We’ve just wrapped up our first full month in Indy and it’s been quite a doozy. Below is a smattering of what’s been going on in the Bell Family. I hope this will serve not only as an update for friends and family, but also a pretty detailed listing of how you can be praying for us. And yes, I’m asking you to pray. Please. It’s been tough going so far. Good in many ways, but very hard in many others. Read on…
In the last month, we celebrated Liam’s seventh and Victoria’s first birthdays. Court and I also went out for our ninth wedding anniversary, walking the canal for the first time. The kids have started to meet a few new friends and have enjoyed getting to play with the Coveney clan kids.
As for illness, we’ve had a rough time. At some point all of us have gotten sick with combinations of ear infections and strep throat. I actually missed my second day of work, and six of the seven of us took over an immediate care center the next morning. Not only that, but first Ariana, then later Liam and Esther ended up having ruptured ear drums from the ear infections. As happens to us sometimes, the illness has been around long enough that it’s in its second pass right now.
Little Josiah is an active little guy and a pest already. He’s been wedging himself in incredibly uncomfortable ways for Court, who keeps trying to (unsuccessfully) push him down into a better position. Add to that that Court’s Crohn’s has been constantly flaring for over a month and you can see it’s been a hard time for her.
We moved into the new house which, by the way, is over twice the size of our last house. 🙂 Thanks to my rockin’ awesome wife, everything is unpacked. Some things still need a place, but we don’t currently have the funds to purchase some of the organizers we need, especially in the homeschool room (yes, we now have a homeschool room!). Part of that fund-draining came from the 23 windows for which there were no curtains and only 2 broken sets of mini-blinds. Though Lowe’s did the custom cutting, I did the actual installing which took quite a while. We’ve also installed an over-the-range microwave and are in the process of installing a dishwasher.
Furthermore, we’d bought a groupon for a house cleaning service before we moved in–but it totally didn’t work out because the housecleaner freaked out when she got to the kitchen. Why? Apparently, the house had been, um, neglected by the previous tenant and became the home of roaches. Said roaches had already been exterminated by the time we moved in, but the kitchen cabinets had not yet been cleaned out. THAT is what freaked out the housecleaner and she left without actually cleaning our house. So, when we expected to move into a freshly cleaned house, we instead found the kitchen a mess, dirty floors, and cloudy windows. As you might imagine, just getting the place clean has been a massive effort. It took an entire day to vacuum and clean out all the cabinets, shelves, surfaces, etc., from the previous “residents”. And even after several cleanings, we’ve still got work to do.
Having said all that, living in this gorgeous and massive house has been a lot of fun. Like I said, we have more room than we’ve ever had before and still haven’t figured out what to do with all the space. The weirdest part is that, unlike before, we can be in different parts of the house and NOT hear each other. Talk about strange…
When we were looking for houses and we found this one online, the realtor didn’t want to set up an appointment until we had “driven through the neighborhood”. The point was that it’s an urban area with several boarded up homes and mixed ethnicities. Which, if you didn’t know this, was exactly what we were aiming for under the conviction that most churches we knew of and respected were suburban based. It’s certainly a different culture for us, and we’re still learning. We’ve gotten to meet all of our neighbors and that’s been really positive. One family in particular has five kids who usually come over multiple times a day to play with our kids on the front porch or sidewalk.
We’ve been told we should keep our privacy fences and other property locked up, as people in the past have stolen air conditioners, porch furniture, and even a half-used bag of rock salt. We even saw this at work in miniature when one of the neighborhood kids was riding Ariana’s scooter. Another group of kids came and shot the boy in the chest with a BB gun and took the scooter from him (he’s fine, by the way). We did in fact get the scooter back and I got to meet some more families in the process of retrieving it.
We already loved the city before we came, but we love it even more now. Court and the kids have been slowly exploring the parks and have loved each one they’ve come across. We got a membership to the zoo (which is also an aquarium–awesome!) and have used it several times. I’m sure we’ll keep everyone up to date as we discover more. And we already know we love the canal.
One of the really cool things about having a resourceful wife like mine is that she knows how to research a city. As I understand it, she has a rather impressive list of parks, festivals, activities, venues, and other events for us to check out as we find time. Fortunately, her list is long and we’re in no hurry, so we get to savor all the new discoveries we’re making. And we still need to figure out where the good local food is. There are an enormous number of local restaurants here, so it’s gonna take a while.
My job has been quite a bit different than I was expecting. I thought it would be at least a few weeks before I would work on something in particular as I had quite a bit of training to do. Boy, it didn’t work out that way. Instead, I was tasked out 50% to a client after a week. Not only that, but I was supporting another guy from my company who took a vacation after my first week, so I had to take over during that time, running meetings and producing documents.
Ironically, the other 50% of my work is working for a Medicare contractor owned by Wellpoint. So not only am I working on Medicare again, I now work for a Humana competitor. Cracks me up…
And, as some of you know, the bus line isn’t a feasible option for me here, so we bought a car right before we moved. It’s been nice having two cars again (first time in four years), even if it means I drive more and read less.
We started meeting with the Coveney clan on Saturday afternoons. As some people have asked, yes, that is our church. It’s not a “core group” or “launch group” or anything like that. At this point, we’ve only gotten to meet a couple of times and we’re still figuring out what our times together will look like. This last meeting involved a lengthy discussion of the Lord’s Supper, grilling, a trip to the grocery store, throwing a football in the backyard, and watching an urban ministry video. Honestly….I TOTALLY dug it.
It has also been somewhat lonely for us, especially Court. Our social interactions have always revolved around our church–and that church has always had more than 100 people. That is obviously not the case currently and while we knew that beforehand, it doesn’t make it any easier. There have been a lot of changes in this move, such that this is definitely the most drastic and difficult move we’ve ever made.
Praise to Our Good God
Honest disclosure here: if you’ve read this far, I think you’ve gotten that the last month has been very trying on all of us. And that’s doesn’t even mention the Coveney clan who moved up six weeks before us and have had their own difficulties, too. But we truly praise God for the many ways he’s shown his goodness. Even if that’s through sickness and dirt and unfamiliarity. Despite the fact that some people think God’s job is to keep us from all earthly harm and discomfort, it’s not. He owes us nothing. And to have all that we have, even with some difficulties, is still grace upon grace. So I give thanks to God through his Son, who died that we would have a hope that extends beyond these light and momentary afflictions. Because even if they don’t feel that way, that’s what they are when compared to the joy that is to come by faith.