Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Life Update: Preparing for Cali

Would I have considered myself a materialistic person a month ago? Probably not. Would I consider myself a materialistic person now?: Probably so. How have I come to this realization?: Selling/giving away 95% of one's earthly possessions has a way of exposing things in that very person that he/she might prefer to keep dormant. I speak from experience. Paul and I are in the process of going through our storage unit so we can shave down our belongings enough to fit them all in one carload- I repeat: ONE CARLOAD. To be honest, I could easily fit all my clothes, shoes, and toiletries in one carload-let alone everything we will be taking to California! Lord, help me.
   In stark contrast to myself is Paul Lanphier. He honestly would be fine with the clothes on his back (as long as he was wearing sweat pants and flip flops). When we were moving out of our apartment last October and planning to buy a house, he wanted to sell everything so we wouldn't need a storage unit. I couldn't do it. Unfortunately, I place a sentimental value on objects (part of having Input in my Top 5 Strengths) and insisted we keep everything in storage. We were thinking we would only live at my parents for a month or two and then move into our first home. But sometimes God has other plans- bigger than we could even plan for ourselves. We had no idea that we were going to feel called to attend Bethel's Ministry School in Cali and looking back now, I see the Lord's hand in having us stay with my parents so that we could save money and have the freedom to move to California.
   Parting with many possessions has been hard, but one of the most freeing experiences. I am reminded of the multiple times in the gospels where Jesus tells ordinary men and women to leave their families, sell or give their possessions, and follow Him. I read those chapters with a softer heart now because that is exactly what we are trying to do: let go of possessions, control, and comfort so that we might cling more tightly to Christ. I honestly can say that I am beginning to count this experience as a blessing in my life. It is refining me and challenging me. It is also so rewarding to live out our faith in a radical way- it is relevant in our daily lives and Jesus is so worth it all. The things of this world cannot hold a candle to the infinite worth of my Creator. 
   So all this to say we are having a garage sale next week. We will be selling almost everything (pray I don't try and buy back items from customers while Paul isn't looking!) Our goal is to keep some kitchen items and our clothes and part with the rest. You may wonder why we would not want to keep our things for after we finish ministry school- I wonder that myself sometimes! The truth is we don't want to be tied down to anything or anyplace so that we are completely available to be where the Lord wants us. We will buy furniture and what we need at thrift shops out in Cali. It will be like camping- which reminds me I need to blog about our plans for traveling out to Redding. I'll do that in a later post...

Current Reads: 4

It's that time again!
BOOOOOKKKKKKKS!!!!!!!!!!! I like to keep track of what I've been reading! Here's the recent reads:

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen: 
Great book! The reasons I even started reading this beauty is because my high school brother Turner had to read it for English class. He told me he ACTUALLY read every page- so that's when I knew it had to be good! Just a warning: there are some definite PG-13 parts, but this is an easy, fun, summer read. The movie based on Water for Elephants is out in theatres, but in my humble opinion: the book is wayyyy better.

The Help by Kathryn Stockett:
Ok, if you read one novel this summer let this be it! I LOVED LOVED LOVED it! Home run. Go buy it. I'm not even going to write anything about it.

Esther by Chuck Swindoll:
May I just say: I love Chuck Swindoll as a writer. He is such a gifted teacher. One thing that really stuck out to me about this book is the sovereignty of God- he has everything under control (duh). I also loved when Swindoll talks about the concept of joy and celebrations. I have found myself looking for things to celebrate and commemorate. Blogging is one way I mark the noteworthy events of my life :) 

Secrets of a Prayer Warrior by Derek Prince:
This book is MEATY. I learned so much (Prince explains the 12 different types of prayer-I didn't even know there were that many kids of prayer!). I feel like I almost need to reread this to more fully grasp it. If you read this book you will never look at prayer the same. Guaranteed. 

Love and Respect by Emerson Eggerichs:
If you are married, engaged, dating, or just have a general interest in relationships- this is an important book. So much of the authors explanation on marriage was right on. It has changed my outlook on how I relate to my husband. This would be a very constructive book for couples who are struggling in their marriage. 
 I saved the best for last: Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo.
My husband had a sweeping statement to say about this book we both read in the matter of a few hours: "This may be the greatest book since the Bible." Last night, we were also discussing books that have impacted our lives the most and this one was on both our lists. Read it for yourself and decide what you think.  :)