Tuesday, August 24, 2010

How cleaning a nasty aparment reminded me of Jesus...

But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
1 Corinthians 6:11

Last Tuesday we moved into our new apartment. The first time we saw the apartment it smelled like dog poop, the bathtub was covered with dirt and stains, the toilet was green, and the kitchen floor was brown(it is linoleum floor that is supposed to be off white with a little squiggly line 1970's design in it). This was almost enough for us to say no thanks, however we kept looking at it. We were looking at two different apartments and weren't sure how we would decide between the two. Well, it turned out that the other one was given to someone else. So in a way this apartment chose us :)

We got the key to the apartment and started cleaning as soon as we could. At first, I just felt disgusted and wondered if I would ever dare to take my shoes off in this place. (those of you who know my Mom, know that she is a bit of a clean freak. I am no where close to her level, but she has worn off a little on me.) I worked and worked on the toilet and bathtub. I got the toilet looking good, but could not get the bathtub clean. I gave up after a while. (Luckily Jordan Tardy came over and cleaned it until it shined!)

I decided to move on to the kitchen floor. I swept a few times and then began the first of many moppings. The water had to be changed every few feet and I kept wondering who lets a place get this bad and why. As I mopped something crazy began to happen in my heart. I started to fall in love with this kitchen and this house. I wanted so badly for it to be clean and different than it was when we found it. Then I began to be reminded of how we all come to Jesus like this; nasty, dirty, and smelly and we need someone to clean us. We have no idea how dirty we are and we have no idea how to clean ourselves. I never really understand why God loves us or cleans us when we are so nasty...but then I thought about this apartment and how I cleaned it because it was mine and as I cleaned it my love for it grew. I think God is like that, because we are his he cleans us of our nastiness and he loves us with a great love. This love is so great, he sent Jesus to be the one to ultimately cleanse us for good!

If some of you came to visit our apartment(esp my Mom) you could probably still find a lot of areas that need more cleaning and might even say it is not that great of a place.(still has a dog odor because our neighbor has TONS of dogs). BUT, I know what is was before it was cleaned, I know how far it has come and that is a LONG way. If we could see people the way God sees them/us, how dirty they/we are before being cleaned and how far they/we have come as far as cleansing, we might have a lot more grace and love for one another.

These are just some random thoughts about a nasty apartment, hopefully you didn't get bored in this extremely long post. I just wanted to share and I am so thankful that my disgust for a nasty apartment began to remind me of Jesus' love for me/us and how wonderfully he has cleansed me/us.

Little Austin Friends

While living in Austin, we were able to live in an apartment complex where many refugees are resettled. We LOVED living in these apartments and loved the people we lived with. Ryan and I both feel strongly that as followers of Jesus we are called to love refugees. This is one of the reasons why we feel in love with one another so quickly :)

Anyway, this is a picture of Ryan with our friends Lily Pa and Pai Lai. This picture was taken on the day we were moving out of our apartment. Lily Pa and Pai Lai are brother and sister. They are Burmese, but have never lived or even visited Burma. Their parents had to flee Burma and lived in a refugee camp in Thailand(where they were born.) After many years, they were able to come to the USA. Every year the USA decides how many refugees they will allow from each country and then they usually partner with non-profit or state agencies to resettle these refugees. In Austin there are a few of these resettlement organizations. The one we know the most about and worked with is Refugee Services of Texas. RST settled many refugees in our apartment complex. They were mostly from Burma, Burundi, Iraq, Nepal, and Somalia. If you ever have a chance to hang out with refugees they will inspire you. They all have such amazing stories of pain and loss mixed with perseverance and hope.

Pai Lai is one of our favorites. He spent more time at our apartment than any of the other kids. He loves Ryan and loves being around him. He always wanted to come over and watch Spider Man on our computer or color in our coloring books. He is a really smart little kid and one of the reasons leaving Austin was so hard.

I am so thankful we were able to spend our first year of marriage living with people like this!

Monday, August 16, 2010


First of all, I am so so sorry it has been so long since I have blogged. I promise that our blogging is going to become more regular now that we are in Lancaster. Ryan is about to join me and write some blogs of his own....stay tuned :)

We made it to Lancaster on Thursday night and have been looking for an apartment and exploring the city since we arrived. It looks like we have found an apartment, there are just a few details to work out. I am so excited about getting settled into an apartment. The buildings downtown(they are called row homes) are over 200 years old! We will be living in a house older than TEXAS!! CRAZY! I will post pics as soon as possible.

We are really excited about what this next year will hold. We love the feel and culture of this city and pray that we will be like sponges and soak up everything we can.

hanging out at a coffee shop downtown