goodbye. finally. (part the third)

i promise this will be the last one….

the year of post-training school
ts ended at the beginning of May, and was swiftly followed by a period of what i came to call as “low-grade grief”.  similar to a fever, it seemed to just hang out, always below the surface, exhausting me and causing me to tear up at the slightest provocation.  i went from seeing the same people for 10+ hours a week to seeing them maybe every other week, if that.

it was hard to let go of.

in the summer i began developing the gallery, putting legs on a dream a friend presented me, preparing it to open in October.  open it did, despite the last minute wall painting and art installation that was happening just 24 hours prior.  we had a great opening night, and have continued to grow our influence since then.  the gallery has truly been a rewarding challenge.

i also helped launch a church in October, that actually meets in the gallery, and will begin a teaching rotation with them this coming Sunday.  this means i no longer frequent Common Ground, tho i still consider them my extended family.  the new church has been such a blessing.  it is in my neighborhood, we have discussions each week about what we’re learning or experiencing.  we talk about how to better love our neighbors and what it tangibly means to walk with Christ.  in many ways, it feels very training school-esque.

the year of The Big Table
our year as a community was trying, both on a group level and as individuals.  together we navigated issues of communication, personality conflicts, heartbreaks, issues of vocational choices and callings.  we supported several members as they launched new businesses and others as they considered job changes and another as he went to school full time.  in Sept., Kel and i moved just a block and a half away and our dear sister Ray moved in to what we now lovingly call The Big House (ours is The Cottage).

it has truly been a sacred place for me, a place where i could safely practice loving others well, and learn how to accept love.   we lived a good deal of life together…here is just a sweet sampling of memories:

Ang and i missed the jets flying over for the Indy 500, but G was able to run up to the 3rd floor and see them out the attic window.  Ang and i were pretty disappointed and gave G a hard time.  Ang must have indicated that she was more upset because the next thing i saw was G following her through the house with a video of jets flying on his computer.

for some reason i was adamant about getting Kari a pinata for her birthday.  it was a blue dinosaur that we hung in the doorway b/w the dining room and kitchen; we used a broom for the bat.  after several divets in the wall, a broken broom handle, and a busted blue dinosaur, we had some good youtube videos.

every week we had family dinner, and those were filled with so much food and laughter.  i remember one of our first outside on the back deck…Kel was in charge.  she set the table with sweet little napkins and broke out a bottle of wine.  when we sat down, she lit a candle and dedicated the meal to her grandfather who had passed away just a couple days before.  i remember feeling so grateful for our abundance.

every first Tuesday, some local DJ’s host “Let Go,” a giant trendy-hipster dance party at a nearby pub.  Kel, Teddy and i have made a habit of biking over and dancing our hearts out.

and then all the other little moments, smoking cloves and watching the city move, traveling by megabus, plane, train, and car all over the county (and beyond), visiting the Sun King tasting room, biking all over the city as the days grew longer and longer, having tea on the front porch, getting lost with the girls trying to find the camping spot, prepping Ashley to move to Tijuana, dance parties in the kitchen.  life here is indeed rich and full.

2011 was  a good year; now here’s to 2012, which is already promising to be challenging, and beautiful, and so…alive.

goodbye. finally.

as i was sliding the cables along the hanging system, strategically placing photography pieces on the gallery wall, i had a thought back to the this time last year.  would i/could i have imagined i would be doing this in a year, i asked myself.  the clear answer: hell no.

that’s when i realized i should probably endeavor to do my year end blog posts, and finally usher in 2012.

that being said, here are the highlights from 2011.  you know…things i learned, big things that happened, etc.  so, here goes:

the year of the party
March
when the earthquake hit Japan, my house felt moved to have a fundraiser party.  we made sushi and invited our friends, taking cash donations to send for relief help.  Kari invited a couple of her Japanese students, who shared saki and knife-sharpening with us.  it was beautiful, and we raised over $600 that went to the Red Cross.

Memorial Day
Kel and i’s birthdays are just 8 days apart, so we decided to throw a massive join party on Memorial Day.  the day was blazing hot, so our biggest worry: how to keep the keg cold (look, we didn’t have a traditional college experience, k?  this was, in fact, the first keg we ever bought).  we had people everywhere–front porch, living room, kitchen, back yard, playing corn hole in the front yard.  i had more than my fair share of beer, and enjoyed time with my friends (who stayed well into the evening).  we had joked about the party being good, but when i woke up the next morning, G had written “EPIC” across the chalk board.

