Change of place + change of pace = change of perspective.
My pastor in DC uses this phrase all the time, and it is playing out in my life now as I am transitioning out of DC to Winchester, VA. I’ve moved everything to my new apartment and am spending a few days here before going to South Africa on mission (check out the blog here) and visiting my family in Ohio. I will finally “settle” in Winchester sometime in August before starting school at the end of the summer. (p.s. happy first day of summer!)
I moseyed over to Shenandoah’s campus today to stop by the financial aid office and check on my status. I received my update. I’ve been praying hard about this, as people in my situation often do. God answered my prayer, not exactly how I had hoped, but in a way that I understand what I have to do. I can see how worries about money can really choke you and take over your thoughts. Frankly it’s not something I had to worry about the last couple years. I had a decent paying job (albeit low for DC standards) and a secondary income (piano lessons) that provided for my needs and then some. I totally took it for granted.
My old home had heat and air conditioning – good heat and air conditioning. It had modern appliances, plenty of wall outlets, a good maintenance crew, convenient laundry services, great location. Flat screen TV, Tivo, Blu-Ray player and streaming Netflix. Not to mention a best friend who put up with way more of my antics than anybody ever should. Across the street from me was a mall that was filled with mid to very expensive stores, high school kids on their DC trips from March to October, and way too many temptations to buy “stuff”. There was a great outdoor plaza with nice restaurants and a mildly expensive grocery store. All within walking distance. And also the metro to get me to and from work everyday.
My new home is much cheaper, but it’s old. It has an air conditioner unit, but we pay the electric bill so it stays off mostly. A fan will suffice. Not sure about the heat yet, but I have a warm down comforter. No dishwasher. No laundry. But there is free and ample parking right outside. Lots of old brick houses and trees in the neighborhood. A screened in porch. Down the street is a gas station with a Subway, Dunkin Donuts, and Baskin Robbins in it. Also, the gas is 40 cents cheaper here. For my TV, I have my laptop that can play TV shows and movies. I have a new roommate who is friendly and patient with the slow integration of my stuff in her home. She also has a cat named Molly Jones who likes to sleep under my bed.
Perhaps my optimism will wear off when I have a month’s worth of laundry and have absolutely no desire to go to the laundromat. Or when I have a sink of dirty dishes. Or when I am making every meal complete with ramen noodles. But from my perspective right now, I think the forced simplicity of my new life will help me focus better on school, relationships, and most importantly, my seeking of God.
I guess we’ll have to wait to find out. In the meantime, let’s see if I can break the record for least amount of spending in one summer! God will provide, He always does.