Click here to read the previous brain dump.
Click here to read Kevin's brain dumps.
a. Wow! In a way, I still feel like I'm trying to get my bearings in the midst of short bursts of temporary settlements. God is still God, and He's still revealing His unfailing love and compassion.
b. The message we heard at church Sunday was extremely encouraging for Kevin and me. Pastor Leach spoke from Psalm 54 on how to handle trouble. The big takeaway for me: the four words that will change my situation - God is my helper!
c. Those words resonated with me. They are alive and real to me. As I think about those four words, also found in Psalm 121, I'm encouraged, my hope is continually restored, my head is lifted up, and my perspective is changed. God is my helper! This will be my battle cry this week. What will yours be?
d. Our time at the second home, which the Lord graciously provided for us, came to a close Sunday afternoon due to the host family returning from their vacation.
e. We hurried to the home after church, and like a professional maid service, cleaned the home as thoroughly as we could. Our family had a goal to leave it better than we found it. I'm hopeful when the family returned they were pleased with our efforts.
f. As I reflect back over our time at this second home, I'm delighted by the many sweet memories that were made there. I'll share a few with you.
f1. I enjoyed hearing my son literally sit down everyday at the piano and play songs he learned from piano lessons in NC. He also started teaching himself how to play chords using a phone app. I loved seeing him discover a love for something and independently teaching himself how to play certain chords (Kevin helped a little). Thank you, Caroline, for being Max's first piano teacher, and teaching him music theory and the foundations of piano.
Not only was I blessed to see Max playing and learning, it was enjoyable to see Kevin walk by that same piano bench and get lured in by those elegant black and white keys. It was so pleasurable to hear him play, and not so pleasurable to hear the kids and I sing along to the music.
f2. The home was filled with tons and tons and tons of good literature. Oh, the kids were in book heaven! The kids and I didn't even make it to the library because they were surrounded by an immense supply of books that were perfect for their ages. As a family we read most of Pilgrim's Progress. The kids and I fell in love with The Wheel on the School. We didn't get to finish it (bummer), so we'll just purchase our own copy. I loved how realistic the author portrayed the characters. I thoroughly enjoyed how genuine friendships were developed between younger children and older adults (beautiful)! The school children in the book possessed a determination to reach a goal that inspires one to go and do something good!
f3. As a family we have consistently gotten on our knees each night and prayed together. I have to admit, in Kevin's absence one night, the kids and I completely forgot to have family prayer (Kevin had a meeting and returned home after the kids' bedtime). This was modeled for us when we stayed with friends in Fort Worth. It's not something I've added to my dump to brag about, although I am glad we have instituted this act of spiritual discipline in our home (home has been wherever we are these days). But, I'm hopeful someone reading will be motivated by what we learned from others and have begun to practice in our lives. More than anything, Kevin and I get to hear our kids pray to their Savior, and we get to hear what's on each other's hearts, too.
Enough about my happy memories from the past few weeks...
g. A sweet friend from our church asked me for an update on our housing situation. I proceeded to tell her that the family of the current home could possibly return before our rental home would be available. Without any hesitation she courteously offered up her home since they would be away traveling for two weeks. At the time I thought to myself, Lord would you please cause this rental home to be ready before the current family returns from vacation?!?
When we heard back from the rental home owners and were told their move out date, we knew immediately that God had provided ahead of time what we needed before we knew we needed it.
So the home we're in now marks the third home the Lord has supernaturally provided for us. Although there are several things I could complain about, there always are, I'm choosing to be grateful for another peaceful habitation and quiet resting place that has been graciously offered to us.
Although I knew about the move ahead of time, Sunday I had an extremely difficult time emotionally having to move into someone else's house, AGAIN. I found myself dealing with stinking, ugly pride, again. I didn't want to have to lug my suitcases through another threshold except one I could call my own. I've felt totally vulnerable through this entire process. BUT, I've had God to rely on, hide in, and find true perspective from. So despite my feelings, I give God permission to do the necessary purging and pruning in my life that needs to be done.
The song by Mary Alessi called I Surrender All, was balm to my heart.
Surrendering is typically not easy and usually doesn't make me bubble over with joy. But oh, after it's all said and done, my heart rejoices in God my savior and what He has and will do in my surrendered heart. God's plan is higher.
Wait on the Lord and be of good courage and He shall strengthen your heart. I believe the Bullard hearts are being strengthened more and more as we wait on our home.