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Random, I know but:

 

Here are some of my favorite things about my new job:

  • I have my own office. With a door. Pretty phenomenal. This means I can listen to music without headphones. It means that if I want to have a Panini for lunch, I can bring and plug in my sandwich maker. (OK well I’m not sure of the technicality of that, but still: no one can see it or smell it, so I’ve gotten by scott-free! And I really have done that, but only once…so far!)
  • You don’t have to bring your own mug or silverware. They have a community set of odds-and-ends utensils, plates, cups, mugs, you name it. You just grab what you need and when you’re done, put it in the dishwasher and someone else will clean it all up for you! It’s really such a smart idea because there’s no need for plastics, it gives you a place to dump old silverware or place settings you don’t need anymore, and it’s just downright easy!
  • Along with that, they also provide coffee and… hot chocolate! That gets major thumbs up in my book. Really. Truly.
  • OK, so on to the more “meaningful” stuff. It’s cool to be able to write stuff and include the word “God” or “Bible” or “Scripture.” It’s cool to be able to think about God’s truths and how those will apply to different audiences who are reading different publications. It’s cool to think of ways to get those truths out to those people. It’s cool that I get paid to do that!
  • Also, it’s cool to be in a community where people also believe in God. And where you can talk about God. Now, I admit that most people here still don’t talk about God at all. In that regards, it’s really no different than working in a regular corporate environment. But the difference is that the potential is there. For instance, I had a great conversation today about God with my boss—I was telling her about how he allowed my job back in Cincinnati to be replaced and how in doing so, answered every single prayer I had about leaving. We had a great conversation about that. Which is yet another blessing.
  • Oh yeah, and did I mention I get free books? So far I’ve only nabbed a couple, and haven’t started reading them yet, but I’m looking so forward to it! The other perk is that I get to research all our upcoming books, which means I get a headstart on deciding which ones I really want to read and get a sneak peek at their content before anyone else!

 

Some of the things I’m not too thrilled about:

  • My computer keyboard is going to give me carpal tunnel, I know it. I’ve asked to get it fixed (because it won’t sit level, but always leans forward) to no avail.
  • No window. This is probably the hardest part of my job. Not seeing the blue skies or the sunshine is going to be a tough one for me. So far, I’ve been trying to get out of the office as much as possible on clear days, but I know that come winter, it’s going to get gloomy. I started looking into sunlight light bulbs and hope I can find a cheap alternative that way…
  • Also, my office can get really cold. The day that I was wearing two sweaters and a blanket was the day I said, enough is enough! I toted in a space heater the next morning, and haven’t looked back since. (And I secretly love when people come in here and say, “Boy, it’s toasty!” That’s the way I like it!)
  • My lunchbreak is only 30 minutes long, which is only enough time to eat. What about everything else there is to do on a lunch break?!. I used to love being able to go and have some intense reading times or journaling or even just cruising to the mall or lunch breaks with friends. I suppose I can still do that occasionally, but it’s standard fare around here to be 30 minutes.
  • My office is tucked away in a corner of the building and so it’s just me and my fellow publicist coworkers. It’s nice because it’s quiet, but it’s hard because it makes it harder for me to reach out and socialize/meet others who work in the building. Fortunately, God has been taking care of that and has allowed me to hang out with some of the other girls here and I’ve started getting plugged in with them, which is so sweet for them to include me. So far I’ve been invited to a movie night and then to a craft night at different girls’ houses. Needless to say, it’s not “home” yet, but I know that it will be before too long!

michael played a show on friday and performed one of the songs he wrote for me! can’t wait till i get to see him play live in person, but for now, video (and a few private showings!) will have to suffice:

isn’t that so sweet?! reason #283 why i love him!

so of course in the midst of all things changing with the move, there’s also the obvious factor that now i have a boyfriend who lives states and states away and who i really love.

the long-distance thing has admittedly been a bit of a struggle, but it’s also something that i’ve known from the beginning: if God allowed it to happen, it has to be for a reason. it has to be for the benefit of our relationship, not the detriment.

