using light from the lives of others.
Their sufferings and celebrations
are like constellations in the midnight sky,
orienting patterns above the horizon.
Tracing their paths through the night,
we connect our stories to one another;
circling together, we turn toward morning. J. Lynn James
Last Saturday we had the privilege of stopping by for a few minutes at a very special celebration of life and love and peace for our new friends, the Murphys. We first heard of them when their home was completely destroyed by a fire earlier this year. Something about the loss of their house and all their belongings resonated deeply with our family. Perhaps because in many ways we have felt "homeless" for some time too. There was a toy drive for their twin boys and their daughter and Delaney and Danica became very interested in giving to these children. Danica chose to give her entire Littlest Pet Shop collection and all their habitats to the little girl because the information we received said it was one of the favorite toys she lost. Watching Danica's sacrifice and empathy and willingness to give reminded me how much our girls are learning from the kindness we have received for so long. I later met TJ and Heather at a Betterment event. I was so touched by their journey and also the spirit in which they were able to receive from so many but also instantly want to be involved in giving back. We know about this too. About a week later TJ and Heather came to our home and Dan and the girls were able to meet them. It was emotional to hear more of their story. We have been waiting and praying with them since then for a new home and new beginnings.
Later that evening we toured a ranch for sale about a mile down the road from my parent's house. It was exactly what we have been praying for. A rare listing because it is not a new home but not super old either and nestled amidst mostly colonials, it offers completely one level living. It has so many windows and light that moves across the home from east to west. More than an actual place to call our own I have been begging God for light. The laundry is right off the kitchen and the kitchen directly off the garage. This would mean just steps for me and not a hike from parking on the street into the house and down stairs or down the yard and hill to our back door. It would mean not having to wait for Dan to always carry the laundry upstairs and going back and forth to switch loads and fold and then waiting for someone to bring the clothes back down to me. It would mean a refrigerator big enough to hold a week of groceries instead of a few days and one where I wouldn't have to bend over and rearrange each time I needed something. It would mean a kitchen where I could finally prepare healthy meals for my family again on a regular basis and implement many of the dietary changes I need for my own recovery. It would mean a bathtub for Danica again. It would mean we could yell or sing and dance or laugh or cry without the feeling we are disturbing someone or someone is watching us. It would mean we could fall asleep to the sound of the rain on our window and wake to the sound of birds and the glint of morning sun. More than anything it would mean we are not stuck. It would mean we have a sanctuary again . . . "somewhere more holy."
Do you remember the first time we had to move here? It was a heart wrenching decision after we found out Danica would be in a wheelchair. This was the post when we first decided to move home after staying here at my parent's awhile. It was the words of Tony Woodlief that comforted me so.
" . . . This is the story of how we reclaim the things that are lost. It's also a story about how a home can be become sacred, and how in the process it can sanctify us as well. I can tell you these things because I have been in dark places--which is the only way any of us learns to love the light. . . Home is more than a place where we eat and sleep; it is where we learn grace, where we glimpse heaven. It is where we find or lose God, or perhaps where He finds us if we will only be still long enough to listen for Him."
One thing I know for sure about our God. He is working behind the scenes preparing all the details long before He reveals the plan for deliverance. Isn't this what the entire Old Testament teaches us? It's always through a story we can best see how mighty to save He really is. The weaving of tragedy and heartache along with blessings and kept promises keeps us looking for the glorious Hope. We live in this Hope!
Monday night, two days after seeing the home, and never in a million years thinking we could really move there, God provided someone to pay the down payment, sign the contract and agree to rent to us long term until we could perhaps buy the home from them. The only real modification needed is the flooring because the carpets are very old and smelly and part of my healing and staying well is really being able to control my environment and my reactions to it. We will need to install laminate flooring. I only shared this news with a couple very faithful prayer warriors who have been particularly invested in this desire of our hearts and already God has provided some money for the materials for the floors. We are still praying for installation or at least help for my dad (who really should not physically be doing any work like this). If all goes well we should close and have possession early October and be able to move in before my surgery. Can you believe it? We can't quite wrap our heads around it either. God is good!
Just knowing I will have a suitable place for my very long and painful recovery gives me courage I really was not finding as I looked toward ANOTHER fall and early winter recovering from ANOTHER surgery. I've had moments of submission but mostly have been bending under the weight of knowing I could most likely just not do it here and could definitely not do it without my husband and children with me. I wish I could infuse even a taste of the joy in Dan and Delaney and Danica's hearts as they anticipate this move into our own space.
Home sweet home. Won't you please praise with us? So many of you have specifically asked for this for us. Make it loud. Sing it. Dance it. As you have wept with us, won't you rejoice now? And please pray for the many details left with the inspection and closing and getting the home ready for our family so quickly before we head into another storm.
As soon as we had this news our Danica became very sick with a serious infection. We have spent this week a little topsy turvy dealing with pediatrician appointments and wrestling medicine and also trying to get her to eat. Dan and I quickly embraced after a brutal night of stress which takes a particular toll on my body. I asked him if he was happy. He said in Dan candor, "If we had a million dollars our life would still be our life. It is not our circumstances that make us happy. This just makes it easier to do what we need to do." Yes, easier. We know we can do hard things through Him, but we are so ready for just one thing to make the load a little lighter, the walk a little shorter, the days and nights a little more tranquil as we endure.
We prayed together Monday night before heading to the house to write the intitial offer. Dan prayed simply the Lord's Prayer. When there are no words I love he prays like Jesus.
Your kingdom is real.
Do your will here while we wait for heaven.
Help us forgive.
Super duper crazy huge news, right?!?!