On the Road

We are on the road, traveling across the country! Moving from VA to CO, a total of 1555 miles. We left home around 10:30 this morning – it took us awhile to load the “few” remaining things into the Mini and the Sorento.

Those few things included all the cat paraphernalia, three suitcases, a couple of items that the movers missed – a glass cutting board, a laundry room decoration – snacks, the computer, lawn chairs, the air mattress with sheets, blankets and pillows, a box of dishes, and other items we need in the apartment before our household goods arrive. So the sports car and trunk of the Kia are stuffed!

We’re hauling the Mini behind the Sorento – that’s a new experience. It’s a bit of a surprise to glance in the rear view mirror and glimpse a car following so closely! Oh wait – that’s us!😀

The cats have done pretty well, especially considering that their trips in the car up to now have only been to the veterinarian. This is much more significant – 15 minutes versus 8 hours. The younger, Henry, is the cry-baby. The elder, Annie, just quietly curls up in the crate, even though she didn’t want to go in either.

We stopped at a rest stop and let them out of the crate to wander around the folded-down back seat and trunk. Annie even used the litter box, while Henry tried to find a spot down low where he could disappear from this torture. After about 30 minutes, we put them back in their cocoon and started the final part of today’s drive – to Louisville, KY.

Our route today took us through part of West Virginia. It is beautiful, and I can understand why there’s a song about its roads. Winding – even the interstate is twisty, and the trees are changing colors, so the mountainsides are shades of red and orange and yellow in addition to the green and brown.

We’re in Kentucky now. So far, it’s flat with some hills. I haven’t seen the acres of horse farms – I hope we get to see that tomorrow. In the meantime, there are fewer semis and even less car traffic than we had earlier today.

Tomorrow we’ll drive to my sister’s in MO. From there, we’ll be halfway to our new home. In all, we’ll drive through Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, and Colorado. That’s a lot to see.

Email to an old therapist

I’m not sure if I’m going to send this email. I don’t want to bug you. But I started to write it last night as I was going to bed, and it stuck with me until morning. So here it is. 
We move across the country in five days. I’m still excited, and have peace of mind about the decision to move. That’s what we always pray – for God’s sense of peace in our decisions. And we have that. 
I didn’t think I’d feel anything about leaving VA. But I’ve had an impact here – in bringing and starting and leading the Fresh Hope group (support group for those with mental health challenges and those who love someone like that – freshhope.us), and in my volunteering at the Daily Living Center (adult daycare). Both groups gave me farewells this week – they said very affirming and humbling things. I’m really going to miss the friendships and the leadership opportunities that they afforded, as well as the relationship aspects. I’ve said goodbyes to friends at church – did I even know I had friends at church?!
We’re going to a farewell dinner tonight – with people my husband used to work with, and my two other friends here. They’re not long relationships like I had in WI, but friends nonetheless. Which is more than I’ll have when I get to CO. I know some people there, so it won’t be a completely blank slate. But the pressure is on me and me alone to make friends – there’s no job or kids to provide an introduction into a new situation. 
You know me and change – I always find it hard. And I’ve had to move so many times in my adult life. Each move has begun with a mild depression, except the one that started my entire journey with depression – that one was deep and dark and long. That move, which should have been simple since I was moving back to a place I had lived before, was the impetus for years of the battle with depression. Of course, if it hadn’t been for that, I never would have met you. And you counseled me through all those years to a healthier me, for which I am forever thankful.
Seems my thoughts always turn toward you, and the safe place of your office, sitting slouched on your couch, when my mood is down. And despite my excitement for the move, my mood was down last night and this morning. 
I’ve really liked my most recent therapist – she understood me quickly, though we didn’t go through depression together. I’ve said goodbye to her, but she’s offered to counsel me if I need her before I find someone out there. Until her, I feel like I’ve never really had anyone besides you, so this is new. Maybe it means I won’t call you in distress, if I have distress. Will I have distress? I’m trying not to assume so. 
Anyway, I wanted to touch base, as I always do when I’m facing change. So maybe I’ll hit send after all. 

Getting My Attention

I just love it when I realize that God is teaching me a lesson, when He speaks to me from several venues, but always the same message. And when I get it, I say “Ohhh. I’m listening now, Lord!”

A couple of days ago, I was reading my devotional from Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. I love this book – such a great way to start my day. The point of her message was that when I chose to spend time with God, meditating on His Word, He will give me His peace to replace my fears and worries.

I then opened my email, read an e-devotional by Ann Voskamp (A Holy Experience), and was reminded that I am not what the media would tell me I am, but that God is the One who sees me as beautiful. When I think of myself as fat or out of shape or unattractive, I was encouraged to replace the messages from magazines and TV with the truth of God’s Word, that He calls me Beloved. He sacrificed Himself for me, He loves me unconditionally, completely. He sees the inner me, and I am beautiful in His eyes.

