Out with the old, in with almost nothing

You know that scene in You’ve Got Mail, the greatest romantic comedy of all time, when Kathleen Kelly has decided to close her shop? I’d say spoiler alert but it’s been 18 years, and if you haven’t seen it yet, I feel bad for you. Birdie, the woman who is practically Kathleen’s surrogate mother, tells her how brave she’s being for “daring to imagine that you could have another life.” She encourages her bold move to close the store while reminding her that she’s “marching in to the unknown armed with… Nothing!”

That’s a bit how I was feeling this week. The closer we get to the wedding (148 days, holla!), the more stuff I’m getting rid of- clothes, shoes, knick-knacks, clutter. In order to streamline the move, I’m taking just my clothes, a few little belongings, books and records.

The way I see it, you can look at this two ways: you can make a big, sad deal about it, or you can get excited to simplify and start a new life.

In a way, I’m marching into the unknown, armed with nothing. Leaving the familiar isn’t easy, even for those who move frequently and are always looking for new experiences. With this being my first “big” move, I find myself looking at my stuff, my clothes, my little cluttery junk and having trouble throwing it all in the donation pile.

But when I give it a second thought, isn’t that kind of what we’re supposed to do in life in general? Reading through Matthew 6, part of the Sermon on the Mount, was in my devotional plan this morning and what an awesome reminder it is.

Destructible, perishable, moth and rust targets- that’s what is going in my donation pile. Yes, I’m going to keep the things I need, things that represent people, memories and happy times. I think when Jesus was saying these things about earthly possessions, He’s more concerned about our attitude toward our treasures than the treasures themselves.

So I’m not sad to be simplifying. In fact, I feel a dozen pounds lighter. It’s good to start fresh, to have a blank slate and to have only the things I need. That will help me start an entirely new life overseas with no looking back. It serves as a good reminder to hold loosely to things that are fleeting- You literally cannot take it with you, not just to Heaven, but to the other side of the Atlantic Ocean too.

I cannot wait to start fresh in an incredible city, making memories and learning lessons that will last longer than that sweater I’ve had since 9th grade!

Accomplished this week: sending save-the-dates, booking a ceremony venue, and donating clothes


Preparing for the biggest year of my life: Lessons from the Bible (and Ferris Bueller)

2015 was without a doubt the most eventful year of my life- graduating college, meeting and falling in love with (and getting engaged to) my best friend, planning a wedding and looking ahead to an international move to the UK. Great! Perfect!

But 2016 is the year that that looking ahead, those plans- they all have to be carried out. And at 2 am, it overwhelmed me.

I’m a textbook stockpiler and the middle of the night is prime time for remembering all the things you’re facing at the same time: visa applications, student loan debt, wedding planning, and moving to a different part of the world.

From the end of the earth I will cry to You,
When my heart is overwhelmed;
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

-Psalm 61:2

This was where I was emotionally- overwhelmed. But it wasn’t where I was spiritually- praying for guidance and resting in the perfect plan God has for my life.

So as I went to read my Bible this morning, my heart was still heavy- burdened with the weight of challenges that the year holds. And I was trying to carry that weight myself.

Until BOOM! Psalm 98 was dropped in my lap:

Oh sing to the Lord a new song,
for He has done marvelous things!
His right hand and His holy arm
have worked salvation for Him.

What a joyful song! “Let the rivers clap their hands; let the hills sing for joy together.” That kind of language doesn’t accompany a furrowed brow and heavy heart- The Lord has done SUCH marvelous things!

What incredible experiences are ahead of me in 2016! In the process of worrying, I forgot about thanksgiving. I forgot about God’s plan for my life. Yep, I’m still pretty intimidated by the year ahead, but happy to be reminded of the blessings, joy and peace that come from being a child of God.

So I spent the rest of the morning enjoying some of my many blessings, with such joy in my heart. Playing with my little nephew, listening to good music, looking at pictures of Iyanu and I, and remembering that while the future is scary and unknown to me, it’s not to my Heavenly Father.

So in the months ahead- the planning, the marrying, the moving, the adjusting- I’m going to make a more concerted effort to stop and smell the roses.

As Ferris Bueller says: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

Here’s to not missing out on life, trusting the Lord, and enjoying the ride in 2016.