24 May 2009

Changes and Moving On

None of this will be news to people who know me well nor maybe even to careful readers of this blog. I blogged about this earlier in the year but forgot that: a) My husband didn't want to tell his employer so early about our impending move and b) That my husband works for a computer company so blogging about the move wasn't necessarily the wisest thing to do on my part. Nor was posting on Facebook. 'Nuff said.

Anyway, it's now 'safe' to start blogging about the move again. It's actually be safe to do so for some weeks but, after having pulled previous blog posts on the subject, I didn't feel up to writing about it again. Anyway....

On the 8th of August - God willing - Wonderful Husband and I will be moving to Ohio in order to be closer to my parents who are now both not terribly mobile. We're moving to a lovely small town just south of Cleveland where my parents are now living and, in April, we were actually able to go there and put in an offer on a house. The offer has been accepted and we expect to close on the 12th of June.

We are still waiting for an appointment with the US immigration authorities so that my British husband can get the necessary papers and neither one of us has a job lined up yet! Although my husband's (American) company doesn't do transfers, he is going to be recommended to the shop near where we will live, so he should have a job lined up when we move.

I'm sure I'll reflect more on the move as events progress, so I wanted to lay out the facts.

Moving to Ohio still feels extremely bizarre although I'm starting to get my head around it. The town to which we are moving is just under 40 miles from where I grew up. I left Northeast Ohio for university in 1975 and I've not been back there since. And I've been in the UK for 20 years and never expected to go back to the US at all; to almost go back to the place where I was raised seems very strange indeed.

Both my husband and I have a sense of peace about what we are doing and we are certain that this is the right thing to do. One of the big things I've learned is that we humans really are not in control of the events of our lives. Don't get me wrong, I don't think that God micro-manages our lives and I don't think God makes people ill; in the case of my parents, that's a consequence of the aging process and their own biology.

But our culture does give us the false impression sometimes that we can be in control of everything we do and that's simply not true. I think that both of us have found peace in the idea of doing what we believe to be the right thing rather than worrying that our life plans have radically altered. My new mantra is 'If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.'

11 May 2009

The Stories we Tell - Just Sayin'

Over the last four or five days reading blogs on the internet, I've been struck by how negative Methodists are about themselves and about their Methodist brothers and sisters.

This negativity seems to be true not only for British Methodists but also for the United Methodist Church in the US. Reading the blogs of UMCers who I find thoughtful and whose ideas I respect, I've actually begun to wonder whether I want to be part of the UMC when I move to the States in August.

In my last job, if anyone had talked down their organisation or their colleagues in the way that Methodists talk each other down, I reckon the boss would have called them in for a talking-to about their attitude.

Martin Atkins, General Secretary of the British Methodist Church, has called us to find the positive stories and tell the positive stories. I didn't read this as a call to be unrealistically Polyanna but to actually see the good in our brothers and sisters and to 'advertise' it.

Why is this important? Basically because if we keep telling each other we're rubbish, we're going to start to believe it. This does not obviate trying to find solutions. But, in commercial-speak, we are living in an era when the demand for our 'product' is declining. Let's stop acting like we can control the demand for our product; let's stop acting like we are all individually responsible for the decline in demand. And let's find ways of increasing market-share and then spreading these ideas around. And let's see the good in those who keep trying and trying and trying and see little worldly signs of success.

Just sayin'.