Newness for a New Year

Thursday, January 10, 2008

First Day of School, a Recurring Nightmare, and Moving Again

This has been a very eventful week.

School started Monday
I have been excited to get a new start with everything, and this week has provided that in ample supply, for which I am grateful. I am teaching four classes again: 2 sections of Advanced Technical Writing, 1 section of Intro to Literature, and 1 section of Freshman Composition. I have taught them all many times, but this semester I am teaching them all on the same day. I teach MWF, with three of those classes back to back. It has actually been a good dynamic so for. It has brought just a little bit of newness to my ordinary teaching schedule. I have to fight crowds to get to my next class and be very prepared to teach three hours in a row. Since I haven't taught in a few weeks, I noticed that my voice isn't holding up so good. I almost lost it yesterday. That would greatly reduce my ability to function as a teacher, but it would make lectures interesting. But I now have Tuesday and Thursday off, which is wonderful. I have office hours Thursday, but I can actually wear jeans to work since I don't teach.

Recurring Nightmare
The last month or so of my mission I used to have a recurring nightmare. I would dream that I was home for a couple of weeks, hanging out, going to movies, and then I would suddenly remember that I never got released and I forgot to go to the temple. I know that doesn't sound like a nightmare, but it made me feel so sick that I could forget my mission so soon, and I had it so frequently. Well, I didn't forget to get released or go to the temple, but it was the first recurring dream I had experienced--until last week. For some reason, I kept dreaming that I forgot to go teach class. I would be doing my thing during the day and then remember that I had to teach (although three classes had already passed) and then I would franticly try to get to class but could never quite get there. The good news is that I didn't forget to teach this week, the truth is that with my scatter-brained sense of reality as of late, I easily could have forgotten such a thing.

Moving Again
I believe the best news I have is that after enduring three months of waiting and delays, we finally moved back into our newly-remodeled house. After moving 6 times in 2007, I am ready to settle in for a few months into a space that is mine. I can't thank enough the many people who have helped and housed us and our stuff. I really feel so lucky to have so many wonderful people in my life. I know that there are many out there who wondered why we waited--and there were times I wondered myself--but we felt like we should stick it out. We didn't know why exactly, but we felt sure that it would somehow work out. Well, I believe we are starting to see some of the reasons. Here are a few of them.

1. Our house is beautiful. It is more than I ever could have hoped for. They didn't just repaint it, they remodeled it. It has all new appliances and is a completely new place. It feels so great to be there, and except for the black that still clings to many of possessions, I can almost forget the fire ever happened.

Parable of the Burned House
I like to think of this experience as microcosm for our lives. Sometimes we simply don't understand why certain things happen. We are suddenly left wanting and wondering why and how. There certainly is pain involved, but with God and the peace he offers, somehow hope survives. You might think the pain and uncomfortable circumstances are part of a necessary remodeling job. But, as C. S. Lewis states, God is not merely building a cottage but a mansion.

The physical rebuilding of our house has taught me that God truly can see the end from the beginning, and he will help us grow and stretch into a more beautiful happiness and peace than we ever could have dreamed of on our own. But, it must be done in his way and in his time. And when we wonder why we are sometimes asked to wait for things that seem to matter so much, we can be assured that in God's time we will be more blessed than we could ever hope to imagine.

2. We felt good about staying in our ward, and we grew closer to our Bishopric as they took care of us. Well, it is apparent that God had bigger plans for some of us than we could have known. Mary-Kathryn was made Relief Society President and Amelia is her second counselor. Enough said.

3. I have dramatically downsized my life. I just want to get rid of anything I don't really use or need. After moving your stuff around so much and living out of what you carry in and out of your house in plastic sacks, I am ready to purge my life. Do you have stuff that you just need to go through and clear out? One benefit of moving 6 times is being able to that again and again. And more stuff goes with each move. This last move will probably purge the most since I have learned to live with so little.

4. There is nothing quite like having a place to call your own. I forgot how nice it is to curl up on my bed, listen to my classical music, and have a bookcase next to me full of my favorite things. It is a wonderful feeling to know that I have access to the things I treasure.

Here are a few before and after shots and then some others.

The darkest night will always be followed by the brightness of day.

Here are some other shots of the remodel.

There used to be a room off the kitchen, but they closed it off and opened it up from the front room.

The bathroom had needed a new paint job before the fire, so it is really nice and new now.

And they even painted the front room green. They resealed the floors as well.

We are extremely pleased and we feel very blessed. We heard the owner wants to increase the rent by about $400 because of the remodel. Lucky for us he can't change it till the end of our contract. We will thoroughly enjoy the next few months in our new place. We will have public showings once we get all our stuff our of the POD. We need to clean everything again and try to wipe off more of the smoke smell.


Alisa said...

I am so excited for you guys. I love the color of your front room. Congradulations!
love Alisa

Dan Simpson said...

Breanne, just so you know, the above is an advertisement, they are done automatically by computers. Problem is, sometimes the links are highly innappropriate. THe way to solve it is in your blog settings, let me figure out how on my blog, then I'll tell you what to do.