Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Speed Scrabble and the Condition of Our Heart

Over one year ago, we were turned upside down and shaken around until our hearts landed up in our heads. It's an odd place to be, especially in the early days. We juggled everything we thought we knew then tossed at least half of it out. You might think that left us half-empty, but what it really left us was twice as full. Like clearing the clutter from the kitchen island or finally getting around to organizing the dreaded junk room, it's amazing what a little breathing room will do for the soul. (*To catch up, read this label. Start at the bottom!)

What we realized was that our lives were small and safe, lacking the fulfillment and spice that our hearts secretly pined for, because we had spent our time focusing on the wrong things. We stood in a very tight circle and only looked in, mostly at each other. Family is important and I think it's clear that I'm in love with mine, but God didn't push-pin us down on this corner of land just to have fun and take care of one another. Let me tell you, that truth felt sort of brand new to me. I think I would have said that I knew better, but I'm not sure that I really believed it.

So, we began to seek. And what we found was God's hand leading us to put this pretty house on the market. From the start, we believed that our house was significant to His plan for us right now. We knew it was something we held tightly. We knew it was something we had to offer, something God could use. It was also a sacrifice, especially in the beginning. We saw two options: We could fill it up with other people, (but how?) or we could sell it and buy something smaller and cheaper, using what we saved however we were led. Over time, we felt very strongly that we were to sell, so we did.

Except we didn't.

We're still here. Some days we were here angstier than others. Many days I pitched fits while I cleaned for yet another showing for yet another family who would not be buying the dang house.

Mostly, I believed that it was a matter of time and I found my groove in looking forward to the future but remaining thankful for the day. This day. Whichever one it happened to be.

Tick tock. We have had thirty-odd showings and not a single smidge of an offer. The feedback has been 99% fantastic, but I'm still sitting here typing from my same ol' blue living room.

This is exactly the kind of thing that can mess with the head of a girl who is used to having everything lined up. The fact that God reshaped our hearts and lit within them a new dream told us all we needed to know: The house would sell.

In the meantime, we would keep our hearts and hands open for whatever might land in them.

Two months ago, something landed.

It's 16 years old with a smile as bright as her eyes and a heart that makes me want to hug it. It is temporary, but I'm learning that life is temporary. My long-term plans are overwhelmingly wrong, these days. My life can turn on a dime.

Our days have taken on a new rhythm and the dynamic has shifted a bit. We are all learning, every day, every one. My kids have the opportunity to see first-hand that our love will always be big enough for them, no matter who we share it with. They are beginning to understand that love and service sometimes mean sacrifice. (Every time they miss Wild Kratts because we're out running H around, they learn it all over again.)

My time is more limited than ever. It turns out 16 year olds don't bed down for the night at 7:30. It turns out that I will drop everything for a bowl of late night watermelon and a triple-round of speed scrabble.

Will we be right here six months from now? Two? I have no idea. But I know one thing for sure: I want to be exactly where He puts us, because there is no place more exciting, no place safer, no place at all where joy burns brighter.