After what honestly feels like the most unsettled month of all time, we find ourselves in a new year, a new town, a new house, and we’re starting to get some of the puzzle pieces of this new life put together just enough to start re-dreaming.
We didn’t plan to move to Minnesota until what really feels like the last minute. We committed to this job less than three months ago! Aaron has a commute that will take up hours of his life (and our family time) during this season, which is just unavoidable if you are the sort of person who needs a yard and works in a big city. I don’t have any piano students yet, which means the budget is t-i-g-h-t for the foreseeable future. We don’t have friends yet, or a church – although we did visit one close to the new house and plenty of people said hello so we certainly plan to visit again. I can’t remember how to get to the grocery stores without looking it up on my phone and I can’t find one that carries my favorite brand of boxed pizza crust mix. I say all this not to complain, but to acknowledge that transitions are always rough, and this week I am feeling that roughness a lot.
We sat down on New Years Eve and talked about the year past, which we have wondered about and anticipated for our whole marriage, and I couldn’t stop talking about how I am scared to be so out of control in every bit of things. We have lost a life that was working and have to figure out the new one, which may or may not have much in common with the old one. It sounds so negative to speak of things in these terms, so I have to reframe these conversations and rename these fears. I want to think of this as entering a new life with so much beauty and goodness and wonder to uncover and receive. I want to be grateful that it isn’t going like I planned, because what I strive for is never the very best. I certainly didn’t expect all the goodness we experienced in Iowa, but it was there waiting anyway.
Because if I think of this in the way I want to, I would just write about how much I miss the park by my old house, and the high ceilings, the dishwasher that worked, the people I knew, the kids I saw every week. I would tell you how much I miss the Fareway meat counter and our church and knowing just where to go when I needed to get out for a bit. I would lament about how disappointing it is to be a longer drive away from our extended families, which means significantly fewer visits in the next few years. Instead of staying in that longing, I want to figure out how to accept the unsettled mess of today a little longer. Because even when I thought I had it made, I was never really in control and I was always flying by the seat of my pants anyway. (Nostalgia is such a liar.)
There are no serious New Years Resolutions this year. Just a few practical must-do’s, such as getting a piano studio off the ground and possibly getting a part-time job while that starts up, and then upgrading a few things done on the house. (Like I said, I really miss a working dishwasher. There are also several things offending my aesthetic sensibilities.) But I want this year to be full of receiving grace I could not have orchestrated or dreamed of myself, and I want to have a good attitude about it in the meantime. I’m going to fail at this, probably a lot, but when I’m not keeping it together, I want to fall forward. I want to fall into the newness of whatever moment God has given.
One of the beautiful, new, delightful gifts (already!) has been the arrival of this little pup, who has been hoped for many, many times in the past five years. The timing of getting a seven-week-old puppy while your moving boxes are not unpacked is probably not advisable, but we decided to take advantage of a litter with the exact parentage we wanted. It’s probably better to do this before we start to ever think about new furniture, really.
So we are trudging through the joy (cuddles and cuteness!) and duty (chewing and housebreaking!) of having little Max, and someday when we stop sleeping in winter coats so we don’t freeze to death when we take him out in the middle of the night, I will probably have many wonderful updates about how the rest of life is coming together, too.
All his work is done in faithfulness. …The earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord. – Psalm 33:3&4