When we moved here back in mid-August, somehow I thought everything would unfold differently. There was a plan, but I wasn’t as “in” on it, as I thought. In fact, some of the things I now regret go all the way back to March…during the packing phase.
First to stage the house, we removed most of our decor. We thinned out the furniture and most of our books in all the rooms and clothing in all the bedrooms. I packed all my fall and winter things away–so they were at the back of the storage and unreachable later on. For I thought (and oh goodness, this is where I get in trouble 98% of the time!), “Oh, well surely the house will go on the market by April (it didn’t…instead it was June 1) and sell by June (it didn’t…it was August 6). And of course, Chris will have a job by then (he still doesn’t!). Or perhaps we will move ahead of him…” But what actually happened is Chris moved with us (an answer to prayer for all of us) and we had about a week to pack a first load to take with us to Texas. Again I packed assuming we’d get the rest by closing at the end of September or right after, at the very least.
“Many are the plans in a man’s (or woman’s heart)….” Why is it that everyone gives me this verse all the time?
Ahhh, presumption. I suppose this and presume that. And often, I get it all wrong. Why is it that I want to predict what is going to happen? This has gotten me in a world of trouble over the years. And it is going to be my downfall–unless the lessons being taught in this season really DO make an impact on my stubborn heart that wants to plan things out.
Back to packing…I planned for our first load to have at least one room complete (the living room) with no decor at all, all the summer clothes we had, plus a part of our kitchen and bathroom stuff and our kitchen table without the leaf. The kids had air mattresses and we brought our own mattresses.
Little did we know that we’d only have enough money for one more load before the closing…
And from that second load, we brought bed frames and mattresses for the kids, some clothes, fall decor, the leaf and extra chairs for our table, bookshelves, a desk, bicycles and a papasan chair.
Again, we packed it, in hopes that a job would come soon and we’d be able to use the extra money to bring the rest of our stuff here. But alas…no. That money got used up in living here without a job for another month and a half.
So here we are this holiday season without a bit of our Christmas decor. We have no nativity, no lights, stockings or ornaments. All of our traditional Christmas things are packed away. We don’t even have our favorite puzzles.
Forgive me for letting this set-up go too long and be too whiny…500 Words to tell you, I was wrong. But God knows better!
Dickens’ A Christmas Carol–we were nearly kicked out by our landlords for not having a job. But God intervened.
It’s a Wonderful Life–you would not, could not, believe the outpouring of provision we have received… it’s like friends and strangers alike are lining up to say, “Keep going! It’s going to be okay!” We have received abundantly from friends, anonymous cash in the mail and from our church, a gift card, and a reimbursement from our home insurance company for overpaying. It is crazy that we have enough to be here and have not lacked a thing. Nothing. At all! It has been astonishing!
Then there is God making the ultimate way for us, by being born in a stable. He did this to show how very far He would go to save us. He emptied Himself of His God-ness to bend low and walk with us…to show us the way home. He is still doing that for our family today. He is able to save completely–without my help. We need only follow Him daily, trustingly and fully–laying aside our plans.
A job will come. It will. But this story of our lives will live on. Our children will tell of the miraculous things God has done in these days for our family. They have been greatly impacted.
We don’t need a crèche to remind us of Jesus’ birth.
Our Immanuel is with us all the time–working and moving and walking with us still.
So this year we may have to start some new traditions and do without our things. I really don’t know for sure… But if we do, I daresay it will be the best Christmas we have ever had!
May Christ Jesus Himself show you today that you matter to Him. And He wants to come and write your stories, too. He’s the best Author there ever was, is or will be. Let Him in.