(No pics of this one…sorry!)

Mad Men/House-warming/Halloween
in Sept, one of the members of our old house had a brilliant idea.  given that we were all currently obsessed with watching Mad Men, and Halloween was coming up, we should all dress as characters.  when Kel and i moved into our own place at the end of September, we thought it would be perfect to combine that idea with a housewarming party, and thus, the (beyond) epic Mad Men party was born.  we made mixers, carried around smokes, dressed in our best versions of the characters in 50’s/60’s style garb.  to cap it all off, Kel set up a photobooth.  it was brilliant.

Our house, with Teddy as "Don."

Kel and I, the acclaimed hostesses.

Me and the boys.

New Year’s Eve
and then, of course, the party night of year.  NYE.  my friend Emily, who subsequently has the same last night (seriously, we met b/c we’re both McNabbs, and realized we actually really like each other…and we kinda look like real sisters.  it’s strange, i know), decided to throw a party.  we had snacks, yummy drinks,  played Balderdash, set-up a special photobooth (many thanks again to Kelley Jordan photography), and toasted in the New Year.  this was quickly followed by a noise-maker parade down the street and a dance party.  a sweet way to end the year.

not to mention a mix of birthday get-togethers (there were 6 of us) and other various dinner parties along the way.  when all was said and done we realized we had a huge party about every 3 months, or once a quarter.  crazy.

ok, Kel’s put on a movie and i’ve lost all motivation to continue this post so….

TO BE CONTINUED.

28, and counting.

one of the housemates and i have birthdays within 10 days of each other, so we decided to have a mass co-birthday party on Monday.  we ended up extending the invite to friends of our housemates as well.  all were welcome.

i spent the majority of the day on the porch, lounging with new friends and old, drinking beers and playing corn hole.  a perfect day.

one thing that really struck me as i looked around was the variety of people from different seasons in my life.  some members of my family came early, as well as friends from college, and then more recently made friends.  many of these people i didn’t know this time last year, but they have come to have special places in my heart.  what a difference a year makes.

as is tradition on my birthday, i like to do a brief reflection of the last year as i work to embrace “28.”  so, here goes:

june 2010
i celebrated this birthday with a surprise visit from my mom and sister and a pedicure, then slow danced with a boy i thought might become my future.  my Uncle Wade died mid-month, which facilitated a very quick road trip to Memphis.

july 2010
i wrestled to accept training school and prepared to move.  i moved to FSQ and the aforementioned boy and i broke up.  i ended the month completely crushed.

august 2010
spent a great part of the month still recovering from the break-up, eventually coming to the conclusion that it was actually a really good thing for both of us.  we met for coffee, and for the first time ever, i became friends again with an ex.  end of the month saw me taking my first road trip to Canada, and thus beginning my epic journey through training school.

september 2010
i confessed my feelings for a new boy, road bikes to broad ripple, navigated family members who didn’t agree with my decision to pursue training school, and felt, over and over again, that i might jump ship.  this was a hard month, in many ways.

october 2010
went primitive camping for the first time, both with my house and with TS, which ended up being amazing.

november 2010
second trip to Toronto equaled amazingness.  ran the Drumstick Dash with my housemates and planned our first real Thanksgiving dinner for the house and guests.  rode bikes in the bitter cold to the Circle for the tree lighting and got to meet Mayor Ballard.

december 2010
went to Chi-town for a day with class, took the train and megabus and had a beautiful day.  had a car accident mid-month, spun out on the interstate across three lanes of traffic and hid the wall.  amazingly drove away with very little damage.  just before Christmas got into a fight with a good friend from TS.  celebrated Christmas morning in the quiet of my house, with Firecrackers from England.

january 2011
started the New Year off with a horrible hang-over, both physical and emotional.  went to Tijuana with a lot of weight and some relational drama in our group.  reconciled a realationship.  ate amazing food.  played soccer with awesome kids.  realized a calling to pastor, in some way, somewhere.

february 2011
i don’t remember much about this month honestly.

march 2011
i really began to anticipate Ash Wednesday and the Lent/Easter season.  decided to clear my schedule to spend more still time with God and my house family.  anticipating the end of TS really began to weigh on me emotionally and mentally, as i prayed and waited for God to provide a vision of the path i should take.

