Saturday, October 20, 2007

My favorite bouquet

A Dislocated Elbow, An Impromptu Party, and a New Apartment (hopefully)

I haven't had internet service in about a week, so I appologize for not posting in so long. Last week was both the worst week here yet and also the best. Let me elaborate.
On Tuesday I accidentaly dislocated Franklin's (the little toddler I'm a nanny for) elbow. I had a baby in one arm and Franklin in a room he wasn't supposed to be in, refusing to budge. I had his hand in mine and was trying to coax him to move and I lifted him momentarily by his arm into the hall. I didn't realize he was hurt until we were having lunch and he wasn't using his arm. I felt sick to my stomach and absultely guilty. I hurt him. The poor little boy ate lunch with one hand and when I lifted him out of his highchair he started to cry. I called his mom and left a message and was able to get ahold of his dad, who is an orthopedic surgeon. I didn't know if his arm was sprained or broken or what, but I was terrified. His dad thought it was probably dislocated and told me to drive the kids into his office so he could take a look at it. It was a tearfull 45 minute drive to the office and my mom graciously answered a blubbering phone call from me and reasured me that it was only by the grace of God that she hadn't accidentaly killed us kids when Matt and I were growing up. I think that was comforting.... So, I walked into the doctor's office shaking and holding Franklin and baby Anna in her car seat. Franklin's grandpa and dad work together and are both doctors so they checked him out and gave him an ex-ray just in case. No broken bones, just a dislocated elbow that was poped back in place and the kid was fine. Meanwhile, I was in one of the rooms being comforted by the nurses as I fell apart again as soon as Franklin started crying. They reassured me that this kind of thing happens all the time and that its easy to fix. I thought for sure I was fired and expected the parents to be angry. Instead I was blown away by the grace and kindness that they showed me. I told them that I would never intentionally hurt Franklin and that I totally understood if they wanted to talk to me about the incident. Instead, they asked me if I was okay, and said that if this is the worst thing that happens it's no big deal. Apparently, Franklin's three year old cousin had the same thing happen to her a few weeks ago. I had no idea that this was a fairly common thing. Poor babies! I think the fact that both of Franklin's parents are doctors (and his mom works in an ER) helped because they have a different perspective on what an emergency is than the average person. Also, we didn't have to go to an ER, we went to his dad's office. God is gracious and good. I think that the hardest part of the whole thing was forgiving myself. On my drive home, I was thinking about the day and just feeling really terrible and exhausted. Then I remembered that my God forgives me all the time for all the crap I do, and that His sacrifice covers it all. I realized that if God can forgive me, than I probably should too. The rest of the week Franklin got extra kisses and snuggletime.
On Friday, as I was driving home from work I thought I didn't want to face an empty apartment again, with no plans and the possibility of eating dinner alone. I called Caleb and told him to invite anyone who wanted to come over for dinner and I would roast a chicken. I have to admit I also knew that Caleb would be more likely to come home for dinner if I made an event of it. We ended up having ten people over and hung out until about 1am. It was so nice to have a housefull of people. I think it was the best night we've had here so far. I feel like I really live in a place once I can start welcoming people into my home.
Speaking of home, we put in an application for an apartment today. We won't know until Monday if we get it, but it would be a lot bigger and in a much nicer neighborhood than we live in now. It's also quite a bit more money so I'm a little nervous about affording it. We can pay rent, I'm just not sure we can heat it! We have eleven days until we need to be out of here. It will be so nice not to live in a stessfull situation with crazy landlords. Pray that we have the energy for all this, since it will be a midweek move and I can't take the day off and Caleb is incredibly busy.
I'm going apple picking tomorrow. I'm so excited. I will be going with that girl, Cecelia, whom I've mentioned before in a previous blog. By the way, she did end up calling me and we have hung out a few times since. I'm looking forward to a day outdoors and crunchy apples and cider. We may even make applesauce. I'll post pictures for sure.
It was 54 degrees with thunderstorms in Seattle today. Providence was 75 degrees and sunny. I'd still trade locations, but it's been a lovely fall.

Monday, October 8, 2007

His Faithfullness

"Praise be to the Lord,
for He showed His wonderful love to
when I was in a besieged city.
In my alarm I said,
'I am cut off from Your sight!'
Yet You heard my cry for mercy
when I called to You for help."

