The clock says five. The kids are tired and so am I. Dinner’s just about ready. And I’m trying, for the sweet life of me, to get my four and five year olds to clean up the aftermath of their earlier art projects. Cue frustration.
Are you guys kidding me?
Why do we have a puddle of glue on the table?
Why is your baby sister eating a crayon? I’ve talked to you guys about not leaving this stuff lying around for her to reach.
That’s it. I’m done. The art stuff is being put A-WAY!
The annoyance and disapproval is not hidden in my voice. My heavy sighs are loud and exaggerated. I’m marching around like a commander pissed off at her underlings. And in my glorious state I turn around to see my husband standing in the door way taking in the entire monstrous scene. He asks me why I seem to be taking something out on the kids. After all, the art area isn’t that unmanageable.
I’m speechless because, really, I want nothing of the truth in the moment.
After an over-the-top enjoyable dinner of my being moody and irritated with Jeremy’s line of questioning, I find my way to my room where I can be alone in the darkness and comfort of my bed. And I reflect…
Why do I feel so angry and undone?
Over an art mess…
As my pride dissipates and I surrender my displaced frustration, it dawns on me… This is more about trust.
If I’m being honest, I’m freaked out of my mind right now because our family has to be out of our current rental in just just over two weeks and we don’t know where we’ll be moving. We’ve turned over a thousand stones and we don’t have a thing lined up. But the real disconnect for me lies in the fact our family has been in this EXACT same situation before. A more dire situation actually. And I guess somewhere in the corners of my mind I thought I wouldn’t come unglued this time like I did the last.
It was just about a year and a half ago. Our family had packed up all our things in Oregon, put it into long-term storage, and was staying in a fully-furnished vacation rental in San Diego. The vacation rental was merely buying us time while we searched for a long-term rental where we could unpack our belongings and call it home for a while. But for the life of us, we couldn’t find a place to move into next! As our move-out day in the furnished rental approached, we trudged forward by packing everything up we had brought with us in the immediate term. But we had no “next step” besides a long planned trip back up to Oregon for my mother-in-law’s 60th birthday. Our dear friends in San Diego graciously told us we could leave some of our things in their garage and park our fully-loaded-down-with-our-belongings car in front of their house while we were in Oregon for a week.
And that’s exactly what we did.
We continued our search for a place while on our trip and decided the kids and I would extend our trip by a week. That way Jeremy could fly back down to San Diego, stay in a hotel for the week and find us a place to live.
The week I was in Oregon with Harper and Bentley, was one of the hardest I can remember. Not only had we sold our “dream home” in Oregon to move to San Diego, but we were now with out a place to live, our few belongings sitting in our car in front of our friends house, the bulk of our things in storage, my husband in a hotel in San Diego, all the while I was pregnant with our third baby. I couldn’t decipher up from down. I was worn out, frazzled and panting. That week was full of prayers, journaling, reading my Bible, napping and talking with my mom over exuberant amounts of coffee. Inside I was churning. Worrying. Wanting so badly to trust, but seemingly failing. We had felt fully confirmed in our move in the first place. I knew of God’s faithfulness. But we had not been tested in such a manner before.
All I knew to do was to constantly reminded myself to trust. To keep offering up my tiny, clenched hands and slowly open them, palms up.
Every day I called Jeremy. Every day he would report he hadn’t found anything.
Finally on Sunday morning, Jeremy said he had found a furnished condo downtown that would totally do, even though it was small (and I mean small as in you have to move the dining room table against the wall in order to open the front door kind of small). I had been hopeful we wouldn’t have to go the high-rise route downtown with two high-energy kids, but we beggars were not about to be choosers. Relief washed over me and I was nothing short of thankful for Jeremy’s phone call. I was mid-packing for our flight the very next morning back to San Diego.
But wouldn’t you know?
In the latter part of Sunday afternoon, Jeremy called me in a flurry to tell me he had done ONE LAST search of properties literally just an hour before he signed the paperwork on the tiny condo. And placed right in front of him was an available, SPACIOUS, beautiful condo downtown with views of the bay! What?!? Yes, it was still a high-rise, but it was far and above superior to the option we were about to sign on. He unapologetically canceled the paperwork with the tiny condo and breezed through the process of finalizing the condo we would actually end up living in.
And isn’t that just like God? He swoops in at the very last hour and performs His miracle. He showers us with His overflowing love that surpasses anything we can conjure up or expect. And looking back, I see His love offering as an even greater miracle, because even though we hadn’t planned on staying in that condo very long… four months later we ended up welcoming our baby girl into that beautiful, borrowed space.
So today, I am beginning again (thank you Leeana!). I’m looking square into the face of my doubt and fear and I confess I need to start over. I’m reminded of the mysterious way God works in our lives.
My daughter painted the picture above. When I asked her about it, she told me it was God reaching His hand down to her. And so I take my tiny, clenched hands and I open them upward. And I trust He’s reaching His hand out to me.
He is a miracle worker who thrives at The. Very. Last. Hour.