Families With Grace

Helping Christian moms create homes filled with grace, love & faith

Celebrating more than my son’s birthday

My son’s birth story reminds me of God’s goodness and faithfulness

Today my son turns 7. I’m amazed with my children how I feel like they were just born a couple of months ago and yet I also feel like they’ve always been part of my life.

On my son’s birthday each year, my husband and I look at videos and photos of the day he arrived. We get tears in our eyes and talk about how thankful we are. We smile at each other about how adorable and tiny he was — and we remark about how blue he looked even an hour after his birth.

My son was born with his cord wrapped around his neck, blue all over and not breathing. He was whisked from my arms and surrounded by a slew of medical personnel.

I remember lying there as he was worked on across the room. My doctor tended to me and assured me this was normal. I prayed and quietly cried. The last three months of my pregnancy were miserable and incredibly painful, but nothing I went through and felt affected my son. I was so thankful for that. I wished so much in that overwhelming moment that it could be me again and not him. I am not sure I have ever felt so helpless.

Finally, after 20 minutes, he breathed on his own and we heard his first cry. I have never been so happy to hear a cry as I was that day.

Even now, seven years later, I look at the photos my husband took of him in the NICU (where he had to spend a couple of hours with just my husband while I was getting taken care of) and my heart aches a bit. I missed those first few moments with him. His birth wasn’t at all like I planned or expected. BUT, it ended up well. As I prayed with tears rolling down my cheeks that day, God was right there and took care of both my baby boy and me.

Life is so much like that. Things take a detour from what we expected and our hearts can shatter into millions of pieces. Sometimes they can also be filled to bursting within a short time as well, which is what happened on the day my son was born. But whether we’re in the middle of heartbreak or joy or somewhere in between, God is right there, taking care of us. Even when we can’t see Him, He is always working.

I praise and thank Him for my baby boy who is now a happy, thriving 7-year-old. I can’t even begin to put into words how thankful I am that God showed up seven years ago and made sure my little guy was able to breathe on his own. I am thankful that the day ended in joy and not unspeakable heartbreak.

Each milestone my son reaches is just another testimony of God’s goodness and provision. God is good — and that is worth celebrating today as much as my son’s birth!

Growing through difficulties

How God uses our past struggles to grow and strengthen our faith

Yesterday morning I drove my kids to school so my husband could sleep in a bit. The last couple of nights have been his most comfortable nights of sleep and being able to be in bed since he fractured his ribs in mid-December. If the guy can finally have a chance to get good rest, I will let him!

As I was driving the kids, we were chatting. I told them we may have to go to the store and figure out a new cell phone for me. It’s been a long time coming. My battery is slowly getting worse and worse. We’ve replaced it, and that didn’t matter. We have tried most everything, but something in my chemistry is hard on phones. (No joke!) Sunday night, my phone turned itself off overnight while plugged in. I powered it up on Monday morning and within a minute it went from 100% battery to 94% and only went down from there. Plus, it was slow to even come on.

My daughter joked with me about what is up with me right now, because my car is also broken down and unusable. We are working on that as well. It needs a repair my husband can do once he is back to normal and the weather cooperates. But, it also is just an older car and time for us to upgrade to something newer.

I told my kiddos that we’d figure it out. No worries. And, you know what? I truly meant that. We will figure it out. We don’t need to worry.

As I was driving home, I thought about these things. I’m not excited to pay for a new cell phone or new car. I know the other expenses our family has. However, I really am also not stressed, which is remarkable to me.

I’ve come a long way from the person I was when my husband and I were first married at 20 and 22. I remember a few times in our early years of marriage that unexpected expenses would come up, and I’d burst into tears.

The difference between Stacey 20 years ago and Stacey now is a lot of living that’s given me perspective. I’ve learned what really matters; money, cars and cell phones aren’t at the top of the list. I’ve had ups and downs. I’ve survived losses, heartaches and health struggles. And I’ve grown and matured.

