Last night was a summer storm here in Idaho. These are usually pretty lackluster and forgetful but this one had the rolling thunder, the lightening crashes and a lot of wind. It was like a taste of Iowa. I found myself wondering if our tent we had set up would blow away under the pressure, if our patio furniture could handle it (the umbrella had blown away earlier and was rescued by Spencer), or if the baby garden would be crushed. I had a hard time falling asleep, so did Brooke as we were both up at 11 pm to "use the bathroom". Really, we couldn't sleep.
When I woke, I found the tent still there. It was very wet but it had been protected by the trees on both sides. The patio furniture hadn't moved much. I'm not sure about the garden but I bet it made it. On my way back from my run (where all my best thinking happens), I noticed the wisps of clouds over the mountains. They were the only evidence that a storm had happened. That and the water droplets on the leaves and puddles William and I splashed through. The only evidence. The sun was in full force, the birds singing, the past days of humidity cleared up.
Our family hs had storms. Storms that have rocked us and made us feel like the gray would never let up. We couldn't hardly see the blue windows of sky even when we they were there. But we held on. We knew that the sun would come. Yes, there would be damage. Yes, there would be remaining fear. But there would also be hope. And hope is quite strong. It can change the way we think, how we plan our lives. It can help us see people and ourselves differently. It is enduring and while some think pointless, I say it is an anchor, a tether that keeps us grounded. It helps us to focus on the simple things. It brings us back to reality just by hoping that the sun will rise again, that rain will fall for drought, that hearts will change. It gives us a goal. And that hope leads to faith. Faith in the Lord. That he can cause these things to happen. That he will allow the sun to rise, the rain to fall and the hearts to change (mine and others). When we recognize it is His hand, then our hope turns to faith.
This house has been our sun. I wrote about it years ago, not knowing I was writing about our future: a window in the kitchen overlooking a garden, a yard where we could play, grow things and have tree swings. a A place of safety that people could come stay in. After deaths, miscarriages, moves and personal things the last many years, we have found our sanctuary. The trees are blooming and every day I found new flowers popping up here and there. The beautiful green amidst a brown desert is so comforting. It reminds me of a simpler time. It has been a great place to have friends (especially kids) over. They love the open spaces, the chickens, the freedom. I wondered why Blake and I are not wired to live in a subdivision. We both like people. We are social. But there is something that comes with the freedom of building what you want, when you want, on land. There is something about laying under a tree and chatting with your kids while the baby chicks run around. There is something about friends coming by and having a little space of peace, a haven. A quiet place where you can see the mountains and know you're near a city but not in a city.
Before the Lord led us here, I often felt like we had been through the fire. And we had. So, where was the reprieve? Where was the place we could say was "our forever home". And I could swear we were done moving. I spent time thinking that but knowing to hold on. I knew, I hoped it had to get better. When the Lord promises he will make up for unfairness, sadness and grief, He means it. He prompted my mind to look at this house, my mind literally had an arrow pointing to this area. And when we came here, we just knew. It was such an easy decision and we all knew it. We were blessed to see some of the Lord's promise in this life. I know many don't see it until after this life. Will Ryan and Jon still be dead, yes. Will our five babies still be waiting for us, yes. Will our kids have long lasting damage from moving so often, hopefully not! But the Lord knows what we need, when we need it. He is the great engineer. He can lead us to the place where we feel home.
We will have a lot of work to do here. We left our "all done" house with tall ceilings and traded for a "cozy" place with bathrooms from 1979 but they work. And we can slowly change bathrooms and be grateful we have them in the first place. We will have remodels, gardening and yard work to last the rest of our lives. But isn't that part of the beauty? Creating something. Teaching your kids new skills and that hard work brings about beautiful thing. And ignoring their occasional grumpiness about learning new things. This is the rose colored glasses approach but it is one I feel right now. Rose colored glasses aren't such a bad thing, especially after so many storms.
Now, I'm going to write more of our future. It worked the first time. Grandbabies out here, running through the garden eating so many berries, berries that have been growing here for 20 or more years. They will gather the chicken eggs, play on the swing set and make fairy gardens in the trees. They will use Spencer's old bow and arrow and swing in a hammock. Maybe we will have a pond by then that will have to be gated to calm my worries about babies and water. We will have get togethers here, wedding receptions, celebrations to share our amazing children and their accomplishments.
The storms of life are unlikely to let up. That isn't the way of life. But knowing we have our haven to come home to and the Lord to depend on will make things less painful.