I had so many things I wanted to write about, share with you – our Advent celebrations, our “family stocking,” our continued reading of “Destination: Bethlehem,” my kitchen remodel project, and so much more. But I couldn’t stop long enough to write any of it!
Back in September, I shared what God was doing in our lives on the “home” front. I knew that God was going to do something soon and I was trusting God with it all. Through September and October God provided amazing opportunities through my blog that brought income which would later prove essential for getting all of our utilities in the new house Two other blessings at the beginning of November made it possible to prepare the land and move the house. Suddenly we found ourselves at the beginning of November and everything fell into place and it was all happening “NOW.”
I dared to hope that we might be able to be in the new house by the end of the year – could it happen that fast? My husband shared that he was actually hoping to be in by Christmas! With almost daily setbacks, obstacles, and hidden expenses, God showed up time and time again to work it out, provide a way, and make it happen. Our families helped, too–sometimes with manual labor, sometimes wanting to pick up the tab on some supplies, always supporting and encouraging us. And after almost two months of daily ups and downs and watching God show up again and again, I’m sitting here writing this blog post from our new home. We moved in December 16th! We can truly say without a doubt “God did this.”
You may recall that my father-in-law and his wife came for a three month visit in their RV, planning to stay here and work temporary jobs for a few months before moving on to visit with the next family member on their list. You may also recall that they were staying in their RV in our front yard while they looked for an RV park or some other place to park their RV. They’re still here. =) And it’s great! =)
Their arrival at the end of October, about a week before everything suddenly started happening “NOW,” is one more amazing thing in God’s timing. We were looking forward to their visit anyway, I’m not saying I’m only thankful that they were here to help with that. But I am saying that the timing of it makes me smile, I’m thankful that they were here to share this experience with us, because you can’t have been in the middle of this and not seen God’s hand at work. Actually, getting into this house has been a family affair in a lot of ways. All of our local family members have been a blessing in some way or another, big or small, and they all work together to make us feel so very blessed.
Yes, it was a little crazy at one point while trying to get moved into the house and ready for the holidays at the same time. At that point I had to stop and say, “everything we have moved over, everything we’ve done so far, it’s enough and the rest will wait until after Christmas.” And it was enough! We had a very great time with all of our family members over the past several days. We went to my mother in law’s house for an early Christmas dinner with both of my husband’s brothers and wives. My new sister-in-law from Iraq made us Biryani– which was very delicious!
We followed our usual traditions of eating Tortilla soup at my mother-in-law’s house on Christmas Eve and opening gifts with his side of the family, and then we spent Christmas Day here at our house with my side of the family. One of the best things for me this year was having my husband join the kids and I with our Advent candle wreath tradition for the first time. My oldest put baby Jesus in the manger, we each lit our candle, my husband lit the Jesus candle, I read from Luke 2, and then we did our family stocking (a new tradition!) and our 3 Wisemen gifts. I enjoyed it so much.
Yes, the holidays are over but the blessings aren’t. We still have much work to do, we have to move the rest of our stuff out of the old house, we have small projects we want to do in this house to make it our own, we have work that needs to be done outside – underskirting the mobile home, leveling our yard around the house and picking up rocks, cleaning up construction debris, tearing down and removing the old mobile home, and so much more. I can’t deny the hard work that lies ahead, and the continued expenses involved, but I can’t doubt that God will continue to carry us through! There have been several moments over the past week where I have nearly cried – from joy, from relief, from praise and worship. Christmas Day turned nasty frigid outside: the cold, wet wind biting and painful and the temperature plummeting harshly. At one point I looked outside, knowing the cold bite of the wind from having just walked the dog we’re puppy sitting, and I felt overcome with gratefulness for the comfortable home I was standing in. I was nearly overcome enough to cry but I turned and looked at my family and my extended family laughing and talking and I smiled.
We. Are. So. Blessed.
The home is only but one of our many blessings.
I pray that you are blessed, that you feel your many blessings around you both big and small, and I pray that you have had (will continue to have) a happy holiday season with your friends and family. God bless you.