November 26, 2009

i'm thankful

I'm thankful that as I write this post I can sit on my bed, stare at the Empire State Building, and listen a bird chirp on my fire escape.

I'm thankful for my two legs, that week after week have proved me wrong as I continue to train for a half-marathon.

I'm thankful I have a job- that I almost always love :)

I'm thankful that although I earn a tiny salary, I still have enough to make Christmas better for other people in the City.

I'm usually thankful for my next door neighbor who entertains me with his mad karaoke skills morning, noon, and night. Show tunes, Lady Gaga, Mariah Carey Christmas, you name it. (Currently singing acapello as I type, which is probably why he's even making it in this post.)

I'm thankful for Apostle's Church, because I swear sometimes God created it just for me.

I'm literally thankful for stretchy pants- love of my life.

I'm thankful for trashy reality television.

I'm thankful for my roommate, who I've known and loved for 16 years!

I'm thankful for Liz, who is cooking our entire Thanksgiving feast today, for Bethany who is making Trashy Jello Pretzel Pie (??), for Riley who flew in from Texas and immediately bought 6 bottles of wine, and Renee who is totally on board with the "Stretchy Pants must be worn to T'Giving Dinner" rule.

I'm thankful for the friends I hardly get to see, yet their friendships continue to be marked by trust and love.

I'm thankful for my family, full of laughter and abundant love for one another.

I'm thankful for my Savior, who on a daily basis dies for me, challenges me, humbles me, comforts me, and unconditionally loves me.

Thanks be to God for his indescrible gift!
2 Corinthians 9:15

November 11, 2009

there's no place like home

I have several friends that are really good at blogging. They are consistent, fun, and somehow take random day to day activities or interests and turn them into elaborate blog posts. As we all know, all meaning the three or four readers I may still have, I am not someone who can do that. Don't get me wrong, I have a lot to say. But I somehow talk myself into shopping on the internet instead of blogging. So I was not at all surprised nor offended that I'm not part of the blog carnival like a few of my favorite bloggers are. ;)

However, all week I can't stop thinking about their first subject, Home, and what that word means to me.

Home is my tiny apartment, on the 5th floor, with no elevator, which I shell out over a whole paycheck to for rent. Home is the smallest bathroom you'll ever see. Home is a picnic with friends on the Great Lawn. Home is 71 Irving with a cup of coffee and a good book. Home is the way my running shoes feel against the pavement on my evening runs. Home is the little farmer's market I pass every Tuesday on my way to work. Home is Jean who owns the laundry mat- where I usually drop off at least 18 pounds of laundry and she asks me about my day. Home is my next door neighbor that sings karaoke at the top of his lungs- and he's not good. Home is watching reality tv with Kristin on our red couch. Home is Apostle's Church, where every Sunday I feel more at home than I ever have in my life. Home is the friends I have only known for several months but feel like I have known forever. Home is the friends I have known forever. Home is brunching together, laughing together, praying together, and struggling together. Home is the siren that interrupts all my phone conversations. Home is cheap pizza, cheap wine, and dark chocolate m&m's.

But home is also in Texas. A red brick house on Ridge Drive. My brother and I played basketball in the driveway. Our names are written in the cement from when the goal was installed. I had a rabbit named Harriet and a rabbit named Harvey that lived in a hutch my Dad built. Our home has wood floors and they’re always cold. On Saturday mornings I can always count on my Dad to be either biking or kayaking, my Mom at yoga or in the garden. In the Spring, there are multiple fawns that call our backyard home. They eat my Mom’s plants and Maggie, our dog, doesn’t chase them. When I was little I rode a purple bike but quit riding because I was scared of skinning my knee. My mom made every birthday cake from scratch in our kitchen. Springtime at home reminds me of Easter, white tights with white patent shoes, and our sandwiches on croissants instead of wheat bread at lunch. Summertime at home reminds me of jumping in the river just to cool off, the farmer’s market, grilling out, and the Gipsey Kings. Fall reminds me full moons, reciting the poem Little Orphan Annie, and David and I waiting for the school bus- our bus passes, laminated of course (thanks Dad!), hung around our necks by string. Christmastime at home reminds me of anxiety! I literally stayed up all night wondering which gifts from my list would be under the tree for me.

But I also know that these homes are not permanent . I also have a home in heaven. The truth is no matter how great our earthly homes are, they are nothing in comparison to the home God is preparing for us. I find rest and peace in knowing that it's not the end all if my home doesn't look like a page out of Pottery Barn! Minuscule in the bigger picture. If my building was to crumble or Texas somehow floated away, life still continues because Christ remains. One of my favorite hymns says it best, "...on Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand."

Other places I feel at home:
Dallas- because some of my dearest, dearest friends call it home
Tennessee- Union City and Franklin
the Farm- Oil Trough, AR
Home is anywhere with David and Tiffany
Home has always been with my Mom and Dad