Saturday, September 18, 2010

As you were given to free of charge, give free of charge.

*Disclaimer; if you are too tired, too impatient, or just without adequate care (all of which I understand, this thing is long) (thats what she said)(oh em gee Ashley you're disgusting) Then just cut to the end!

After our failed attempt at futile yard sale-ing, we were left asking ourselves some piercing questions, first of which was; "Does our stuff suck that bad?!" Yes, I know we were getting rid of it so I hear some of you sarcastically remarking that this should have been the first tip to its suck-factor, but people, some of that stuff we really liked! Just couldn't fit it anymore, just wasn't practical. Take the twin bed for instance; it was useful, (when my family used to spend the night! Trickle down a tear for my loneliness. boohoo) and promised to come in handy especially when we figured out that spare room. However, in today's studio apartment, propped against the wall its an eye soar at best. Second Example; the Schwinn. People, in spite of what those snobs at that one certain store will tell you this is a good vintage bike! Its a fixie, not the lightest thing in the world, but if what you're looking for is a stylish cruise to the ice cream shop then this bike is for you! It can't take you 8.9 miles (well, could yes, but should?) but it can take you a mile or two. But here, like the bed, it is an eye soar and nuisance.

This takes me to our second question; "What do we DO with all this STUFF?!?!" Right now the piles and bags and such are in our cars, the bed is back against the wall, the bike is...some where around here, and the desk is out in front with the assumption that something that big and heavy will be safe from theft.

So we have two options. Maybe three. We can 1). Wait another few days and have a second yard sale. 2). Ebay that shizzznit. Or 3). Forget, and, like all good intentions, let this one pave our way to hell.

Those, led to some reflection; We have been given a lot this year. I don't mean tangible material things necessarily; our thrift store excursions paid for most of these objects left lying about (we can also blame childhood memories and sentimentality, but the later culprit is easier to forgive.) What we've been given is help. Over the course of these many months without proper, working, or even legal transportation I've received weekly rides from my mother and brother, from my mother in law, and from my dear friend Danae. Recently, my mother in law has allowed Marcos to use her car every night to go to work, and we understand that is no small thing. We are literally floored by the loyal help we've been given. But it goes beyond human aid, right to the heavenly kind. As we've struggled through life and marriage and money, wondered where to go from here, doubting everything from the next step to the next five years, one this has been made apparent; The Lord is faithful. Dear friends, we've spoken of our doubts, blamed our scientific minds, and you've asked me some big questions, for which I have no answer that would satisfy you. For Jesus can not be broken down to fit into a formula; we can form a hypothesis but we can honestly find no finished theories here. Well, I can. My entire life points to the existence of a very real, very loving, and very misunderstood God. At every turn, as an answer to every prayer, he has kept us safe, provided for us in the days of want, saved our marriage, given us peace. He has put money in an empty back account and food in our fridge. I cannot touch him, but I can feel him. I cannot see him, but in a way I can; in the love of my husband, the beauty of the flowers, even in the judge who extends our tickets so we can pay another month. And it is this, that has left me speechless. And humbled.

And now, we've reached a conclusion; "To whom much is given, that much more is required." We have much things. So much things are required back. We have been shown a BIG giving, and so we must give bigly as well. In a world that is full of want, should we ask for money back? As much as it would be helpful, the answer is no. I don't need money for that twin bed, or that desk, or those clothes. OR whatever else there is in here. I don't want to consume, I want to have just enough, and no more. No, we will not be winnowing down our possessions to 100 items max, though we're not too far from believe that to be a well deserved goal. If Proverbs asks for only two things, then those two things are good enough for me;

"Two things I ask of you, Oh LORD,

Do not refuse me before I die;

Keep falsehood and lies far from me;

give me neither poverty nor riches,

but give me only my daily bread,

Otherwise I may have too much and disown you and say "Who is the Lord?"

Or I may become poor and steal and so dishonor the name of my God.

-Proverbs 30: 7-9

I had to ask myself; If my time is the Lord's, then the money I earn during some of that time is the Lord's. And if the money is his, then the things purchased there with are also his. And if I don't use those things, am I stealing? Or am I disowning? Is it both? Self sufficiency is a steel and sneaky trap. In American culture we value independence, singing "God bless the child that got his own", but its made it far too easy for me to forget God; forget what his done, and disregard what he's going to do. Its made me forget his children, making it easier for me to turn a blind eye towards the poor both near and far. And its made me tired. We have been called a nation of consumers, and I don't want that label to fall as heavily on me anymore.

And so, alllll that is to say; I have some stuff to give away! I just don't know where to start. So basically I'm calling upon you delights who are reading this to tell me if you know anyone who needs this stuff, or if you know of an organization that would know who needs this stuff? Would your church know? Does your neighbor need something? Do YOU need something? I'd love to bring these things to you! Here is a small list of some of the things I have;

A twin bed, mattress and box.

A desk, blonde wood, one long drawer three smaller side drawers.

Women's clothes, Small and Large Sizes. Styles ranging from business casual to...casual.

Some nicknacks.

Men's clothes, Large sizes mostly. Mostly casual, some business casual.

...and thats all I can think of for now.

Let me know if you guys know anything!

Much love, to you and yours.


Friday, September 10, 2010

Morning train, this is my favorite. When the new sunlight mixes with the passing cars to play with the shadows of my sleepy walls. I'm currently clutching a fourth cup of coffee, trying to figure out a way to get it all done. By all of it, I mean clean up to save our toes from further stubbing, organize a yard sale to save us from joining an episode of hoarders, and fix the toilet because...well...gross.

The weather is lovely here, two whole days of breezy, beachy weather, of opened windows and sweaters and pleasant bike rides for once! I haven't posted much about m-lady Nishiki, ironically, posts halted when I actually began riding her more often (thats what she said).

That is another item to add to the list of All of It; fix cars so that my husband and I can cease to borrow and bum rides to his far away job, and I to mine as well. Part of me wants to refuse any other mode of transportation other than bicycles and good ol' fashioned hoofin' it, but lets be honest; driving out of downtown fresno (even though I am on the outskirts, which you'll find to be less ghetto and quite pleasant) in the darkness of 5:30 am on my little ol' bike, with me being just little ol' me, is not what I'd call wise by anyones standards. We'll see; perhaps I'll be emboldened with a heaping dose of bravery and change my mind yet again. For now, my little bike will remain how I get to the store, the coffee shops, and everywhere else that doesn't involve darkness.

Tonight Marcos and I made plans! Oooh boy! A date! We're going to see a movie, and I'm going to get dressed up and wear heels! I feel very excited and all full of butterflies; and we're two years in. Keeping the spark alive?-Check.