Tag Archives: Moving

Hello From a Brave New World

And I’m back. In an abundance of words, thoughts, and happenings, I froze. But the blogging hiatus is over.

The Perfect Day (the next blog will have an embarrassing amount of photos so get ready.)

After a storybook wedding, a honeymoon in paradise, and three months of Mr. and Mrs., I am now writing to you from the tropical land of Married People. It’s a pretty great place to live but here’s the thing, I kept waiting for the Super House Wife phase to set in so that I could make my blog look really good. You know the kind: Polaroids of aprons and cookies. Homemade decorations. Lunches packed in eco-friendly ways as my husband traipses off to his perfect job. I could even change the name of the blog. Something like “EbdoesPerfect”. But it’s been three months now and I’ve made one batch of failed cookies, my decorations are barely out of storage, and we are still waiting on Roger’s Green Card so he usually packs my lunches for school.  We are hilariously happy and stupid in love but, I have had the epiphany that most of you Married People have all had: Marriage is the ultimate test of bravery. Yes, it is.

I started this blog as a way to stay brave as described here. I am naturally fearful but I don’t like being afraid. God has led me through some scary times including quitting a good job, starting a career I never knew I wanted, taking care of my mom for a five year fight against a truly terrible cancer, figuring out how to live without her, and watching friends marry off and reproduce as I tried to hold it together. All of these things took a brand of courage one only gets supernaturally and, although I have a fantastic family and incredible friends that were in it with me, I was still alone. Now, I am finding that joining my life to another human being is wonderful, comforting, exciting, and essentially, pretty terrifying. No, really. He would agree. It’s straight up scary.

Here is the scary truth: we moved to Oahu with no jobs, one car that’s been giving Herby-esque farewell hints, and definitely no idea where we were going to live. For two weeks we established home-base in a friend’s guest bedroom where I would be alternately reading every single post on Craigslist or breathing into a paper bag as landlord after landlord asked us pesky questions like “How will you pay rent?” Details. It was in these hyperventilated moments that my husband came through, because he is a champ, and prayed me back into shape. We were in it together. I had the responsibility of encouraging him and respecting his decisions and he had the responsibility of lovingly scraping me off the floor every time I melted down. All I wanted was to pack him a lunch but we didn’t have a kitchen and he didn’t have anywhere to go. So I had to be a different kind of awesome. A brave kind of awesome.

Today, we live in a delightful house on a Kaneohe hillside with super neighbors and a landlord that loves to give Roger construction projects. The place is so cute these days that I may have to take some polaroids soon and show you. Our car has even been starting regularly and Roger has some job leads that look very promising. As for me, school continues to truck along and I am in a pediatric clinical rotation that I love. So, the scary truths aren’t SO scary. I still have the brave responsibility of encouraging and trusting Roger with my well-being and he has the courageous duty of loving me through my fear and pulling me back into orbit when I start to whirl away.

We are figuring it out a day at a time and almost every morning I wake up and realize that there is a human being who will always be there. ALWAYS. This is both weird and wonderful.

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Craig and his List

Last week I took off on trusty Hawaiian Airlines for Oahu. I had three days worth of appointments and apartment searching to do before a group of friends from church spent a relaxing weekend at some beach cabins in Waianae.

I arrived at around 7:00 am since I am cheap and my boyfriend picked me up on time with Starbucks steaming since he is awesome. We had a great early breakfast at Wailana’s coffeehouse where I scoured Craigslist on both of our iphones over another cup of coffee. I was on the hunt. I made a dozen calls and looked at a few places. Nothing worked out but I was still putting my trust in Craigslist. It’s always worked before.

We went on a hike to the Makapuu Lighthouse Lookout. I’ve done very few hikes on Oahu so I was glad to build my hiking resume. I received a callback about a studio apartment while enjoying a panoramic view of the rugged Waimanalo coastline. I am glad the view was so incredible because a “studio apartment” is not a “studio apartment” when it is actually a two car garage and you share the bathroom with the fifty-year-old landlord man. But I told Craigslist it was okay. I’m still into you.

Andy is an avid hiker. I'm grateful for that.

Over the next two days, I reunited with a close childhood friend that is interviewing for medical school, attended a going-away dinner, met with a state senator about Hawaii healthcare, had a job interview, met with several professors, and ate escargot for the first time in my life (it tastes like garlic butter and is delicious). And all the while I was Craigslisting. Well, I put the List away for the Senator but I think I snuck a peak during the escargot.

