There may be fire, but we are not consumed!

Lamentations 3:21-23
Yet this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope:  Because of the Lord’s great Love, we are not consumed, His compassions Never fail, they are new every morning, great is thy faithfulness!
We have evacuated our new home.  After spending the morning cleaning, organizing, mowing, tree-trimming, and unpacking we laid down for naps only to be awoken by the unsettling news that a fire was near us.  We decided to get some special things together just in case we needed to leave.  At the time, the fire was many miles away and moving even further from us, but within minutes we understood that the fire was in fact shifting.  We began loading the vehicles and contacting family.  My folks helped us drive out to their home with many items that hold dear memories for us and the rest of the family as well as our sweet dogs.  We are reminded that things are just that, nothing more.  These things that seam so precious to us are truly just items bound to this world and are subject to destruction from moth and rust…or in our case, fire.  We are so grateful for our safety and the safety of so many loved ones.  We also feel abundantly blessed by all the people that helped us and offered their prayers and support.  I’m selfishly grateful to have had so much time to gather so many things that hold such special memories.  Thank you for your prayers, encouragement, and support during this time.  The fire has been very near our home, and we don’t know the current status of our home yet, but we do know that God is good.  We know beyond a shadow of a doubt that whether God sees fit for our things to be consumed in flame or not, we are not consumed.  God is compassionate and gracious!  In the midst of this stressful time, we are comforted by God’s goodness, a goodness that NEVER fails!
In our wedding vows, we promised each other to “adventure together ’til death do us part.”  The past few months have taken us on many “adventures” that we would not have chosen for ourselves (health challenges and this fire to name a few), but God has a plan.  My heart continues to echo the line from a J.J. Heller song, “I don’t know what you’re doing, but I know who you are”.  I don’t understand why God has brought us through such challenging “adventures,” but I know that He is a GOOD and SOVEREIGN God!

Grateful

While there are many stressors associated with moving (especially moving in with your in-laws), I am choosing to take time away from my to-do lists (which always seem to be growing) to work on my gratitude list (which rarely seems to grow…but I’m changing that). Everything is a gift, not all gifts are easy to be grateful for, but it is all gifts. Listing gifts changes my perspective; my natural response is to keep track of all the rough things, the things that don’t go my way, and the things that I could complain about, but I am retraining my brain to see everything as a gift. My in-laws call it an upgrade; everything is an upgrade from God. I am truly blessed and trying to live a life full of constant gratitude.

Some of my gifts this last week:
-The peace and quiet that comes with living in the forest
-The simplifying of life that comes without cell phone service
-The companionship found in pets
-The allergy relief found in outdoor-only pets 🙂
-The sweet, crisp smell after the rain
-Learning to Garden
-Watching the Hummingbirds out the kitchen window
-The way my husband turns me around and puts his arm on me to point out the window
-Watching the magpies chase a hawk
-Going for walks in my new yard
-Learning about animal tracks and spotting all sorts on our walks
-The way the sun comes through the sliding glass door and warms the dining room
-The reminder to have fun from over a dozen magpies playing in the yard
-Feeling more and more at home (the more we settle our things)
-Watching my husband enjoy brother time
-The fellowship at church
-Watching the magpies eat the worms that the rain unearthed
-The gift of face-time to spend time with family far away
-The warm sunshine after a chilly, dreary day