Wednesday, November 25, 2009


I'm homesick. Homesick for Chicago. It hit me Sunday after church. While I love our church here, it is not Ravenswood, and it's still not home. While I've met many wonderful people, there are still so many people who I don't know and coffee hour can be intimidating. I had an hour to kill between church and picking Adam up from work and I honestly did not know what to do with myself. I couldn't help but think that in Chicago we lived but two short blocks from church. That thought led me down the rabbit trail to everything I miss about Chicago - and I mean EVERYTHING. I couldn't stop thinking about it. I wished I was in Chicago walking home from church (after a coffee hour spent talking to any number of wonderful people) down the street to our apartment, or to CVS where we often picked up milk after church, or down to the Square for some window shopping. I thought of the cold and snow and slush and could remember where the puddles would form on that walk and could picture every detail. I MISSED the terrible weather, I just missed everything.

Another factor to this homesick spell was spending some time downtown with Adam. I LOVE Seattle's downtown and have spent a lot of time there since we moved. However, being there with Adam, in the evening, around the holidays sucked. It just wasn't Chicago. We didn't get downtown much, but date nights strolling down Michigan avenue or going to Millennium Park never disappointed. It's magical there, especially around the holidays. Seattle's downtown is great for what it is, but it's not Chicago and never will be.

I think it's the familiar that I miss. I miss routine and comfort and familiarity. Maybe we've been here long enough that some of the novelty has worn off. We're new, but we're not. Maybe it's the holidays that make me long for Chicago. Maybe it's that I'm sick of the dreary rain. Maybe it's that I miss having more than a handful of friends - I miss ALL my amazing friends. So, so, so much. I wish each and everyone one of you lived here. I wish we could get together for dinner, just to hang out, watch football or run into each other at a NPU event. I miss having people I know everywhere. It's not just one thing, it's everything.

My point is... I'm homesick, and it sucks. We're heading for Chicago tomorrow morning, and while I'm so excited to be with family and to be in the city, I'm nervous to be in the place that I miss so dearly. (Clarification - this is a temporary funk - I'm already much LESS homesick than I was Sunday and have no doubt it will pass soon. Maybe being in Chicago will help me get over it! ;) But as I was thinking about how homesick I was I couldn't help but note that I'm also incredibly blessed. Blessed that I DO love it here, blessed that the move hasn't been terrible and that homesickness hasn't hit until now. I'm blessed in countless ways, and in the spirit of Thanksgiving I've decided to focus on that.

I am grateful for: (in NO particular order and off the top of my head)
Adam (I have no words to describe how grateful I am for him)
our cat, Jack and his health (knock on wood)
my family - immediate, in-law and extended
the friends who are as close as family
all my friends, acquaintances, buddies and past co-workers - each blesses me in their own way
having a warm, safe place to live
as broke as we are, we really aren't, we have SO much
beauty - Seattle, Lake Union, Mt. Rainier
the health of my family - I am SO grateful for our health
a new church that can't replace Ravenswood, but doesn't need to
the chance and ability to visit Chicago and see old friends
our trip to Europe this last spring
my nephew :)
the constancy and love of my 'little family'
living 2 hours away from Canada - my homeland
the temp job I just got (better than nothing)
small mercies
people that love me and pray for me
my grandparents
the fact that life goes on
good books
good music
good wine
Pastors that care about us and take care of us
that my friends are still my friends even though so many miles separate us
the fact that we still haven't turned our heat on at the end of November
new friends
assurance that while EVERYTHING changes, God does not

the list goes on... and on...

This is one of my favorite songs by Nichole Nordeman - Gratitude
The words never fail to ground, humble and encourage me. They take on new meaning with every situation and every season of life and seem especially appropriate to me this Thanksgiving.

Send some rain, would You send some rain?
'Cause the earth is dry and needs to drink again
And the sun is high and we are sinking in the shade
Would You send a cloud, thunder long and loud?
Let the sky grow black and send some mercy down
Surely You can see that we are thirsty and afraid
But maybe not, not today
Maybe You'll provide in other ways
And if that's the case . . .

We'll give thanks to You
With gratitude
For lessons learned in how to thirst for You
How to bless the very sun that warms our face
If You never send us rain

Daily bread, give us daily bread
Bless our bodies, keep our children fed
Fill our cups, then fill them up again tonight
Wrap us up and warm us through
Tucked away beneath our sturdy roofs
Let us slumber safe from danger's view this time
Or maybe not, not today
Maybe You'll provide in other ways
And if that's the case . . .

We'll give thanks to You
With gratitude
A lesson learned to hunger after You
That a starry sky offers a better view if no roof is overhead And if we never taste that bread

Oh, the differences that often are between
What we want and what we really need

So grant us peace, Jesus, grant us peace
Move our hearts to hear a single beat
Between alibis and enemies tonight
Or maybe not, not today
Peace might be another world away
And if that's the case . . .

We'll give thanks to You
With gratitude
For lessons learned in how to trust in You
That we are blessed beyond what we could ever dream
In abundance or in need
And if You never grant us peace

But Jesus, would You please . . .

Friday, November 6, 2009

'just a cat'

I feel compelled to blog about what's been going on with Jack since most everyone that might read my blog has probably been well informed via facebook of the ordeal. However, I really just don't know what to say. It's been a loooong two weeks. He seems to be doing well overall, but there is still cause for concern and will be for the next two weeks (and to some degree forever after that).

Facing the thought of losing him has been tremendously difficult and I have realized to just what extent his constant companionship and love have helped me through this move and transition. It would be very lonely here without him. The ups and downs of his recovery (I think there have been FIVE times we've been positive that we'd have to put him down) have taken quite a toll on me. There have been many times in my life when I have underestimated my strength and been surprised by it, but this time I think I have overestimated it and that in itself has been a shock to my system. I am weak, I need help, I need prayer. I am doing my best to embrace this vulnerability and to simply ask for the help and intervention that I need. It's terribly humbling, but a little hit to my pride is a small price to pay at this point. Perhaps there is strength in admitting weakness. While the transition to this new life has been largely positive, losing Jack could emphasize a lot of the hard parts and I would greatly miss the comfort and consistency he provides.

So I pray. I pray that he will continue to heal, that this whole process and all these bills will not simply end in tragedy, but in recovery. I pray that he continues to pee, that he eats, and that soon he will decide to pooh again. I know, right? What absurd concerns. I pray that I will continue to draw near to God in this time and that I will find his peace no matter what happens and that his strength will be sufficient. I pray for strength to continue taking care of Jack even though I just. want. to. be. done. with it all. I hate this weakness, I hate the feebleness that this has brought out, but I ask for the courage to not deny it and seek the help I need when I need it. I pray for Adam as he struggles to take care of Jack and me at home while burdened with his highly stressful job that is starting to burn him out. As always, I'm grateful for the support, love and prayers of my friends and family. I have been so blessed through so many in this time. And I appreciate those who are graceful enough to simply accept how hard this is for us even if Jack is 'just a cat.' When all is said and done, he's OUR cat, he brings us a lot of love and joy and I pray that he sticks around for a lot longer.

P.S. This whole ordeal has also increased my need for any sort of job. It would be good to get out more, and a paycheck would be - well a big help. :)