Here are some of Craig’s funniest offerings:
A lady that swore she knew me since my name was Erin. Yep.
A woman who wanted a grand a month for what I am fairly certain used to be her kids’ playhouse in the backyard.
A man that told me he couldn’t afford to patch the holes in the wall but the place was still worth two grand.
I didn’t bother talking to the individual who posted “serious inquiries only, I don’t have any time to waste.”
A nice landlady that told me her neighbors would be watching me while she was away. To make sure no one spent the night for free. Because she charges.
Several people that either did not speak English or told me they had no idea why their number was on Craigslist.
And let’s not forget the garage with the timeshare toilet.

I won’t even list the gobs of apartments in my price range that I rejected out of hand for safety, hygiene, and pure pickiness reasons. Or the apartments that I would gladly live in once I win the lottery. By the time I arrived at the Waianae cabins, I was not on speaking terms with Craig or his List.

Seven of us shared two beautifully appointed beach cabins thanks to some handy military connections. I had my very own air-conditioned room with a nice closet and began to wonder if I could just claim squatters’ rights and be done with the List forever. The beach was steps away and we grilled out, played cards, went to sleep to crashing waves, and woke to stand-up paddlers in the misty waters. But it’s too far from town so I decided not to claim my cabin.

Hammocks and sunsets.

Now, I am back in Kona and still close to breaking up with Craigslist but we are getting along by spending less time together. Because he’s not in charge anyway. My good God has a good plan and will show me in his good time.

In the meantime, we have decorated for Christmas as of tonight. And it’s perfect. I’ll never break up with Christmas.



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Gulches, goatcheese, and gifts

Without being too melodramatic (just the right amount of melodramatic), I would like to tell you that I had a harrowing experience and I need you to fully appreciate it. Yes, yes, see the last blog post.

I am a cautious person by nature. Okay, I am a fearful person by nature. But, like the sidebar says, this blog is about leading a brave life. God is using the scary things of life to teach me and giving me risks to take to train me. There is a difference between what God uses and what God gives. It’s fairly simple: He uses everything and he gives good things.

Let me use two examples.

Example #1.

This weekend little sister and I drove to Hilo. Originally it was for the purpose of going to see her coach a soccer tournament. This was cancelled due to flooded fields (which you would think happens every other weekend given the location. The rainiest city in the U.S). However, since we had already planned to visit the Farmer’s Market and the mall, we decided to drive the 250 miles anyway. I went to college in Hilo and I felt due for a little blast to the past. There is also a very nice Starbucks in the beautiful ranch town of Waimea at the halfway mark. So, that kind of sealed the deal.

It poured rain the entire day but we loved it. Even the Farmer’s Market downtown was a fun memory lane experience. We bought these for way too cheap.And some stinky Puna goat cheese for way too much. But it’s delicious.

We then spent the rest of the afternoon in the mall eating junk food, shopping, and watching Tower Heist. I recommend it. Junk food and the movie.

And then we got on the road, heading home to the dry side. Now, between Hilo and Hamakua there are three horseshoe turns around some rather high gulches. Somewhere in the frightening neighborhood of 500 feet. I drove around these gulches countless times when I was in college and every time my palms would sweat. It was worse if I was the passenger peering down to the waterfalls below. We were happy to see that the state has begun installing mesh over the rock faces due to years of rockslides and boulder damage. Check it out here.

On Saturday we cleared all three gulches when all of the sudden, coming out of the last turn, our truck started to fishtail. This startled me. And then the truck slid completely sideways into oncoming traffic. This scared me. And then the truck turned around and slid towards the gulch drop off. This terrified me. We hit the rock wall once and bounced back and then hit the one section of wall that was already gone. In its place was a temporary barrier filled with water. That thing busted open, spilling water everywhere. And then we stopped, without going over the edge. We were done screaming by that time and hyperventilated some prayers out as we crept up the road and over onto a shoulder. The police came, the report was filed, and we were able to drive the mashed up truck to Waimea going approximately 30 miles per hour with every muscle in our bodies tensed for action. Megan’s boyfriend-worship-leader-barista (baristo?)-hero met us in Waimea and drove the rest of the way home.

And that is something scary that God USES. Because now I am not scared of the gulches anymore. Because I will never drive around them again.

Example #2.

