Every time I round a corner in our new house it's like the first time all over again. I hope this, "ahhh, I live here!" feeling never goes away. Now before you start thinking that we must live in some mansion, know that we don't, but it doesn't matter because it feels that way to me! God had this spot in mind for us, and I know it because of how our home-purchase story unfolded. In a crazy, competitive market, we experienced neither crazy nor competition and got the place for slightly under market value. The only reasonable explanation is that God wanted us to live here (and provided us with an excellent agent!). It is a 5 star hotel compared to the fleabag we just left. Thankfully, fleas are one type of vermin we did not experience at the former address (Watson is the most thankful), but there were plenty of others. It is only now in this safe and serene shelter, that I realize how much stress the old house caused me every day. I started, but thanks to the backspace button you (and future me) don't need to endure a list of those stresses. Suffice to say: rats were a presence at the homebirth of one of my children, and termites once interrupted a family movie night by suddenly streaming into the room from under the carpet. The little hostess that lives inside me has emerged from the fall-out shelter I stuffed her in and is still dazzled and blinking in the sunshine of her new digs, squinting and filling her calendar with guests much faster than anyone with POTS should even think of doing.

I have been reminded again of how I need artistic outlet and opportunities to be creative to flourish. Coming into this space and being able to arrange furniture and hang pictures and curtains has been so refreshing. I've even taken up pirouetting in the living room again. The creative energy has been the only energy as the move was completely draining to my poor body, but boy has it felt great to feel that lose-track-of-time, get-lost-in-my-ideas type of enthusiasm again! It has been a long time. I suppose the artist who lives in me was in that basement shelter too, and she is reveling in the startling feeling of breeze on her skin while arranging flowers and placing posies that aren't being wasted to dress up a pig.

So, yes, I've been thinking of the promised land and how one day I will feel all these great rejuvenating feelings for eternity where there won't even be POTS. I can find out just what use he always had in mind when he gave me love for people, parties, posies and pirouettes (and even POTS). God never promised me a dream house, of course, but Canaan has been a picture of the loving, specific plans God makes for his people.

Most of us have a spiritual life's story punctuated by a few big "ah-ha" moments and many small ones. My big moments were mostly sad or hard, and I began to treasure the gritty challenge of finding God's work in my most difficult circumstances. I was sort of becoming a glutton for punishment. The side effect of that was the development of a belief that God only would give me lessons through pain and I began to expect things to go wrong for me. Then Ivo was born; and, even though the rats were there too, I felt for the first time true shock and overwhelming joy that God was teaching me through lavish gifts (the birth was a dream-come-true type experience for us natural birth junkies). What a wonderful Ah-Ha that was! God gives good gifts! Duh! It's not as though that was God's first big gift to me; it just was the first time I noticed spiritual growth in a time of fat rather than lean. I've been reflecting on that moment because this whole house thing feels the same way. I'm tempted to feel guilty about living in a beautiful, spacious home, and I am tempted to cringe and worry about what people think of me. Joy-robbing thoughts these are, and I have to quiet them. This is God's gift to us. It feels like the land of Canaan. And good news: it's not even inhabited by people I have to route out! That would just be very unnerving indeed. Our family challenge now is to not forget where this house came from: straight from the hand of God. Yes, we saved money. Yes, Brendan works hard. Yes, we lived in the decrepit house for a long time. But that's not how this house came to us. And, Lord! Don't let us run after other gods.

My Memories

Moving from One Self to the Next