There’s a distinct feeling that I despise. It's the feeling you get after you’ve hit the snooze button one too many times and finally realize that you simply cannot hit it another time. It’s the feeling you get after you say, “Oh I’ll study for that test soon,” only to realize your daunting final is tomorrow. In both cases, you are given an option. But with both options, if you care enough not to jeopardize your future plans, you will endure that minor feeling of panic in order to work through the temporary pain.
Well, it’s March 2016 and every ounce in my body is prepared to keep hitting the snooze button of life. I’m terrified at the prospect of everything I’ve ever known changing in a few short months. I don’t want to deal with the panic that overtakes me when I come home to boxes, or sit in between my parents at the church that raised me, only to realize that I don’t have many more Sundays in Sacramento. I detest that all-too-familiar lump that forms in my throat, and the uncontrollable tear that flows when I stand in line at Chick-Fil-A and think about the hundreds of afternoons I have spent ordering a vanilla cone and diligently forcing myself to study at my home away from home.
But as I drove home today all that kept flooding my mind was how foolish it is of me to suppress the natural emotions God is giving me. In so many ways, God is using this period of panic, as I realize that I truly cannot put off the emotions about never seeing my childhood home again, to lead me to Him. So, with shaky knees and the same panicked feeling you get after you realize you can't hit snooze any longer, I’m purposing to mindfully allow myself to endure this time of panic, work through this move's pain and hopefully, peacefully say goodbye to almost everything that is familiar to me.
As I thought about where to start this overwhelming process of saying goodbye, I decided I wanted to start nowhere else but with the place that built me and laid the foundation to my unique personality, passions, values and life perspective: MY HOME.
My dear room, where do I even begin? You have witnessed more tears, laughs and heart-to-heart conversations than any other place in my life. Thank you for housing my imagination while I built a life for myself, learned to love my baby dolls like my own and escaped what appeared to be an often harsh world. Thank you for never turning your back on me when my world felt like it was falling apart outside the safe, imaginary life that I had so passionately created inside your walls. I apologize that you had to endure my progressively more dramatic door slams and melodramatic belly flops onto the bed. Thank you for housing countless spankings, pleas from my parents and often raw dialogue that miraculously shaped me into the person I am today. Oh my dear bedroom, without the conversations I have had within your walls, I fear my heart would be in an entirely different place than it is right now. I truly believe that God filled your walls with His spirit. During the moments I spent listening to my parents lovingly reveal my sin, or, even worse, listening to my mama on her knees crying out to God, God would graciously convict me of my sin and lead me to Himself. And I can’t tell you how much it means to me that you never made me feel embarrassed about my never-ending list of odd hobbies, such as extreme couponing, beauty videos or baby dolls -- all of which gave me a beautiful escape from the anxiety and depression I felt during my chronic illness or periods of desperate insecurity.
My Parent’s Bed:
Oh where do I begin? I guess the only place to begin is by thanking you for letting me be little and sleep in the middle. Oh the precious cuddles I have had with my parents and siblings tugged inside your plush comforter. I will never forget the feeling I had after a quality cuddle session or deep heart-to-heart conversation in your protecting care. Curled up in your warmth and the love that surrounded me, I always left feeling invisible and as if I could conquer the world. Thank you for housing some of the most amazing French toast breakfasts, served with love from a mama who spent her whole life serving her chickens. Oh the pain you have absorbed by letting me cry relentlessly in your sheets while I tried to make sense of my suffering, whether a minor cold or a seemingly never-ending chronic illness that left me feeling isolated and in complete despair. But above all else, thank you for supporting two of the most relentless and God-fearing prayer warriors I know. Infinite are the number of times I have walked in to find my mama poured over her Bible, searching for truth to guide her daily tasks and wisely mold her children’s hearts. Or the countless times my heart sank as I observed my daddy on his knees praying for wisdom on how to mindfully lead the flock God has given him, despite being often broken down by the weight of sin, but valiantly preparing to be the warrior he was called to be.
I think it’s an understatement to say that you were the life of the party. Thank you for giving me 18 wonderful holidays, most of which I spent basking in your beautifully decorated walls and celebrating the holidays with my loving family and gracious friends. No matter how out of control or utterly confusing my life became over the last 18 years, I could always count on you to fill my heart with joy. You purposefully forced my family to come together to love and support each other. Oh the unforgettable conversations I have had with my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins while toasting by the fireplace. Of course I couldn’t properly give you justice without reminiscing on our countless dance parties, where the world and its worries seemed to instantly fade away after “I will survive” turned on and we jived until we looked absolutely, insanely wet. In your presence so many mere acquaintances have blossomed into life-long friendships, whether through vulnerable heart-to-hearts on the couch, or precious Friday night pizza hangouts and games of four on a couch.
On a more serious note, thank you for always bringing my family together on Saturday mornings for “Blaising Game Plans,” and Bible studies filled with valuable truth, irreplaceable lessons on listening skills and of course frequent arguments over whether or not Meghan was showing off by answering a question meant for Gracie. And on a quick side note, despite how incredibly annoying it was at the time, thank you for miraculously always having dirty baseboards to be cleaned. As painstaking as it is for me to admit this, because of you I’ll never forget the sunny Saturday mornings I spent listening to James Taylor, learning the beauty of hard work and forming the incredible relationships I have with my siblings to this day.
Dining Room Table:
If anyone has experienced the most change in this beautiful house of ours, it’s certainly you, sweet Blaising dining room table. You have watched the Blaising family evolve around your corners from a buzzing group of seven, to a spunky group of five, and finally, to a meek group of three. Nevertheless, despite the Blaising family evolution, you have remained a beautiful place to unplug, take a step back from life and bond with the people who mean the most to me. But my relationship with you hasn’t always been the greatest. Truth be told, I was never a fan of the lessons I needed to learn in your presence, like how to properly expose my taste buds with one bite of everything, or why it’s important to never put my elbows on you. Fortunately, in retrospect, I realize the minor pain I experienced while swallowing what felt like one too many pieces of broccoli was an incredibly small price to pay for the irreplaceable conversations and beautiful pauses you allowed me to experience over the past 18 years. For that, I thank you – very much.