Even more importantly, I’ve grown in my faith. I have seen God provide a way for us time and again. My husband, who is our main income source, was without a job for an entire year and somehow that entire year we were able to continue paying our mortgage. We didn’t come out unscathed, but we made it through. Whenever an unexpected bill came in, usually an unexpected income arrived as well and we were able to make it.

We aren’t in that situation now, thankfully. While there are other things I’d rather spend the money on or put it in our savings, having a phone and car that work are necessary.

Since we both work from home, my husband and I have had some leeway in getting a new car for me. But we’ve had to do some intentional planning to make sure everyone gets where they need to be. Add in that he sometimes has to go into his office that is an hour away, and we definitely need another vehicle for transporting our family.

We will make it. We will figure it out. I’ve been praying that God will guide us and lead us in making good choices for our family as we figure it all out. I’m praying that He opens and closes the right doors for us as we go along. I fully trust that He will.

And I’m thankful I’m stronger. I can see how all the hard times I’ve been through have helped me to grow and mature in general and in my faith walk. I have survived when I thought I wouldn’t make it. I’ve seen God show up every single time. He has never left me hanging.

Feeling thankful for trials and hard times isn’t easy. Some of them I wish I could change, but I am thankful for the lessons learned and the ways God has used them to grow me.

Following the Master

What walking my dog has taught me about my faith walk with God

In July, I told you about the new addition to our family: a Lhasa Apso puppy who we named Pixel. In the short time since then, Pixel has woven his way into our lives and hearts even more. He’s also gotten easier to deal with in being house trained. He still has a lot to learn, but we’re making progress.

While I have a lot to teach Pixel from sit to stay to no biting, I also continue to learn lessons from him. So many lessons.

Excited to go with the Master

On Monday, I was feeling tired as I went to get Pixel out of his crate to take him for his morning walk. It was a bit of a hectic morning. My husband and daughter were both sick. I got my son to school, stopped by the store for medicine for my sick people and then hurried home to get my daughter settled in, walk the dog and get started on my work that had a noon deadline.

Basically, I was feeling harried and tired. I opened Pixel’s crate door, got his walking harness and leash on him and noticed that he was excited. I had to make a detour to get my sunglasses instead of going straight to the front door as usual. He trotted happily along with me.

I realized that Pixel didn’t know where we were going. He knew who he was going with. And he was just excited to be going somewhere with me. He trusted me that I wouldn’t lead him astray. He followed me willingly and happily. Anywhere I said we needed to go, he would go along.

In that moment, I felt a prick in my heart. I thought of the times I need to trust and follow God no matter what and how sometimes I get distracted or unsure. Sometimes I grumble and complain. I don’t always go happily with an adoring look at the One who created me. I need to be more like Pixel.

Trusting the Master through scary times

But, here’s the thing. Pixel also isn’t perfect. While on Monday’s walk, he didn’t have any issues, on the Friday before, he sat down in the road and refused to walk because there was a trailer parked on the side of the road. It was different, and it was scary to him. And even being on the leash with me, he still wasn’t able to move forward out of fear.

Oh my how I relate to that! I get scared sometimes. I get overwhelmed. I get anxious. When the future looks unclear or the path unsure, I put on the brakes and sit in fear.

I imagine, though, that God does just what I did with Pixel. I coaxed him for a moment. I saw that wasn’t enough, so I picked him up and carried him past the trailer. He walked on with confidence. And when we passed the same trailer on the way home, he gave it a wide berth, but he walked on past because he knew that it was safe. I had shown him that I would take care of him on our path.

So many times I know that God has carried me through a difficult time. Sometimes He is able to coax me forward. Other times, I know He has to carry me. Each time I learn anew how faithful He is and how strong I can be with Him. I learn that my Master always knows where we are going and how to keep me safe when I am unsure, when I am happily trotting along or when I am somewhere in the middle.

Striving to do better

While I want to always be like Pixel in his excitement to trust and follow his master anywhere, I know that I still need to work on it. Fortunately my Master is a patient one. I have seen God’s trustworthiness so many times throughout the years. We have a history that I can remember and lean on when I am unsure. I have His Word that I can turn to for guidance. He is the Master, and I need only trust and follow Him.

