Basically, I've felt like I've been on a honeymoon of sorts this last week. And I don't just mean enjoying marital bliss with my returned husband. Though, hallelujah he is home!
I'm a bit sickening to be around right now because I'm rather mushy about things like weeds and compact cars and low checking account balances. Even sunburns in April make me a bit swoony.
With everything that came together and then fell apart and came together again, I've felt so grateful. I don't claim to have mastered some perfected state of contentedness, but I do believe that my heart is more at peace than it's ever been before.
For years, we have been hoping for change. We've been wanting more and something new and have hoped that God would bring something about and radically alter our lives. And He did that. North Dakota and the job and the whole story I told last week - He did indeed radically alter something. It just ended up being our hearts that came away radically altered instead.
For me, I have wanted to see my husband in a new job, not just so we could have more money and nicer things - but so he could be happy and enjoy what he's doing and take pride in his work. But if I were honest, I would admit that the financial perks would have been nice. I would have enjoyed a nicer vehicle and a bigger house and a thicker checkbook and more shoes. Who wouldn't?
It became easy to be disgruntled over everything in our lives. Like the pesky weeds in the front yard that won't go away with any amount of weed killer and lawn treatments or yanking out. And our teeny compact cars, that since having Jacob means, that whoever rides in the front passenger seat has to have their knees mashed up against the dashboard for the entire car ride so the car seat fits in the back. My house - how it felt small whenever I would have a huge crowd over for a party. I was so self concious about the lack of space and seating and I would worry people were uncomfortable and badmouthing my home and how small it felt when over 30 people come over.
But with the last week and all of the devastation and glory that came with it, my cup has runneth over. My heart has been so full, so happy. It's almost as if God took us through this to give us a new set of eyes to see with. How glorious and messy and wonderful it all really is.
Even though the car can be 100 degrees inside when the sun is beating down outside and a three year old can make a mess faster than you can even spell the word and you do nothing but step on crumbs and toy cars all day long. All of it - every weed, every jammed car ride, every crumb stuck to my foot - all of it just remarkably beautiful.
Maybe because we could have lost it all. If we wouldn't have listened to God's voice either time - taking the risk to begin with and taking the risk for Todd to come back home when he did. We would have missed all of this. Watching an epic story unfold before our eyes where every need was met, and every prayer was answered with twists and turns we never saw coming. And now, seeing what we have and knowing that it is absolutely enough.
Even if God doesn't bring a new job Todd's way, he has a place of steady employment with solid health insurance and vacation time.
I'm still job hunting and though my tendency is to worry about how this is all going to work and how bills will get paid and if we will have to live on boxed mac n' cheese, I had to laugh when we received an anonymous card in the mail over the weekend. Someone who knew our story and wanted to encourage us gave us a generous gift. It reminded me that God sees us and He will take care of us one way or another. I love that God used this person to bless us in a time of need. And that He used our story to touch their hearts. Just wow - all of it is humbling.
But gratitude...gratitude is the word of the week. The word of the month. I want it to be the word that spills into my every day, all year long. Our life may be full of imperfections and weeds and struggles like anyone else - but, this life is ours.
I once read a quote about gratitude that said: "Gratitude turns what we have into enough."
And it's true. Every little thing feels like enough for me right now. My home, our cars, our weeds, our doing nothing together on a Saturday night. All of it is enough. Really, it's even more.