Tag Archives: home

has it already been a year?

This time last year I was packing up everything to move across the country.  In fact, exactly a year ago, the truck pulled away with all my earthly possessions (except the essentials).  As I rehearsed many times last fall moving is like a break-up – at first you notice every day or week that passes, and then the month-versaries, and then eventually you start to notice less how long it’s been.

So now it’s been a year, and I swear the fall went by so so unbearably slowly.  So many days of waiting for the sun to come out (*not* just figuratively).  And now it’s summer, and HOT.  I love it.  Don’t get me wrong – I still think Austin may be the best city in the country – I haven’t gotten rid of my real estate there and visited 4 times in the last year.   But I guess I’ve sorta made a home here too.  It still doesn’t feel comfortable, but better than just bearable.

So this time this year, I pack again but for a week-long vacation with my co-conspirator and awesome family.  Looking forward to a week of sharing a bed with my 3 year old niece, and lots and lots of sunshine.

*picture above taken with my old canon point and shoot.  cal botanical gardens.


this too shall pass (transition edition)

Today, I want to move back home to Austin.

It’s been awhile since I’ve felt this way – so there is definitely some celebration in that.  Seriously, there is – I’m not just being optimistic – God-knows that’s near-impossible for me anyways.  So despite the general tone of this post – I am also reminding myself that hopefully these days will get fewer and farther between.

But today is one of those days.  Perhaps it was getting lost on my way to the main post office three times.  Or the fact that I had to go to the main post office because my tiny apartment mailbox got full with other people’s mail (my old mailbox never got full, nor did I get other people’s mail and dangit – I miss my house).  Or that I woke up 4-5 times coughing last night because of allergies/super-dry-air and I’m tired of not feeling good and just plain tired.  Or that it’s beautiful and about 90 degrees outside and I miss that and there are no snow cones to be found here.  And no fireflies west of the Rockies either.

Or maybe it’s because I heard a gorgeous sermon yesterday at Kevin’s church, and it’s been forever since I heard one of those.   Well, except that I was in Austin last Sunday for Carrie’s ordination and that was a beautiful, beautiful sermon.  Or maybe it’s that my birthday is coming up and there’s nothing like a birthday around people who love you, and most of the ones I know live 1700+ miles away.  And I just got back from there.

But this too shall pass.  I just got done telling the new Stanford graduates this week that I think it takes at least a year or year and a half to make the transition out of college.  I thought I’d get bonus time for being so far out of college and having a grip on my life.  But, I guess not.  It’s always easier to tell other people what it’ll be like than to live it oneself!

Thinking back, I know there were hard things about moving to Austin 10 years ago.  You long-time friends can feel free to remind me of those in the comments.  It’s never easy to make new friends, or find a new church, or learn a town whose streets change names at every other intersection (Austin, not here).  I like to think that it was easier 10 years ago though, when so few of my friends were married and had no kids, when they had more time.  To be fair, I also wasn’t trying hard to finish a master’s degree back then.  But, this too shall pass.  Or at least, I hope I’ll pass my classes. 🙂

This too shall pass.  I don’t think I’ll forget how to get to the main post office again.  Hopefully it’ll be another long while before I have a whole day where I want to move home.  But hey, I thought of something that I don’t miss from Austin.  Giant roaches.  I haven’t seen any here, and for that I’m really glad.  Just thinking about them gives me the shivers.

A few weeks ago I taught on Elijah (the super-prophet).  So in line with that, for now, I’m gonna go make a breakfast taco for myself and drink a Mexican coke.  Then, a nap if I need it.  And then I’ll talk to God.  I heard he knows all about Austin.  😉  It’ll get easier to BREATHE here too.

the stuff of life (or not)

I’m moving apartments this weekend.  It’s just up the road a little, about a mile and a half.  But this move should be a lot easier than last time – I don’t have to pack so sturdily, and there’s not as much emotional attachment to this apartment.  In fact, I’m ready to start over – now that I have some more footing in California – I’m ready to be in a new place.

I just packed up my guitar, and remembered that when I drove out I had put only the most important stuff in my car.  Besides some clothes and stuff for arrival, I packed in my legal documents, bike, guitar, computer, scrapbooks, a teddy bear, friend Carrie, and a thick file folder of all the sermons I’ve ever given.  [I print my sermons out and scribble added things in the margins – they’re always better after giving them.]

