Friday, September 10, 2010

Nine Days :)

My little yard is trying something special... there are beautiful little grass seedlings growing! They are quite lush in the front yard, with a few spare patches. In the back yard only the tiniest shoots are starting. I would liken it to a balding head in reverse... first  it is all empty, then tiny sprouts appear in different locations before finally erupting into full-on hair! hehe (That was possibly not the best analogy, but I digress.)

Today marks nine days of living here, if you recall that we arrived in the evening hours on Wednesday. (That single fact is why I do not consider us having lived here that first day, even though we took possession that night.)

There has been little visible progress in the days since Monday, but we all feel more settled every single day. We have brought in more things; each room has the basic look it will be given, but most have not been painted and there is still much in boxes. Moving in slowly has proven to be a good idea for us, and has taken what could have been a stressful event back down into what I would refer to more as 'easing' in, rather than moving in. 

Yesterday I was able to enjoy time outside with my daughter. She wanted to play out after school, so I made us a little picnic of tuna sandwiches with lettuce, pink lemonade and Little Debbie oatmeal cream cookies. I admit to not sitting on the ground out back (I ended up seated and standing on the cement out front about an hour later for around an hour) but even so, it was a pleasant experience overall. 

Afterward, I had the pumpkin put on her bathing suit and we dragged the hose out back to water the lawn the good old-fashioned way. Imagine our surprise when every cricket and grasshopper around began to hop frantically towards us and the house instead of away from us to the trees!! For a few minutes there I was spraying them madly, with Becka dancing all around!

That plague in miniature introduced her to the fun of chasing and catching crickets, which she promptly neglected water-play for. We have a lone cricket in a jar with holes in the lid as proof. "Crickety" has not chirped at all, can you imagine? My little one expected him to sing happily even after being chased, cupped, re-captured repeatedly and finally enclosed in glass... bless her heart!

The day ended with me sore and stiff all over, but beaming inside from the fun and rollicks of the afternoon. Even better, today began with the same sense of joy, and to my surprise (as mentioned above) the grass in the back has begun to spring forth! Home school went well (and quickly), and it is time again to break out the yard shoes and take in some fresh air. I cannot promise that I will not overdo it again today, but the mere fact that I put in over two hours outside yesterday (something a week ago I would have said was impossible) has me encouraged. Maybe this home will be a place of recovering my strength after all. 

Thank YOU, Lord, for giving us this gift. Help us to continue to both earn and afford it and may all things be done to Thy glory. Amen.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

In Perfect Peace

Another day in the new house, and so much to do! Instead of hopping right to it, I decided to keep some enjoyment in the 'new' of it all and intentionally settle in slowly like hubby and I said we would. 

I am learning that resting is something you must practice. The human instinct when things need to be done is something akin to stress; maybe not the worried kind of stress, but some level of it nonetheless. I also learned that the stress reaction in humans is chemically the same reaction seen in all of nature right before a creature is about to be attacked and possibly killed by a predator. 

Think about that for a moment. Our flight is late, or traffic is jammed when we need to get to work RIGHT NOW and our mind directs our bodies to jump into "I'm going to die!" mode chemically. It is no wonder that experts say stress kills! Each time we do this a toll, however small, is taken on our hearts. 

Is it any wonder then, that in His perfect Word, God speaks so many times on contentment? He would have us to be at peace with our brethren, with Him and within our own hearts and minds. Says Isaiah 26:3 "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. The Bible says again in 1 Timothy 6 verse 6 "But godliness with contentment is great gain." 

That second verse is an even better example because the chapter begins discussing employment (gain) and the Christian. He reminds us of what kind of servants we aught to be (How often do you allow yourself to embrace that word 'servant' rather than become offended by it?), then brings that reminder to the more important point that we entered this world naked, having brought nothing with us and will leave with with the same inability to bring material things along. 

Take time today and look into God's Word. See how many instances you can find where He recommends to you personally to strive for and attain contentment. I can say from experience that it did not take a new house for me to be content, though it is indeed a blessing. The Lord has allowed us to experience that wonderful feeling even during some pretty painful times. How special, how undeserved that our loving Heavenly Father would not only provide our needs (as He knows them better than us), but that even in serving Him He wants us to be calm, content and would keep us in perfect peace. Your mind need not rush your pulsing blood into panic over anything, He says, much less the little things! Sanity (the result of acceptance and contentment) is God's gift to YOU, today and always.

May God bless your day with some of His peace, and may you also find time to relax on purpose! Remember, the most important half of Isaiah 26:3 is 'whose mind is stayed on Thee'. Keep your beautifully-created mind on the Lord. Trust in Him even when it hurts to give up control, and reap the benefits today and always. God bless!

Sunday, September 5, 2010


Wow! So, it finally happened! We moved and are for all intents and purposes residents in our new neighborhood! The first neighborhood in years of our marriage! 

Closing day was exciting and stressful; our closing paperwork was completed and we were waiting on the wire transfer which, inexplicably was not coming through. We were told if it did not get through by 5pm we would face yet another delay... yikes! At two minutes to five we got the call; the transfer came through at 4:56pm!! Hallelujah! Chris told me he got the keys in hand and I replied in the only way that was on my mind after this wait: "Don't give them to ANYONE else!" haha

Eager to get into our home and start the process, we loaded up the car and headed over with nothing to sleep or sit on but one air mattress. (I only used it at night, for fear it would deflate... they all seem to, you know?) Three nights we used the mattress and two full days I sat on the carpet... my body was KILLING me! Even so, it was the strangest happy feeling I have ever had in the world!

As we drove up to the house it was familiar, from all the pictures hubs had taken for me. Even at that, pulling into the driveway was like being asleep. I saw it all, and I saw nothing at the same time. The garage door opened and instantly I smelled it... the same smell of my mother's father's woodshed! Stepping out of the car, I walked for the first time the pathway leading off the driveway around the corner to the front door. Yes, I live here, but you cannot enter your home for the first time ever through the garage!!

Chris rang the bell so we could hear the chime. It was loud enough, but definitely not overpowering; pleasant in its own way. The first thing that got me, however, was the smell. All the houses and modular homes that my parents had visited and never been able to purchased smelled just like this... it was the smell of 'new'! I felt guilty and excited in an odd blend, just that second. I was still seeing everything and absolutely nothing. To be honest, walking through it was a bit of a blur. I could probably only describe it to you in terms of the pictures that are already up on Facebook.

The last three days were incredibly long, as Chris had to work, but when yesterday arrived, bringing with it the movers and our furniture I suddenly went from living in a semi-real hotel feeling (I was literally waiting for the suited manager to ring the doorbell and declare our time was up!) to having the sense that yes, I was in fact, home!

The moment I truly relaxed came when my husband hung up my lighthouse wind chimes (the first I've owned) just outside the double door over the patio, and the breeze blowing through the house (we have the best cross-breeze ever - exactly what I'd hoped for!) sent them into a shimmer of tinkling that was neither too quiet nor too loud. I felt every muscle settle and I watched the trees rustle, truly content.

There will be so much more involved in our journey of settling in; I am sure I will return to blogging instead of being neglectful, even if that happens slowly. As of today, I can tell you buying a home is already paying off in mind, body and spirit. The Lord is greater than we deserve; may He help us to use this home to His glory, and keep us able to pay for it!