Saturday, September 16, 2017

2017: The Year I Was Intentionally Homeless... Well, For Awhile

This has been a year of adventure. I don't mean a year filled with adventures, though, arguably, I've been away from home enough times for one to make that case. But, I'm actually referring to the fact that I've spent 6 months of this year intentionally homeless.

It started as a bit of a whim: my lease would expire on March 31 and I'd be leaving for 3 weeks in Kenya about 10 days later... it seemed crazy to sign another lease and pay a ridiculous amount of rent for my house to sit empty, so I would spend 10 days at my mom's and then, when I returned, I'd stay with my dad for a bit until I found a new home. I moved a bunch of stuff to my dad's and put my furniture in storage and set off for Kenya.

As I flew home from Kenya, I very clearly heard God say, "I will have the right home, at the right time, at the right price, in the right place. Just trust me."

I sort of assumed that meant I'd be signing a lease in or around June or July.

But then, things got interesting. There were house-sitting offers and babysitting offers that meant I could move from place to place until it was time for our Student Leadership Conferences in the summertime. (Plus, had some amazing friends that let me stay in their guest bedroom in-between these commitments.) So, again, why pay rent for a room that would sit empty?

I returned from our Student Leadership Conferences to more home/child/dog-sitting opportunities.

And then, I was able to move into my dad's for a bit--and sleep in my own bed and hang up clothes for the first time in months! And now, here we are in mid-September, looking ahead at an October filled with travel and kid-sitting... no leases in sight.

I've learned so much in these six months. So much about myself and so much about God.

I'm hoping to unpack some of these lessons here... you know, for posterity.

Monday, January 02, 2017

2016 in Questions

The end-of-the-year survey tradition continues for an eleventh year (!!!)
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1) What did you do in 2016 that you'd never done before?

2) Did you keep your New Year's resolutions and will you make more next year? 
I did not make any resolutions, but I think I may make one or two this year.

3) Did anyone close to you give birth?
Emily had sweet baby Cohen. 

4) Did anyone close to you die?
Two kids from Precious Kids Center--and the mother of two of the children. 

5) What countries did you visit?
This was a landmark year for trips: Japan, Kenya, and Australia!

6) What would you like to have in 2017 that you lacked in 2016?
A bicycle. And a smaller waistline. 

7) What date(s) from 2016 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
May 20--we bought our tickets to Tokyo. September 21-23--I ran an event for 100 youth pastors from around the country. 

8) What was your biggest achievement of the year?

9) Did you suffer illness or injury?
Nope!

10) What was the best thing you bought?
Our spur-of-the-moment tickets to Tokyo. And Nashville.

11) Whose behavior merited celebration?
Fadi...for sure.

12) Where did most of your money go?
Toward flights--and paying down debt.

13) What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Traveling!

14) What song/album will always remind you of 2016?
My Paul Simon playlist--negotiations and love songs.

15) Compared to this time last year, are you:
Wiser?  Yes    Healthier?  Yes   Richer?  Yes.

16) What do you wish you'd done more of?
Dancing. Reading.

17) What do you wish you'd done less of?
Worrying. 

18) How did you spend Christmas?
Christmas Eve at Mariners MV (where I received 'the signal' for the very first time while wearing my West Wing Weekly sweatshirt). Christmas Day at Papa's and then with my dad and brother. The day after Christmas was the giant DiLallo party this year...and it was great.

19) Did you fall in love in 2016?
Nope.

20) What was your favorite new TV program?
The Path. Stranger Things.

21) What was the best book you read?
The Nightingale. 

22) What was your greatest musical discovery?
Paul Simon.

23) What did you want and get?
The prize from the Office Election (and, then a trip to Australia!) Tickets to see Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder, and Agnes Obel. 

24) What did you want and not get?
A trip to China. But, with all of the other travel this year, it's really no big loss.

25) What was your favorite film of this year?
Ooh, that's a tough question. Maybe La La Land?
26) What did you do on your birthday, and how old did you turn?
On my 34th birthday, Emily, Cathi and I spent the night at the Montage Laguna Beach. We ate room service and talked. The next day we had breakfast burritos, saw a taping of James Corden and ate delicious sushi and ice cream.

27) Which celebrity/public figure did you like the most?
Josh Malina. Aaron Sorkin.

28) How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2016?
Somehow stumbled back into jeans.

29) What kept you sane?
The West Wing Weekly podcast.

30) Who did you miss?
The Precious Kids Center kids.

31) What valuable life lesson did you learn in 2016?
I learned so much about managing money and time. 

32) What did you gain this year?
A stronger sense of who I am--how my brain works, what I'm good at, the value I bring to a team. A love for exercise.

33) What did you lose this year?
A bit of weight. 

34) Who was the best new person you met? 
Hard to choose just one! This year brought a new job, a new home, and a new church...and with them, a new book club, a new small group, a new youth ministry...I met so many new, incredible people. 

35) Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
There's such a lot of world to see.