We have heard it said, “time flies” and isn’t that the truth? I was sitting in church a few weeks ago when the guest speaker talked about how time seems to speed up the older we get. He was talking about how for a child a year seems like an eternity, mainly because it is in proportion to how long they have lived. The longer you are alive, the faster time goes. It made sense to me, and then I thought about the last year of my life; it amazes me how much change can happen in a year and every year that passes certainly seems to be faster than the one it preceded. I guess that means I am getting up there in age, *wink*.
A year ago today we moved from the Washington, D.C. area to SOCAL. This wasn’t our first move and probably wont be our last; but it certainly was difficult. Please don’t misunderstand, I don’t mean that moving to San Diego was hard; this sunshine girl was definitely excited about beach days and wearing flip-flops in the winter! I’m referring to the difficulty of leaving a community that took years to develop. In addition to the plethora of distractions, knowing that the Lord had a plan for us on the West Coast brought me comfort as we transitioned to our new lives.
Our first few months in SOCAL was like a mini-vacay, we rented an Airbnb and spent most of our days exploring and swimming after homeschool. I called it “recess” and the kids didn’t seem to mind, unless “recess” meant that they had to go for a long hike; they weren’t too fond of the seemingly endless trails that we ventured to explore. Our time overseas definitely conditioned them (and me) for all the hikes we venture out on. It wasn’t until the Spring that we had narrowed down areas of town we desired to live and started putting in offers on houses. Although we wound up empty-handed on the home buying front, the Lord led us to a decent rental off Craigslist.
The rental was newly remodeled and in a great area but it had its flaws. The perfectionist in me had extremely high standards for where we would be living when we moved to California, the place where, you’re either a millionaire or in debt up to your eyeballs. The interior designer in me, wasn’t super happy with the layout of our home and there were other things I nitpicked about. I chalked the place up to “decent”, “okay”, or simply “livable”. It wasn’t long before the Lord made me aware that I was being ungrateful and needed to look at my heart attitude.
It was July 8th, my parents were in town and we had just gone to church and brunch. We had planned to go to the beach but decided against it at the last minute. As we pulled up to the house we noticed water streaming down the driveway, trailing along the street. When the garage door opened, water was pouring out of the house leaving all of us in disbelief. As I jumped out of the car and rushed inside, pushing the door to the house open, water gushed out, and the first floor of our home was under three inches of water. The washing machine hose danced around as it sprayed water in every direction. As I recall the scene in my mind, my husband lunged atop the washing machine and turned off the water with haste. After the fact, we realized how fortunate we were that the water did not electrocute us. In the hours and days to come, we emptied the first floor and sorted through what was salvageable. Most of our belongings were fine once they dried but the damage done to the home was extensive. It was determined that it wouldn’t be prudent to stay in the home while it was repaired. It turned out to be a wise decision for several reasons, as every wall needed repair and the bathroom as well as the kitchen had to be gutted.
In the months to follow, we moved from hotel room to hotel room, extended stay to apartment living, and spent much of the summer living out of a suitcase. I liken the experience to the three months we spent living overseas in Europe. With all the coming and going, it was just easier to keep stuff packed away. The house was finished in the Fall, after school had started and routines were established. If there is one thing I have learned this year, it’s how to go with the flow (literally and figuratively)! Thankfully, flexibility isn’t the only thing that I learned. The events of the year have afforded many opportunities for me to grow in gratefulness, contentedness, and trusting in God’s sovereignty.
Did I mention how much I LOVE our place?! You won’t hear me describe our home as “decent” again. I have learned, and I will continually be learning, to choose a thankful attitude for the provisions the Lord brings our way, no matter what size of package it comes. As an added bonus, in the midst of all the chaos, our landlord was gracious enough to let me play interior designer and choose new materials for the home. What. A. Blessing! Something that brought frustration, pain, and loss also brought ease, delight, and abundance. This lesson never gets old, life is full of disappointment, trial, and suffering but that does not have to be the end of the story. For those who find their hope in Christ, they can take heart knowing that all things are working together for good (Romans 8:28).
Consider Romans 5:3-5, “Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” These verses are filled with reality AND promise, difficulty AND help, and they bring enormous blessing to the heart of those whom are known by Christ. This is one of those ‘easier said than done’ verses, but this is the sanctification process for the believer, the workings of God, together for good.
I am truly grateful for the ways, which the Lord provided for us this year. In the midst of the trial, He walked alongside us. He has brought us sweet friends and created invaluable family bonds. He has proven His faithfulness over and over again. Yes, it’s been a year, a great year! A year of transition and trial in order to bring us to our knees and draw us closer to Him.
Ever desiring to think eternal,