and i believe it has been. it’s really encouraged deep and healthy communication that’s often been absent from other relationships in the past. we talk about our days and our thoughts and our struggles and, before we wrap up our conversation for the night, we take some time to ask some “get to know you questions,” which range from “what were you like in high school” to “if you could only have one table utensil to eat with for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?” i know it sounds silly but it’s really been so much fun! (and for the record, michael’s questions are usually a lot more interesting than mine, but the idea itself was mine, so i guess that makes up for it!)

then, the distance makes it so that we have to be intentional about connecting with one another, so we started our own little book club together. we’re reading the same book together and then once a week, we go through, chapter by chapter, to discuss what we read and what we thought about the readings that week. it’s allowed some really theologic and thoughtful conversations. and we don’t always agree, but the fact that we’re able to be open and really get to know each other’s thoughts has been quite a privilege. and i don’t think we would have been that intentional if we were living in the same city.

because even now, when we do visit each other, it’s so easy to get caught up in the ordinary tasks of hanging out like watching tv or running errands. which are also totally a part of the relationship-building equation, but can easily become a distraction from talking about life’s deeper side. we can go the whole weekend and wonder where our time went together.

we’ve only been dating for about 2 months now, but it’s been awesome. i feel like we’ve really gotten to know each other and he’s truly become my best friend. and of course, as in most friendships, we don’t always agree on things. but the fact that we’ve been able to talk through those disagreements and open up and still love each other through them… has been really encouraging. i don’t feel like we’re faking it. i feel like we’re able to be totally ourselves with one another (or at least we’re getting there), and things are still good and we still love each other.

he’s coming up to visit next weekend; i’m already counting down!

so i’ve now officially lived in grand rapids for 3 weeks, and i finally feel like i’m starting to get in the swing of things. it’s been a little wild because i’ve already been out of town twice (first for a business trip, on day #4 of the new job, and then the following weekend to atlanta to celebrate michael’s birthday).

so adjusting hasn’t been the smoothest process because there have been so many interruptions. i spent the first week trying to unpack all of my stuff. (and if you didn’t hear, there was a big predicament with my moving truck and so we ended up having to drive everything up to michigan and then go back to cincinnati and then the next day i officially moved up here… yes, that’s a lot of driving time, because it’s a 6-hour drive each way.)

i’ll be the first to admit that i really struggled that first week or so, and i still get moments where i wonder “what am i doing up here?” “how did i leave such a good life behind me?” but then i have to remind myself that God left no doubt in my mind that this was where i was supposed to do, with doors swinging widely open all around me. now it’s just a matter of figuring out why here.

fortunately, i already have started making a couple friends here and there. when i first came to visit in june, we ran into a girl at mars hill who i hit it off with smashingly. so when i moved up here, she was the first to call me and invite me to her bible study and help make GR feel like home. (just another element of God looking out for me.) then other friends have been good about helping me make connections, and there are some girls who i work with who have been really nice about inviting me along and reaching out. it’s pretty cool how inviting and approachable everyone’s been up here. it’s still lonely at times, but i know there’s a light at the end of the tunnel 🙂

the one thing i’m trying to be careful at, as i start over with a clean slate, is about how much i do commit to. sometimes in cincinnati i felt really overwhelmed at everything and everyone i committed to. if i was lucky, i’d get one evening to myself a week. that’s crazy, and i know it took a toll at times on my relationship with God. i want to make sure that i put that as my top priority while i’m here, because i really believe that’s a major reason that God brought me here.

so right now i’m looking at different options for volunteering and serving. i know that’s definitely something i want to build into my schedule but i want to make sure i’m intentional about it, because i believe that every time you say “yes” to one thing, you’re also saying “no” to another. so i want to make sure that no matter what i’m choosing, it’s a “yes” to growing closer to Christ. so that’s the next decision i have to make…

(by the way, if you were wondering: yes, it is already cold here. we’ve turned our heat on and i’ve been wearing jackets and light sweaters. i don’t know how i’m going to make it through the winter!)

Exodus 14:13-14 Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.”

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