Friday, April 10, 2009

It's Official!

I'm sitting here in my gloomy living room, drinking tea out of a mug that my brother gave me on a long ago Hawaiian Christmas (it still makes me think of him every time I see it), while outside the rain has slowed to a kind of fine mist that makes everything drip. I'm learning that this is pretty much what St. Louis spring looks like and I guess it is what is responsible for the green popping out everywhere, the tulips and daffodils and flowering trees that almost hurt the eyes in their beauty. It's quite different than Colorado. It can be gloomy, but as I lay in bed last night and listened to the rain, I found I didn't mind it so much. There's something comforting and soothing about it. At least, when I'm safely dry and inside.

It's Good Friday and the first holiday off of my new job. I spent a large chunk of the day running to and fro trying to get my car registered and my Missouri driver's license. One thing that's not so nice about Missouri...SO MUCH RED TAPE!! Seriously. The list of things I needed (my residency permit - yes...that's right...a permit to live here, my passport or birth certificate, a safety inspection certificate, an emissions inspection certificate, the title and so on and so forth) was quite daunting. Whatever happened to just walking in with the old registration, an i.d. and a checkbook? Anyway, barring one surly woman in the first office I went to, everyone was lovely and helpful and the process went much more smoothly than I feared. And now, it's official, I'm a resident of St. Louis. I mean, I suppose the aforementioned residency permit had already made that official, but somehow, having a Missouri Driver's License in my wallet and Missouri plates on my car make it much more real than a piece of paper that I happen to think is ridiculous anyway. Oh...and I'm registered to vote here too. CRAZY!

It feels strange. I haven't decided if it's a good feeling or not. One guy that helped me with my registration took one look at my Colorado license and told me I was insane to have moved here from Colorado. A part of me kind of had to agree with him. But I guess I'll just have to get used to the new license plates (I miss the green mountains on my old one) and the new picture on my new license (they took it right after I had a coughing fit that made my eyes water. I look like I've been crying...and it's good until 2016).

So, I'm going to finish that tea and go make sure the dog isn't tracking piles of mud through the house from my dripping yard and doing all the things that are part of life here in Missouri.

May you all have a lovely Easter surrounded by the ones you love and the surety that He Lives!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Blessings of Change

There's a lot about change that is terrifying. New places, new people, new everything. But I've rediscovered that there are also many blessings to be found. New friends, new places, new experiences.

This week I've been reflecting on that aspect of change. I've met some amazing people who it seems are going to become really great friends and I love that. I marvel at how my circle of friends just keeps expanding as I add new ones in and at how each new person adds a new level of richness to my life. I'm happy to be getting a social life again finally!

My change in location has also brought about changes in my lifestyle. Hopefully lasting ones. Something about being a new place has made it easier to make big changes all around. I feel like it's a good and healthy thing and hopefully there's more big change coming.

Tonight, I've been reflecting on one particular change. My church attendance. I went to church in Colorado Springs. But it had been quite awhile since I'd been what you'd call a regular attendee. Not because I didn't believe anymore, but because I was having trouble finding a place that really fit and frankly, I'd tired of the search. But moving to a place made it necessary to start searching again. The huge blessing is that I found a great church really quickly. And not just any church, but one that truly gets it that we're human and fallible and that life is hard instead of one that makes it seem like it's all roses and abundance and good times if we're being "faithful." We just went through a 6 week sermon series about God's Economy. When is the last time you heard a sermon about money issues, much less a whole series of them. And not about how we should give all our money to the church but about how our faith applies to the economy and specifically this current economy that we all find ourselves living in. It was practical and hard-hitting and, well, changing. I am loving it. And it's been a long time since I felt that way about a church.

So, as I was sitting in a Maundy Thursday service this evening, being grateful for all that we celebrate at Easter, I was also immensely grateful for a lot more. And it feels great to be feeling really good about things. There's still a lot of challenge in my life and many things that weigh me down every day, but I'm glad for the small blessings in the midst of all of it.