So many times in the last week I've wanted to write. The kids are cute and funny, of course, but bigger things are happening these days.
Matt is working his first day of RV factory work right now. It's not glorious work, and not very reliable as RV factories seem to be up and down now, but it's something. The day we arrived back from our Christmas vacation a neighbor informed us that he was able to secure Matt a position at the RV factory where he worked. Yesterday a lady from Matt's parents' church showed us a big farm house in the country that she would rent to us for a very fair price. I got the key to the house today. Tomorrow the gas and electric get turned on in our name and I have to get to work cleaning and painting, but we should be completely in our own house by the 22nd. I never would have dreamed that possible just seven days ago. God loves to work in dramatic ways in our lives, I suppose that way we can never be mistaken that was we who did it. It is good to know he is working, hard as it is for me to understand what he's doing.
Tonight I tucked the girls in bed by myself, since Matt is working second shift. We talked about the hard things and the happy things with all the change coming up. I prepared Naomi to say good-bye to her first grade class because we will be moving out of this school district. She is a little sentimental, but very excited to begin homeschooling and learning about cooking and laundry from Mommy. They will miss living with their grandma and grandpa and uncle. They will miss bedtimes with Daddy. But mostly they are excited.
Hannah can hardly contain her excitement. She remembers toys that have sat in boxes for 18 months now that she can't wait to see again. It is a bit bittersweet for me though, because the children who will open those boxes and pull out the toys are so different from the ones who helped me pack the toys up 18 months ago. I feel like life's been on hold for 18 months, waiting to get back to something "normal," but children's lives don't pause. They have grown and changed so much. The normal that was will never be again. They will have a room again, a huge room with all four kids together just because they like to be together. For a moment I smiled, thinking about all the cute "Winnie-the-Pooh" decor I could pull out to recreate their room from Cono. Then I realized that my girls weren't toddlers anymore...none of them, and "Winnie-the-Pooh" nursery decor will never suit them again. They grew up while I was waiting, and it is bittersweet.
Naomi has ideas about how she wants the walls painted. "Mommy, maybe you could paint a road with cars and trucks on it for Toby and some pretty purple and pink flowers beside the road for us, and a pretty blue sky too." Oh, if only I had the time to sit and create an intricate mural on the wall. She might get the pretty blue sky, but I'm not too sure about the floral highway. I do want it to be beautiful though. It is only a rental house, it is only temporary, but they will grow while I am there and I want to soak it in, not wait it out.
I just sang "There is a Higher Throne" with my three girls as I put them to bed. It is a song the Cono Choir used to sing. I heard them practice it over and over some days as I worked in the Student Center kitchen to prepare dinner. The song is such a beautiful description of coming to find our home in worship before Christ's throne that I had to teach it to my girls. It's so cute to hear their little voices singing along, even Emma, who can't pronounce the words, carries the pretty tune:
...And there we'll find our home
Our life before the throne
We'll honor him in perfect song
where we belong
He'll wipe each tear-stained eye
As thirst and hunger die
The Lamb becomes our shepherd-king
We'll reign with him...
I remind them where our real home is, but I am happy to once again be creating a shadow of "home" here on this earth. I pray it lasts long enough for them to enjoy a taste of heaven here.