april 2011
God began to open doors for me, things that i had barely uttered to others, and i began to feel excited about the next steps.  took a trip at the end to New York and Toronto, camped under the stars, saw Niagara Falls.

may 2011
began the transition from my “job” to other projects.  ended TS.  presented at church and got affirmation for the pastoral calling.  began to share my car and picked out a road bike.

which brings us to today.  i’ve already had breakfast in bed made by my roommate, went on a nice run, got a call from my beautiful nieces telling me happy birthday (thanks L. and A.!), and had a cupcake with coffee.  i don’t know what 28 holds, but i am certainly more comfortable with an uncertain future, knowing i have a good God who loves me, family to support me and friends as close as family.

a glimpse into Fountain Square.

my roommate and i woke about 2 am to the sound of impassioned yelling.  being that our room is in the forefront of the house, our windows facing the street, we hear everything that happens there.  groggily, we opened the window near our beds (we have a bunk-bed/loft thing going on) and sure enough, there were two younger men, face to face, just inches apart, yelling at full volume.

their anger was more than just, “hey, you hit on my chick in a bar, let’s take this outside and punch the crap out of each other.”  it was more like, if either of them has a weapon, someone’s gonna die tonight.

nervously, i dialed 9-1-1 and found that i couldn’t do so fast enough.  as i told the dispatcher of the situation, one of the guys bolted down the road and the other followed.  within minutes of the call, the entire situation was dissolved.  i felt like a schmuck for sending out the police, and tried desperately to recover a sleepy state.

a 10-15 minute window passed, and i heard him again.  this time he was busting down the street, yelling every obscenity possible, and seemingly ranting about his anger toward a specific person.  i was conflicted for the next hour or so about whether or not to call the police again.  if i didn’t, would i wake up tomorrow and hear about someone dead in the street?

as i was telling a friend and neighbor about this this morning, he commented on the darkness pervading Fountain Square.  he’s blind, so when he mentions “darkness” i usually know it’s of a different kind than just the sun hasn’t been shining for weeks.  and he’s right.  there is a darkness here.  a level of anger and hatred that is disturbing in the deepest places of me.

and yet, i know this is exactly where God would have me right now.  i heard someone say yesterday that “evangelism” is simply putting love where love is not.  there are glimmers of love, and glimmers of hope of love, in Fountain Square.  but for the most part, in the “daily”ness (and in this case, the “nightly”ness) of things, love is not in Fountain Square.

may my interactions with God, myself, my house, and my neighbors shine of a Love that can redeem this broken place….

tension.

more and more, this is the word that defines my journey.

i live in a house with 5 other people.  6 different personalities and agendas and desires all trying to live in unity.   at the current moment, we are wrestling with letting one of our numbers go and pursue a unique and amazing opportunity.  we deeply love her and will miss the friendship and beauty she contributes to the house.  we are hurting, but we also want her to do what she’s been called to.  we are upset, but excited.  tension.

in class, we’ve been exploring the balance of truth and grace, knowing that one extreme or the other can be very detrimental.  with only grace, you have a people who wander aimlessly.  with only truth, people get swept away with the trash.  both must be equal, though they seem to be extremely different.  tension.

i’ve recently been cut off from a friendship because he happens to be in a new relationship.  now, to be fair, this is an ex-boyfriend, so i understand how intimidating it can be for the “new woman.”  but still, it could be really beautiful as well.  i have no desire to be with this person, but he and i had a very good friendship.  i acknowledge that it would be hard and ackward…but why are we so afraid to live in that tension?  why do we safeguard our lives against tension?

even now, as i explore this calling that God has given me, to pastor in some way, i have to live in the tension of embracing the unknown.  i know i am wired for pastoring, but i am not necessarily going to start a church.  so i stand at this door, this door opportunity that doesn’t look that different from all the rest, poised to knock.  standing in the tension of what may (or may not) happen if i do so…do i dare hope for this thing that seems to make the most sense but will demand an incredible amount from me?  or do i just wait, cautious not to hope too much for something that may not materialize?

tension…i just can’t escape.  then i look at the life of Christ, what it looks like to follow Him, to live in this world but not be of it, and i can’t help but think that maybe i’m not supposed to…perhaps, just perhaps, life is more about the tension than not.  perhaps, if there isn’t tension, i’m not walking the right direction….