An easy day

Yesterday was one of the first days in a long day that felt normal. Not having a job has really created a vortex of weird schedules and uneasy feelings of spending money when I feel like all I should be doing is saving. Yesterday was the first day in a month that we’ve done any amount of exploring. Of course, it decided to torrentially downpour and we were stuck in some good after rain traffic congestion, but it was still pretty fun.

We didn’t do much and we didn’t go far, but it was the first day that seemed like the California dream I had pictured when we found out we were moving. I imagined much exploring and new things. Not only did our tiny bit of exploring do me a world of good and fill my life with very delicious ice cream, but it was the first time that the pace of my day felt anything like it would at home. Something about it – reminded me a little of our trips to Thomasville and it really just did me a world of good.

I’m looking forward to another day soon of exploring and feeling normal.

Taylor enjoying coffee at Augie's. I swear the coffee tasted like carrots.

Taylor enjoying coffee at Augie’s. I swear the coffee tasted like carrots.

New Friends

We’ve lived in California a little over 3 weeks and I’m already overwhelmed by the way we’ve been provided so many new friends. Even me and my introverted self needed new friends for our new life in California. It was really hard to leave all of our friends behind in Florida. We have some great friends in Florida and we still miss them dearly.

In the last week, we’ve had people invite us into their homes, cook us meals, take interest in learning about us – and not to be forgotten, let Taylor play with their kid’s legos. (It turns out not only is Taylor popular with our 3 year old friends, but he’s broken in to the 5 year old league too. He’s pretty cool.)

We’ve also had our first friends over to our new apartment.  One of the things I miss the most about our old life in Tallahassee, is that apartment that I grew to love because of how much it enabled us to show our hospitality to our friends and our family. I’m thankful for those two years of guests coming to visit us, of Oscar parties and dinners with friends, of Christmas celebrations and weekends full of Just Dance or movie nights. It’s exciting to be able to get back to some of those things. They won’t ever be the same. But we can use our, albeit smaller apartment, to invite people into our lives, even if our space is small and our air conditioner is weirdly loud.

Things don’t seem normal yet, but they’re getting there.

Finding Joy

I’ve had some really hard days lately. Anyone who has applied for jobs lately knows that it is a tedious and overwhelming process. It’s hard to choose joy when very little is pointing toward anything good. When you spend hours applying for jobs, interviewing and the works and you never see the fruit from any of it. It starts to feel hopeless.

It’s hard to trade your dreams for someone else and have to hope that you made the right choice. That the sacrifice of your plans will be worth it in the end. I think about all of the plans I had for this season or even just this next year – our trip to Europe for our fifth anniversary, starting a family,  even little plans like restaurants we wanted to go to, friends we wanted to visit or annual plans like our trip home for Christmas – all of them vanished overnight and were replaced with struggle, unknown and unparalleled doubt. It’s hard to choose joy in the midst of change, pain and doubt.

And yet, choosing joy and fighting for it in the midst of pain and anxiety and all of the things that have accompanied this season  is really all we have. Knowing that Christ suffered incomparably to my suffering and He did it for me. This is something to hope in and to find joy in even amidst suffering and hardship. There is a day coming when the suffering will end. That morn shall tearless be. I find joy in that day.

Thankfulness

In this season of change, I’m reminded that I need to be thankful and I’m constantly reminded of the ways I’m not thankful. It’s easy to see my greed and lust for more things when I don’t have a job and can’t explore my new home or purchase the things I’d normally purchase. I don’t want my new job to just be a way for me to obtain the things my heart lusts for  – although I am looking forward to exploring more and purchasing some basic things that are on hold until my new job appears.  I don’t want my joy to be based on what I can purchase. I want my heart to be broken of this constant desire for more and to be truly satisfied not based on what I have, but based on what I’ve already been given in Christ.

I am thankful for everything we’ve been given in this season. I’m thankful for a new apartment in a safer part of town that is an easy commute to Taylor’s job and school. I’m thankful for new friends. I am thankful for the interviews I’ve had and I am hopeful that something good will come of these soon.