Psalm 31:21-22

The Lord has shown His faithfullness to me this weekend and revealed to me my lack of trust in Him. I have often felt cut off from God's sight. Alone. Needing mercy. This city does feel besieged and godless. Caleb and I were just dicussing how amoral Providence felt. However, has Christ been my Life, my Hope, my Joy, daily since I've moved here? No. I have cried out to God like David in this psalm, "I am cut off from Your sight!". I've said, alright Lord, I moved here. I'm being faithfull. You know the sacrifice and the tears. You know how alone this feels. Now it's Your turn to be faithfull to me. - How arrogant! How pridefull.- God never stopped being faithfull to me, I just didn't want to suffer that much for Him. I am always put in my place when God does just what He promised from the begining. He takes care of me. He is my rampart and my sheild. He is my daily bread. All this to say that Caleb and I have found a church. Or rather, God put a church right in front of us. We prayed that God would make it very clear to us if this is or isn't the right church. Our prayer was directly answered as the church revealed their heart to us and had a long period of prayer and communion. Caleb and I wept, convicted of our own lack of trust in our God and His enduring faithfullness. So I say, "Praise be to the Lord, for He showed His wonderful love to me!".

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Moving Again

I apologize for not posting anything meaningful in a while. While pictures of leaves and dead birds and sesame street characters are cute, they really don't let you know how we are doing. So here it goes. Caleb and I are finding a new apartment for November (for reasons I can't get into right now, other than to say it has been a very stressful month in terms of our living situation). We gave our 30 day notice and are moving once again. Please pray that we find not just an apartment, but a place we can be at peace and call home, at least for the next couple of years. Also, Caleb desperately needs studio space and unfortunately he is in the only program at RISD that doesn't provide him with a studio. We will be looking for a two bedroom because of that. I think it will be a good idea anyway for Caleb to have a studio at home because right now he is so, so busy that he is gone from morning until night. He is also stressed about trying to balance everything; school, work, me, moving...
The light at the end of the tunnel is that we are planning on going back to his folks house in the upper peninsula of Michigan for Christmas. We will spend about 10 days with them. We need a vacation from life for a little while. Caleb and I don't really take vacations. We just move across the country. Even when we go back to Michigan to visit family it is usually harried and stressful as there is never enough time to really see everyone. We usually return home exhausted and go right back to work. So, 10 days in the remote, snowy wonderland of Hancock, Michigan sounds pretty delightful.
I'm sick with a head cold because I've been kissing the babies I nanny for a lot this week. What can I say? They needed the love and they are just so darn cute. The little boy has been testing me lately but I think it is expected as he is just hitting the terrible twos. I'm trying to be patient, firm, and consistent. It can be a real challenge when I'm being kicked in the gut as I'm changing his diaper!
Tugboat is in heat again and she's driving us crazy this morning. I think she wants to get outside to visit the neighborhood boys. We should have gotten her fixed eons ago.
I still don't have much of a social life. It's slow going when I'm really not in any social circles. I'm in Caleb's circle of course, but a lot of the conversation of his peers has to do with critiques, teachers, lectures, and other elements of school that I can't relate to. It is only natural. However, as I've mentioned before, his peers are all nice people so I feel welcome. I just get bored sometimes with the conversation. I was proud of myself this week. I called up a girl I barely knew and asked her if she wanted to grab a beer after work. I know it is such a ridiculously small thing, however, I can be rather shy when it comes to initiating friendships. We ended up hanging out. Caleb and her boyfriend are friends, so they joined us and it was very natural and nice. I really like this girl. Her name is Cecilia and she is half Brazilian. She is fluent in Portuguese and English and she is smart, funny and kind. My hangups when it comes to initiating a friendship also include feeling that I'm over analyzing the situation, and I'm not sure at what point do I wait for them to call or do I call them. I've called her twice, so now should I wait to hear from her? You would think that I should have this figured out by twenty-eight. I feel like I'm in middle school. Does she like me? Ha, ha.
Speaking of friends, I recently joined facebook and have found some long lost high school friends. I feel like that's quite an accomplishment considering I went to an international school in Budapest and my classmates are scattered all over the world. I'm working up to emailing a friend I've had since I was three years old but have fallen out of contact with her for almost ten years. We were best friends and she was like a sister to me. How do you fill someone in on a decade of experiences and life? How do you rekindle a friendship after so long?
Caleb and I will be trying out another church tomorrow. We went to a really bizarre church last Sunday and it looked like it was Lex Luther who was preaching. Their "cutting-edge technology" that they were so clearly proud of was a little overwhelming. Tomorrow we are checking out Renaissance church, recommended by some Mars Hill folks that used to live in Providence. I can't wait to find a church. My soul is so hungry. I am loading up my ipod with Mars Hill sermon podcasts to listen to on my daily work commute.
It is a beautiful fall day here. Sunny, 70's, mariachi music drifting up from our neighbors outside. The ice cream truck just went by. Tugboat is asleep on the couch and I'm still in my pajamas. I love weekends.