It’s been about 3 months since we packed all our things up and began moving. What a process this has been. The whole move in general has not unfolded exactly as we had planned in our hopeful minds. But of course, His plan is far richer and more beneficial for enabling us to glorify Him. When we accepted the offer on our old home we had pretty quickly gone under contract with an approved short sale. We were told that it being “approved” would enable essentially a normal closing. It was wishful thinking to expect being able to directly move from our old home to our new home. So we found a rental that allowed month to month leasing. As with most short sales you run into your share of surprises. I lost track of how many times we changed due diligence and closing dates, haha. We jumped the gun on giving our notice to the landlord and that is how we ended up here with our cousins. So that’s the short version of the story.
As I stated in my previous post, I am so grateful to be here with our cousins. God is using this in a much greater way than simply housing us.
It’s been humbling to parent alongside them for the last month. As parents we are all aware that we have different styles, different priorities, things we find more important than others, ect. What I am reminded of after living here is to never get too proud in my parenting. I don’t know it all, I am not perfect, neither is my parenting. I want to be humble enough to acknowledge the areas I need maturing in and also receptive to learning from other people.
1 Peter 5:5 and 6 “All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.”
Now you may accuse me of the obvious here but I’m saying it anyway. You really can’t KNOW a person unless you live with them. As close as we have been with our cousins I still have been privileged to know them even more intimately after having lived with them.
One thing that really sticks out to me, specifically in regards to how they parent is the giving of affection and grace. I struggle at points with both of those actions. I have many fears and reasons but after observing this family in the throws of reality I have concluded that you can’t underestimate the power of affection and grace. I believe that their children will grow up, no matter what happens, with a complete confidence in the fact that they are loved and treasured by their mom and dad. I have been apart of some chaotic mornings getting everyone off to school and watched both Nicole and Scott set aside it all to send their family off with love and kisses. This is not some rote, habitual, disingenuous action. It’s sacrifice. One of my biggest problems is moving beyond how I feel to choose love and grace and affection. It requires sacrifice to set aside bad moods and attitudes and convey to your family members “No matter what, I love you.” Those words and a simple hug and kiss can often be the hardest thing for me to express when I don’t feel it. Yet for our young children those actions, whether they were received a lot or not enough, will shape them.
John 1:16 “From his fullness we have received grace upon grace… “
Romans 12:10 “Love each other with genuine affection,and take delight in honoring each other.”
Nicole works full time. This adds a whole new level of admiration I have for her. I have watched her turn off whatever happened throughout her day and walk through the door with a smile ready to embrace her family. This is no easy task for a mom. When we return home from anywhere we are welcomed with the many needs of our family. When I asked her how she does it she told me “When I turn into the neighborhood I just start praying……” And let me tell you I can see the evidence of those prayers.
The other quality I would note of this family is their humility. They are not afraid to acknowledge their own imperfections and weaknesses and their great need for His saving grace. None of us are perfect, but that is how His power is displayed. (2 Corinthians 12:9)
I’m only scratching the surface here on what all I believe our family has gained from living here. It has been such a blessing to see their love in action on a daily basis. I know God is using this for a very specific purpose. He knows the areas I struggle in. It’s no surprise that he would move us back on Crimson to drive home the power of grace.
2 Corinthians 4:15 “as God’s grace reaches more and more people, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory.”