clay-house-flowers

I actually start thinking about our next family Christmas card photo by March. I’m a planner.

I like to take it in the summer and know how many children are going to be in the photo, where it will be taken, where it will be postmarked. But last March, I did not know the answer to any of those questions.

We were considering adopting again. Our house had just sold and we did not have a new one, in fact we were not even sure where we were going to be moving, so we moved in with my dad.

We had answered the call to full-time ministry as missionaries so we were in the process of raising our financial support, but could not set a moving date until we were fully funded. We moved in to Dad’s on the first anniversary of my mom’s death.  Needless to say, this all really stressed me out!  “Living by faith” became very real to me.  We were completely dependent on God for our finances, our shelter, our location. In reality, we always are but it was just more apparent in this case!

Fast forward four months later to July. God had provided our financial support, a new home in a different (and I do mean different!) state, sanity through two moves in four months, a new church, a completely different career for my husband. Our family was adjusting well.

Yes, we had our bumps in the road—furniture and appliances that had mildew from four months in storage, saying “see you later” to friends and family that we lived close to, having my GPS stolen out of my vehicle, getting lost multiple times in a much larger city, trying to find a new doctor when I had a sick child, culture shock … need I go on?

How did I keep my sanity?  A lesson from my mom’s short life: this world is not my home.   Keeping things in perspective.

I miss lots of things. My previous house, our children’s first home.  The familiar comfort of the church I grew up in. Living much closer to my family.  It’s hard, especially when I get phone calls about loved ones in the hospital, new babies born, celebrations that we have to miss.

But this is temporary.  I will see everyone again on our visit “back home” this summer.  And as my wonderful friend Michelle reminded me, “We have eternity to catch up!”  When we moved we chose to focus on the great adventure God had put before us rather than be consumed by the hardship.

The Christmas card photo turned out great—taken in Little Rock, just the five of us, postmarked “Bryant.”

Our card for 2009:  Who knows?!  But I’m thankful that God does.