In a way, I miss that simplicity.

I’m grateful for all the other furniture and clothes, etc.  but apparently, when it comes down to it, I care about just a few things.  And even those things, I could live without.  I am not the sum of my stuff – houses I own, sermons I’ve given, or great hobbies.

That’s reassuring.

day one

It’s the beginning of a new year.  Advent kicks off the church year with the wonderful season of …. waiting.  Not Christmas, but waiting.  We wait for the Kingdom.  We wait with hope.

A few years back my church did an interactive ‘waiting’ liturgy.  It started with everyone being given a number, and then taken in shifts to a waiting room area complete with magazines, chairs, and muzak to wait for your number to be called.  Inside the liturgy space there was time to sit, and places to write things we were waiting for.  Or at least, that’s what I hear.  I didn’t make it – I was on a business trip and had booked my flight to arrive in plenty of time for liturgy.  But my flight was severely delayed.  I had my very own waiting service in the DFW airport.

I’ve told that story before, and felt clever for saying that last bit about my very own waiting service.  But I was thinking about it again tonight and had a new realization.  At first I was just disappointed –  it was a special experiential night I was missing with my community.  It could not be recreated.  Then I was angry – I had planned so well and worked out the flights in order to make it to church.  And finally I was just tired from travel, and wanted to be home, but was stymied by the airline delay.

But I still knew that I was going to get home.  Yes, I’d miss something that I really wanted to be at.  But I didn’t doubt that I’d make it back to Austin – even if it took longer than I thought it would.  There would be other liturgies and more time with community.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how to have the long view of things, and not just focusing on the current circumstances.  It’s hard.  Especially when the long view is long like lifelong, or til-the-Kingdom-comes long.  That is a long delay.  And even though my parents did a good job teaching me the concept and practice of delayed gratification, I feel the disappointment, anger, and fatigue today.

But maybe I need to remember that I will make it home.  And what a home it will be.

If you’re interested in more on Advent or the Christian calendar, here are two resources: I’m again using Living the Christian Year: Time to Inhabit the Story of God (by my friend Bobby Gross) as a way to sit in this Advent season.  And I’ve also appreciated reading Richard Rohr’s daily meditations.  That link takes you to a subscribe page, here is an example – today’s Advent meditation.

now playing:  The Waiting Room – Sixpence

Dear house… part 2

Alright House on Brookfield, I see how it is.  You want to stick around longer, I get it.

You successfully avoided the tax credit season.  Impressive.  But really, don’t you think you owe yourself some dignity – to have an owner who is committed to you?  Remember all the things I said in part 1?

I think it’s time to get out there.  You have lots of  great qualities – like the nice saltillo tile and gardening space out back.  Let the morning light come in nice and bright to the living room, and afternoon sun into the bedrooms.  Don’t be all down, I’m hoping there’s some nice person or family out there looking for you.

You look great in your tour.    www.tourfactory.com/438503



a short note to God

Dear God –

You know how there’s a tax credit for homebuyers in the US right now?  Of course you know… Well, just a reminder, it expires in a week.

Please send one of those last-minute procrastinators to buy my house.  That’d be nice.



PS – I’m not judging, I procrastinate with the best of ’em.  They just need to be able to buy my house.

PPS – Thanks again for the house.  I loved it a lot.

Dear House on Brookfield

Dear House on Brookfield,

We’ve had some great times, haven’t we? I’ve learned a lot from you – including:

  • patience and perseverance as I’ve tended the lawn and tried to beat back the weeds
  • joy and hospitality at having countless friends over and AACM student gatherings in the gigantic living/dining room
  • community from the 10+ roommates I lived with in those 6 years, and the closeness of having my godson and his family live nearby for a couple
  • zaniness from that crazy light fixture above the dining room table
  • how to caulk, grout, paint, install blinds and light fixtures, recover from a damaging hailstorm, and take apart a washing machine
  • that God gives good gifts for me to steward

It’s been a good run. But really, I think it’s over. I’m ready for you to go. Please find yourself another owner. I tried to end things in 2005, but you stuck around, and then again in 2008. They say the third time’s the charm?

Sabrina (you know I live elsewhere now, right?)

PS – I suppose if you stick around it must mean there’s still some stuff I need to learn from you. If so, could you give me the cheat sheet?

PPS – if anyone else is looking for a house to buy – http://www.tourfactory.com/438503