Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Keep Trusting and Waiting

A week ago, we had our first MOPS meeting of the season and it blew me away. We had the biggest turn out ever and everything seemed to go fairly smoothly. I'm the lead coordinator this year and was feeling a lot of self-driven pressure leading up to the morning. I could not have expected or hoped for a better meeting. I was riding on this high all day and then Chris came home and told me some news that turned my high into the lowest low.

Back in July we had applied for another condo through the Mayors Office of Housing (they have below market rate units for sale if you qualify). It's all done by lottery. The results came out in August and we were near the top. In tier 3 we were number 3 (total number 5, I think). There were a total of 6 units and we were super hopeful that they would get to our number and we would qualify and be approved for the mortgage and finally be able to move.

Well, I think you can see where this is going. After weeks of waiting for the applicants in front of us to be vetted we got an email last week that said everyone in front of us has entered into contract and they are moving on to the 4th tier (only the first two applicants were taken from the 3rd tier per all the rules that are too cumbersome to explain/understand.)

There were a number of reasons my hopes had been so high.
1) The location: 8 blocks or less from several friends, walking distance to church, in a sunny part of town, closer to Chris's work...
2) The size: although it wasn't huge and there wasn't a yard or community center to be seen, it was a two bedroom with plenty of storage and a decent kitchen. There was even a walk in closet that could be an office.
3) There was a washer/dryer in the unit, a parking spot and a bike spot.
4) For this year it would have been 3 blocks from William's school.

It seemed so perfect. I could be more active with my friends in that neighborhood, we could be super close to church and be a little more active there (not rushing home for naps all the time). We wouldn't have to walk 2 blocks to get to our car -- we wouldn't need to take our car everywhere! Strengthened community was the biggest pull. It sounds silly, but the effort it takes to get anywhere often deters me from leaving the house.

Another reason I had high hopes in this unit was that we'd been waiting for something just like this for so long . . . nearly 4 years! Actively looking, saving, applying and waiting . . . four years.

So, that was the news on Tuesday last week. And those are some of the reasons I found myself in such a low state. Giving up, letting go of dreams that had started taking root felt so hard. And it hit me at that moment that I didn't even know how much hope I had been leaning on until it was taken away. I fell hard.

Fast forward six days and I'm teaching children's church on Sunday to several 3-5 year olds. The memory verse was Proverbs 3:5 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart." Words that Chris has often quoted in this process. The lesson that day was focused on Abraham and Sarah waiting on God's promise that they would have decedents more numerous than the stars. Can you picture that kind of waiting? To have decedents you have to have children. Poor Sarah is watching the months go by, becoming years and years . . . just waiting. Her husband so certain that God will make good on his word. But she is passed the age of bearing children. And then she has a son.

Every month the kids learn a catch praise. This month is "God keeps his promises." And although we haven't had an actual promise that we will get a 2 bedroom condo in San Francisco for less than half a million dollars (I would love if scripture were that direct!) he does promise that he will provide for us, that he cares for us, and knows what we need. So, as I was teaching these little children to trust in God's promises even if you have to wait a long time, God was reminding me to do the very same.

So, I'm letting go of those dreams I held so tightly and seeking God for new dreams and next steps and trying each day to remain faithful in trusting Him while I wait. If I have to chant the catch phrase like a 3 year old, so be it!

Monday, September 3, 2018

Summer Reading

It's been a great summer for reading. Both for me and the kids. William has his favorites - The Magic Treehouse series and Stephen loves anything and everything to do with trucks. We visited the library often over the summer months and participated in their Summer Reading Program. It's a bit silly to track William's time in front of books since we read for at least an hour every day, but tracking it meant stickers and completing the challenge meant a new tote bag!

I also read a lot this summer and have failed to keep up with my usual review of each title. So, rather than try to wrack my brain as to what the books were actually about (and in the end just copying what other people said after I did a google search), I'm just going to list them here. Sort of a record for myself so I don't mistakenly pick up same title twice!

Here is what I remember reading:

I was Anastasia by Ariel Lawhon (I really enjoyed this one, it had me tricked until the very end)
Other People's Houses by Abbi Waxman
Love and Other Words by Christian Lauren (also a really good read, much different than I expected)
Eleanore Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

I love that my family is a group of readers and cuddling up with a good book is enjoyed by all. Over the last three months my family has checked out 50 books from the library! I love that. 

What were some of your favorite reads this summer?

Apple Picking Adventures

A friend invited us to go on a little adventure this weekend. Apple picking! She makes her own apple sauce every year and this time, I wanted to join the fun. We loaded the car early on Sunday morning, drove across the Golden Gate Bridge and up to a town called Petaluma. We've been there before, it's a really beautiful little city with farms and rolling hills surrounding it.

The boys were really excited to visit a farm. On the apple orchard they also had sheep, chickens and black angus cattle. William's first question when we were packing up was, "Will there be a bull?" I said probably not, not every farm keeps a bull. But low and behold, the very first animal we see as we got there, was in fact a bull. There you go William!

We roamed the orchard, picking several types of apples and pears. And then made our way to the animals. Stephen loved the sheep and even got to pet one. He kept saying "More pet sheep" while we toured the rest of the farm.

They also had a juicing station where you could try and spin the wheel to squash the apples. They had filled it quite high so it was really hard for William to turn it, but he tried with all his might and didn't want to give up.

It was a full morning. We drove home and we all took naps even though it was already after 2 p.m.

And then today, the adventure continued! I went to my friend Kate's house and we hooked up our new kitchen gadget (the Kitchen Aid core/peel/slice attachment) and made two huge pots of applesauce and two apple pies.

Such a fun weekend. And now I'm really ready for all the fall activities to come!