You know how some people go on talking for a long time and then aren’t quite sure how to stop, so they say, “Someone help me get off this stage…”?
Well, this is kind of like that. Except in reverse. It’s been nearly a full month since I last wrote, and even then I wasn’t writing super regularly. And now I’m the awkward person who doesn’t quite know how to get started again, asking, “someone help me get back on this stage!”
The truth is, while unplanned, this break was very welcomed. What began as me being intentional about spending a lot less time on my computer, quickly became a habit before I knew it. After a week, I was inadvertently going days without opening my laptop or checking email. A nice change for me, a needed change for my family, and probably a little on the irresponsible side in terms of commitments and emails and such.
The quiet time was good and necessary. And every year that I step away from online life for a period, I’m glad I did and I know I want to do that again next year. Building in seasons of rest is important. Even in things like blogging. I feel refreshed, refocused, and rested. It’s been lovely.
But now, I’m ready to come back! And while no one thing feels like an appropriate “first post back” after a long hiatus, I have a lot to tell about my time away. So please pardon me if you’re not a fan of lists (I love a good list), but The Myers Family April is coming at you in list form:
1. We took a weekend getaway to Atlanta to visit my friend Keight and her family. Meat was consumed. Fire pits were enjoyed. Children played outside together happily. Ikea was conquered (and by conquered, I mean mighty fits were thrown by our children, but all parties came out alive and with assemble-it-yourself furniture). It was grand.
2. Oliver had a bunch of soccer games. He’s a great teammate and leader on the field, and Ryan does an awesome job coaching 6-year-olds (hidden talent!).
3. I re-landscaped the front of my house and it looks awesome. There are lots of blue hydrangea and a new redbud tree for happy springtime color.
I started in on the back landscaping when I was finished with the front, but as I was weeding around a bush I found myself eye-to-eye with a garter snake (like, up high in the bush, by my face). I may have screamed a little (did you know that I had a python and boa constrictor as pets as a child? Apparently that fearlessness with reptiles is lost in adulthood), then decided to take a mental health break from yard work and haven’t quite made it back.
4. Someone broke into my van and stole things. It was very upsetting. The full story is that I went to Vanderbilt Hospital to visit my neighbor (whose newborn twins were still in the NICU – they’re home and doing great now, by the way!) and while I was with them, someone broke into my van, stole my gym bag, and grabbed the hair products I’d just purchased at the salon (I had just come from getting my hair cut) out of the shopping bag, but left the bag. I didn’t notice any of this until I was all the way back home (a 40-minute drive).
I went ahead and filed a police report just to alert Vandy of break-in activity in the parking garage. The value of the items that were taken (clothes, heat tools, shoes, jewelry, the bag itself, etc.) also happened to be our deductible for homeowner’s insurance (yep, that’s covered under home, not car!), so it really wasn’t worth filing a claim. I was out of luck. And it was sad.
It’s just stuff. But man, I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t super traumatic. I think there’s just something about knowing that there was a stranger in my van, going through my stuff. I was never in any immediate danger, but the whole ordeal was pretty upsetting.
Part of my grief caused me to have some long talks with the Lord about things and asking myself: can I be joyful without all of the stuff? I was left without a hair dryer and flat-iron for a weekend until Amazon could deliver new ones. (Sort of an extra-big-deal because I’d just come from a new haircut and absolutely every time I get my hair done, I go straight home to “fix” or “re-acquaint myself with” my new cut after getting it done. You do that too, right?)
(I sent a sad face from under a hat to Keight as I was packing for our weekend in Atlanta. Also, my missing gym bag. Sigh.)
Ultimately, I had to ask myself: what if everything was stripped away? No heat tools, no jewelry, no shoes, no home – would the joy of the Lord be enough?
This was a sweet time to talk with the Lord about what/Whom I rely upon. And also to talk to Him about the person who stole my things. However much they invaded my privacy, I know the Lord loves them and wants them. To pray a prayer of blessing on the person who wronged me was surprisingly challenging and comforting all at once.
Having my gym bag stolen was a good thing. I needed that.
5. Also in April I made official plans to travel to Guatemala with Food for the Hungry. (Eeee!) I’m going in August and Ryan is planning to come, too. I can’t hep but think it interesting that in these months leading up to our trip, the Lord is already working on my heart in little and big ways. I get that living without styling tools for a weekend isn’t anything close to roughing it or truly living without basic needs being met, but clearly my heart needs baby steps and, like I said, I’m grateful for that. I’ll share more about our trip and Food for the Hungry as we get closer to August.
6. A huge part of the month of April for us began just two weeks ago when I was working on a wood-staining project on my front porch. A woman drove up to the front of our house in a car I didn’t recognize. She got out and started walking toward me. She introduced herself as a realtor and told me that she and her client (a cash buyer) were looking to purchase a house in our neighborhood, but literally every house that was for sale already had a contract on it. She wondered if I might know of any neighbors who were planning to put their house on the market so she could get a jump on all the other buyers.
I told her I didn’t know of any, but goodness, she was welcome to take a look around in our home. If they wanted to “make us move”, we could probably be persuaded. (I love packing. And moving. And house shopping. Also, it was a rare day and my house was super-duper clean, so I was game for a quick showing.)
An hour after they left, the realtor called and said they loved it. The buyer wanted to come back through with her husband after the weekend and they’d likely make an offer then. Holy Moly.
Suuuuper long story short (including a big-old, 80-year-old farm house a mile from downtown on acre and a half that we loved but couldn’t afford until the realtor called and said the sellers would drop the price $100K if we were interested – what?!?!?), we have been hardcore house hunting for the past two weeks. (We decided not to buy the farmhouse because it’s in a flood plane and floods make us nervy).
The original buyers that were interested in our house found another one in the neighborhood that same weekend, but knowing (via their realtor) what they were planning to offer made us realize that it was a great time to sell if we were up for it.
(One of the houses we looked at had a pool in the back, which made the kids very happy. It wasn’t the house for us, though.)
Lots of thoughts of moving. Even more thoughts of building. Still not sure what we’re going to do, but definitely not putting our house on the market until we have a place we want to buy – we don’t want to end up homeless! Definitely an exciting time.
7. So, that gym bag that was stolen on a Thursday in April? In a remarkable twist of fate, the following Monday I received a phone call and email from the Vanderbilt Police Dept: someone had returned my gym bag! No joke. Three weeks later and my mind is still blown. I drove to Vandy the next day to claim it, absolutely dying to know what was still inside. I opened it as soon as they gave it to me and, I kid you not, everything (minus a pair of tweezers that I thought was in there and the hair product) was there. I seriously don’t even know.
So much of me is just dying to know the story – why did they break into my van in the first place? Why didn’t they take my laptop bag while there were in there? (If it was you and you’re reading this – THANK YOU FOR NOT TAKING MY LAPTOP BAG!!!) And, why on EARTH did they return it? Crisis of conscience? My Toms weren’t their size? I am at a complete loss.
And Lord, why did you give back to me the things that made me feel so icky to lose? Why are you good to me, when it’s the last thing I deserve?
I know why.
He loves to give good things.
Even silly things.
And He is so good and gentle to remind us that He is in control,
and that HE is all I need.
It’s been a big month. A lot to process. A lot to continue to process as we make final decisions about buying/selling/building/staying/etc. It’s been a lovely time away, too, and I am excited to “get back on stage” a more rested, more balanced woman, in whose life God is still most definitely working.
Glad to be back friends! Have an awesome Monday!