I don’t know where I am going to live in January. But I have to move back to Oahu for a class. Home is comfortable. Home is easy. Home is great. But I gotta go. I’m making plans and I have no job and I have no apartment. Just a storage unit full of stuff and a registered nursing license. And a God that has good gifts for me if I just keep moving along.

And that is an example of a challenge God GIVES. Because I am not afraid of being homeless or jobless.

So, take stock of the scary things in your life today. Any harrowing experiences you need us to fully appreciate? God will use it. Any challenge you are avoiding? God may be giving it.

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Boxes, Blue sky, and Boaz

I started packing up the apartment. I don’t want to do last minute packing. This means that I have boxes sitting in each room with flaps open, waiting to be last minute re-packed. As one friend pointed out, the box of text books can’t be nudged across the floor, much less carried upstairs. I also realized I needed that spatula I packed.

After an afternoon of pointlessly looking at a half-packed apartment, I went on a walk with Ruth Part II in the earbuds. This is a fantastic sermon series by a guy I admire greatly. This is the part of the Old Testament story where a foreign and poverty-stricken Ruth gets special protection and provision in the fields of the elder but awesome Boaz.  The sermon differentiates luck from the providence of a sovereign and GOOD God.

Lately, I have been hard-pressed between the truth that something terribly sad has happened and that God is still terribly good. I have been experiencing moments when life feels unreal. Do you know the feeling of too-much cold medicine? Get that feeling in your mind right now. Now, shake someone’s hand for the first time at a party and all of the sudden realize they don’t know the “real” you. This is the weird partial-you. The real me has a Mom that will get all the low-down details on the people and the decorations and the dresses. When I think about this, I start to feel like I am floating away. I need something to hold onto.

So, I will hold onto the most terribly sad and the most terribly good thing that has ever happened. The cross. Jesus didn’t screw up or not pray hard enough. But he still died and it was excruciating. And he overcame this world. This is why we have hope and it is the anchor for my soul. Hebrews 6:19-20.  The cross tells me that God loves me big time when my circumstances scream otherwise.

Fields of Gold. Photo by E.Franke

The Ruth sermon illustrates a trusting woman and a generous man who follow this sovereign and GOOD God. I walked to the park and lay in the grass looking at a bright blue sky and imagining Old Testament weather, smells, and feelings. And maybe praying for a Boaz to come along and carry all my half-packed boxes away. If you are floating away today, grab that anchor and look at those blue skies.

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Three Weeks

There are three weeks left until I start changing things up. I shook myself out of my choice paralysis and went with Las Vegas as my lay over destination. Mostly because I am tired of waiting to find The Husband and have found a few good chapel drive-thrus. It’s ok, Dad approves. Saves him a bundle, really.

But, let’s get real. That’s false. I AM going to stop through Vegas on my way home from Florida Grandmother birthday festivities. And I AM very much looking forward to 2 weeks of Daytona Beach and 2 days of Las Vegas but it will be sans wedding.

Within these three weeks, I am moving my apartment into a 5×15 storage unit. Did you know that a 5×15 storage unit in Hawaii goes for a price that rivals rent for a studio apartment in Waco, Texas? And did you know that a storage unit in Waco, Texas goes for a price that rivals a mix-plate dinner in Hawaii? Throw in the moving truck rental and the cost of shipping my car to Kona and “saving rent” is no longer on the list of top three reasons to move home for a semester. I am also seriously considering moving into my storage unit when I get back to Oahu. I can make it pretty.

Within these three weeks, I am finishing my rotation in the Psychiatric unit at unnamed hospital with unnamed patients. HIPAA  makes this part of my life so frustratingly un-bloggable. But the patients are blessing my heart and breaking my heart and changing my mind every day. I’m glad to be there.

Within these three weeks, I am registering for my Nursing Licensing Exam so that I can take it sometime in mid to late September. PRAISE GOD (I made it through the year and I am pretty good at standardized tests) and OH SHOOT (I can’t remember anything to do with drugs or patients at this exact moment)!

Within these three weeks, I am saying goodbye to a community for an indefinite amount of time. They have walked with me through the hardest three years of my life. They have taken me to dinner, come to my house for dinner, prayed with me, dated me, gone to the beach with me, loved me, had Christmas gift exchanges with me, studied with me, worshiped with me, run races with me, and basically done life with me. I love them.

God has good in these three weeks. I’m overwhelmed, a bit sad, wish I could tell Mom about everything, and feel less than brave. But God has good in these three weeks.



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