The other day one of my friends on Facebook said "And since we've no place to go, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow." The average reader probably thought, "That's nice - she has enough milk and toilet paper so she doesn't have to go out in this snow and can just watch the flakes fall and sing a jolly holiday tune." Not me. My first thought was, "Oh no! What happened? Why doesn't she have anyplace to go? I thought they bought a house!" As I was telling Glenn about my response when I was picking him up from school I told him of my friend's status and even sang it and he told me he thought the same thing when he first heard me say it. Yes, we have been homeless.... a few times.
I don't know that I will ever take the fact for granted that we are not homeless. At least once just about every day someone in our family says something about being thankful that we have a place to live. Yesterday Lydia went into more detail during our "thank yous" time at night. Her list of things that she was thankful for consisted of: "we don't live outside, we aren't homeless and we have friends so that when we are homeless we have places to stay and not be outside." I think that she pretty much summed it up. (The large amounts of snow we are getting may have had some kind of influence on this.)
Well, I started the first couple of lines of this blog last night and all day I have been thinking about it and even starting to piece together a Christmas letter along a similar theme in my head until I was making dinner tonight. Lately I have been listening to the podcasts from Cornerstone Church in Simi Valley, CA while making dinner. I have really been challenged by the messages. Meditating about being thankful for not being homeless was in the back of my mind as I was listening to October 17th message this afternoon. Francis Chan was giving a video update to the church and asking for prayer as his family was leaving for Asia. He was talking about how his family is transitioning from being teaching pastor at the church to the unknown that God has called them to and how his wife suggested that they sell their home before leaving for Asia for "however long" and how they packed up have no home to come back to. He said, "When I look at it biblically I'm cool when I look in the flesh I'm scared." People think that it is radical that they have stepped out in faith, not knowing what the next step is for their family but he said that when he put his life into the book of Acts between a couple of stories in Paul's life his life was pretty normal. He asked "When you put your life story into this Book how does it appear then? Is it normal or is it weird?" Then after Francis's update was done Todd Nighswonger, the teaching pastor, went on to talk about how he'd been asking God to bring trials into his life so that he could grow more. That was all pretty convicting to me. I'm thrilled because life is easy?? OK, right... we're going through medical school, raising and homeschooling 4 kids, living on love and peanut butter but in all honesty, life is easy.
I struggle because I like it when life is easy. I would love in so many ways to live a comfortable, easy life.... but then.... I am in so many ways jealous of what the Chan family is doing. Setting out, like Abram, not knowing where they are going but knowing God has called them knowing that He is going to provide for their every need and guide them. I want to do that. I love living by faith because He who calls us is faithful!! I know that my kids have a much bigger view of God than I did at their ages because we have seen Him do some pretty amazing things in our lives. I don't grow much when life is easy but I don't know that I am quite ready to pray for God to bring trials into our lives either. Ugg.
So, we aren't homeless. We have lived all of 2010 without being homeless. (Glenn says I shouldn't say that yet because there are still a few weeks left!) Will we be homeless in the future? Probably. Am I worried? No. I know that God has a perfect plan in store for us. He is pruning us, conforming us more to His image.
Lord, I trust You in Your perfect plan to orchestrate the details of our lives in the way that would most glorify You. Thank You that You have used seasons of homelessness and seasons of other trials to make us appreciate our homes and the easy times more and most importantly to grow us more into Your image. I love you Lord!