The 25 List Update: August

You can read more about my goals to accomplish before I turn 25 here. 

I can’t believe it’s already August! I feel like I have so much more work to-do on this list before January! While, this month has been extremely crazy, I surprisingly managed to accomplish a few things toward these goals.

2. I took a bit of a (forced) Sabbath from social media (except Instagram) as we travelled across America/ didn’t have Internet in our new apartment. I felt so out of the loop but I think it was good for me.

7. I’ve prayed so much this month. I’ve been really focusing on my gratitude for every little thing I’ve been given and it’s really helped with my anxiety about not having a job yet.

8. I don’t know why, but both times I’ve been without a job for an extended period of time – this one and the one about 4 years ago after I got married – I take up baking. So far this month, I’ve made french baguettes and homemade naan. It’s delicious and luckily I’ve been working out more to make up for it (sort of).

10. We went to the library in Riverside to get our new cards. I picked up a new novel to read. I was a bit disappointed in the selection of novels as it was not nearly as good as the Tallahassee library. I might check out another branch. I did put holds on some new books I’ve been eyeing so hopefully my reading will continue too.

13. I’m back to decorating in our new abode. I’m mostly thinking of new ideas to tackle in this new home and I’m plotting my purchases for when I gain employment.

 

To-dos for the month:

  • Run more – So I’ve been working out more, but I haven’t been on a run in ages. I’m gonna get back to that soon.
  • Study more Spanish – I need to get back to this now that the dust from our move has settled
  • Study vocab with my phone app – I need to remember to read my word-of-the-day from my new app.
  • Memorize more scripture – I need to accomplish more of this. I’ve slacked off majorly. Focusing on this for the month too.

A little crazy post

I feel like I need another blog post, but unfortunately there hasn’t been much to report. My life is mundane and I’m trying to stay faithful in the daily grind of applying for jobs, planning meals and cleaning. I know these are all important things and that I need to do them faithfully, without grumbling, but it is so easy to feel like the things I spend my entire day on are not amounting to anything. I know that this is not true, that I am glorify God in even the most mundane activities and even though I don’t yet have a job to go to, God had given me this season I should be counting it as a blessing.

I sometimes think that in some way this season of moving would have been easier if we had children. In most ways, I recognize that this is truly crazy, but hear me out. If we had kids, I would have all of their things to fill my life with – truly a job on its own. I’d also have to come up with things to do with said non-existant children – trips to parks or other kid-friendly venues. Maybe, I’d meet more people, maybe I’d get to know the city better. More people at the church we’re visiting would talk to me if I had children. Being childless in a church is a hard thing. You don’t meet the people who work in the nursery and its easy for no one to get to know you at all. Again, in most ways I realize that this is truly crazy – but in someways it makes complete sense to me. 

On a different note, I’ve recently decided that living where we live is like living in a location where you’ve asked to be taunted 24/7. You live just far enough away from a zillion cool things but not close enough to make any of them feasible on a whim. So much of what I’d love to explore is at least an hour away and right now that is simply out of the budget. I know eventually all the exploring will come, but right now – it’s taunting me.

Home is where

Homesickness is a real thing. As I said before, it comes in waves for me and usually when I least expect it. Yesterday, I was mundanely doing dishes when I was gripped with uncontrollable homesickness. It was like a dark cloud of depression set over me and for the next hour all I could do was lie in bed and cry.

I know in time this phase will pass and it will get easier to live so far from all our friends and family, but right now it’s really a struggle. Maybe, it’s because I have very little to look forward to – no coffee dates with friends, no babies to help take care of, no date nights at fun local places and even no work to punctuate my day.  I spend hours on end alone at home and it is wearing so thin and there is no end in sight.

Maybe it’s because, while this doesn’t feel like home yet – it is home. The home I once knew in Tallahassee is over and even though I keep referring to it as “back home” it doesn’t exist anymore. Neither does the home of my childhood, which was gone ages ago.  So, I forge ahead through the clouds of depression and homesickness and discomfort knowing that in the end it will be worth it. In the end, this will feel like home and it will just take some more time to make it so.