In the rearview mirror…

Life has its moments where you want to hold on to anything not moving and hope that everything else around you will stop spinning. Within the span of nine days our house sold, my husband interviewed, accepted a job, and we loaded a moving truck. In that order.

A few days after the moving truck was loaded and as many in loose ends as possible were wrapped up, the boys and I took off on our 950 mile adventure to catch up with Daddy. (Yes, we did not take a little move. God asked us to walk away and start a whole new adventure.) Thankful for everything that God had unfolded over the past few days, I was still sad. I think God knew I needed comfort as I drove away from our house and life in Iowa, He graciously allowed it to rain and be cloudy the entire first day driving. Through the rain my sister and I finished loading the car and cleaning the now empty house. When everything was ready my two-year-old and I walked through the house. He started crying at his missing tree-house, the empty space for the refrigerator and ended be moaning the missing washer and dryer. After a few runs across the basement a teary boy & mom left the house to head for Dunkin’ Donuts (some rainy, sad days just need a special treat!).

Today we closed on the house, received our finally paperwork and officially no longer own it and no longer have a home in Iowa. It makes me sad yet again. I wish it did not make me so sad, because I am thankful for all God has done. In the midst of processing change and what feels like loss, I have seen God’s unmistakable guidance. Moments in this journey that display His fingerprints and help me to rejoice in Him and put one foot in front of the other.

The joy of my husband and the blessing of his work and work environment. God opened not just A teaching job, but a position in one of the best elementary schools (based on test scores and parent reviews) in all of Georgia. He does not just work under a principal, but with a male principal who, with a family of young kids, also left the business world and began teaching elementary as a second career. And on top of it all, he works with a team of teachers that are overwhelmingly grateful to have him, that want to work together, and that have made him feel very, very welcomed.

But the moment that I keep coming back to in my mind and prayers is the image in my rearview mirror as I drove away from our house for the last time. For in the moment I saw God’s voice clearly directing to keep moving forward – not looking to the right or the left, just trusting Him in the direction He had given. I wanted to look back and see the house for one last time, I could not see the house. The car was loaded to the hilt and I had my two precious boys in the backseat. Their faces filled my view. I could not look back.

Each night as we put our Uriah to bed we remind him that we love him, but Jesus loves him even more than we ever could. We also remind him that we want him to follow Jesus because He has the past plan for Him. We do not want Him to miss any of the good gifts God has in store. So even when it is very hard (which it will be because life is hard), we remind Uriah that it is still best to follow Jesus.

So,even through the tears, I cannot look back. I want to follow Jesus. The blessing He has in store for my life and family are found in walking and trusting Him. So, today as everything with our house in Iowa is officially settled I will rejoice in all that He has done. The incredible answered prayers to months of waiting. His perfect timing in our finances and lives. And the blessing that it is that God moved us near my family, in fact we are blessed to spend a little bit of time settling in to our new life by living with family.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.”
Proverbs 3:5-6

Even when life is hard, follow God, His ways are the very best, even when it is very hard.

rearviewMirror

Wait for it… WAIT FOR IT…….. W A I T…….

Whether it is a holding pattern in flight, a phone call on-hold with customer service, a checkout with a long line, or a hot car in a traffic jam… waiting is not on most people’s top ten list of things to do.

But sometimes waiting is the best place to be. That is the place where this week finds our household – waiting to hear on a job for Tim, waiting to hear on the sale of our house, waiting to see what doors will open and what doors will close, waiting to know where the next 60 days will take us. In short, life is just in a waiting zone.

And in the midst of the waiting, we were reminded of abiding and remaining in Jesus as we (Tim and I) read John 15:1-11. In Him, there is great joy, peace and extravagant love in all circumstances. I know that some of that sounds, well, “churchy” or surreal in contrast with how we view difficult circumstances, but I do not know how else to describe the intangible, incredible, gifts that only God can give. And His gifts are only experienced when we are remaining close and finding our life source in Him.

As human people, we get anxious. I have had some conversations with people recently where after answering that we are just at a waiting point, the other person almost seems to grow anxious on our behalf… pressing for our plan. The action steps to be taken next – in short they say, “What are you doing? I’m anxious for you, and you are just telling me you’re ‘waiting’! Come on you cannot just sit still and wait!”

But waiting is trust in action. Waiting requires patience, and some days, trust and life has to be surrendered to God every five minutes. If He rules the universe I can certainly trust Him five minutes at a time!! Waiting is an action. You take the steps you can take to prepare for whatever God has, but only God can provide the outcome.

In all circumstances, God gives peace and joy. When I am resting in God – remaining close to Him I am at peace. I can agree with Psalm 130:5, “I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits for Him, and in His Word I put my hope.” I know His Word is true and that God is faithful – ALWAYS. He will prevail with good plans. “I am confident that I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” (Psalm 27:13)

However, if in the next five minutes I take my eyes off the truth and reality of God, I am sinking in the “Oh my goodness, what are we going to do?” So, life is not rosy and perfect in the midst of waiting, but it a place to learn and grow.

As a follower of Jesus Christ, waiting should be a part of my daily life – anxiously anticipating and preparing for the return of Christ. So, if this short-term, temporary period of waiting teaches me more about hoping, resting, and preparing that is a good outcome. I want to be able to continually say my “whole being waits for Him”.

