Moving: We aren't. After giving us notice to vacate so they could sell, our landlords changed their minds (again). The same thing happened last time, and our upstairs neighbor cued us in that the winds might be changing, so at the end of our apartment hunt, just when we were cleared and ready to sign a new lease, I decided to call and confirm the plans to sell. Sure enough, they did a 180º, so we're staying.
It was a tough decision, and a really good one for us to walk through together. Competing priorities on money, time, proximity to work and friends, and a host of other lifestyle choices kept our options neck and neck, and though it was stressful to have it all up in the air, talking through it was—dare I say it?—fun and energizing. It also clarified so much about our values as a family moving forward. The only real bummer, other than not being closer to some of our friends (but to do that, we would have been moving farther from others, so it basically zeros out), was having to back out on the deal we were arranging with the couple whose lease we were going to take over (they are moving out of the country). These are all problems of privilege, however, and even the uncomfortable and difficult parts built character. It's good to see both God's provision and His ongoing work in us.
Lent: No idea what, if anything, I'll be giving up or doing differently for Lent. Don't feel an obligation so much as an opportunity, and I don't want that to pass by without due consideration. Want to use this devotional through the season; perhaps that will stir or solidify something more specific. For now, I'm just focusing on paying attention, which seems like it may be a complete enough discipline in itself.
Elections: Lots and lots of buzz here. Some (too) quickly jump into a mode of telling what their fellow citizens should think, believe, and do, a posture that almost immediately makes me recoil (even if I agree). There are a couple of factors related to my personality and outlook that affect my approach to the process:
- I don't find passion valuable in and of itself. What really matters is what that passion backs up, and for me, that's all about specifics. Passion is just wrapping paper.
- Both my hopes for and my blame of government are quite limited.
In my geographic and social circles, there's lots of Obama excitement. While I've paid some attention and even dutifully watched video and read (OK, skimmed) emails, I can't pretend I fully connect with what the big deal is—possibly because of the two factors above. Neither do I have any particular problem with his candidacy (there are particular points of disagreement, but they aren't with Obama alone). What's odd is that I actually find myself pulling for him a bit (even though he's unlikely to receive my vote) simply because I fear that so many of the people around me will be unbearably pissy should he lose. That's one of the reasons I don't pin so much on politics.
My fears may be unfounded, but I wonder what the response would be to an Obama loss. It is an election, after all, and by definition, only one candidate can win. Could a loss be accepted gracefully and without disenfranchisement as an understood possibilty in this process? Part of me would rather deal with policies I disagree with (there will always be some, regardless of candidate) in an Obama presidency than to face four years (at least) of "if only he'd been elected." Currently, I find the ongoing drumbeat of whining about George W. Bush far more grating than the man himself, and this threatens to be worse. Civility seems to be leaving civil affairs, if it hasn't exited the building long ago.