Hunter’s most recent car game of choice is “Would You Rather…?” (Side note: isn’t it funny how their car game preferences seem to stay on one or two for what feels like FOREVER…and then they suddenly switch?) This is one of his favs right now.
Most of them are 9-year-old silly, but he asked me one recently that made me stop and think.
“Ok, mom, would you rather be a door, or a window?”
This, coming after a question from the 9-year-old silly genre, is the thing that halted me, and I began to answer. At first, I went window. Yes, window, I thought. Windows have the flower boxes underneath….the awning (I love awnings) …the cute, symmetry of trim…the view of the world. Through it, you can see the seasons change and the catalyst for my much needed natural light. Window….. “Window…” But almost as soon as I blurted it out, I caught myself. “No, maybe door…” I really had to marinate on this one.
Most of his are easy. Italian or Mexican? Beach or mountain? Connect Four or Trouble? But…window or door?
Doors. Most people who know me know I love doors. Go Western Day, First Day of School, and Daddy/Daughter Dance night pictures are almost always taken in front of my favorite faux passage decoration door in the living room. I was surprised I said window first when I could have said door. Hunter had probably moved on to Junior Mints or Sour Patch by the time I was in the middle of my dilemma over his previous prompt.
I felt the Lord tap on my heart. For the past three and a half years, I had been at a window. Josh and I had felt God stirring something, for us to be ready if a call to change should come. Inches of journal entries would testify we were watching at the window, seeing all of the neat things God was doing and trying our best to open up our hands to offer our readiness. There were times we weren’t ready. Or Josh was, and I wasn’t so much. But we were still at the window, so there wasn’t much to loose. Except, we knew we wanted our hearts to be primed for obedience, so there was a lot to loose in that regard. We prayed we waited. The Lord confirmed that we were in the right spot and to enjoy it for the time being. So we did. We continued to dive in and live our lives and bask in our community we loved (and still do).
God showed me in Hunter’s question that this year, we literally went from a window to a door. The window was watching His signs and His promptings, but this year, we got invited to be and walk through, His door for us.
Josh received a call a few months ago that for our family work-life balance and where we are right now, we could not pass up. More than just not passing something up, we felt, we knew, this was the Lord. It was like He gently shuffled together all of the journal entries and prayers throughout the last few years in His mighty hands and gathered them together into a stack. There was no denying this was His “now” for us. The stack was done by him, but the details still needed to be given. Prayers began for clarity and specifics.
The stack sounds nice now, but I don’t like change, and this was hard for me. Ok, those were like two understatements of my lifetime. I was comfortable with all of the papers spread out all over the floor, so to speak. We had gotten used to praying over what was undone and yet to come. But I knew His way was best. With all of the unknown and change before us, I went to 2 Kings 6:8 with the story of Elijah and the servant. I started making a list of all of the ways the Lord had graciously opened my eyes to what he was doing. Once I listed all of my “chariots” all around me, the enemy artist of “what if” and worry didn’t have any room on the page. I still have this in my Bible and plan to continue to add what He shows me.*
There came a week when I just needed to hear “He Leadeth Me,” to have this truth melody sung over my heart for my family. I asked a friend if she had one of my favorite versions (when she sang it), and she didn’t have easy access to it. I’m glad she didn’t, for it made room for His miracle. Then next Sunday, our church sang it in the early service we attend. Opening song. Amazing. Then, as Josh and I often do, we caught up with friends for so long after the service, that the next worship hour had already started before we made it to our Life Bible Study. Still near the sanctuary, we hear the (entirely different) worship band leading people (several songs into the service) … “He Leadeth Me.” I couldn’t go to life Bible Study at that point. Josh and I ran up to the top seats and sang our hearts out to our new theme song. We were undone, however, when we reported these miracles on the way home to our littles. They both rejoiced with us, and then Paisley shrieked, commented and laughed all at the same time: “They sang that song in my class TOO!” So guess what hymn we are memorizing as a family our first semester on the farm? I hope all four of us never forget that Sunday, much less the words that laced it.
Walk with me a little back in time before any of this was on the table. Our family took a trip to LegoLand in January. Now, I’m that person on the plane. The one who intentionally packs 70,000 things on the to-do list that she thinks she can accomplish on the plane because I have some alone time, or because there’s an extra level of acceptable screen time acceptable for the family while on vacation, while I’m checking off boxes. But these are usually big boxes I try to tackle on the plane, hence all of my supplies. I know this is kind of silly, but it’s what I do. And many times, God has granted me the mental space to accomplish much, and I’m grateful for it. I guess that’s why I keep packing up like I’m camping out at a bookstore when I travel (as much as Josh will let me). On this trip, I started sketching an outline for a children’s Christmas book theme I’ve had on my heart for some time. As the Lord prompted me, I started laying out a spider web of how this story would flow.
I distinctly felt Him say — “you will write this book this year.”
In my outline, the setting held a white house that a family buys without knowing how life is going to turn out. At the time, the purchase made no sense to the family. And now that I look back on it, I’m surprised to find the story written not in the accustomed book proposal format, but in my personal journal. For where we find ourselves today is out in the country, moved to a little white house with a bit of land, lots of unknowns and happy hearts. Nothing has been written for the book since that Legoland plane ride home. Unless you count that which was actually lived.
This time last year, Josh and I were watching Cheasapeake Shores. The “Chessie” in me enjoys the characters–especially Bri O’Brien. I’m not ashamed to say it’s because she’s an author who writes on the coastline with a red lacquer typewriter. As the final episode closed for the season in September, I remember looking at Josh and saying, “I wonder where we’ll be this time next year when this show comes back.” When you’ve spent almost 10 years in the same living room, watching your babies grow to be real kids, the couch location carries emotional weight after all. My comment might have sounded dramatic, but it was spot on to God’s plan.
And now I’ve got to go….the season is ending for “the shores” and we’ve got one last episode to watch this year. Same Team Strong, different house, but same couch. Different country view out of one of those screens that serves as both a door and window.
*If you are needing to walk in faith in any area of your life, I highly recommend this activity. Please message me if you have any questions or would like additional direction.