(Do you love dogs? If so, check out my puppy’s Facebook page that’s just for fun: Pixel the Pup.)

God’s presence in the dark

Finding God when life is scary

A few months back, I shared this on Facebook. I decided to share it on the blog as well thanks to the overwhelming response I got from it.

Last night, my 8-year-old daughter came into my room at 2 a.m. I knew something was afoot, because she is my good sleeper. She had had a bad dream and needed some comfort. Of course, I obliged. We chatted and snuggled a bit. I prayed for her silently and eventually sent her back to bed.

Within 10 minutes, she was back and needed me to be in her room with her. Previously I’ve sat on her bed and put my hand on her back to soothe her, but now she has a loft bed and that’s not possible. So instead, I pulled her desk chair to the middle of the room and took a seat. I prayed for her again and told her about it this time. We talked very briefly about how to stop thinking about her dream. Within 15 minutes, she was settled in enough to fall back asleep. My presence in her room made her relax and let her worry go.

As I sat there quietly, trying to stay awake, I thought about what a demonstration it was. What she didn’t know was that in between her visits to my room, my prayers continued for her and for her 5-year-old brother. Earlier that day, her brother got into water over his head and was unable to keep his head above water. Thanks to some quick action from my dad and husband, he was saved, but I’ve read about secondary drowning. And I was anxious. He had absolutely no sign of it. And he was totally fine for hours. This had happened before lunchtime even. But still, I worried. It’s what we moms do. However, as I prayed I gave my worry to God. I felt peace that He was in charge, so I could rest.

That’s exactly what my daughter needed. She needed to know someone was in charge, someone was right there for her so that she could rest. Oh how many times I need that! And my Heavenly Father is always there if I only think to talk to Him. Because sometimes I just worry on my own. Sometimes I don’t think to talk to Him about it. Sometimes I battle my anxiety on my own. It never goes well.

I headed back to bed (after double-checking that both kids were sound asleep — and my son was breathing) and fell fast asleep after once again giving my worry to God. The thing is with the way my daughter’s bed is raised and where I was able to sit, there was no way she could see me, but she knew I was there and just my presence was enough. I can’t see God, but I can feel Him. And His presence is always enough if I just open myself up to Him.

Whatever you have going on right now, know that God is there. He will sit up all night in your bedroom in a small desk chair because He loves you so completely and fully. He will take your worries and fears and give you His peace. He may not fix everything the way you want, but He will be there through it all and is willing to hold you close if only you cling to Him. I can think of no greater love and no greater reassurance.

The grumbles: Lessons I’ve learned from listening to my kids complain about cleaning

I learn lots of things from my kids like dinosaur facts I never knew and stories of Greek gods that I’ve forgotten. I learn things like trashcans lined with plastic bags come in handy when they’re sick. I learn things about myself like how little sleep I actually can function on and how much love my heart has in it. And I learn more about my relationship with God.

In my head I know the Bible tells us God’s love for us is so tremendous and more than any of us can fathom. I believe that, but since I truly can’t fathom it, I think it must be close to what I feel for my children. Sometimes my kids’ behavior shows me how I must look to God.

One of the chores my kids have is to clean their bathroom. When we moved into our new house last April, they got their own bathroom to share. I gave them the chore of cleaning it. I showed them exactly how to do it. I’ve given them follow-up lessons and set reasonable expectations. Their weekly chores are cleaning the sink, emptying the trash, restocking toilet paper and cleaning the toilet. Sometimes they also clean the mirror. I take care of the floors and shower/tub. Pretty straight forward.

When we were first getting started with cleaning, they didn’t mind it so much and set out with the idea that they’d rotate the chores so one person wasn’t stuck with one job all the time. They had a good attitude about it. But as time went on and they were putting those cleaning lessons into practice, I started hearing some bickering and some grumbling. They’d bicker about who was doing what chore, and they’d grumble about having to clean the bathroom instead of play.

