Moving Day

Dear Sherah,

Your last letter is now over two weeks old but couldn’t be more timely. I’ll tell you why, but let me catch you up first.

In the time since you last wrote, I…

… drove from Chicago to St. Louis for Alyssa’s wedding. (It was lovely to see you, cousin-friend. It isn’t every day that we get to eat dinner in the same time zone, at the same table, wearing the same blue gown.)

… fell into a coma-like sleep after the wedding, waking up completely disoriented at ONE IN THE AFTERNOON to about 50 missed calls from my parents and husband, who thought I was Gone Girl. (Common Sense Reminder: if you’re going to fall asleep in a fluffy king bed all by yourself after running a marathon on a dance floor following a night of poor sleep, remember to open the black-out curtains a smidgen.)

… drove back to Chicago.

… underwent an HSG radiology test to check for any physical obstructions in my feminine tubing system. (For the record, having your Fallopian tubes pumped full of dye feels a little bit like early labor but only lasts a minute, which is juuuuust long enough to jog your memory of labor.) 

… drove 15 hours from Chicago to Pennsylvania

… sang at an open mic night at a coffee shop

… and agreed to move to Pennsylvania for nine months to a year. (This is three to six months longer than we had expected when we left Indonesia, but now that we have the timeline in front of us, it makes sense. It feels right.)

Which brings me to right now, the day we were going to move from the YWAM base to an apartment in the city, one block down from our new church. We toured the apartment a couple days ago, and it’s great. Wood floors, tall ceilings, a bay window, lots of light. It’s right above a natural foods store, a couple blocks from the YMCA, less than a mile from the preschool Anders will be going to… I loved it. I immediately started whitewashing all of the walls and adding a few ferns in my imagination.

Later that night I was siting in our YMAM dorm (private room, semi-shared bathroom) looking at my Pinterest boards for ideas for the apartment, when I said to Pete,

“What if we stayed here?”

Something about looking through pictures of beautiful, lovingly-created homes made me (a) homesick for my lovingly-created home in Indonesia, and (b) want to sleep on a donated bed and look at art that someone else picked out so that I can stay focused on this season instead of busying myself.

We made a list of pros and cons for staying at YWAM. (Pros: much cheaper, less work to get settled in, community meals and therefore less cooking, more space for Anders to play outside, guitars, ping pong table // Cons: less privacy, shared bathroom, further from the city, not being able to host.) So now with a closely-split pro/con list, and in the absence of anyone who would make this decision for us, it’s moving day, and we don’t know know what we’re doing.  

Your question “how much house is enough?” is very fitting at the moment, and I’m asking that question about a lot of other things, not just my living space. How much stability is enough? How much faith is enough? How much trust in myself and my relationships and this process is enough? These past couple months have been a test of all of these questions, and if there is beauty in less and in waiting, as you said, then this is shaping up to be a beautiful season indeed. But all it takes is a tilt of the head and a glance from a different angle to see that it’s as much a season of plenty and fruition as it is less and waiting. 

Since I’m blogging instead of packing, you can probably tell I’m not worried about the fact that it’s 10:23 PM on moving day and I don’t know where I’m going to live. I know where I’m going to sleep tonight, which is enough for me right now. I’ll let tomorrow and its rubric for “enough” sort itself out.

Love,

Joy

P.S. Hey Sherah, stop thinking so hard. Enjoy life and be generous.

P.P.S. Or how about: enjoy life and be generous, but keep thinking hard. I like the way you think.

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