Hope this gives you just a little bit of an idea of what my backyard looks like. I'll try to take another one today but I may not be able to get to my back corner. This is after just one of four rows our contractor has to dig. (The picture didn't "stitch" completely right, either - we don't have two towers on Chrisotpher's swing set/play thing) HOWEVER - I CAN DO LAUNDRY IN MY OWN HOME AGAIN!!!!! Every time I say that or write it, I almost start to cry. I don't think I can describe the joy I feel that we are actually getting this fixed. That we will be able to fully live in and enjoy our house again soon just seems almost completely unbelievable to me. The sleepless nights, the ridiculous money flowing out the door with every time we have to pump the tank.. all of it... almost a thing of the past!! What a beautiful, beautiful, beautiful mess there is the back yard.
Does it make me think of the ugly we often have to go through to get to the beauty? Some but I can't focus on this ugly too much - it's stinky, too. Instead, this process has reminded me once again to wait on the Lord!! (Psalm 27:14 ~ Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.) And that is just soooo hard to do - no matter the circumstances. I don't want to admit that someone else is in control, I don't want to think about that. I know what needs to be done and I just want to do it and I can only procrastinate for so long. Waiting for the Lord to provide the funds for this project (and we thought we were going to need a LOT more than we ended up needing) and then the contractor (if you had seen the list of "approved" contractors from the Health District your reaction would have been ours - how do you PICK one from this many?????) has been, in a word, tortuous. Our septic system has been covered in more prayer these past several months than almost any person I know and I cannot begin to tell you how grateful I am for that.
Aaron and I knew from the moment we saw this house that this is where God wants us. By today's standards, the house is nothing exciting. It was built in 1961, it is a 3 bedroom 1 1/2 bath home (when bedrooms were built small because, after all, all you did in a bedroom was sleep and store your clothes) BUT it has a huge living room, a good sized kitchen and then an awesome family room. It also has a yard. A real yard. We can play fetch with Max, Christopher & Aaron can play catch and the boys (have I ever talked about how good Chris is in 'playing' with his little brother??) had tons of snow to use for their snowmen AND snow fort this winter.
There is so much available space for entertaining and we know God has that in mind for this house. It is to be a refuge, a place to relax and refuel and enjoy company. That we have had to keep our guests to a minimum since January has been incredibly painful. It's all about to change and I am excited to see what God has in store next.
In the last month, a lot has been happening with the Coalition to Combat Human Trafficking and I have been in touch with some amazing people who stand on the front line of this battle. They have heard my heart's desire and God's vision for a shelter for the children of this area who are victims of trafficking and slavery and are excited to work with me (which humbles me IMMENSELY) and I am in the process now of putting together a viable working plan for this shelter. There is sooo much to consider for these children and there really isn't much out there right now so this is untested waters. Me, though, I like the challenge and every time I feel overwhelmed, I think of a 16 year old girl I read about in an article and I dig my heels in again. Whatever God intends for me to do, I am walking with Him. I trust Him implicity for direction, guidance and protection. This is His work, not mine.
With our hands in His and our eyes focused on Him, we'll go where He leads or sit and wait...whatever comes next.
Stay tuned....the next couple of months could get exciting in our household!!