As I was listening to them grumble and grouse a few weeks ago, I felt God prick my heart. Sometimes when He gives me chores or tasks or purpose, I set forth with a crummy attitude. I grouse and grumble. I huff and roll my eyes. Parenthood itself is a prime example. God has blessed me with these two beautiful children and trusted their care to me. However, how many times have I grumbled and complained (even just internally) about all the work involved in taking care of little humans? How many times have I felt angry about it even? So. Many. Times!

I am so far from perfect. I know that sometimes I whine and carry on like a child. Just as I don’t stop loving my kids when they grumble about doing a chore, God doesn’t stop loving me. I know that they are learning good lessons. They are learning responsibility. They are learning how to clean a bathroom, which will be a good skill to have once they grow up and have their own place. They are learning to work together, even though sometimes it’s a rocky partnership. I can tick all these reasons off in my head. I can even tell them to my children (and have mentioned a couple of them!), but they don’t really understand what I mean. They’re 6 and 9. They don’t have the life experience needed to appreciate these kind of lessons.

All of that sounds just like God and me. Each time I face a trial or have a task He’s brought me to, I’m learning lessons. I may grumble and not see the lesson, but He knows it all along and uses it for my best. I don’t have the life experience and heavenly perspective to fully understand what’s happening. That’s what I have to remember when I’m grumbling and grousing.

This past weekend, my kids taught me another lesson with this same scenario. I was cleaning my bathroom while they were cleaning theirs and could hear my son start singing while they were cleaning. He did a short rendition of “Go Tell it on the Mountain.” Within a couple of minutes, both kids were singing together a few different songs, including “Count on Me” from Bruno Mars, which is a song my daughter is learning in music class. I smiled at their cuteness.

What a difference in attitude just singing some songs made. What a difference music makes! I’ve shared before how much music ministers to my soul. It reminded me that if I have the right song in my heart, my tasks and trials are easier to face. If I’m listening to music that reminds me to keep my focus on God, everything goes better and my grousing dies down.

Then, of course, the song they switched to spoke to me as well. “Count on Me” is not a Christian song, but it has a great message. I hope and pray that my kids can always count on each other. The song is a great reminder that no matter what is happening, life is easier with someone to help you along. God has blessed me so that I don’t have to go through trials and do chores alone. Not only is He always with me, but He’s also give me a great support system through my husband, kiddos and extended family. He didn’t just plop me here and tell me to get it all done alone.

Does all of this learning mean I’ll never have a bad attitude or grumble again? I’d love to say yes, but I know the answer is no. I’m human. I fall short so many times. I have bad days and days that I feel bad. My frustration levels rise, my patience shortens and I just get grumbly. But I’ll keep trying and asking God for His help through it all. And I think turning to Him is the greatest lesson of all for me to learn.

Finding beauty through scars

God is faithful even when life hurts

Last April we moved into our new house with a wood-burning fireplace in the living room. By the time we were settled enough to use it, it was too warm to think of building a fire. However, over these last few weeks that has changed. This past weekend we had incredibly frigid weather and my husband built a fire for us three days in a row. We loved the heat and warmth and coziness of it.

Today I was walking through the living room and noticed that the fireplace is no longer clean. Until recently, the brick inside the fireplace looked pretty much the same as the brick around the fireplace. It wasn’t marred. It was clean. Now, though, it has black soot in spots and has ashes in the bottom. It’s lost its pristine state. I didn’t notice those blemishes so much when it was burning bright with fire and warmth. I was too busy enjoying it.

Now I see them. I could say the fireplace is no longer as beautiful as it once was. But the fireplace got those marks from fulfilling its purpose, and is there anything more beautiful than that? After all, we didn’t plan for a wood-burning fireplace for it to just be an unused showpiece. We looked forward to the extra warmth it would bring our family on cold winter days and evenings. It couldn’t provide any of those things without getting dirty and scarred.

