Hearing God In The Midst Of Chaos
It is Tuesday afternoon, and I'm holding a restless yet tired baby. It's been a week of feverish children, hacking coughs, packing like crazy and the loading and unloading of trucks. In the midst of it, God answered my prayers that everything would fit, we'd be out in time, everyone would stay safe, strength would hold out, and the resettling will go smoothly. God is truly faithful. So here we are in our "new digs." Well, not really. Our place isn't quite ready yet, so we have taken over the master bedroom at our relatives' home. The children have pretty much slept for the last five days, so all they require are comfy beds and lots of tissues. I need my children to be settled, and then an internet connection so I feel connected to the outside world. With that accomplished, I am just waiting for them to totally recover from this virus their bodies have been fighting. At some point today, we will be able to get some laundry done, and I eagerly anticipate wearing clean clothes. Sigh. Our apartment lease ended last November, but we didn't want to move again around the holidays. So we extended our lease to the end of January and started looking at homes to move into. After a year in a small apartment, we were all looking forward to more space. In December our relatives mentioned that they were building a basement apartment in order to bring in some income - I sensed God leading us to consider this and after some discussion, we decided to be their first tenants. It would enable us to save some money to buy a minivan without taking out a loan, give us more time to find the place we wanted to move to, and help out our relatives financially. Plus, I like challenges! The opportunity to downsize and live in closer proximity appealed to me. It could be preparation for the mission field or teaching us how to live with less. Then the "Workforce Reduction" happened, and we were so thankful for God's hand, preventing us from signing a lease on a more expensive place or buying a car. As I wait to move into our cozy new place, some questions linger in my mind. Who decided that everyone had to have their own bedrooms, formal and casual rooms...all this compartmentalized space in a home? We get used to living this way, but what are other options? We rarely take the time to consider this since our lives, what is available and expected in this culture, are pretty much set for us. Is having a home filled with nice stuff required for happiness or even a sense of success and prosperity? Have we failed if we aren't able to check off that list: Own Home - check, Two Cars - check, Formal Dining Room - check, Lots of Toys - check, Latest Gadget - check. I absolutely don't think there is anything wrong with those things. But with my recent experience packing up all of our stuff, I was overwhelmed by the amount of things we had that we couldn't manage. It feels like our things own us, and we don't have a lot! We left behind a dining room table, chaise lounge and sofa when we moved to Baltimore, knowing we were going into an apartment for a year. I also consider my experience as a missionary. I moved to Ethiopia with all my belongings in two suitcases, and then the larger suitcase full of clothing, shoes and toiletries was later stolen. I had a handful of outfits, a camera, some books, some good music, and a few pairs of shoes to my name. Did I miss the stuff that was stolen? Though some of my favorite dresses were in that suitcase, the answer is not really. Life went on. It was easier to manage my things and pack for my return trip to the States with less stuff. I have dubbed this new season in our studio apartment "A Social Experiment" and will blog about different experiences, challenges, etc. as they come up. I have actually been looking forward to this move and for what it will teach us all. I want my children to experience life in a more simple way, learning to get along and consider one another as we share the small space. I want to challenge our cultural expectations head-on and discover what is truly required to live a satisfying life. To me, this is an amazing opportunity, a God thing, as we wait to see where we will be when Sean gets a new job. In the meantime, we have a budget that allows our family to live comfortably while we wait. Sean is getting freelance assignments that continually add to the pot too. To quote a true saying, "We may not know what the future holds, but we know Who holds the future." Amen.
Posted by Miki at 12:06 PM