy this church, to love the people I knew there, to find a place to serve, but even as recently as 4 or 5 months ago I would still describe it as “the beach house.” Heritage in Ohio was my home, but this was a good home away from home. Over the past four months, this church has supported me, has connected with me, has given me the opportunity to serve and be served, spoken to me and has sidled alongside Heritage in my heart. Perhaps the situation is something more akin to a duplex, than a beach house.
In a lot of areas right now, I am seeking. I have the availability of time right now to work through things in writing and so here I type. Here, if you like, you will read.