We are so much the same way! In a few months, I’m hitting a milestone birthday and turning 40. I haven’t lived through 40 years of life without scars and blemishes. Some of them you can see like the scar on my knee from a cut I had as a child. I’ve got freckles on my skin from being out in the sun. My abdomen has scars from numerous surgeries. I’ve also gotten unseen scars through the years. I hesitate to open myself up to new people, because I have scars reminding me of the pain the happens when trust is betrayed. I’ve got the scars left from losing loved ones to death, even when I know they are in a better place. And I have scars of fear for how my health is going to be each and every day.

I’m not pristine by any stretch of the imagination. But I don’t want to be scarred and blemished just for the sake of being scarred and blemished. Just like I didn’t throw dirt into my fireplace to make it dirty for no reason, so I don’t want to do that in life. I want my scars and blemishes to be used for my God-given purpose in life. I want to use them to honor Him. Those scars from my surgeries are times I can praise God that He brought me through safely and helped me recover each and every time in spite of the challenges that came my way as a result. They are reminders of His faithfulness and because I have them, I can better minister to those facing surgery or health issues. I can pray for them in more personal ways.

And those emotional scars of being betrayed by someone I thought was a friend serve to remind me that I have a Friend who will never betray me. Those scars of losing loved ones remind me how very precious life is. I still struggle with grief because my most recent loss was only three months ago. These last few years have been a season of loss for my family and those scars ache. But I remember lives lived fully. I remember God’s faithfulness, strength and peace even when my heart has been broken into pieces. Those scars allow me to minister to those dealing with loss more empathetically.

I want to live my life scarred and blemished but still praising God. He didn’t create me to sit on a shelf and not get messy. He could have made life without pain, but then how would we ever really know we needed Him? We appreciate the light so much more once we have been in the darkness. I want to be used up. Am I excited and wanting more hurt and hard times? Not especially. However, I know they will come. Life works that way. It is filled with highs and lows. But my scars remind me that no matter the high or the low, God is good and He is ever faithful. He holds me close and has scars of His own to prove how much He loves me.

I want to be burned up like my fireplace. I want to serve my purpose. I don’t want to be so afraid of getting dirty and scarred that I stop trying. I don’t want to let emotional scars keep me from making new friends. I don’t want to let physical scars keep me from trying new activities. I want to remember the lessons I’ve learned, share them as much as I can and know that through it all — every bump, bruise and cut — God is always faithful. He sees the beauty in my brokenness and in my scars.

Looking back to look forward

What I learned in 2018 and what I’m looking forward to in 2019

In just a couple of days, 2018 will be history and we will be in 2019. I’m looking forward to the new year. 2018 was far from perfect and had its fair share of hurts and disappointments, but it also held some good times as well.

For our family our biggest good news of 2018 was moving into our new house after nearly a decade of selling our old house. For me personally, the biggest good news of 2018 has been my health. Near the end of 2017, I had surgery that could either have improved my pelvic pain, made it worse or kept it the same. By springtime of 2018, I knew that it had actually helped. I have been able to live most of this year like a “normal” person. I’ve been able to go grocery shopping and make dinner in the same day. I’ve been able to start doing some more work again. I’ve been able to clean my house and still take my kids to the park in the same day. These things I appreciate so very much because I can’t always do them.

While my pelvic pain and bladder issues have been better overall this year, I’ve struggled with my fibromyalgia pain. There have been times that my knees hurt so much I had trouble climbing the stairs. There have been times I unpacked too many boxes in one day and couldn’t use my arms for a day or two afterward without significant pain. But, those times were more an exception than a norm. And for that, I’m thankful.

I’ve appreciated the good parts of 2018, but I also am ready to embrace a new year. I have more hope for 2019 than I have for pretty much any other year. I have a loved one who’s been dealing with a situation for nearly five years that I think will be resolved in 2019. I have a milestone birthday coming in May when I turn 40. My daughter has a milestone birthday as well as she enters double digits when she turns 10 in October.

We are moving forward. I don’t tend to make resolutions as much as think about goals for the new year. Some years my goals have been just to get through them. In 2019, I want to thrive, not just survive. I want to get more settled into our home. I want to continue to feel well health-wise. (I also know that can change, but I am going to appreciate the good times while they are here.) I want to continue to grow my blog. I want to make sure I take time to enjoy my kiddos and play with them when I can before they are too old to want to spend time with me. I want to laugh more than I cry. I want to act in love and grace more than irritation and frustration.

