Winds of Change

We pulled into the driveway at 8:30 pm on Saturday evening. With seat belt unbuckled, my hand poised on the car door handle, I was ready to leap out and rescue the disconsolate Daisy from her long imprisonment in the car seat. We were home at last. After three straight weeks of family visiting and visiting family, it was finally back to normal, the three of us in our little home by the alpacas and the mountains.

Those three weeks were sweet. My mother and sister sojourned in our home, delighting in Daisy, savoring fellowship, and serving and blessing us tremendously. Then, as we traveled back to North Carolina, Little Daisy met great-grandparents, our own parents loved on us and blessed us, and we treasured time with siblings, friends, and extended family. It was a dear time back in our childhood homeland.

Home at last.

Home at last.

Now, though, it is Monday. After a Lord’s Day of worship and resting, we are thoroughly entrenched back in daily life. Construction has begun upstairs in our landlord’s home on a refurbished bathroom, so our morning was full of hammering and other noises. Laundry is everywhere, clean and otherwise, and the geometry lesson for tomorrow must be planned.

Even as the travels were sweet, the coming home was bittersweet. This was our last return to the hills of Virginia. In a matter of weeks, we will pack up our home and move to the big City, where it will be a season of making a new home and building new friendships. Now, our talk is of new renters (and when they’ll move in) and new landlords (and when they’ll move out). We hope and pray and plan for the transition even as we savor these present days. It is a time of “in between-ness” — living in the now while we actively prepare for the future. We wait in faith, girding ourselves for the forthcoming challenges.

And so the proverbial winds of change are blowing. As I write this, a cup of tea brings solace. God’s faithfulness is unchanging. Onward I press…

Yard Sale Philanthropy

Some people donate to charities.

Some people support missionaries on foreign fields.

Other people…

All for the cause!

All for the cause.

… donate baby bouncers to future seminary children!

On my way back from my trip to town, I stopped into the neighborhood near our home to peruse a moving sale at one of the houses on our regular walking route. This baby bouncer was the first thing that caught my eye. I looked around the rest of the items first, though, finding two nice baskets ($0.50 each), a crate in great shape ($2), and an Elisabeth Elliot book ($0.50), not to mention several free maps, both for our own general area and for the area we’ll be moving to in August!

When I asked about the baby bouncer, however, I was able to start a conversation with the family that was running the moving sale. When they learned what seminary my husband would be attending, the man offered this baby bouncer for free: “I’ll donate this to you all!” And so, after a quick check with my husband, I managed to get this unwieldy treasure home. (Never mind how; let’s just say I was glad that I never had to exceed thirty miles an hour getting home!) And now little Daisy has a bouncer just her size–in fantastic condition!

The Lord’s blessings are sweet–and sometimes humorous as well! Thanks to our donors, name unknown, for equipping our daughter for the upcoming adventures of seminary life!

Weariness and Grace

A new week has arrived, and with it, another rainy day. The steady pattering goes on outside while little Daisy and I enjoy a quiet day at home. It was a busy weekend, so the prospect of a rainy day at home together is especially lovely.

The past weekend was a whirlwind. Two young friends graduated from high school. A dear family here just brought back their adopted daughter from Africa. An old college chum of my husband’s came for lunch on Saturday. Hospitality, ministry, fellowship, celebration. So many rich things overflowing in the brief space of barely three days. In the moments between the excitement, exhaustion came. How does one carry on in the dear daily life God has given when so tired?

I thought back to all the mornings of waking up exhausted, struggling simply to get up and begin another day. Even with a little one who slept through the night early on, I was still weary. Four months later, exhaustion still rears its ugly head. Some mornings are a royal battlefield, where joy fights despair and Christ’s promises are a feast for a starving beggar. His grace prevails, but how am I to persevere?

The answer I have found? Embrace it. Don’t attempt to side-step the exhaustion, for it follows you wherever you go. Sink into it, rather, so as to surge forward in God’s good grace. Like the labor to birth a child or the grief of heart-aching tragedy, I accept the weariness so that I can surmount it by God’s grace. And His grace prevails!

So I take a deep breath and get out of bed in the morning. Stand up from my seat on the couch and begin the next load of laundry. Wake my daughter from her nap and carry on the daily duties and delights of mothering. His grace is sufficient for all my needs.

Christ suffered the full wrath of God in order to atone for the sins of His people. He died in order that we might live. So I take up my cross and follow Him, embracing the struggle in order to attain the victory. I carry on.

What about you? How do you persevere amidst weariness?