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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

So Long Summer...and Good Riddance!

My word, it's been a L-O-N-G summer, hasn't it? At our house, it seemed like something bad, upsetting, horrific or traumatizing happened every week. Ugh...make that double ugh! It made me want to sing the little ditty my friend Meredith used to sing, which was adapted and tweaked from Sound of Music...."so long, farewell, good riddance and goodbye!!" So often I wanted to wish away this summer. I just wanted it to be over as quickly as possible so that we could move on to more pleasant things and just forget about the things that we so painful and challenging to us. But the more I thought about it, the more I prayed about it and pondered the issues facing us, the more I was reminded that growth doesn't come in the 'easy' times, when everything is going smoothly, life is simple and times are good. Growth comes when you have no one to depend on but God and each other, when times are tough, money is TIGHT and the car breaks down on the way to work. So, I chose to trust. Sounds simple and easy, doesn't it? I wish I could say that trusting comes easy, but it almost never does. Sometimes you just have to WILL yourself to believe that things are eventually going to be better, or easier or simpler. Or that even if they aren't, God will get you through it. That's the really hard part, is saying, "OK, Lord...you and me are in this until the end. Even if it never gets easier. Even if it never gets better. Even if this is the best that life has to offer me. I'll still trust you to take care of me." Wow, that's HARD! However, I found that if I could find the TINIEST thing to be grateful for on the worst days, then things started to look up. As I look over this long, difficult summer, I can see the hand of the Lord guiding us so easily now. Why is it so hard to see when we are in the midst of it? So...instead of focusing on the negative, I choose to look for the positive. And here are just a few of the highlights of the summer.

  • Dad and Mom have been able to come for 2 extended visits...in one summer!

  • Dolli and Ryan have also been able to come visit twice this summer...and even intend to come back this fall with John after he returns home from his deployment.

  • We moved to a smaller, cheaper house in our first, well thought out, intentional financially wise decision...EVER! We even got a great deal on the rent since the house had/has some cosmetic issues that Dan is fixing right up. Praise God for a handy, hunky hubby!

  • We added a room to said house for practically nothing since Dan got many of the materials from a remodelling job he was doing at work. That's my kind of recycling...less waste, less money spent, less trash in the dump...it's good!

  • David and Patrick made the leap across the chasm that separates the adults from the kids for the first time this summer. You know, the first time you realize that you can have a serious conversation with them and they can respond intelligently, ask appropriate questions and you don't have to worry about them making a ridiculous unrelated remark, laughing about something that's not funny or changing the subject in the middle of an important conversation. That totally blew my mind! The chat ranged from evolution, to why Dan and I weren't intending to have more children, to autism and other special needs, to astronomy, family values and what the Bible says about several other topics. It was a special night indeed!

  • When money was really tight this summer, 'magically' someone would invite us for dinner that week, or clean out their freezer and bring us food. Hmmm.....what a coincidence. I think NOT

  • We have a gorgeous view of the mountains from the back of our house and many is the night that you will find us sitting out there, watching the reflection of the sunset on the mountains, sipping iced tea and just chatting together.

  • We FINALLY found a church here. We, of course, had to find it that hard way, but that's our style. It's an Assembly of God church (yes, I heard the horrified gasp) and although they teach some things we don't believe, they are a Bible preaching, God fearing church and we've made some friends there already. Just more reason to discuss the Bible and what WE believe with the boys if they hear something they aren't sure about.

  • All of the boys have started/are continuing a recreational activity...and all through the lovely world of bartering! David has decided to compete with his gymnastics team this winter, so I work at the gym on Saturdays to earn his PRICEY lessons. Pat is FINALLY in his precious martial arts class and in return for the price of his lessons, I drive the carpool both ways, every time so that his friend Ebone can take classes, too. Derek just started a TumbleBugs class on Saturdays that are 'paid' for by a weekly trip to Sam's Club to stock the concession stand. I {heart} bartering and trading for services!!

  • One of my favorite "coinky-dinks" from this summer just happened last weekend. Most of you don't know this, but Dan got laid off last Thursday and we weren't really sure when he was going to be called back...probably a few weeks or more, so we really just said, 'Lord, you know that Dan needs to be working as soon as possible, so....do Your thing!' The very next day a good friend handed us $400 saying that we've been feeding him and his family for a LONG time and it was time they gave back. What a blessing!! Wait, it gets better : ) 2 days later, an old work buddy of Dan's called and said, "I'm running a job up in Washington and I need you and your welding skills. Can you be here by tomorrow night? Good money, room and board paid for...just get yourself up here. " Would you believe that the amount of money we were given on Friday paid for the ticket on Sunday with just a few cents to spare?? Who said God doesn't provide?

All of that to say that while our summer was HOT, sticky, offensive to our pride, HOT, sometimes stinky and often stressful, irritating to our sense of propriety, HOT, filled with moving, painful losses and quite a bit of heartache, did I mention HOT....maybe it wasn't a complete loss after all. If it brings us closer to the Lord and brings him glory, then I say....bring it on. So long summer...come back soon!


1 comment:

The Ruoss Crew said...

Yay for finding a new church!! It makes all the difference in the world. Guess God knew what he was saying when he told us not to forsake the gathering of ourselves together. He knew how much we would need it! Thankful you have been able to see the roses among the thorns. Love you much and miss you greatly!

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