Seven years into our life in Peru, and I've learned that trusting God for His provision means so much more than I thought it did. It means trusting Him for EVERYTHING. I've learned (and am still learning) to trust Him in not only our financial provision, but also...
- in my everyday decisions
- for guidance in how I educate my kids
- with navigating health decisions that are confusing
- to provide friendships for my kids and community for Dan and I
- to teach me what I need to learn, when I need to learn it
- to find solutions to problems, big and small
But one thing I've learned over and over, is that God loves me, and He not only takes care of the big things listed above, but He also likes to give me little (and big) gifts, just to show me love. He cares about the desires of my heart!
On to the story...
During our first months of marriage, Dan and I lived in South Korea and were having difficulty adjusting to our new life there. We went to visit a friend of Dan's cousin who was also an expat in Korea, and he made us feel so at home during that weekend. One piece of advice that he gave us about adjustment was that wherever you are, no matter how long you intend to live there, make it home.
We took his advice and went home to our tiny apartment and bought a couple little things to decorate the wall and a small houseplant. It was amazing how such a small thing helped us to feel more "at home"!
Eighteen years later, I still make sure in each house we live that we have a few things to make it feel like "home". But, in those same eighteen years, Dan and I have moved houses fourteen times. After so many moves, I've gotten a bit lazy about decorating and making our house a home. Decorating a house costs money and takes a lot of time, and after putting in the time/money only to pack it all up and leave months after you finish...well, it can get a little old.
The future of the house we are currently living in feels uncertain, so when we moved in, I didn't put a lot of effort into fixing it up or decorating. But my oldest daughter, Lucy, is more sensitive to her surroundings than I am. She likes things to be beautiful, and before we went on furlough last year she talked to me about how our house isn't very homey and she wishes we could make it prettier. I started thinking about how it would be better for my family if we had a nice place to relax in the evening, and how I wanted my kids' memories of home to be pleasant.
So I've been on a mission the last year or so to home-ify our house and make it feel cozier and more welcoming. Being on a limited budget, I've tried to be pretty creative/resourceful in doing so. Little by little we've decorated and made the house feel nicer, but there was one empty wall space in our living room upstairs that I couldn't figure out how to fill.
One day, I found an old board in our yard that the kids were playing with, and thought of an idea for something I could make with it to fill that wall space. The problem was that I needed four boards like the one I found, and I only had one. I walked all around the piles in the area around our house looking for more, but couldn't find any. So, learning as I am to present all my needs and desires to God my Father, I prayed and asked God if He would help me find the boards I needed.
A couple days later I went outside and there was a board, the perfect length and size, lying in the dirt road just off our porch. I smiled and picked it up and set it aside with the other board. I now had two boards.
A few days after that, I went outside and saw yet another board, in almost the same place, just the right length and size for my project. I picked it up and set it aside, and went and told Dan all about how God was dropping the boards I needed into our road! 😉
I expected a fourth board to appear in the road as well, but it didn't. I kept an eye out, fully expecting God to bring me the last board, but several weeks passed and I never found another one. I thought a couple of times about going somewhere to buy the last board, but I felt really confident that this was something God wanted to give me (why? I'm not sure) so I kept waiting.
Maybe a month after I found the third board, the kids were playing outside with one of the neighbor girls and they wanted to make a bonfire. They couldn't find enough scrap wood to burn, but the neighbor girl announced that she had some at her house and she'd ask her mom if she could bring it over. She came back a few minutes later with a big armful of scrap wood and dumped it next to the fire. And of course, right on top, among branches and random pieces of wood, was one board, just the length and size I needed for my project!
|The four boards in their original condition|
|Then we nailed the boards into a frame shape...|
|And wahlah! The finished project! On it hangs photos of places that are special to us, along with a reminder that we can trust God for all things...|