As I look through the calendar pages of my planner, I know there are 365 days in 2019 and not all of them will be good. I think back over these past few years that have held various losses that have broken my heart. And I pray that 2019 will be a year of restoration and healing. If it isn’t, though, I also know that God will be there. No matter what this year holds, I’m not going into it alone — and neither are you.

While I have hopes, goals and prayers for the new year, I can’t guarantee any of them. God knows what 2019 will hold for each of us. Our job is just to hang on, enjoy the ride and focus on the One who holds us.

I hope your 2019 is full of love, blessings — and much grace!

In order to enjoy time with my family for New Year’s, I won’t be posting a new blog on Monday as usual. Blog posts will return on Wed., Jan. 3. Thanks for your understanding!

Surviving a season of waiting

What I learned about God’s faithfulness in the nine years it took to sell my house

Seasons of waiting are hard. About 10 years ago, we were selling our house to move about an hour away to the bigger city where my husband’s office was. I was also pregnant with our first baby, so we had a bit of a deadline.

First we had our house for sale by owner and sold it. Then the buyer backed out. We decided to list with a realtor. We told the house again. And again the buyer backed out.

Surviving a season of waiting

We were beyond discouraged. I especially struggled with it because I have anxiety issues and the added pregnancy hormones didn’t help. We even ended up in small claims court a few months later with one of the buyers over earnest money. It was ridiculous.

Of course, people criticized my home throughout the process, because that’s how selling a house, especially one built in 1960, works. I was discouraged and beaten down. I didn’t understand why God not only shut the door once, but twice and then slammed it shut extra hard for good effort. Why were we having to stay put and make my husband drive 75 minutes away (one way) each day while dealing with a newborn? It wasn’t fair!

Finding a new focus

As time went by, I realized that I needed to let it go. And I needed to change my thoughts, because they were starting to consume me. I worked to shift from thinking about how discouraging it was to make myself pray, “God, thank you for keeping us where we need to be.”

Soon I meant it, because that was the other thing. I really DID believe in my head that He had shut the door on our move for a purpose. My heart was just struggling to get there.

Eventually, it got better, but I still had a bit of real estate PTSD. As time passed, we decided to just stay put and not move out of town. My husband got to work from home more often, we had a second baby and I had some new health struggles. We also loved being in the same city with both sets of our parents. I really was grateful to still be in our house.

But, I still had that little voice in my head telling me that I’d just always live in that house. Going through getting my hopes up for moving again just didn’t seem worth it. I told my husband that I would live in that house until I died unless God dragged out of there by force. (I can be a bit dramatic…)

Moving forward

So at the beginning of 2015 when my husband suggested we go and talk with a local builder about possibly building a house in the school district where we wanted our kids to go, I laughed.

Just like Sarah with Abraham when he told her that she’d have a baby in her advanced years, I didn’t believe it. I told my husband I couldn’t get my hopes up and be disappointed again. Throughout the years, I had made peace with our house and I didn’t want that peace ruined again. I didn’t think I could handle more disappointment.

We talked with the builder. We ran numbers and, despite all my hesitation, we decided to move forward with selling our house. This time we weren’t looking to leave the city where we had grown up and both of our sets of parents live. Instead, we found a location closer to the interstate for my husband’s commute. We also liked the school district.

Jeremiah 29:11

I did a lot of praying and talking with God. Finally, I had a peace and a glimmer of hope. I felt like God was confirming the move and promising me that I would one day live in that new house.

So, we organized our house and again put it up for sale by owner near the end of March 2015. A few people showed interest, but as time went by and life got more hectic, we listed with a realtor in May.

We signed a contract for six months, which would take us up until the beginning of December. I wasn’t all that worried, because God had promised me He was on it. However, I also wasn’t incredibly hopeful that our house would sell. I just made peace that no matter what happened, I’d leave it in God’s hands and be OK with it.