A couple of emails down, I read my e-devotional from Jennifer Lee, and it reminded me about taking my thoughts captive and making them obedient to Christ (2 Cor. 10:5). So when I’m thinking that I don’t measure up, I wish I had a better body, I feel inadequate because my days are long and I don’t see how I’m contributing anything to anyone, then I need to recognize that these are not thoughts from Christ.  They are lies that cause me to question my value. But Christ says I’m valuable, I’m treasured, I’m important, I’m loved – so much that He died for me. And His words are Truth.

After journaling about these lessons and finishing my morning emails, I flipped on the TV as background noise for while I was knitting. Enjoying Everyday Life with author Joyce Meyer was on, and I found myself watching instead of knitting. She told the audience to be careful with thoughts, that dwelling on the negative ones is contrary to how God wants us to think. “Ohhh, I’m listening now, Lord!”

I recalled Philippians 4:8: “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” 

Four separate venues, but all to get my attention. God wants me to think truth, not lies, and when I do, I will be flooded by His peace (You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!” Isaiah 26:3).

God reminds me that I am His treasured child and He has a plan all worked out for my good. I don’t need to fret about our relocation and living situation, or my body image, or what my future holds. I am to spend time with Him in His Word, and keep doing what He gives me to do. And when I choose to release my worrisome and negative thoughts to Him, He will give me His peace to replace those thoughts.

I’m so glad He got my attention.

 

 

It’s an effort to talk

I’m way under budget for the average words per day that a woman speaks. 20,000 is it? Not me, not recently.

Two days ago, I talked to five people face to face. One was at the leasing office, when I stopped in to pay my rent. Two were in the pet aisle at the local discount store, and we shared kitty pictures and misbehaving animal stories – a full-on conversation! There was the cashier at the checkout, and I said “Hi” to a neighbor who came home to let out his dog as I was bringing in my groceries. So five people. Plus my husband.

Yesterday, I talked to three people.  Today so far, I’ve talked to the maintenance guy, the woman at the post office, and greeted another neighbor. I’ll make conversation when we head over to my husband’s boss’ place for dinner. I hope I don’t talk too much!

The thing is, I don’t have much to say. Other than introducing myself and explaining that I just moved here and I hope my house in FL sells soon, there’s not much in my day that’s word-worthy. Nothing significant to talk about. And since I’m new here, and learning about the area, I’d rather that other folks do the talking, and tell me things like who they chose for a dentist and who cuts their hair. Where is the best pizza and which church do they attend? What’s their favorite thing about living here and how are the summers?

This is not easy.  It’s hard to find people to talk to when you don’t know anyone, nor have any reason to see anyone. I left a message at a doctor’s office – that will be someone to talk to. And maybe I should schedule a haircut – there’s another person.

Man, meeting people in a new town is hard.

Playing House

I’ve been here a week. First, we lived in the Residence Inn, then moved to an apartment a few days ago. “It’s like camping,” my husband says. Or playing “house.”

In getting ready to move, I packed up my things – my shorts, my favorite tank tops and some t-shirts and jeans, several pairs of shoes, my travel bathroom supplies, and my pillows. I gathered my Bible and study, my electronics and knitting bag, my Kindle and some coloring pencils and books. I tried to guess what we would need for the next couple of months, and we loaded up the stuff and the kitty and drove from Florida to Virginia. We left our furniture and most of our belongings behind. We hope it won’t be long before our house there sells and we can settle in here.

In the meantime, the kitty and I will spend our days in this two bedroom apartment, while my husband works a few miles away. It’s a nice place, and feels very open and roomy. The furniture is sparse but comfortable.

I plan to use my time to explore the area, try to learn my way around town, and hike in the mountains once a week.  I have little confidence that I will find a ladies’ Bible Study – they often break for the summer. Still I’ll look, maybe starting with churches where we might like to attend. I plan to write regularly – either blogging or personally – and hope to be disciplined about it! I’ll go to the pool, which doesn’t come close to the spa-pool of our old neighborhood, but is still sun and water.

I will try to engage with other people several days a week – at least to say “Hi” to someone besides kitty and husband. This may mean that I grocery shop every day, or find a local coffee shop – something to get out of the apartment and with others so I don’t isolate myself.

With very few of my own things, I feel like this is just pretend. I hate to spend money to buy household supplies I already have, but it’s funny to not have my stuff around me. This feels unfamiliar, even unreal. Like playtime, not my new life.

It causes me to stop and evaluate my relationship to “my things.” Firstly, I can see that I own too much stuff, since I only need what I have now. Secondly, nothing is mine – it all belongs to God, and is only on loan for me to use in the first place. So I’ll use this time, this opportunity, to test what is really important. It’s not stuff. It’s relationships. And the closest ones I have now are God and my husband. I guess that’s where I’ll spend my time and attention. I suspect that’s what God has in mind anyway.