So, we were at church on Sunday and the series over the next few weeks is the Fruit of the Spirit and one of the sub-topics is Joy (last week it was Love). They read & discussed a scripture passage in which Paul & Silas were joyful in praising God even through they were flogged, inprisoned, and shackled (tough times, not sure I could make it.) But the point of it all was that they were joyful in spite of all these awful things and how we have bad and awful things happening in our lives and we can't let that consume us and we have to find joy in spite of these things.
So, I thought I would express some of the things I am thankful for and find joy in even though we have a lot of stress in our lives and are kinda homeless. (Yes, I am a wee bit buzzed after a girls night out, but sometimes the best honesty comes out through that.)
I first have to say that I have been blessed with a wonderful husband and daughter. I love them both so much and am so thankful they are in my life. The most important thing is that the three of us are together and we can figure the rest out. It might not be how we wanted it to go (& it hasn't), but we make it work and and are thankful for how they have worked out. I am joyful that Andy chose a good major & career path (thankfully he decided against a music major - seriously, that was his major when he first started....we would be in a very different place if it still was, not that a music major is a bad thing, but I might not have the opportunity to stay home with Isabel if he had chose that.)
I am blessed I get to stay home with my beautiful and intelligent daughter. I amazed by her all the time. Yes, there are stressful moments and there will be more. But there are so many joyful moments.
I have been blessed with so many awesome friends. Not just here, but also in MN. My friends in MN are doing such a wonderful job watching over our house & caring for it. They are also my neighbors. I seriously doubt we will ever find neighbors/friends so wonderful. And then there are my friends here in WI. Can you believe how great they have all been? What did I ever do to deserve such loving & caring people as friends. I have people letting us house sit for them, offering their homes to live in, inviting us over for meals, taking in our possessions and animals. I sometimes feel like I am not a good enough person to deserve everything they offer me.
Our families have been wonderful and offering to help out wherever they can. Andy lived with my sister & BIL for a while, my in-laws have the cats, my parents have the dog, and there are numerous other offering they have bestowed upon us as well. And soon we will go live with my cousin. It amazes me that he will open his home to us....not that he wouldn't, but that it is just such a gracious thing. I am still not sure I deserve the generosity.
I am joyful about the church we found. At last I don't feel guilty about not going (residule Catholic stuff), but I want to go. I want to know what God wants me to do and how I can be a better person. I feel blessed they have such a great kids program that Isabel loves. It feel really good to go to this church and to praise God. I even found myself singing one of the songs from church this week while at "home". I keep calling everything "home" to Isabel, because I finally get it -- 'Home is where the heart is'.
Seriously, it just feels right for us to stay here. We feel so blessed and so whole. The sticky piece is our housing, but we're making it work and hopefully not upsetting anyone (I don't think we are, but I don't like to think that we are an inconvenience to anyone.) We might be back in a hotel room with 2 beds, but that's ok. We are together and that is what matters really.
I kinda feels weird to not be joyful or blessed over anything material.....we don't really have anything that we "need". We have our suitcases we take from place to place and we make do (although every place has been very comfortable, we by no means have had to sacrifice.) I do kinda miss our stuff, but it can be replaced if it has to. It is my relationships with my husband, my daughter, my family, my friends, & God that I am joyful over.