there is so much to catch up on from the last few weeks. yes, we now live in san francsico! i never thought i would live in san francisco. it was a city i visited during a spring break in college. a city to be gawked at, enjoyed, arms flung wide. and then go home to your quiet corner and think about it all over several months. right? coming here is a bit like journeying to europe. it is not for living in, is it??!! for me the high cost of living has always been the main deterrent (ever since having children, that is. i picture myself now rather in kansas with a quiet place that may accommodate a garden and a tree house.) who wants to live in an amazing urban scene when one by necessity stays home all the time anyway? but i knew santa barbara was not the place for us to stay either. that has been on my heart for several years. i am SO relieved we moved. and in recent years it has become clear that san francisco is a place where we must be, at least for awhile. thomas has been feeling the call for this city in many ways, and i love that it is my duty to follow and support, not worrying about cost of living and details about the future. if i were the head of the family, i would worry, you see. but God has made my job very clear, and so i am not stressed by decisions that are not mine to make. where God leads thomas is where He is leading me. that is marriage, and i feel blessed for the protection and covering it affords. of course i do not sit there like a doormat. my opinion is made known. but i speak it as my opinion, not my ultimatum. and peace reigns in a house with an arrangement like that. how thankful i am to have learned that!
the weeks before the move were rather stressful, yes, i kept feeling that i would like to pack more every night and the days were dwindling. i know how crazy it is to move, but i have never done it with two children before. and i was determined to pack everything in an organized fashion this time. thanks to emilie barnes' "survival for busy women," i had my packing plan, i just needed time to implement it! but i did in the end manage to pack most of our things with my very organized card file system. (now if only i could have convinced my husband to let me do the same with his things as well!!!) still, the end was very, very crazy. we got a storage space in santa barbara for now, because we were staying with thomas' friend Al in SF to begin with. during the last few days, he did nothing but move things into storage, sell furniture, clear things out, etc. etc. which left me to finish the home packing and do all the cleaning. poor thomas, i am sure he would have loved to take over a lot of the cleaning. he was just too swamped. then there was easter in the middle of it all (easter was on sunday the 4th, and tues. the 6th was our last day in the apt.) and for me the challenge was finding time to do this intense work. mostly during children's naps and night sleeps. my MOPS table ladies came through in an amazing way. every night for the last week, someone brought over dinner for us! that was such a gift from God, i had no idea i would need that, but i did! most of my afternoons are normally spent preparing dinner.
we had people stop in here and there to help clean, too, what amazing friends we have made! holly lomelino took my children more than once so i would have time. melissa came by several times, naomi dillon cleaned my entire fridge and freezer, heather purvis came over and worked on blinds, baseboards, bathrooms and cupboards! abby swaney from mops took the girls 9-5 on monday. i have never left them for that long! monday night i stayed up til 3 am cleaning, since i had no arrangements for the girls the next day, but i was able to drop them off at holly's again, praise God, and that is where they stayed until 10:30 that night. we were intending to leave on tuesday after we got it all cleaned, but by tuesday afternoon there were still piles of unorganized things on our living room floor, and it was getting quite clear that this would not be done in time to make a 350-mile trek that evening. we made arrangements to stay at the dillons that night. another big thank you! holly had sent over some boys from the dp house, and that was such an encouragement to me, in that last stretch, we didn't even know them, and they came in there, and did everything i asked! baseboards, walls, light fixtures, vacuuming, blinds, windows, closets. i know it would not have gotten done without them. and they accepted nothing in return! they didn't even want pizza! wow, God has his angels everywhere.
i had been pretty concerned about inhaling cleaning chemicals in my pregnant state, but there was nothing to be done about it. by tuesday evening, however, i started to feel very strange in my abdomen. my stomach had been hurting ever since lunch, and now i thought i was feeling tightening in the womb, and i hadn't noticed the baby moving. horrible thoughts. melissa was over cleaning out the space under and behind the fridge, and she made me sit down for awhile. she prayed for me, and as soon as she did, the baby started moving. soon i was able to start vacuuming again. and on and on we went, until yes, 10:30 that night. when i saw the bags and bags and piles of things that we were intending to bring to san francisco now (instead of storing), my heart sank. there were already 2 motorcycles and 2 bicycles in the back of the truck, and then to bring 3 guitars?... the girls and i had in the volvo filled with 3 suitcases and 2 plastic bins and a pack n play and some bedding, and bathroom stuff, and then the food for the journey must fit, and laptop and bible and children! we had to fit a crib mattress into the truck for sparrow to have a bed at al's, and then there was all of thomas' needed clothing and some file boxes with paperwork and thomas' feldenkrais blankets and random bags of: children's helmet, bicycle helmet, lamps to bring, etc. my, it was a stash! but somehow the next morning he made it all fit, and by 10 am we were really off on the journey!!
