I know there are more than I can count, but there is one area that really sticks out to me that I was thinking of today.
We had no idea what was ahead of us.
Not that anyone does.
We didn't know about the moves.
The many job changes.
The many children.
The loss of our oldest child.
The ups and downs of two people merging their lives together.
But today I am thinking specifically of the moves.
When we first married, we lived in the house that my husband and his cousin owned together in the Northwest.
It was a beautiful home, but it was for sale.
It was hard to truly make it 'home' since I knew we would likely be moving soon.
I got pregnant with our first child, and when I was approaching my due date, the house sold. My husband was working stay away jobs a few hours away each week at the time. I ended up being mostly responsible for finding a new place to live. We looked at apartments (shudder) and rentals in the area.
Everything was very expensive and not in great locations.
We had to be out of our house soon, out baby was coming, and I was the only one around to do anything about it!
I was pretty stressed to say the least!
Then we got a random call from an older lady in our church.
She had heard we were looking for a place to live, and had a perfect rental place out in the country, for the perfect price!
What a gift from God!!
I packed most of our stuff up myself (though had a few friends help out too at times), and over the weekend when my hubby was home, we got some friends to load the last of our furniture to our new house.
Three days before Skyler was born, we were 'settled'!
God clearly had His hand in this.
It was what he knew.
He had grown up on a dairy farm, and his roots were deep.
We really thought it would be kind of a 'long term' plan and we'd be out west for quite awhile first.
We started feeling a bit unsettled, and began looking at some houses that we could possible purchase (still in the NW).
Nothing was really falling into place, and around that same time, Jethro heard about a farmer in Minnesota who was looking for some full time help, with some future long term potential.
We had planned a trip there over Christmas, so decided to check it out.
By that time we had been blessed with another son and were expecting our first daughter, and Fro was really starting to feel the pull to move back to his home.
Everything fell into place with the job, and suddenly we were scheduled to move in just a few months.
I began to look all over for houses online.
Places to rent, places to buy, anything!
I would be just a few months away from having another baby when we moved, so I was feeling pretty stressed again about finding a place to live!
Not long before we were going to leave, another kind couple from our church approached us. They had a summer home there in MN, and it wasn't being used at the time. They said we were welcome to stay there for a month or so until we found a place to rent, or until they needed it again themselves.
Thank you, Lord!
We moved into this temporary place to stay,
and began our search again for a place to live.
We looked into rentals, and places to buy near the farm Fro would be working.
About a month later, we found a cozy little rental right on the edge of town.
It was close enough to the farm, but not somewhere we'd stay forever.
It was a tiny little house, but it was just perfect for that time.
Our little girl joined our family about 6 weeks after we moved in.
Little did we know, it was a perfect little haven for our family to nest together before our Skyler left us.
We were there a little over a year before that unsettled feeling started coming again. It became clear that the job my husband had was not going to work out long-term as we had first thought.
We began to wonder what God's plan was for our life.
We explored some different ideas, but doors weren't opening.
Then the opportunity came up for Fro to begin farming on his own with his brother, close to where he grew up.
He began to build up his own herd of cattle, and put in his notice at the farm where he worked.
we began looking for a place to live again!
There was an old farm house just down the road from where the guys were renting their farm. The house was being rented, but not lived in at the time.
We contacted the renters to see if they would be interested in letting us move in. At first they said no.
I should also mention that I was now expecting baby #4!
It seemed to be a trend to move every time I was pregnant.
I was again feeling a bit stressed about where we would live, since some of the options in the area weren't very appealing to me!
Suddenly we got a call from the couple and they had decided to let us have the place! We would move in TWO days!!
Why do we even doubt?
He has it all planned out anyways!
We were only in this place for a month before God called our Skyler Home.
We were, of course, heart broken.
We wondered if we had made the wrong decision.
Maybe if we had gone elsewhere, this wouldn't have happened.
Of course those were just lies and doubts creeping in.
God's hand was still there, each day, showing us His plan.
Showing us His love.
We are again in a place of wondering what God's plan is for us.
What is next in our lives?
We have been in this rental for 3 years now, the longest we have lived anywhere so far.
If you had told me 10 years ago that we would be living in a place like this, I wouldn't have been thrilled! ;)
We've been in temporary homes for all 9 years of our marriage.
For most of those years, I was frustrated with it.
I wanted to own our own place.
I wanted a place we could really call 'home' that we loved.
I have come to realize that everywhere on this earth is 'temporary'.
Our home is Heaven, and we will never be fully content until we're there.
Our goal doesn't need to be 'bigger and better'.
The point in this life isn't to have the ideal retirement plan or to continue climbing the corporate ladder.
Though there is nothing wrong with those things, they are blessings too, that shouldn't be our purpose.
God has a bigger plan, and sees the bigger picture.
While I still have some dreams, I am learning to be content.
In this area at least!
God has shown us over and over that He will provide.
He guides us each step of the way.
We worry and stress about where we will go, or what we will do, while He's got the whole plan figured out ahead of time.
We don't know what our next step will be, but we can rest in the assurance that He does!
And that we can have open hearts to whatever God calls us to.
May we be willing to listen and walk on the journey He has for us.