Yesterday, my family of 6 spent 14 hours packed snuggly together in a 6 passenger sedan. And…. we made some of our best family memories yet!
With my Woodsman and I making the difficult decision to start completely over last month, my shiny red minivan was one of the first casualties… to be fair though, my Woodsman’s 2015 Harley Softail Slim was the very first to go. (He took it like a man, BTW)
We had worked so hard for our stuff! But even at the apex of our joint pursuit of the American Dream, we weren’t joyful. It is true, for us anyway, that the stuff you own ends up owning you.
My hubby and I, in deciding to start anew, started with making good on our voluntary vow of poverty. When baby number #4 came into our lives nearly four years ago, I had to leave my job. We consciously devoted ourselves to living on one income so that we could make our family our number one priority.
But, then the job here in Iowa came along, and even one income afforded us quite a bit of luxury. And…
My Woodsman lost his way.
It started with the house… it fed into our human nature in a way we were unprepared to fight.
Then came our church involvement, which highlighted my spiritual gifts in an unprecedented way…
And then the invitation to attend Seminary…
And I lost my way.
When my Woodsman and I started this family together 91/2 years ago, neither of us had anything. We lived in an apartment, we drove a finicky 16 year old Buick that only ran 10-20 minutes at a time…
And we were rapturously happy together.
Today, we, once again, have nothing save each other and these four amazing little kiddos. We are presently living on the first floor of our black mold afflicted house. We are driving a 16 year old Ford that, thankfully, is no longer finicky after some DIY auto repair on Friday…
And, once again, we are rapturously happy.
Anyway… back to our road trip…
Yesterday, we drove the 344 miles to check out the only place near my Woodsman’s new job that would rent to our large family and pets.
It far surpassed our expectations.
Having to rent again has made us both very nervous… and, truth be told, we had already turned down this place after going over what appeared to us to be an incredibly oppressive rental agreement.
This is where God stepped in.
After sending the email signaling our rejection of the rental agreement, we stood on our back porch as a family and prayed together for God’s guidance and assistance.
The “Amen” had barely left our lips when the phone rang. It was the landlord I had just emailed.
What I never expected was that our rejection of the lease terms would be used by God to jumpstart an incredible relationship with these people we had already judged as being unreasonable. My Woodsman and I have now spent more time on the phone with them, via email, and now visiting with them on site than we have with our closest friends as of late!
God stepped in, and the miraculous began to unfold.
Yesterday, as we drove the 344 miles back to Iowa to prepare for Tuesday’s move to this little secluded place on a lake with its breathtaking acreage, I watched my little family engage each other and laugh together in sheer delight, in a way we haven’t been able to in far too long.
I am in awe of the ways God has used our trials to change our hearts and our lives.
We are back to being the kind of family we set out to be. Because God and in spite of our human weakness.