Tonight and tomorrow a big snow storm is predicted. It seems to me that whenever a huge deal is made of storm it amounts to nothing more than a dusting and everyone is just stuck with lots of tuna and condensed soup. Never-the-less, snow began to fall today,whether we want to admit winter is upon us or not. There is something magical about the first few times it snows. Something tranquil and fresh and bright and beautiful. Funny how those same flakes falling in February…or March…or April renders feelings of anguish and rage.
I love the feel of our home when it snows. I love looking out on all sides and seeing snow covered trees. There are many things that I have found less than desirable over the years about our home, but today, despite my sin nature always battling against me, and discontentment always trying to creep in, I am thankful for our home. Rented or not, old and drafty and musty or not, peeling apple orchard wall paper in the kitchen or not, this is our home. This is where God has us, temporarily. I don’t know how temporarily, but I am choosing to be thankful for the way He provides and cares for us. In so many ways this home: the home we have brought two of our babies home to, the only home Hayleigh remembers, the home that has seen countless hours of laughter, and hidden many tears, the home God brings Peter back to on a cold and snowy night, the home where Hayleigh prayed asking God to forgive her sins, and where thousands of stories both exciting and painful have been written and told-this home, has been just what I have needed.
It has been a long, hard fought, sometimes neglected, sometimes resented battle. But this house has taught me what it really, really means to be content. It has caused me to try to find my joy not in my surroundings or my circumstances but in the only true source of joy there is-my God. It serves as a daily reminder to me that this is not my only temporary home. When I get fed up with the stained carpet or a landlady who takes 3 months (and counting) to fix a drafty back door, and I want to scream that I can’t live here another minute, I remember. I remember that this is not my permanent home. And when I get fed up with the bad test results or it taking weeks and months for Peter’s company to pay him correctly, and I want to scream that I can’t live here anymore, I remember. I remember that this world is not my permanent home. I remember to wait on God. I remember to rest in Him. And to trust Him. And to praise Him.
When I am tempted to say things like “God, must not love me because if He did He wouldn’t allow _________ to happen” or “How long will God make us live in this house, or endure _______ before He takes it away?” Or I question God’s plan, I try to look at His bigger purpose, His ultimate goal. It isn’t for me to be happy or healthy or wealthy or living in a home out of “House Beautiful”. His goal is my holiness. And as much as I struggle to like this house sometimes, I have come to love it because of how God has used it to teach me these lessons. I am not quite to the point where I can say that I have come to love the other (mysterious) things that are going on in the lives of me and my loved ones (again sorry for being vague), but I can hold fast to the truth that “God works all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). It might not be the plan I had for myself all along. I may not like it. I may not feel ready. But here it comes. And I can see God’s hand at work, chiseling me, through the challenges of this life, to bring about His good plan in my heart.
So, for today, I am thankful for my home-for the blessing that it is on these cold, snowy nights. And I am thankful for the symbol that it has become of surrendering my plans and desires and discontentment to the good, pleasing and perfect will of my Father.
Oh, and I am thankful for a sweet day in my pjs reading countless books and playing hide and seek with my awesome kids-who truly love this house because it is theirs.