I must be the worst blogger when it comes to writing regularly. I mean to, but, you know.... time gets away.
I don't have a whole lot to write about. The situation is unchanged. Our plans remain the same. Only the particulars are rearranged and shuffled about with the day to day activities. I decided to go ahead and write a bit about the way life is in out interim situation. My husband sort of took the steam out of my engine (unintentionally) when he said that writing about the everyday, mundane business of life would become tedious and uninteresting to read, but I think there are people out there in a similar situation, or facing a similar situation, and it might be helpful to read a bit about how things are progressing for us. So here goes!
Life goes on. I truly believe it is all about the attitude, the mindset you have going in. I could be easy to mourn and bewail our loss, I suppose. We spent many, many happy years in our home, and now it is gone. I'm not trying to toot my own horn and tell you how great I am because I don't have that attitude. I just want to share my experience for benefit of someone else who is struggling with it.
"God knows. All things work together for the good of those who love the Lord. Cast all of your cares on Him because He cares for you." I know all of that sounds almost cliche' because we quote scripture randomly and toss His Word around almost as if it were just a catchy phrase. Many times I don't think we really, really believe it ourselves,but please; know that He will keep and guide you and your end will be better than your beginning. He has a plan for you for good and not for evil. NOTHING catches Him unaware and He knows what to do.
In the Bible there is a story of a man, a ruler of the synagogue, who sought Jesus because his daughter was ill and about to die. They were on their way to his house, being slowed by a huge, pressing crowd, and were eventually stopped by woman who also needed help from Him. He took time to not only heal her, but to teach her, those around her, and His disciples. Once free to continue on their way, a servant from the ruler of the synagogue's house met them and told them that they were too late. His daughter had died.
Right here is a crossroad for this man. He could have chosen to give up and go home, since his daughter was already dead. I can think of nothing worse. He must have felt as if his heart were going to break. Can you imagine the thoughts in his mind at that moment? He could have been angry at the woman for delaying Jesus. If He had been free to go more quickly He might have made it there in time to heal her. He could have been angry at Jesus. How could he have been so nonchalant concerning his daughter desperate need? Did He prefer the woman in the crowd over his child? Maybe he thought it wasn't Jesus' will to heal everyone.
But wait. There is more to the story. He didn't quit. He looked to Jesus and Jesus instructed him:
Luk 8:50 "But when Jesus heard it (that his daughter had died), he answered him, saying, 'Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole.'"
Your only job is to BELIEVE. That is the only thing you must do. It requires effort on your part. Commitment is necessary. If you can not commit you will fail. I'm sorry. It is that cut and dried.
If you will commit, however, the answer is sure. The way to believe, to trust in Him, is to cultivate a relationship. You cannot have faith and trust without it. With relationship comes rest. You can rest and know that through uncertain times He has everything covered. He knows your heart and your needs, and He wants to help you if you will ONLY BELIEVE.
That being said, I am happy to let you know that He is leading us through this time our lives. That is the truth. If that weren't enough I can add something more: it isn't hard or tragic for us, because we know the outcome is sure! There is no fear when you enter into His rest. Please, make it easy on yourself and do whatever it takes to know Him. It is all He wants, and it is all you need.
I know this is the beginning of something new and a new chance to serve God in a new way. How could I grieve a loss when I haven't arrived at the end of the journey yet? There is always something good! I do not have to understand the method and the path in order to rest and know that He mapped it out in the best possible way. I am honestly calm, assured, and full of joy. It is because I know I can trust Him.
I had to say all of that in order to continue. God brought us through this and I will never doubt that.
People in the thick of things need to hear it in a way that is understandable and applies to everyday life, so let me say it in another way. I can say absolutely that I am a survivor. I have a survivor's attitude anyway, and I would likely have made it through all of this. The loss would have been hard, the changes unpleasant, the pain, the guilt, the lack, the grief, the stress.... it would have been terrible, the outcome unsure and the road hard, but we would have survived.
Shadrack, Meshack and Abednego would have survived, too, had they bowed, but we would never have known their names, and they would never have seen the Hand of God and met the Fourth Man in the fire. The ruler of the synagogue would have lost his precious child, but he would still have survived. How many un-named faces went home from that crowd without what they could have stayed with it and gotten? Without victory? Without testimony? Back to surviving, day to day?
