Our family has done a lot of moving. When God begins to take us through a transition, it’s always evident that God is the one making things happen. We often feel like He is the one driving the ship and we are just along for the ride. This is how I wish all moments of living with Jesus felt… that way I don’t feel like I am the one to mess up His plan. These experiences I’ve had often feel like a whirlwind and are always a lot of work but I question His plan less when I feel that He is the One that is making it all happen.
Before moving to Florida, we had so many confirmations. The job was placed in our hands without even an interview. My aunt and uncle offered their place for Wade to live until we could all move down as a family. The house we 100% financed just 2 months prior sold with a profit and enabled us to buy our beautiful, Florida home. And then there was the constant, daily reminders that seem to always point us in the right direction when we began to doubt our move. Our ears were in tune even though from the outside looking in, it may have seemed chaotic.
These moments, I know God is with me and I feel as if nothing can stop what He wants to do.
It’s the other part of the journey that is hard for me. The everyday life where nothing big or significant is happening. Where we feel like all of our decisions are in our hands and movement seems a little more slow. Days seem a little more mundane and although you know God is still driving the ship, He is a little more quiet, a little more reserved and a little less obvious in the small moments of everyday living.
These seasons are ones that require us to dig deep with Him, to rely on Him more and to keep our thoughts captive… but yet they are also the moments that seem like we need Him less.
The day we closed on our house was June 1st, 2018. It was such an exciting day. After living homeless with my aunt and uncle for 3 months, it was a miracle to have our own home. Not only did we have 3 bedrooms to call our own, we had been given so much more in a town that we had prayed to move back to for almost two years. It was like a dream.
But it wasn’t all good. The same day we closed, we drove two different cars an hour and a half to get to the town we would soon call home to close and sign the paper work. Wade would then leave to go back two hours to the storage unit to begin loading the truck. We didn’t know very many people so the boxes of a 6 person family would be loaded by 2-3 people, which was no easy task. I would then drive myself and all 4 kids back 2 hours in the opposite direction from our new house to go for the 3rd time to the ER. I had developed an abscess under my arm a few days prior and I would need several appointments to have it all drained before I could begin to help with the actual moving process. I remember the younger two kids crawling on the floor and touching things that they shouldn’t while I was being injected with needles and breathing through the pain of a very tedious process. After the appointment, I would drive to my aunt and uncles, pick up a few belongings and race back 2 hours to our new home so that I could frantically meet the Lowes crew with our new washer/ dryer and fridge. When the fridge wouldn’t fit in our retro 70s kitchen, I told the guys to leave and not worry about it. After all, I had a working washer and dryer to help dry the undies my then three year old peed in and all over the new house. It wasn’t until dark when the truck showed up with all of our stuff. Wade ripped a cabinet out so the fridge would fit, figured out the under the kitchen sink leak with a temporary fix and managed to get a few mattresses in so we could sleep and unload the next day.
Needless to say… IT WAS EXHAUSTING. But nothing could have stolen our joy in these moments. No leak, no inconvenience, no negative thoughts… in our minds it was a good day and despite the chaos, we were living in a God moment and we knew it.
It would be the months to come that excitement would ware off. Now after living in the house for a while, the cracks I never saw now stood out. The drywall from the ripped out cabinet behind the fridge was still there and unpainted. The dead grass, the dingy tile, the cheap flooring, the green spots on the bottom of the pool.
All of a sudden, the negative things of my home began to stand out and I lost sight of all the many things we had accomplished. The many things God had blessed me with.
We do this in life. We have a big breakthrough. We get the promotion. We conquer our fears. We have the baby. We get the answered prayer. But after the hype settles and the miracle soon becomes part of the everyday, we forget. We forget that we are STILL living in the miracle. Except now, we are being called to steward the miracle.
Which usually isn’t as much fun.
We all want the God movements where everything seems unstoppable. It’s hard and busy and chaotic, but it’s God and we are along for the ride. BUT holding onto that perspective isn’t as easy when our greatest miracles become our every day norm.
Homeschool is exciting when the curriculum is ordered, the smell of new erasers and opening new journals for the first time. It’s through the year that it gets tough. When the kids don’t listen. When they don’t understand the concepts. When the books and supplies are as ragged as the teacher feels.
The job is exciting… until it’s hard. The new house is the best, until it’s old. The new car is a dream until it breaks. The new baby is a blessing until you lose sleep and don’t know what day it is. The husband is your prince until your first big fight.
You get the point.
As people made to crave, work hard and press in, we were designed for progress. God being the Creator and us being in His image, we were made to design, create and make things happen. But in His time.
I am learning that PROCESS is much greater than PROGRESS.
We all want progress. We want to see things DONE. I am a checklist person and nothing brings me greater joy than to see all of the boxes checked and completed. Years ago before homeschooling and the kids were in preschool, I would get so mad when they were sick. Not because they were sick but because I had plans. I had an agenda and now it was impossible to complete. This may make me sound like a terrible mom, but what I didn’t realize was how I needed to be taken through a process.
It is in the process that the real progress is made.
Through all of the moving, homeschool became our only option. Having all four kids at home caused me to lay all agendas down. My days were no longer about what I needed to do, but rather, what could I do for them. House design and DIY became a thing of the past, having a clean house and even my writing took a back seat. But the process worked on my heart and gave me much more progress than I could have given myself on my own.
So one year later, I look back at pictures of our Florida home. The ones taken on the day we closed (June 1st, 2018) and the ones taken TODAY (June 2nd, 2019). I don’t see all of the flaws or the lists of to-dos, but rather I see proof of progress. Progress that seemed slow, non-existent or even impossible. Progress that was immeasurable until we go back and SEE for ourselves what a year has done. We can see that small decisions over time have made a big impact.
This is how I want to live my life. I want to enjoy the HUGE God moments that come and believe for them as I pray. But I also want to celebrate the small art of progress and how that process of slow change, makes lasting impact over time.
It may not feel like much right now. But just wait… you will see the change in time. His time.
… Progress is in the Process …