Though I feel like I have been living in a perpetual writers block since we moved into this tiny refuge of a house, I read over at Gypsy Mama's site, and I am encouraged to keep on writing anyway.
And in these moments when I think, "what is there to write?" And I am reminded that I am writing to process, and this life that I have chosen, or that has chosen me--this life of laundry and meal plans and never ending budgeting--this is the very existence in which God shows himself to me. All of the time. And I want to remember what he shows me, and so I write.
I remember that day over a year ago now. Scott had lost his job, in the aftermath of a crazy year of strange financial twists and turns that left us in a bind even before he lost his job, and we were placing all of our hope in a job interview with Rubbermaid. From our perspective this was how God was going to "step in" and save the day. Forgetting that God had never, not for one second, "stepped out." All of the crazy hoopla of the past year, had, of course, been right smack in the middle of his sovereign plan for our lives. Regardless, we were hoping for that job. We had it all figured out in our minds. How Scott was going to get that job, and everything was going to get back on track, and this was our ticket out of this mess.
But Scott didn't get the job. It was a loud slammed door in our face. And then silence. And I was wracked with sobs one afternoon on the phone with my dad. When I could hardly even talk because I was just so stinking tired. But, of course, my dad gave me a pep talk. My mom too. A good dose of truth. And I wiped my eyes, and I remembered that God was, indeed, sovereign over this life. And that day, I was driving through downtown McDonough, and I saw a tiny little house with a rental sign out front. I wasn't looking for a rental house. All I knew was that we could not afford our mortgage--we could hardly afford it when Scott did have a job. And I saw that house, and a thought began to form in my mind. Passing, really. Just a little thought, "I bet we could afford that house." And then, I drove home, overwhelmed, not really sure of our next step in this process. And a plan began to take shape.
I knew that what I wanted most was stability for my children--to be at home with them, just like always, to sit together around the dinner table each night, just like always, and to begin our homeschooling "journey" just as planned. And a voice kept ringing in my head, "that tiny rental house might provide all of that." So I called, just to find out the price. And how many bedrooms. The details, if you will. To find out that a move into this rental house would reduce our square footage by more than half. But I kept thinking, does that really matter? Does size really matter all that much in the long run? There was much unknown at that point. But what I did know was that a friend had provided an "hourly pay" job for Scott, which was a gigantic blessing, it was what was keeping us even slightly afloat, and I knew that even if that was all the job that God provided for a while, we could still afford the rent in this house. And then, I began to get phone calls about options for me to bring in some money--tutoring, childcare, etc. etc., and I knew that if we pooled all our resources and cut way way back on expenses, and the biggest thing of all, moved into that tiny little rental house that happened to pop into my mind that random afternoon, we were going to be okay. God was beginning to direct our steps, just a little bit at a time.
And we ended up here. It's been a refuge. A place to catch our breath, regain our footing, begin to process and evaluate and figure out where to go from here. It's been a gift.
At times I haven't been thankful. We are on top of each other all of the time--nights are tricky because noise travels all over this house, and it's often that Ada ends up in our bed and one of us "grown-ups" on the couch or her twin bed. But we have survived, and not only that, we have learned what it feels like to live within our means. It's been such relief. In other words, God has answered our prayers. I often wish for more space, I won't lie. And I have complained, out loud, a lot. Ada knows, she will say it, "we" just need a bigger house. She didn't figure that out on her own ;)
Ironically, the apartment we were living in when Ada was born had more square feet than this house. The apartment that is only three minutes from where Scott now works. It's crazy how life works. How it comes full circle. I was in a state of post-partum something, panic? after Ada was born, and I was absolutely convinced that to be proper parents, we had to buy a house. No question about it. We needed a house, and we needed it fast, and we ended up in McDonough, GA in about two seconds. Now, I am a big believer in God's sovereignty, but I also believe in sin and stupid mistakes, and it's a mystery to me how all of that works together, but I know this--It feels like we shouldn't have bought that house. It also feels like God has done so much in our lives during our time here. Really BIG, GIGANTIC life lessons have been learned. And I, we have made dear, dear friends. McDonough will always be special to me. So, how all of that works together, I don't know? But it is funny to think that we are going back to the place where we started. This time with two children, and we are very different people than we were back then. And I am sure more big, gigantic life lessons are ahead. And I am sure more big, gigantic mistakes will be made. But, at the end of the day, we just cry out to God to direct our steps, to "fill us with the knowledge of your will that we might walk in a manner worthy of you," and we praise him for his mercy and grace and provision.