I do not want to merely survive! I want to know God and see His power and have a testimony! I want to grow and move on to greater and mightier things! You see, I could not tell you my mundane little life's update without telling you all of this. I would not only be remiss if I didn't tell it, but I would have been denying God the glory that is His. He not only got us through it, He is taking us beyond it! I would not be able to help another soul through anything without knowing Him and the power and love and mercy He has for us. This is our victorious testimony now! I would not trade a second of it.
I'll stop my sermon... for now... back to the update.
We have been in our new place for almost two months. Our routines are are almost back to being Pence family normal. School is good, maybe still a bit hit and miss. We are having to change some routines. One example is doing laundry. We don't have a washer and dryer now so we have to make time to go to a laundromat. We hand wash dishes now, which, in reality, doesn't take much, if any longer than it did to rinse and load the dishes into the dishwasher. The kids sleep on fold-outs, so we have a little ritual for that every morning and night. There are quite a few little adjustments like these. We are taking them all in stride.
We found out after we moved in that the travel trailer we were sold was damaged. It was deliberately hidden, and not something we could have seen right off, so, we bought it, unfortunately, 'as is'. We spent every last dime we had and found out too late that it is structurally unsound and has some leaks. It was just about the worst news we could have gotten. It will be difficult and could be expensive to fix, but fix it we will, somehow, or God will provide something better. I'll post the updates on the repairs, or the replacement, or whatever happens.
We are temporarily renting a space at the local KOA campground. In all of our years in this town our kids have walked over to the little general store here to get a piece of candy or play a game or something, so it seemed a fitting end to our time in this town. I never expected it to be such a wonderful place! They have wonderful amenities and it's a beautiful park. I feel like I am living in a resort. I have not one bad thing to say about living here. The only problem is that it isn't mine and I miss being able to plan and plant a garden. I miss putzing around in my own yard. That day's a-coming! Meanwhile, this place is like living on vacation to me.
We have developed some new, wonderful daily habits living here. Being in the desert southwest, we are still having absolutely lovely morning and evening weather, so we are spending a considerable amount of time outside at the picnic table or over at one of the tables under the gazebo, just talking and drinking coffee or tea. My youngest son and I have solved many of the problems of the world over a hot cup of steaming something or other, deep in discussion before the day's work ever begins. Then we relax in the remnants of the evening sun as often as we can. The older kids have been visiting and gone swimming and played mini-golf. We love it!
The dreaded 'scaling down' has been a rich blessing in my life. I am so thankful for it no matter what we have gone through to get us to this place. The overall workload here is much lighter. I have actual time in my day that I can use for things to be determined by me. It isn't all housework and shopping, budgeting and juggling, blah, blah, blah... My kid fellowship time is much improved, from my perspective -- I think the kids agree. It's not all discipline and school and chores. We talk and play and laugh a lot. This is just a tiny taste of what I have already discovered about our new life. Living small has already proven it's great worth to me. I will never go back.
There's no good stopping place in a continuing story, so I guess I'll cut off here for now. I'm sorry if this has been a rambling blog. I tend to try to cover too much ground at one time when I wait too long between blogs. I'll try to get back a little sooner next time.
New Life on a Homestead blog is giving away, "Inherit the Land: Adventures on the Agrarian Journey from Franklin Springs."
"The film follows several families as they share their experiences with working their land. From families with thousands of acres to farm, to those who have a small lot with a backyard garden on the outskirts of town, each share their reasons for wanting to get back to living a simpler life, and give an intimate glimpse into their daily responsibilities."
I have been planning to start a different blog dedicated to ministry and Bible study, but I can't seem to get the job done. I will one of these days, but I have decided to go ahead and post links to my podcasts in here in the mean time, until I get something else up and running. :)
Here's the most recent one: http://www.hilltopfoursquare.com/media/2011/10/2/what-is-the-church-for.html
This is the Success Blog of Rhenda the Representative. I will attempt chronicle the journey from life attached to the umbilical of the grid and the government to a more self-sustained life closer to God and the good earth He gave me.
"For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee."