I know...I've already written a LONG blog today....but while watering outside so many things were moving me to write again.
First was Linda's words during worship and communion preparation....oh, we have so much to be grateful for! Our God Is a provider!!
When we first moved up here, from southern AR, Mark's boss lived in a house that the company owned. There were quite a few days that I'd spend there with his wife and kids, while our husbands worked long hours. We had just sold our house in AR, and lost all our savings in it, and were starting off our lives from scratch...renting a really small apartment that was basically in a storage building next to the home of one of the local bankers. It was very humbling, after living in my "dream home" down south...but our marriage was struggling, and I knew that the move would either make us or break us.....and I was wanting to give it all I had. I used to think of this house that they lived in and think..."boy, are THEY lucky....I wish WE could live in a house like that". It was a totally selfish thing to think, and also the start of a really long journey to mature in Christ....one that I'm still on...
Several years later (after buying and selling another home) we had the opportunity to move into a home that was company owned. Again, it was comparing the LARGE, old, beautiful home that we sold, and looking at this really run down, DIRTY, farm house that had been lived in but not cared for. Mark felt certain that I would hate it. It was small (750 sq ft for the 5 of us), bug and critter infested, and sat right on the main highway. The room we would have to use as our bedroom was a former porch, and it had a whole in the roof the size of a tire with a trash bag stapled to the ceiling to catch the water. As we walked in, looked around and analyzed what it would take for us to live here, Jessica said "I think any missionary would be HAPPY to live in a house like this!" Boy! From the mouths of babes. How could we not live there, with her sharing that attitude? It put it all in perspective, and we moved in a short while later, did lots of repair and cleaning on the house, and made many good memories in the 3+ years we lived there.
When we moved from there, we moved into another company owned house, this time off of the main highway, but still on a main road. There was much work to do to it, with sagging floors and soot on the windows (and everything else) from the wood stove that sat in the middle of the living room. We spent several more years there, and then had the opportunity to move into the house we are in now (which is another company house!). His old boss and his wife were moving down to a job promotion in AR, and we were able to come into the house that they were moving out of...not the original house...but much nicer than any of them.
To consider my attitude through all of this, it's easy for me to see the growth. My first thoughts were that we DESERVED to live in a house like they did....I saw my husband working hard and I felt it was due to us as a part of his commitment to the company. The second time, when it was soooo humbling....it was the start of putting the proper perspective on it (thank you Jessica). It's just a house. As meek a surrounding as it was, it was SO much more than what most of the world population lived in....and we were blessed to have the opportunity to rent it for so little. Ditto for company house #2....it took a little work to make it a home....but realizing that it all belongs to God kept it in the right frame of mind.
When we got to move here, it couldn't have been any worse timing. The move involved us moving basically, from one side of a field to another, but with 1/4 mile of fields and trees between, so we had to use the roads. I was having disc replacement surgery on my neck, and I wanted to move a little at a time, putting things away as we made the move. Mark doesn't move like that....he does it in as few trips as possible. We are SO different this way (one of many). Since I was going to be rendered useless anyways, he made the move with our son and a few friends (I think....I really was absent in the process...in mind at least). We got moved in, I had my surgery, and if memory serves me right, we had our son's h.s. graduation, our daughter's graduation from college, and her wedding all within a month of that time. It was CRAZY around here....and I was still dealing with getting better, getting settled in, and trying to wear all the hats a mom wears when taking care of home life. It was not MY timing, but HIS; and He oversaw all the aspects of it all. He didn't want me to stress about a move, didn't want me to worry about the details. Perhaps the surgery was His way to REMOVE me from the details of the move all together!
I KNOW that we don't deserve to live here...in this house. We don't DESERVE to live in the smallest and dirtiest of the houses we've lived in....it's not about us, or what we deserve....it's about the One who owns all things...God...and His grace and mercy...the way he is the God our Provider.
This is just a house. Our home will go with us (Mark and I) no matter where we are. It's a huge blessing to be here, for this season. But at any time, God can (and no doubt will) move us in some grand way, to teach us some grand thing. For now, we're here, and we'll invite people to stay with us, and let people use the pool, and continue to take care of and fix things as if the house belongs to a king...because it does...
and He lets his servants live there with Him....