Sunday, October 31, 2010


The Archbishop suggested we not bring everything. 

I couldn't agree with him more at this point. I just don't know how to go about it from here in Dayton while our things are in Albuquerque. Father Paul and I have started considering just leaving it all there.  By next week we will decide that too, with His Eminence's prayers.

Here in Dayton we are discarding more things so as to fit our essentials in our luggage. We are getting weary of looking at some of it anyway.

What we take to NZ has to be no more than 50 lbs per luggage case, or on some airlines they will accept 100 lbs combined.

imgres.jpgI've been talking with Debbie at crown moving and storage, a company in New Zealand. No she's not in the photo. She is doing her job and trying really hard to get us to sign lots of documents and contracts and official customs forms, all of which make me feel like when it is all over I could be either broke or arrested. But it is all implied of course.  I kind of want to see the paper that says: When you sign this everything will go well and you will be very happy.

But the Archbishop said it would all go well.

The costs for moving our things to NZ are much higher than what I had hoped.  I have to somehow comfort myself with the knowledge that international moves happen everyday, and many of them are much more expensive than ours.  Maybe its not all that bad. We are after all helping to employ people around the world by needing their services.  The good news for us is that NZ relocation companies are very familiar with over seas residential moves.

One of the reasons for the higher cost is that EVERYTHING we have packed must be checked and/or re-packed by a third party agency.  I wasn't all that surprised.  After all this is an international move. I just didn't know how they would go about it. They are going to take the POD which contains our things from the warehouse to their secure site….on a day that it's not raining…and when all their very best employees are there to do their very best work…. and they will open every box, and then re-pack whatever they think should be, set it up on one of those international containers and then bon voyage. 

For insurance purposes  I must insist that the movers re-pack all of our breakables, if they can find them, along with whatever they think is not boxed suitably.  For customs and for safety, it is in our better interest to have objective witnesses to what's going into the containers over seas.  Once the items are checked, and insurance costs are paid, there will be an 8 - 10 week transit time before we see our things again.  I am so glad that we packed light. But in my opinion, nothing is light enough for an international move. Taking things with us all started because we wanted Father Paul's books to come along. We still want the books for his work.  There are no Orthodox libraries in NZ that we are aware of, and whatever we have will be useful. 

Maybe we should take just the books and leave the other things? I don't know. 

So here's a perspective:

Elder Paisios of Mount Athos
I know that some of these decisions would be easier to make if I had all the money in the world.  I have the thought that just so much money would take away my worries about the expenses. If I could exchange my worry for money, I only lose the anxiety. Perhaps. However, if I exchange my worry for a little obedience and trust in God, I get a little closer to God and I lose the anxiety too. 

It just so happens I got some good advice about this when I was reading to the boys, Georgios and his cousin today. Here's a story that tells it better, from the counsels from Elder Paisios of blessed memory:

A man came to the Elder Paisios saying that he has high blood pressure.  The Elder said "High blood pressure comes from anxiety. You can't solve all the problems.  You need to think about the easy things.  God can take care of the rest. I will send you to my friend who has a little store in Kariyes and he can sell you a little 'indifference'."  The indifference is supposed to be applied to whatever is difficult and then given to God. 

Did you hear the Gospel reading for today? It was about the rich man and Lazarus.  Luke 16: 19 - 31 Bishop Savas on Facebook has some great things to say about it if you can find his entry.  It applies to our situation and  to Father Paisios' advice too… how worldly concerns and holding onto things can separate us from our hearts' true desire which is to be with the Lord.   

I don't know what we will do in the end. What I do know is that these days of divestiture have been such a blessing, and I know that I will cherish the immaterial things we all gained during this time.

While still basking in the loveliness of so many family visits from the weeks past, last week we were blessed to visit my first cousin NVJ and her family.  If you haven't noticed I have a very big family.  Anyway, they look GREAT, and I am so happy to have made yet another connection before we leave. 

Then as we were driving today from Saint Constantine and Helen Church in Middletown, I talked with a friend and another cousin who both have to be in this area for work this week…so we are having lunches. They both live on the other side of Ohio from here.

Downtown Lebanon during their Blues Festival
We took another road, not the interstate on our way back from Middletown today, and drove through Lebanon Ohio. We used to go there when my Dad of blessed memory wanted to do a little day trip.  Usually we'd go out to see a bridge that he had painted.  That was his business, industrial painting. It didn't happen very often, but when we did go it was so nice.

We have two very dear friends who are confronting cancer with prayer and faith.  We saw them both together today, Sunday.  We were touched to the heart by their encounter. Both have beat their doctors' predictions, and both are on chemo. But both give each and everyday to the Lord.  Another type of divestiture. One of which I am unworthy to address.

We are still hoping to leave very shortly after Thanksgiving weekend.  

My mother should be coming home from Greece before we leave.

Nicholia and Raphaela and I took a Zumba class yesterday at the gymn….OUCH!

Pray for us that we get the paperwork done for the relocation experts.

Very soon the time to depart will be upon us.

With Love in Christ!

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