Wow. My sister left on Wednesday of this week. It's been so fast-moving around here, it almost seems like it was last Wednesday. I was talking to James over gmail chat (one of the best incarnations of chat for us, since we are so often updating our google calendars and any number of google applications when we are talking- although I wish there was a better interface) today and we both said at nearly the same time that the days are flying.
It really does feel that way. I've had mail that has needed to get addressed and out for over a week now. I'm usually super-diligent about balancing the checkbook every day, and it's getting done every other day, if I'm lucky. And when you have to think about when you last took a shower, well, it's a bit crazy.
But it's a good crazy. As opposed to a blathering, nutty, "I have no idea what is going on!" crazy. Which is often normal operating procedure for us, unfortunately. It's just amazing how God is answering some prayers for us and filling our plate with 'good things' after what has seemed like a long time of famine. James' hours at Circuit City have gone up some after having very slim pickings for the last four months. Memoria.Arts and Integrity Solutions have all of the sudden bloomed business-wise in a way that only God could enable, and in a way that is allowing us to work together when we normally work on different things for different clients. It's actually been quite a bit of fun- I've been using Photoshop so much that my poor computer is in desperate need of a nap after all the memory overload such a huge program can cause. But I think that my skill set with Photoshop has been amazingly blessed this week, particularly with some very short deadlines. I went from being a frustrated novice user to generally being able to do anything I wanted by the end of the week- and I know that it had nothing to do with me!
If you'd have asked James or I any deep questions over the last year or so, we've both felt like we as a family were spinning our wheels. We seemed to keep walking down the same old frustrating path that we have been walking for what seems like so long… a limbo…an eddy in a river…whatever you'd like to call it. Everything felt stale, wrong-headed, at odds with who we were as a couple and a family. And watching other relationships and families, we began to wonder if we were doomed to stay in Stuckville (as I called it) forever. But I think we are finally heading away from there, by God's grace. So many things were holding us in Stuckville: crisis, money issues, lack of time, lack of focus. But mostly, we were stuck in Stuckville because we wouldn't let go. Wouldn't trust God's provision. It was after some godly council from new friends that we began to truly, honestly, and openly seek God's face regarding our future. Started reading the Word in earnest, together and apart. Started praying in a deep and focused way (something I don't think either of us had really tried to do before). It was almost like a light bulb going on, some of the prayers got answered so fast! And in such unique ways, making it so clear that the answers were meant just for us, almost like a treasure hunt. Not only have we gotten closer to God, it's also brought us closer together. This amazes me simply because, well, we're the parents to four under five. He's in school and working and running a business. We have a newborn that refuses to sleep through the night. Time together is precious little, but when we do get a chance, we have so much to talk about. I've felt closer to James in the last six months than I have in the last six years, and that's an amazing thing considering all the challenges we face. I am reminded again of a promise:
I'll show up and take care of you as I promised and bring you back home. I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. (Jeremiah 29:10, The Message)
It is so very true! I am seeing His plans wrought before my eyes in ways so over and above anything I had imagined that it's breathtaking. And all I had to do was give Him my little lump of clay! As James said, "Why did we wait so long?!"
So in that vein, we have been trusting God with our plans for 2008. We've been tweaking a lot of things in relation to logistics- you know, the 'who needs to be where when' and the 'who needs what when' questions -trying to better plan our days and instill a regular schedrule for the children that has been sorely lacking in 2007. I made that reminder list while dinking around in Photoshop, and I thought I'd share. The verse in the lower corner is to remind us Who holds our plans. It's a jpeg, so you should be able to use your photo-editing program to enlarge it to 8×10 or as small as a 4×6. I've got it in two sizes…one 8×10 for the fridge, and two 3×5's printed on heavy cardstock for James to keep in his pocket and me in my purse. Just right-click on the picture and click "Save Image".