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Standing Out Alone

Our home has currently been on the market for roughly 8 months. At the beginning of March, prior to me writing this, we had shown it for what felt like the hundredth time. If you have ever put your house on the market with toddlers living under your roof…I APPLAUD you. That’s a bravery that deserves a medal. Well, at least I feel like I deserve a medal with roses thrown in my direction. This was our 4th promising showing with several others giving us 5 star reviews. YET, God stopped each one from coming to completion of sale.

While doing vigorous cleaning, I began brainstorming about blogging behind the design features within our home. Five years ago, I bought an antique piece of shiplap that hangs over the entryway of our French doors. Its unique, rustic detail and raised, primitive, diamond shapes give off a certain flare that welcomes us home. Before it took shelter on its own, the nostalgia hit me as I imagined it in its original form. Once nailed to a wall, its only purpose was to hold steady and stay in formation. Now, it thrives in an environment bringing life to a room all on its own.

When we think we know

how the story will play out…

God releases us into the unknown

I had been waiting all morning to receive a call from my husband. We had high hopes after hearing that the last showing landed us with a promising buyer with one last step at the bank. Finally, the call came, and I could barely contain my excitement as I answered it. As small talk and hellos faded away, I could quickly tell by the sound of his voice that something didn’t line up correctly. His long pause kept me frozen, and the quiver in his voice forced the words, “Since the stock market crashed yesterday and there is news of a pandemic…because of this virus…they have decided not to go through with it.”

After we let the news settle, we agreed to meet for lunch to talk and immerse our grief in orange chicken and fried rice from Panda Express. True story, someone recently called into a radio show and asked the host, “Is there any possible way that we could contract the coronavirus by eating Chinese food from Panda Express?” To which the host replied, “Number one, no. Number two, if you think that’s real Chinese food…there are other problems we need to address here.”

Thanks for keeping us laughing through it all, America!

We have friends and family being impacted in unfathomable ways concerning the decisions being made by officials to keep us safe during this virus. My sister-in-law is a nurse, and I find myself pleading with God over and over to put a shield of protection around her daily. I can’t turn on the news half the time without tears and sensory overload leaving my stomach in knots.

When I need something

to drown out the noise of the outside world, I like to tune in to one of my favorite podcast, The Big Boo Cast. Sophie Hudson and Melanie Shankle join together in conversation with things only your best girlfriend can understand. They converse over Christian humor, Target and Amazon finds, informative opinions, and facial products to keep us feeling upbeat in these depleting days. On this particular episode, writer and speaker Beth Moore was a special guest. Beth just released a book titled, “Chasing Vines: Finding Your Way to an Immensely Fruitful Life.” Her interview began by talking in depth about her journey while researching different vineyards for her book. One detail that struck a cord in my heart is that stressed vines produce the best grapes for wine. Let me type out that sentence one more time…stressed vines produce the BEST grapes for wines.

As we are forced to take shelter in our cocoon, His beauty can still be found rising up all around us. Our weaknesses and harbored worries in prayer is a perfect recipe that will one day be baked to perfection. These darks parts and unwanted disappointments are paving the way for a newness and strength we’ve not known before.

All we need is the right environment.

Over the course of the three years staying at home with my kids, the Lord has taught me so many lessons about breathing in the best of slow days. Trust me, it hasn’t been easy. During one of the babies’ many sleepless nights, I remember staring out our kitchen window at a streetlight on our county road. I would often get lost in its symbolic purpose of brightness that felt so hurtful to me. People were out there living their lives. I often struggle with comparison, and motherhood hasn’t made it any easier. I had this constant thought in my head that my life was not fruitful. I had no community, and the days I could attend church were filled with anxiety just trying to make it on time. But now, as my children run circles around me with their superhero capes and endless imaginations, I’ve come to realize the small offerings are what are most important to Him.

The wildflowers bloom without pause, and the trees’ leaves sway with strength now strong enough to take on the wind. Like the wood plank finding a new purpose in our home, we will rise from this more beautiful than before…standing out alone serving a greater purpose for HIS Kingdom.

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