Monday, September 10, 2012

Upon One Year in Austin

Recently, I sent a one-year update to our precious praying tribe of friends. 

Instead of Monday Mixtape this week, I thought I'd share an excerpt of that update here:

In just over twelve months, we've boxed up our entire house and then unpacked in a new house - twice (one of those cross-country).

Collectively we've begun seven different jobs
and six different schools.

We learned how to homeschool, read poetry out loud to each other, decorate cakes and crochet.

We've traveled back to New York three times.

Two of us traveled out of the country (Guatemala), two of us worked at summer camps (Camp Nikos and Laity Lodge).

One of us graduated from high school, one from middle school.  Andrew and Alex have lived in three different houses in one year.

We've fought off scorpions, shame and snakes (in that order) and stood audience to over a million bats, on purpose. We've also fought with realtors, insurance companies, car dealers and state record-keeping-ish offices 

We grieved the death of our beloved Jack Russell. We've been in three different car accidents -- totaling the vehicle we'd just paid off, had 2 different GPS's stolen, been towed from an illegal parking space, fixed flat tires and 
gotten lost five bazillion times. 

missing a few here but the collage wouldn't fit more!
We've hosted 18 overnight guests on about five or six different occasions, and somewhere around 100 different people on too many occasions to remember.

  We've celebrated the sale of a house, seven birthdays, every annual holiday, college admission letters and article submission acceptances.

We've made friends, kept friends, reconciled with friends, searched for friends, and  worried we wouldn't find friends.

Some of us have lost weight, others of us gained.  We've tried to exercise, developed an addiction to Bluebell Ice Cream, had wisdom teeth removed, shopped at Goodwill and Half Price Books and hunted for the best Chinese takeout in Austin.

We've seen Arcade Fire, Fleet Foxes, Bon Iver, Over the Rhine, Two Door Cinema Club, Mother Falcon and The Passion Pit in concert.

We've survived days of 117 degrees, waded in cold Barton Springs, tubed on the tepid Blanco River, kayaked the Frio River, and stand-up paddeled Lady Bird Lake.

We saw the Alamo.  And the Texas State Capitol. And the Stevie Ray Vaughn statue. And the UT Tower.

We've worshiped each Sunday with a congregation that should probably never had made it six years ago when only 40 people held it together, sharing the light bills and the intercession for a new priest and surprised ourselves how fast we've loved them deeply.

Tamara's reunited with her former stay-at-home-mom self.  She's also hunted for the perfect job.  Along the way she's washed strangers' underwear, scrubbed toilets, delivered cupcakes, and pretended she knew how to write computer code.

Brian's preached two sermons, taught a dozen Living Waters lessons, led meetings, hired people, fired people, studied theology, written bazillions of school papers and cooked gazillions of sweet and sour meatballs for church dinners.  He's also perfected our Friday night thincrust pizza, thanks be to God.

We've tried to keep up with the Yankees and our family and friends at home.  We welcomed a new nephew, new sister-in-law and new brother-in-law all from a distance.  We've prayed over the phone, over Skype, over email and over text messages, trying to shorten the distance between us.

We've questioned our ability to hear from God, bounced checks, gotten speeding tickets, been grounded, lashed out at each other and cried in public far more often than is comfortable.  

When I read the prayer requests we wrote out together last June, I rehearse all the ways God has given us more than we could have asked, thought or imagined.

I also realize we are tired.  As in: fatigued, weary, bone.

In a very real sense we feel like we've spent everything we own to make this move, and while the rewards are better than we'd hoped, they are slow-in-the-making.  We take great comfort in the timelines friends have shared with us (i.e., it takes this many months to feel this and this many years to feel that).  They have proven to be uncanny in their precision.

With that in mind, one year is only a half-way mark to a new normal with this kind of life change.  Trusted counsel tells us that two years is a breakthrough mark.  We set our calendars to this wisdom and, humbly, keep asking for your prayer.

In the meantime we'll keep rehearsing.

And celebrating.

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