Friday, February 24, 2012

New Opportunities

So, we're moving! Again!
What, moving again? Didn't you guys just move to this place?  
Well, yes, we did move here in August 2011, so that's a mere 6 months ago.
Do you just like moving or something?
No.  I do NOT like moving.  I like the idea of magically being in a new place, like walking from one settled house into another settled house, but I do not like the process of boxing things up, putting them into a car or truck or van, taking them out, and setting up house again (although, ironically, this was my favorite thing to do with my dollhouse when I was younger).
So...you're moving why?
On one level, to try to save a bit of money on rent.  But on the deeper level, to enter into community.  You see, we're moving into a house with several other people: Andy, Alishia, and Whitney.  Andy and Alishia, you may recall, just got married in January and live across the street from us presently.  Whitney is their friend, roommate, and Ruby's babysitter on days when both Allen and I are working.  Toby's coming, too, at least for a little while.  That's six adults, one toddler, one newborn (coming soon!), several of Alishia's horses, two cats, a pug, and maybe some turtles.
The place we're moving to is in Oregon City but definitely has a rural feel to it. It is on 8 acres.  I regret to say I don't have any pictures yet.  I brought my camera the last time we were there but I forgot to use it!  The house is nice, with 3 actual bedrooms and two basement rooms that are being used as bedrooms.  One bathroom (on a septic system...eek.)  Nice sized kitchen and living room area.  There is an old stone building for storage and a barn with stalls and lots of pasture for the horses.  There is lots of fenced yard space and room for a vegetable garden, and there's already an orchard there.  I'm about to be a farm wife!  Well, not really, but definitely closer to being on a farm than I have ever been before.  I'm a born and bred suburbanite, and this is pretty different.  It's a bit reminiscent of going back to dorm life, really.  Sharing space with a lot of other people having to figure out how that's all going to work reminds me of being at St. John's.  There was something pretty great about living down the hall from your best friends.  I hope we can recreate some of the jollity of dorm life (while maintaining some sanity).
I think it's going to be good, although I am sure it will be a growing experience for everyone.  You can't live with other people without some kind of conflict arising.  The question will be how we all choose to deal with it.  I must quote the great Don Miller from his chapter in "Blue Like Jazz" about living in community.
"I didn't know what to think about the idea of living in community at first...it sounded so, um, odd.  Cults do that sort of thing, you know.  First you live in community, and then you drink the punch and die." (p. 176) 
"I liked them all [the roommates] very much, but we had hard times.  I was a serious recluse before I moved in with the guys at Graceland.  When you live on your own for years, you begin to think the world belongs to you.  You begin to think all space is your space and all time is your time...I didn't like the feeling of having to work with people...Living in community made me realize one of my faults: I was addicted to myself.  All I thought about was myself.  The only thing I really cared about was myself.  I had very little concept of love, altruism, or sacrifice.  I discovered that my mind is like a radio that picks up only one station, the one that plays me: KDON, all Don, all the time."  (p. 180-181)
"The most difficult lie I have ever contended with is this: Life is a story about me.  God brought me to Graceland to rid me of this deception, to scrub it out of the gray matter of my mind.  It was a frustrating and painful experience...No rut in the mind is so deep as the one that says I am the world, the world belongs to me, all people are characters in my play.  There is no addiction so powerful as self-addiction." (p. 182)
Dang, Don. Way to hit the nail on the head.  I'm there with you.  Even though I'm married and have a child, both of which are supposed to keep you focused on someone other than yourself, I'm there with you.  I feel like God is pulling out the big guns to help me get the fact that it's not all about me and that I need to pay attention to Him and those He loves (other people).  Not that God doesn't love me, but He didn't make me to be all wrapped up in myself and trying to look out for myself.  I think it was Benjamin Franklin who said something to the effect that a man who is wrapped up in himself is a very small and miserable bundle indeed.
Well, I'd write more, but Ruby is awake from her nap and it's time to let her get out and play.  Lots to ponder...but I am excited about this whole new opportunity.  I just know that it will be a challenging new chapter.

1 comment:

  1. I am excited to hear about your adventures in community! There have been times when I've thought about investigating such a concept here, but for now I'm back in a season of living on my own. KCHAN, all Chan all the time, if you will. (Jeez I love Don... Was just quoting him earlier tonight, in a conversation about comparing churches: "Don't bash other churches. God loves them almost as much as He loves yours.")

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