Tuesday, March 2, 2010

More than I bargained for

Our church, Apex Community, sent me to a *little* conference a month ago. There were about 3,000 people from all over the country and about 30 of us from Apex. The conference was about missional communities. If that sounds weird, its not. Its a fancy word for people who love Jesus living in community with others who also love Jesus and as a result of people living and loving, their neighborhoods and communities are changed for the glory of God.

The conference was really good (and also really cold! It was about 45 degrees in Texas that weekend but they had the air conditioning on the whole time. I didn't quite understand the rationale behind that decision, must have been a guy working the thermostat! They didn't give us comment cards... oh but if they had!)

Anyhow, the whole point of this post is that I came back from that conference all messed up. You see, up until now, I couldn't WAIT to get the heck outta this neighborhood. Don't get me wrong. We live in a sweet neighborhood. It is quaint and charming and neighborly. But it is inner city-ish. There are no other kids here. The public schools stink. And although I have a love for ALL things city (hey, at one time I called both NYC and Shanghai, China home... and loved every second of it) this 37 year old mommy of three was starting to get the suburban itch.

Yeah, I'm talking white picket fence, my house looks like all the other ones on the block, a fenced in backyard that backs up into yours, blue ribbon schools, perhaps even a cul de sac. (The 20 year old version of myself just slapped me in the face and then threw up just thinking about such a life.) But hey, there's a time and a place for everything, right?! And this here cracker has put in her city time... it's time for a break.

But wait a minute. I got back from this conference and started talking about staying put (not necessarily in our house, but... maybe.) Olivia is doing well at her Dayton Public pre-school. We're starting to build relationships with people we would probably never get to know otherwise. We've had a chance to be blessed and be a blessing there. It's only $25 a year AND they are moving to a brand new state of the art facility a year from now.

I started thinking about what happens to the city if lots of resourced Jesus lovers are always moving to the suburbs. Its not enough for me to come into the city once a month and serve the homeless a dinner. Maybe our family can make a dent in God's Kingdom by staying put.

But here's the thing, I don't really want to. I want to go where its comfy. Where my kids will be around people mostly like themselves. Where I have other stay at home moms on my street to be friends with and hang out with. I'm just not sure that's what God wants from me. Shoot.

So, our house is on the market. If we sell, we sell. (If we move, who knows where we'll really end up.) If we stay, we stay. I feel like I'm in a place of total surrender. (Well, maybe not TOTAL, but maybe more like surrender-ish.) Its funny, we've looked at homes in our suburban price range here in the city and there aren't any. If we go $80,000 under we start to see some. Its interesting, if we stay, economically we will live under our means and that would open us up to be even more of a blessing to others. And to me, that sounds really intriguing.

That's the state of our union. I guess the lesson here is be careful of attending conferences paid for by your church (they'll only mess you up) and if you go to Texas in February, take a parka... its cold inside!


cindy said...

You have hard choices to make! We'll be praying for you.

Praying for Cros said...

girl...i happened by your blog.....LOL...brendley has that IKEA bed and well....we have decided to live on the NORTH side of Lexington....without many kiddos & leave Brendley in the public schools that she will most likely be a minority in....that is where GOd has us....I love your last blog......will be praying for you!!!! Urban Project always makes me reevlauate & know that it is OK to be "not normal" .....suburbia is not wrong....but I am thankful where God has us! maybe we can chat some more in March? we will be kidless as my Mother in lAw is watching the munchkins! that would be fuN!