Growing up, I had the kind of parents who explained everything away with a smile and a, “Cause you’re special. God has bigger plans for your life.” Now I’m that parent, and I get it. At thirteen, though, when I was sick and boyfriendless (which every thirteen year old should be, not sick, but sans even the thought of a boyfriend), the last thing I wanted to be was special. I’d roll my eyes bitterly with a half forlorn, half aggravated, “Mom.”* The deep, deep cry of my heart was for normalcy….if the depths of one’s heart can bring shallow dreams.
*I wanted to write, “Mooooooom,” but because my mom is a fantastic phonetics teacher, she might think I was calling her a moom. Which, of course, isn’t a thing…or a word.
Today, I still fight that dream from time-to-time. I combat it with the fact that both Papa Bear and I agree we are being set apart for something different (and yes, we know that our life is not for everyone). Right now we live simply because we have to, but our plans for earning more money don’t usually involve our spending a great deal more. The plan is to live a life free of material burdens. I write about it often in case I need a reminder in a year or two.
On Sunday afternoon I walked though the little cabin where my cozy seven will be spending the cold of this winter. It’s adorable. It’ll be like camping, especially because it’s without a washing machine or a dishwasher…or a closet. I almost hit the floor when I realized that the term “bedroom” doesn’t always include a closet. But, I already have a plan. I’ll have to pull out all of my space saving tricks from the trailer…plus some….but I have no doubt we can make it work.
I have no doubt because, just a few months ago, Papa Bear and I were looking over our budget and bemoaning the fact that we were not financially prepared for the winter. We prayed, asked for prayer, and then the very next day we received a letter in the mail from our wonderful landlord. He was writing to ask us to leave, basically, because he could no longer afford our place and needed to sell it (and he offered us his cabin for the winter). Papa Bear read it first and then handed it to me with a half-smile. I finished it quickly, placed it calmly in my lap and then erupted with a loud, “Praise the Lord!” We had our answer, we knew it was God, and so we’re clinging to that, or trying to, now.
But as I walked through the cabin, I whispered to the Lord, “Is this a punishment or a blessing?”
He answered, rhetorically and quickly, like He usually does when I whine, “Is my blessing how you know that I love you?”