Waiting some more

In that entire time from March until December we had zero offers. Nada. None. We had some showings. We had open houses. And we had no interest. We decided to take a break for Christmas. We intended to put the house back on the market in the spring of 2016, but life got in the way. I had more health struggles. Life was just challenging. In the back of my head, I remembered God’s promise, but I didn’t fully believe it any more. 

Then came 2017 and as the months passed, my husband pushed me into listing the house again. As I prayed about it, God reminded me that when He makes promises, He doesn’t break them, so I needed to move forward in faith.

We made a few more changes and updates. We rented a storage unit and moved out some furniture. I knew from the beginning that we needed a realtor and I had one in mind who had followed up with us time and again. So when we were ready, I called him.

Moving forward — again

We got the house on the market in July. At the end of August, I had surgery with a specialist about five hours from our home. We left the house ready to show. Sure enough, the day after my surgery, just after we checked out of the hospital and headed to our hotel, our realtor called with an offer.

Surviving a season of waiting

Overwhelmed, we ran the numbers. It was a good offer. We accepted it, but also accepted that the buyer wanted possession at closing in 30 days. We weren’t sure how that would happen since I couldn’t lift anything heavier than a gallon of milk for a couple of months, but we trusted it would work out.

I felt peace about it all. The buyer’s last name was Buckles, which was the name of our dog who passed away in the middle of the house selling business back in May of 2016. I knew God gave me that as an extra sign we were doing the right thing.

With help from our family and friends we got packed and moved out within a month. Most of our stuff went to storage. Some went with us to my parents’ house. We lived with them for six months before being able to move into our new home in April of 2018.

Reflecting on the process

It was a nine-year process to get to this house. This house certainly isn’t what I thought I’d have when we started the process. It wasn’t where I thought we’d live. I hadn’t dreamed of living here. And yet, it is perfect. It isn’t a mansion, but I don’t need a mansion. I call it my dream home, because it is.

Our new home is better than anything I had imagined. It fits our family and needs well. The location is terrific. And the school system is a bonus we didn’t even need because our daughter got into an excellent school through the local university that allowed our son to go there as well when he started kindergarten. 

It was a long wait, and I wasn’t good at being patient. I’d love to say I knew all along when God kept closing the doors that He had something better in store. My head knew it, but my heart didn’t feel it. I felt discouraged and downtrodden so often throughout the entire process. More than once I was ready to give up and not dare hope or dream for more. I didn’t see where I was going.

Had I been an Israelite wandering through the desert for 40 years with Moses, I’d have been on the Committee of Complaints and Doubts.

Surviving a season of waiting

But, you know what? God showed up. God knew exactly where He was leading us. He knew what would be best for our family before we could even begin to think of it. He knew.

I’m left in my new house in awe, praising and trusting God! And I’m left marveling at His gifts, which are truly beyond what I deserve. I am thankful for His grace and mercy.

God’s faithfulness and goodness

I share this long story because I want to encourage you if you are in a season of waiting where you’ve been praying, waiting and spinning your wheels. Even when we know waiting is God’s will, it can be so very hard.

I have another much, much more serious situation that I’m waiting for an answer to. It’s been going on since the beginning of 2015, and so far we don’t have an answer, but I trust God has a plan. He always does even when we can’t see it. He has a plan even when we whine and grouse because it doesn’t look like we thought it would. 

My friend, if you are in a season of waiting right now, know that God hasn’t forgotten you. He isn’t hanging you out to dry or leaving you flailing in the wind. God is with you and He is working in ways you can’t even imagine. He does have plans for you and hope for your future (see Jeremiah 29:11). Our Father has plans for your good and not your decimation. He is there, my friend. Just keep hanging on and watching for Him. 

Join the Families with Grace Acts of Grace challenge and receive a FREE devotion book today! In just a few minutes each day for seven days, you can focus on what giving grace looks like and how to put that grace into action.

Acts of Grace Challenge
Content © Written Creations, LLC 2023