This post may begin sounding a little like “Debbie Downer”, but please bear with me as I get to explaining that the significance of the title of this blog, Eucharisteo, which means grace, thanksgiving, and joy…something I am striving to embrace. And, if you stick it out long enough, chances are YOU will be mentioned in this post
We are getting settled and trying to establish a little routine for ourselves here in Austin. The house is coming together with everything that we need and (some) pictures hung on the walls, getting in a cleaning/laundry routine, etc. Colby is getting in some office hours working on fund raising stuff during the week while I’m at home with the kids and my work is in full swing over the weekends. And we are loving the church we are visiting, which is such an answer to prayer. This is the first week that I’ve started to really miss people. People from SF, people from GA…just people. (I’m reminded of what an extravert I am when I’ve gotten out for a couple of playdates. Those are the days I feel energized when the kids go down at nap time rather than crashing on the couch and napping myself!) God has been gracious to us and placed so many people in our path who are so willing to open their arms and homes to us, so I’ve been to a couple play dates and a super awesome Bible study (more on that in a minute) and coming back to my house, I notice something terrible. Discontent…or maybe even shame? Yes, this (HUGE!) house that has a dishwasher, washer AND dryer(!!!!) which were the only things on my wish list, not to mention a neighborhood pool and playground, three bedrooms and two bathrooms seems…barren, plain, worn out and just plain ugly. I am ashamed to say that after seeing the beautifully decorated and fully furnished houses of those around me has made me look on my own blessings with disdain or embarrassment. After living in a world on a seminary campus, where literally all of your friends had the exact same house as you, furnished with little pieces of miss matched Craigslist and Ikea furniture, you kinda forget that people actually paint walls and buy matching sets of furniture! Again, shamefully, I wondered how we were going to have people over for a play date and sit on our tattered, unmatching Craigslist finds or dinner in our dining area with scratched up and stained linoleum in our needs-a-bit-of-TLC-rental house? How could I even think these things?!
As usual, God knows right when I need a kick in the pants and planted me right smack dab in the middle of a ladies Bible study where we are reading a book by Ann Voskamp called One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right where You Are. Ummmm, yikes! She challenges her readers to slow down and begin writing down the gifts in your life in a journal…one thousand of them! I have been *soooo* put in my place with this challenge! She presents the concept of Eucharisteo which is a Greek word describing a life filled with grace and joy that flow from thanksgiving. This morning, Colby stayed at home with the kids, who are dripping with green snot, so I could still go to the Bible study and not share those lovely germs with all the other kiddos (I know, he’s so sweet!). I began to work through this idea of Eucharisteo on my solitary, half hour drive (heavenly!) and I got so choked up thinking about all of YOU.
I started with a mental list of my gifts since I was driving at the time (ha!) and so many of them are the very people reading this blog. You are old friends from college or high school, you are family, you are friends in SF that I am deeply missing right now, you are part of what I liked to call Judah’s “entourage” of teachers, therapists and doctors, I worked with you at GMC or Alta Bates, you are our new family here in Austin…you have been and are living life with us. You are those who prayed and excitedly sent us out to the West Coast. You were there in the hospital to bring food to Colby or to sit in the hospital room with me when I was afraid, even when you had other work to be done. You loved our little boy and taught him to lift his arms or to walk. You came to sit with us when our little girl was in the hospital and I just needed to take a nap and a shower! You made us dinner, came to birthday parties, cried with us, laughed with us, prayed for us. You sat in our living room for about 8 hours (haha!) every Sunday night sharing dinner and sad/hilarious/serious/random stories and lots of laughs and love. You are giving sacrificially so that we can do the ministry God has called us to with Hope for Orphans. You welcomed us in as your new neighbors here in Texas and made us yummy treats and didn’t mind the occasional “terrible two” fit from our adjusting-to-a-new-life kids when they came to play. I was so overwhelmed with thankfulness for all of you, to the point of tears. I am filled with joy seeing the grace of God in our life and so ashamed that I would value paint on a wall, tile on a floor or furniture in a room more than these beautiful gifts that the Father has lavished upon our family. Thank you. ALL of you…you have been a blessing to our family and you are a gift straight from His hands to ours.
So I am taking up the challenge to *try* and prioritize the time to begin writing down all of these One Thousand Gifts in my own little journal. I’m hoping I’ll be able to share a short little “Eucharisteo moment” from time to time on the blog.
Quick Kiddo update: The kids are doing well and adjusting. It was been harder on little Edy Poo than it has Judah. He is enjoying meeting new “Tecas frennns” and loves his new “Big, green church” (not really sure why it’s green…because the church we’ve been to is not green….?!) He does ask frequently about his California friends and has a hard time understanding why we can’t walk down the street and see them, but phone calls and FaceTime help! Eden is happy most of the time, but is still a little unsure of all the newness and usually at least once a day turns in to a little Koala Bear and does not want Momma out of her sight or becomes defiant with a bad attitude. Please pray for her little heart as she struggles to understand and adjust. Please pray for Colby and me as we navigate helping her through this transition. She does however LOOOOOOOOVE the pool and all the cute little warm weather dresses she is getting to wear
As always, we’d love to hear from you here on the blog, FB, Twitter, email, phone, text, snail mail…we’d just love to hear from you and how everything in YOUR life is going!! I will leave you with a verse that (ironically!) hangs above our front door:
“By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches.” Proverbs 24:3-4