Friday, May 27, 2011

{the mezuzah}

The boxes are really starting to pile up around here; it sort of feels like we're living in a giant refrigerator box. I can't believe it's been three years since I was packing up wedding presents in cardboard boxes, counting the days until our big move to Chicago. That seems like just yesterday.

With packing comes the task of pruning, of purging things we no longer use, or like, or want. Every last scrap of the apartment is put through the fire: "Have we ever even used this?" "Are you really ever going to read this book?" "Can we even fix that?" 

There is an entire closet full of things that didn't pass the test, and will soon be on their way to new homes (which, if you're interested, I have wine glasses, lamp shades, craft stuff, etc etc etc if you'd like to buy them on the cheap. Sorry, shameless plug.). As I've been shuffling through all the stuff and carrying loads of junk in and out of doors, I happened to catch a glimpse of this:

It's been on the post of our front door ever since we moved in. I always had it in the back of my mind that I would look up exactly what it was, but that's exactly where the idea the back of my mind. I decided today to ask my friend, Eric, if he knew what it was. And, being the good Messianic Jew that he is, he told me.

It's a mezuzah. In Jewish homes, the mezuzah is placed on the doorpost as a fulfillment of the Torah's commandment to inscribe the words of the schema "on the doorposts of your house" (Deut. 6:9). The mezuzah is a small case with a piece of parchment inside with the prayer Schima Yisrael written: "Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one."

Pretty cool.

Then I started reading about how the mezuzah is placed at an angle, with the top pointing inside the door, signifying that the Lord's presence is entering the household. I looked up what the inscription on our case means in Hebrew: the writing, שדי, is an acronym for Shomer Daltot Yisrael, "Guardian of Israel's doors."

Sorry for the lesson in Jewish traditions, and I'm not trying to say I'm an honorary Jew or anything, but when I read that "Guardian of Israel's doors" has been posted on our door frame for the last year, well, it just...stopped me. 

The Lord is guarding our door. Nothing is allowed in or out without His permission. No sickness, no hurt, no blessing, no person comes through the door of our life unless He allows it. Even when I doubt Him, when I am angry with Him, when I do not sense Him near, the Lord is guarding our door. Even though it feels like pain is rushing in like a flood, He is, still, always, guarding our door.

Our year in this apartment has been chaotic, frustrating, scary. I thought I would always remember this place as The Apartment I Called 911 In, or The Place Avram Had Seizures, but I think now I will remember it as The Place The Lord Guarded. Because even before we found this apartment, He knew we would live here, He knew what this year would hold. 

He knew, and He guarded.

And He is One: He is the same today as He was yesterday, what He promised to do He will do. 

He is One, He is good, and He is guarding our door.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

{pieces of heaven}

We are one month seizure-free. Hospital-stay free. It has been the longest stretch of peace (well, medically at least) we have had since February. Let the earth rejoice.

Avram has started this new thing where he runs his fingers through the hair at the nape of my neck whenever I carry him. He is a lover. As soon as I pick him up, he starts to slowly run his chubby little fingers through strands of hair. Every once and awhile, he will turn, beam a big teethy smile, and wrap both of those chunky arms around my neck as tight as he can.

It is, undeniably, heaven on earth.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

{ #30 }

Well, it has officially been an entire month without a blog post, and what a month it has been: spring break, colds, birthday parties. I haven't posted anything mainly because I've just been exhausted from all the "excitement" the last five months have held. But I also haven't posted because there's only been one thing I've wanted to write about that I haven't been able to until today.

We are moving back home.

Back home to Fort Wayne.

On June 30th.

Yep, that's right, we're checking #30 off the list.

Jason got a job teaching tenth grade English at Columbia City, so we're packing our boxes and heading home.

I never would have imagined that I would be so relieved and excited to move back to Fort Wayne. Well, mostly relieved. I'm a little nervous not having the Children's Hospital nearby, especially after our bad experience at one of the hospitals in Fort Wayne over Christmas break. I'm also a teeny bit nervous about living close to all our family again; after all, we've had a pretty minimal social life the last year and a half, so we'll have to get used to not being hermits and, you know, seeing people. Like, in person.

Despite my small worries, I am relieved. The past year has been the hardest, most exhausting year of my life, and I am just relieved we will have so many family members around to help us carry the weight of it all. There was so much prayer put into this decision that I can't help but be anything be at peace. And relieved.

Avram has started saying "mama" this week, and is trying so hard to pull himself up to standing. He can hold on to the edge of the couch and do this little booty-dance all by himself. He's got some moves, man. When I watch him, I know that the best thing for him is to be surrounded by people who love him. As important as the right doctors are, having a family-worth of love is even more important.

Part of me is a little sad that J & I's adventure out in the world, all by ourselves, feels a little like it's over. For two years we were young newlyweds, living in the big city, packing up and heading out west if we felt like it, taking the train everywhere and riding our bikes along the lake. We were so independent, and then all of a sudden we are....grown-ups. Grown-ups moving back home, close to our parents, down the street from where we went to high school. where we learned to drive a car.

I know we have a lifetime of adventures ahead of us: a lifetime of family vacations and new jobs and more beautiful babies (although, I mean, they just don't make them any more beautiful than the buddy). I know that moving back to Fort Wayne in no means dictates that we are going to live a small life; I know that surrounded by so much love we are going to be able to do even more. I know that all the challenges and tears and frustrations of this past year have to lead up to something good, something beautiful, something better than we could ever imagine.

So, Indiana, we're coming home.