To restore was a big job; some would say (did say), insurmountable. Slowly but surely, with help and prayer, debris was hauled away, plans were made, the walls were slowly erected, the roof set on top, the electricity strung from room to room, and the plumbing piped throughout. Doors were placed to keep the unwanted out and what was inside safe. Windows were placed for light and for joy.
The final touches were yet to be made. To make it a home, it would need to be redecorated. The little house needed color, furniture, fabric, and photos. New colors. New furniture, placed in new places, for the family who lived in the house to enjoy. It would take time, a new kind of time. The big things were built, the little things now needed to be worked on. Without them, it was just a building, with them, it would be a home.
So it is for my family right now. There are times when I can unmistakably feel the hands of God upon my shoulders directing me and saying, “Do this, now, dear one. This is what I want from you.” And I know better than to ignore Him or refuse Him, for I know He loves me and my family and Has a future for us. This is clearly one of those times, and I have heard Him say, “Slow down for the summer, Andrea. Slow down.”
For the past copule of years, we have been in a major reconstruction project. Nearly all that was left after the storm of our trial that hit our family was the firm foundation of our faith in the Lord Jesus – the firm, unmovable, indestructible One who is our all in all. He helped us rebuild, wall by wall, strut by strut, wire by wire, pipe by pipe. He helped us to place doors to keep the unwanted out, and to help protect that which is indoors. He helped us hang windows, to allow more of His light in and to bring us joy when we looked out.
Now, is the time to redecorate -- time to add new color and details to our family. It’s been called, “creating a new normal,” and it is done together, over time. It is making new memories. Having new traditions. Sowing new seeds. Cherishing. Investing. Hugging. Being available. Celebrating. Sharing. Looking at each other through fresh eyes.
Why am I sharing all of this with you? Well, part of my slowing down, will be writing less on my blog this summer. It is a bit sad for me. The blog has been a place of healing for me and a place of encouragement from the Lord and from my readers. Thank you for that. I love to write. It brings me joy. It makes my heart full to share God’s truths through daily experiences to encourage and to strengthen. Slowing down for me is hard, but I know it is what I need to do, for right now. I hope to write about once a week, but we’ll see how God leads. Maybe sometimes a bit more, maybe a bit less. Please check back once in awhile. Let me know how you are doing. Let me know if I can pray for you.
My children will wake up soon this morning, and the next time I look, they will be grown up and gone from this house. That’s natural. I understand that, but for now I want to pour into their lives and decorate our new family together. It’s the little things that make a home special, and it is the little things that make relationships special, too.
Little things, that’s what I hope to do this summer with my family. Play basketball. Watch movies. Laugh. Talk in the car from here to there and everywhere. Go to a Christian music concert. Make a campfire. Eat lots of s’mores. Cheer at a MLB baseball game. Take family bike rides. Go for a run. Snuggle. Talk like the dog. (It’s a silly thing I do that makes the kids laugh). Play games. Swim, swim, and swim some more. Take road trips. Read. Take naps. Teach one of the little girls how to sew. Play “store” with another. Hang out with my teenage daughter, doing whatever is important to her. Plant seeds and watch them grow. Be available by just being present. Play games with my oldest son. Sit in my back yard and watch my youngest son hit baseball, after baseball after baseball in to the woods. Look for God together. Thank God together. Celebrate each other. Slow down, create – redecorate -- and enjoy each other in our “new normal.”