When life is more comfortable, this period of life is a chapter in our story and I feel in a more stable place, may my heart still long for Jesus to come back – even more than how I long for short-term, temporary life answers today. May I prepare fervently for Jesus, because one day He will make life stable, fulfill my every hope and the waiting will come to an end – Jesus will return.

Isaiah 64:3-4

For when You did awesome things that we did not expect,
    You came down, and the mountains trembled before You.
Since ancient times no one has heard,
    no ear has perceived,
no eye has seen any God besides You,
    who acts on behalf of those who wait for Him.

Wait

Where did 4 weeks go?

Do you ever have moments in life when the time just seems to fly until you realize all of the little things are really adding up and begging to be completed? This realization summed up my weekend and then as I start this post and I see how long it has been since I updated… well I was not exaggerating the fact that weeks have somehow slipped by!

I awoke Saturday to this thought when I walked in the kitchen and realized my typical vacuuming was not even going to come close to cleaning the disaster of the floor. It needed washed. The highchair needed scrubbed, not wiped down. And as for laundry… well 4 baskets of clean clothes are great, but it is much better to find clothes that have been folded in a drawer not dug through in a pile and left for another day.

In the world of “The Organization Project”: It’s April… my deadline to have the 2nd bedroom completed. Well, we are at least close. It is cleared out and the baby stuff from Uriah’s room has found a home in the closet shelves for the next little one to make use of. The crib is in the room and I have to blank pieces of wood awaiting their respective photos. So the fun stuff is yet to come, but the canvas has been readied! Uriah wanted to give you a tour of his baby brother’s room…

BabyRoom1 BabyRoom2

The basement. Organized piles abound (yes, these are generally organized and sorted!). Now I just need to put everything into a usable easy to access and return-to-their-place-when-finished location on the shelves. And finish moving a few garage sale items up and out. I think we will be there in the next couple of weeks… at least I am optimistic. Then on to adding color and laying down the mix-n-match carpet squares that are leftover samples from architecture firms.

Basement

Lastly, I have found a way to include the last untouched closet in the house in this organization project. The games in the back closet are not accessible… so down to the basement they go to find a home on an open shelf and add a little more interest to the unfinished space. Besides who wants one closet left a mess at this point in the game! (Do you like the cheesy pun!)

Games

Until the next entry and update in the process…

Organization Part 1

Organization Part 2

What are you busy with?

Schedules have become so full it is crazy! My husband came home last night having found a recent article about bedtime stories:

In a new poll, only 13 percent of British moms said they read a story to their children every night, even though three-quarters recalled being read to on a daily basis when they were kids, according to The Guardian.

Almost a tenth said they feel too stressed to read bedtime stories, while 13 percent revealed they don’t have enough time to take part in this activity with their kids.

The poll of 2,000 U.K. women with children age 7 or under was conducted by British retailer Littlewoods. (www.today.com)

This poll is sad to me. Stress and busy are real factors in an increasingly crazy world with too many choices and pressures. But it is a good reminder to check my own priorities. There are two things that always matter more then the things on my to-do list – God and people.

U_Serve

In the midst of a week that seems to have more to do than hours that are given I needed a reminder to keep priorities straight and to serve God in all that I do. I love work and I’m thankful to have many projects in process and due this week. But amidst the busy there needs to be a willingness to prioritize – love God, love people.

When serving looses its luster and I want life be about me… I am reminded of these verses to choose my attitude, choose love and serve joyfully.

“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” Romans 12:9-13 (NIV)

Make the most of your day with the most important things.

(Pictured is my eager servant Uriah!)

Telling A Story – Part 2

Your home becomes the only place in the world where visitors get a visual glimpse into your world. Since most of us do not live in magazine worlds… although I often wish for the Jetson’s Rosie and the automatic Dresser… our home needs to be us and not someone’s idea of the current ideal.

People can pick up a magazine anywhere, but they can only see your family personality at your house – so enjoy the process and don’t feel pressured by what you find in stores and books.

Did you answer your questions!

  • What are your favorite colors?
  • What do you want people to feel when they walk in your home?
  • What things do you have that you want to showcase – things you “love” or things that are just uniquely you?

NEXT STEP – Where to begin:

  • Pick a starting point – Decorating everything – the entire interior space now!
    • Doable, but I would recommend getting someone to at least give you good advice and walk with you through the process. And be prepared to either spend lots of time or hire some aspects to be completed by professionals.
    • I have assisted people whose home was either destroyed through disaster or have interior design within their construction budget and everything has to be done now, upfront.
    • If this is you, feel free to contact me. I would love to help you!
  • Pick a starting point – Already in an existing space.
    • I like to prioritize my top three-four areas that I want to focus on for three reasons:
      • 1. I sometimes need time to finish processing an idea, so I know what my secondary priorities are and I can work to create each space a little at a time.
      • 2. I enjoy creating design and art in my house, but if I start adding too many areas and ideas all at once – it is not creating it’s a to-do list… I have enough to-do’s already!
      • 3. I can create, save, and budget well for small portions. Larger items that may need more time can be put on hold, while  I can still move on to smaller items and areas to work on for a bit.

What are your top three areas? An area can be as small as a section of one wall or as big as one room.

Pick one and let’s begin!