the girls and i listened to sparrow's new cds from holly: "questions with answers" which i'd never heard of before. it is all systematic songs about the basic doctrine questions, with verse references in the songs, it was amazing! i was getting all choked up with it! ah the beauty of truth. it is a 3-cd set by Dana Dirksen, a mother of six. get your hands on the original, lovely, edifying music at Songs for Saplings. I LOVE that we have come to this crazy city, and my Sparrow now belts out "will God ever die? NO! God lives forever!" as we are out and about, instead of some meaningless swill about duckies on a pond... seriously, these songs playing in the car as we drive about town reminds me why we are here, and that we are part of a different culture of peace, joy, and victory! here is a little synopsis of our journey north:
10 am- the journey begins! golden and sparrow really into saying "goodbye, goleta! goodbye mountains! goodbye santa barbara beaches!"
11 am-golden falls asleep. blanket in her window keeps out the sun.
12:30 pm- atascadero. lunch at in-n-out. i had been talking to omi on the phone for 40 mins. or so. (still no baby for her. now due end of april.) girls love the french fries. change golden's poopy diaper standing up in the parking lot. (my dream: every public place equipped with a changing table.)
1:30 pm- on the road again.
2 pm- sparrow falls asleep. i am almost falling asleep myself. need coffee!
2:45 pm- starbucks stop near salinas. oj for girls. change golden's poopy diaper again! on grass this time. good thing she tells us when she has a poopy diaper! i wouldn't have checked...
3:30 pm-on the road again.
4:30 pm-near san jose. bathroom stop at krispy kreme. make an obligatory purchase of 1 donut to share among us. golden learns the word "donut" with alarming speed. golden poops again! (aren't you supposed to poop less while traveling?) thank God krispy kreme has a changing table. thomas puts gas in the truck. almost back on the 101, we see the traffic is really slow and make a quick turnaround, stopping off near a business park with some grass and trees. girls and i take a walk and play with the snapdragons at google headquarters.
5:30 pm- on the road again. traffic is slow but not awful. we've gotta go forward.
6:15 pm- arrival in san francisco at 121 gladstone ave. uncle al receives us with such loveliness. a whole room, with a beautifully made up futon bed awaits. thomas unpacks the cars and then goes to trader joe's to get us some dinner. golden falls asleep before dinner in the pack n play. sparrow stays up late. 1st evening in san francisco!
yes, and uncle al has been super lovely the whole time: patient, gentle, allowing free use of his kitchen, bathroom, etc. he lends me his gps system, gives advice on the city, helps bring in the groceries, plays with the girls, and generally never has any disparaging tone or word. but we know we can't stay here forever! we MUST get our own place, and thomas MUST get work. we are leaning on the Lord, crying out to him, but we know we must also act. applications are in to peet's and trader joe's around town, and that may be what is necessary in the beginning, but i have faith for much more, a job that will make thomas amazed at God's specific provision and grace, a job that will pay for cost of living here, and we know that that is what God will bring if He intends for us to stay.
the girls and i have been having a bit of a vacation feeling, exploring the city, and it has brought very memorable adventures. they are adjusting beautifully. in this whole process, golden even weaned herself! i don't think i've nursed her even just for comfort in several days! she now prefers to snuggle. thought i was going to have a hard time trying to do this without overwhelming her about the timing of the move, the baby, etc. i really didn't want to wean her at all, i think she's too young to have it forced on her, so i am glad she did it herself.
all in all, we are doing great. so thankful to the Lord for all the friends who supported our going and gave money, time, etc. to make it happen. so many of our SB friends sacrificed for us, and that is humbling. Christ in action. the church here is great, we have been to 2 sundays now, and people are really excited we are here. i think that the intensity of the city has also spurred us on to increase the intensity of the Christian training of our children. our family devotion times have been sweet. all to God and for God, we remember He is good no matter what happens.