Guys, I like it here. I mean, I wish you were all here with me and the fact that you’re not makes me hate it. But I only hate it a little. I kind of mostly love it here. Driving a distance to the grocery store only makes me more intentional about my shopping and forces me to be organized. Really that was my only true gripe anyway, that and having no friends. That still stinks but in time I’ll either make friends or get used to the lonely life. I do feel like I have these moments where I want to talk to people and then there are no people there to talk to. That REALLY stinks. That’s why I started this blog though, so I can talk to my people without actually talking. And people that aren’t my people can also read it and judge me harshly for my complaining and incessant whining. It’s okay, I have Jesus so I am virtually unoffendable. Judge on judgers, judge on. (Just kidding, please don’t judge me.)
This Saturday I had my family from Houston out for Philomena’s 5th birthday celebration and it was so fun. I love my family. Did I fail to mention I have great family 2 and a half hours from me? Yea that’s cuz they’re close enough for a visit here and there but not close enough to see all the time, so it’s kind of a mean trick God is playing on me. Anyway, they were all here and we had so much fun. It’s crazy how when you have a bond with people, it doesn’t matter how far the distance, or how much time passes between visits, you just fit. You’re comfortable. There’s no show to put on, no faking it, just authenticity all around. It’s a beautiful thing and I am so grateful for it.
I know I’m going out of order here, but Thursday was Phil’s actual birthday so we spent the day out and about Austin. There’s this really great (and free) place, Austin Nature & Science Center, that we visited and had an absolute blast. For my Long Islanders, its kind of like a really cool hybrid between Yaphank Farm and the Holtsville Ecology Site except there’s a creek that the kids can splash around and play in (next time I’ll be better prepared with towels) and an area where they can dig up huge dinosaur fossils. So it’s like those two things but way better. Come visit me and I’ll show you. Every single one of my kids loved it, so that’s always a win. Usually I have at least one dragging along complaining that they’re having an awful time. This trip, there was no such kid and no melt downs what-so-ever. Praise the Lord for small miracles.
On Friday I did all my party prep. I ordered my groceries online and picked them up “curb-side” which is a huge time saver when it takes and hour just to get to and from the store and then I got to the prep work. Can I just tell you, I have so much counter space that I was losing things on the counter. I’d be looking for a spice or ingredient or something that I plopped down somewhere far away from where I was standing. That is a glorious problem to have. Coming from a little 3 foot strip of counter space, my kitchen here in Austin is quite an upgrade. QUITE an upgrade.
While I was prepping, I heard a knock at the door. This is not uncommon. We moved into a new construction home in a new construction neighborhood so we have people trying to sell us things all the time. We’ve had people trying to sell us water filtration systems, solar panels, power washing services, lawn care, all kinds of things. So when I opened the door, I was all prepared to respectfully decline whatever this guy was peddling. Needless to say, I did NOT decline, I signed up ha! One of my big issues/fears about moving to such a warm climate was roaches. In New York, you have to be beyond careless with your cleaning or you have to live in an apartment building where a neighbor is gross. Sorry if I’m offending anyone, but come on! Roaches?! That’s like a “shame on both your houses” situation. It’s a mark of complete filth back in New York ha! Anyway, I learned that in warmer climates, no one is exempt. The clean and dirty alike can end up in a roach infested home. So when this knock came to my door, I was already primed. A lovely gentleman named Cory, from Brooklyn, New York (I took this as a sign) stood at my door wearing an “EnviroGuard” t-shirt. Let me just tell you what he was selling me. He was selling me a chemical free, kid and pet friendly pest control that included but was not limited to, ants, fire ants, spiders, wasps, roaches, scorpions (WHAT!?), earwigs, mosquitoes, termites and fleas. YES PLEASE! You had me at roaches but I hate earwigs and ants too! Sign me up sir! You knocked on the right door today! My first treatment is free and then they come back every two months for all of eternity to keep up with the treatments. Yes, yes, yes, yes, YES. And seriously with the scorpions!? Geez. Where am I? Paul wasn’t home and I didn’t even think to check with him, that’s how excited I was. When he got home, all I had to say was “they spray for mosquitoes” and he was right on board the EnviroGuard train.
Now skipping to Sunday. Church. Man oh man with this church! These sermons cut you right to the core. So SO amazing. Even the most mature, wonderful, loving Christian would not be exempt from the beautiful conviction they bring to your soul. The sermons not up on YouTube yet but when it is, I’ll link it on my Facebook page. Its good man. Really good. Lemme go grab my sermon notes and I’ll give you the highlights. Okay I’m back. We’ve been in the book of Jonah and the pastoral staff has been doing an incredible job of making connections to show it’s relevance to today. One of my favorite quotes was “The biggest offender of the mission of God is the church herself.” Is it awful that I can’t remember my pastors name? I think its Taylor. Nope, just checked, it’s Tyler. Tyler David. So Tyler spoke about how sometimes, it’s the people who think they’re closest to God that offend the gospel the most. Jonah was a prophet. He loved the Lord, he preached of His salvation but when God asked him to step out and go somewhere he didn’t want to, Jonah set out in the other direction, in complete rebellion to the mission of God. This was a man who had heard God’s voice, a man known as a prophet of God. Jonah had a lack of love and compassion for the people of Nineveh. This was apparent. So the whole sermon was about missional living and how we need to repent of our lack of love for others, risk the outcome of the mission God has given you (cuz being a Christian is painful in more ways than one) and remain steadfast through it. Mission hurts. The whole point of the sermon was that we as Christians are to live on mission. That looks a little different for everyone, but if we’re not out sharing the love of Jesus with the world, something is very lacking. If we’re more concerned with our comfort and what we want, then we lose. We ALL lose. The sermon was so much more than my 2 second summary and I would definitely encourage everyone to watch it! I’ll post it, I promise.
Over the last several months, God has broken my heart for 2 specific people groups. I definitely don’t think it’s coincidence that He saw fit to move me here. But I’m not ready to share just yet, cuz I’m not ready to do anything. Frankly, I’m not sure how to start. But I promise I’m not hopping on a boat to Tarshish (I mean maybe…). I’m just waiting. I’m waiting to hear more from the Lord and I’m waiting to get over some of this fear. There will be risk. Big risk.
And then after church, we drove down to San Antonio and we picked out a puppy. A Great Dane puppy. I can’t say no to my husband. It’s a problem.
More on that later.
Till next time, I’ll be over here running on Jesus and Coffee.