Friday, May 1, 2009


It has been over a year since we bought our little blue house and fifteen acres way out here in the country, but less than a year since we moved in. The old farmhouse required a lot of renovating…and still does. We had to completely redo many of the walls and ceilings downstairs, reconstruct the rotting bathroom on the first floor, and add a bathroom upstairs for the children to share. We knocked out a window in the very small kitchen and added a sliding door and a deck to give us more least during the temperate months. A friend and my oldest son helped tear out rotting kitchen cabinets, resize and remount the usable ones, and paint them. Every room needed a fresh coat or two of paint. Most of the fixtures needed replacing.

But the bones are good and the property is BEAUTIFUL. There is a peace people feel when they turn onto our long, winding, tree-shaded road and drive leisurely out into the countryside past country estates, horse farms, and old homes. Green grass, shady trees, bright flowers, singing birds, dancing butterflies, orderly crops, waving neighbors...all the nice things you find way out here in the boonies. I felt it the moment we turned down that road for the first time and started praying right away that THIS would be the home we'd been praying for. A peace settled on me that lasted even through the tour of the too small, too run down, too-much-work-needed place.

I'd like to tell you that the peace stayed no matter what. We bought the house knowing that life would be tough for a while, while we got things ready to move in, and even past that, but more came at us than what we foresaw, from unexpected places, and it threw me for a loop. I'd like to say I got through it gracefully, but even though I think I did all right, I do think there were things I could have improved. The one thing I wish I could change is the way those hardships have affected my percption of this beautiful place. I sometimes now feel it is a trial rather than a treasure. As a mistake instead of a blessing. How sad. I am ever so grateful for it, but aware of what transpired that did not go so well and that sometimes colors everything.

I suppose we moved in too quickly. We had been staying in my parents’ home for some time…all seven of us, plus our three dogs, two cats, three horses, one pony, and two potbellied pigs! They were very gracious to allow us to stay for so long while we searched for the house God wanted for us, but we all felt it was time to get the "new life" we planned out in the country started, and we were anxious to see what that new life would bring. Now I look back and see where we are and wonder if it might not have been better to stay put and get more done before moving in. Hindsight is 20/20, I guess. At the time, the pressures were real, and the choice to move seemed clear. I feel more strongly now that waiting to start will give you a better start, and I think that understanding will benefit my kids, if I can teach them that lesson. It's just that I was eager to get started on what we all felt God had for us, that the idea of any more delays than necessary seemed ridiculous (mind you, this was after spending a year with Navy hubby gone, having a baby six-weeks early the day after our move, thankfully selling a house in a sluggish market the day of the birth, and even more craziness too tedious to list).

The funny thing is that in spite of my eagerness to begin "living the dream," I often feel we still haven’t quite started yet. It seems there is so much to do and so little time in every day…or at least there is limited energy (Well, on my part, anyway. Maybe not on the part of the kids!). It frustrates me when I work all day, yet feel I have not accomplished enough because there is still so much to do. I heard a sermon the other day that said if you reach the end of the day feeling like you did not get done what you had to do, then maybe you are not doing what GOD wants you to do because God always gives you enough time to execute HIS plans. Hmmmm. That makes me think this morning.

I woke early and lay in bed thinking about: "When will I get the garden put in and the flower beds built? Where will we put the new baby (who is due in June)? How will I get all these things organized to make room for everything a new baby requires (especially with me being on limited activity for the next month to avoid an early delivery)? When will we get a chicken tractor and coop built to house the 37 chicks living in a brooder on our front porch? When will I get the kids together to go on that field trip I promised (so I can feel like we are homeschooling properly)? When will I get our homeschooling, chores, kitchen, closets, drawers, bookshelves, garage, barn, etc. organized enough that I don’t feel like I am failing in some way all the time?"

I realize I need to get past this impulse to achieve what I in my flesh see as "good enough" and just focus on what God has for me to do at this time…namely loving God, loving my kids and my husband and my family, homeschooling, and making a healthy and happy home. These other things I find to focus on may indeed be a part of that picture, but on God’s timing, not mine. That control is the most difficult thing to relenquish.

I will have to trust that the Lord will give us time to accomplish the important things…at least, the parts that HE thinks are important…and that is what has to matter. The rest, well, I need to give it to Him and He will provide, or we will discover that it wasn’t something we really needed after all.



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