On Friday the children had Spanish day at school. Each grade had to bring in a different type of Spanish art project. Joshua won first place for the maraca section, which he was so excited about. There's something really fun about boys and blue ribbons. We had pizza for dinner and movie night with our sweet little neighbor who lives at our house these days. (I am pretty sure she was here until bed time every night this week. What a privilege for us.) Saturday I went on a women's conference with the ladies at church. We heard a powerful message and I enjoyed the time away with new friends. I think this was my first time to get away without the children since we moved here. Sunday we enjoyed a stimulating lesson on church history in Sunday school and a beautiful worship service. The sermon was very encouraging for me, what a gifted pastor we have! Then on Sunday afternoon Lydie and I went to a baby shower and Olympic/Banana Split night at church. The boys took the afternoon to go fishing on the lake. It was all good fun.
Something significant changed for me this weekend. My heart has just not been completely in this place. It has been hard for me to enjoy anything without missing something that we left behind. But by God's grace, I have been able to let go. I do not mean let go of friendships. I plan to take those to eternity. I just mean let go of what we had and truly embrace what is now. I looked at Andy on the way home from church and said, "Okay. I'm ALL in." He knew exactly what I meant. Not just with our church, but with everything. For the first time, I am going to let go of what could have been and allow myself to dream about what could be here in our new home and community (without feeling overwhelmed with heart ache). And maybe tomorrow I will be back to square one. Maybe letting go has to be done dozens of times. But I know God is at work in my heart and it's exciting.
Regarding being "all in", we have decided to take the same attitude with our school. We were on the fence as to whether or not to leave and homeschool or stay. While the school is wonderful in so many ways, it is different in so many ways from the education I had chosen when I homeschooled. But God has opened one exciting door for me to be involved (teaching art), along with several other significant possibilities. And I strongly feel like we need to be deeply entrenched in this community of people. So we are committing to another year. Lydie will be going to school next year, too. I can see where God might use me, and I pray for His grace to shine the light of Jesus to those around us and bring Him glory. My new friend Laura Beth had a huge impact on this decision. When I called her with concerns she invited the kids over for Popsicles and Wii and sat on her porch swing and patiently listened to me. What God used from our conversation was her observation that quite often with churches people don't like something and so they leave to form a new church. The common result in small towns like the one we live in is dozens of lukewarm churches instead of a handful of strong churches. And God used those words to convict me to stay and share my ideas, time, gifts, and see what God does.
This weekend has been a good one. Accepting God's will for me, even when it has been against what I desired, has been a huge challenge. I have felt a combination of anger, remorse, regret, sorrow, sadness, and defeat. As I am beginning to have a change of heart, I am feeling many new and amazing feelings. For example, the joy of blind obedience, the fulfillment of recognizing idols and casting them away, the deep longing that is fulfilled when I serve others and put their needs ahead of my own. And I need to remember that I can not choose Christ and love others for a single moment without taking refuge in Him alone. That's my prayer today for our family- that we will not just talk about our Savior, but that we would know Him more through His Word and prayer and that He would then use us as instruments of His grace. No matter what we desire, that He would use us for His good purposes!
What more beautiful place on earth is there to be than where He desires?