Three days until moving day.
The McLaughlin family is in a whirlwind right now. Three big moves coming up. We move to our new apartment this week. John Paul's parents just bought a house and move in a month. And John Paul's older brother is moving his family back to the area from Connecticut shortly after that. Give us a truck and a snappy slogan and we could start a moving company.
I'm excited about the new apartment which is a definite upgrade from our current one (and much closer to our workplaces), but I'm afraid that we're going to fall into a move-once-a-year-cycle. I don't feel settled. This apartment fixes our current issues, but doesn't feel like we have room to grow. It works for us as a couple, but I can't see it working out once we start a family which means there is an inevitable move at some point in the next couple years. I'm not a huge fan of moving. I probably won't feel like a place is my own until we buy a house and feel a bit of permanence. But I have no idea where we'll be in a year, five years, ten years. We might not even be in Buffalo. Who knows?
I decided our new place needs plants. I want something alive in the house. I love being outside, and New York summers are the absolute best kind of summer. But in the winter, it'd be nice to have some of nature inside to keep things cheerful. The grand project I have in mind for this spring is to have a window box and plant flowers. I know very little about gardening so this may be an utter failure, but here's hoping I have a green thumb. There is something about working in nature that connects you with God and gives you a strong sense of accomplishment.
I may be at risk of using a very cheesy gardening metaphor here, but the idea of cultivating has been on my mind so much lately.
Cultivating is the process of breaking up the soil in preparation for planting. This past year, I feel like God has been breaking up a lot of things in my heart and life. Being broken up is sometimes a little painful. I've felt lost, lonely, and unsure about where I'm suppose to be and what I'm suppose to be doing. It has been a year full of joy, frustrations and transitions. I'm so thankful for John Paul and the gift of marriage---I've never been alone.
This time last year, almost exactly, I was engaged with no job prospects and no idea where I'd be going after graduation. It was terrifying and it all came together within a matter of a week. I had a job, I moved into my first apartment alone, I got married and change and transition were abundant. We started trying to figure out where we fit in in Buffalo and the process has seemed to drag out all year with small answers here and there but never the full picture.
I want so badly to cultivate stronger relationships with friends, to grow as a person and open myself up to whatever God wants for my life. To be honest, I've been thinking through a lot of things this past year. Things like what direction I should be heading in when it comes to ministry, personal growth, relationships, location, and starting a family. Maybe things are being planted that will grow into their fullness later, but after a year of cultivating and wondering, I'm hopeful that more answers are just around the corner. After all, growth is inevitable after cultivation.