"I will recount the gracious deeds of the Lord, the praiseworthy acts of the Lord, because of all that the Lord has done for us."
So I will do that, today, for a public reminder of God's goodness, and a future reminder to me of how God was at work in these weeks and months.
(1) He led us to stay in Texas. This was no small thing, as we had no house, no car, no job, no dishes, nothing, here in Texas. We are grateful to Him for the way He uprooted our lives 6 years ago to "plant" us overseas, and we are grateful now that He has replanted us here in Texas.
(2) He provided a job for my husband. An amazing job that allows us to be right where we want to be... part of our local church, and near family and old friends here.
(3) He allowed us to get a house that, because of the crummy housing market, is far beyond what we could normally hope to own, and it is not only just right for our family's needs, but there are some really awesome features (like a roof-level fort for the kiddos) that show God's personal care for us in unexpected ways. We are so very very thankful.
(4) God convicted me of my tendency to yell and graciously has disciplined me and showed me just how ugly it really is. I am learning so much from Him, and I believe that He is breaking the stronghold of this sin in my life. It is so encouraging to see Him dismantle a sin that has been a part of my life for decades. It is wonderful to see that He is still at work in my life.
(4) He has worked everything together so that yesterday morning (Wed.), the painting inside the house was completed and we were able to move all of our possessions in Texas into the garage. This morning, in just a couple hours, our possessions from Istanbul (that I packed up 3 months ago) will be delivered to our new home. If they had arrived even 2 weeks ago, it would have had to be delivered to my parents' house & we would've had to move it ourselves, but God even worked out the delivery of this shipment. Incredible!
(5) The carpets (which, even though they still have great wear, had been quite badly stained & I was concerned we might need to replace them) were cleaned yesterday & basically all of the nasty stains came out. Not only that, but our God led my curious little 7 year old to want to go out and check the mail yesterday morning. When he did, there was a $20 off cleaning coupon from that particular local mom-and-pop owned carpet cleaning company inside a "Valu-Pak". Score! Big earnings for one trip to the mailbox.
(6) Our local church & our parents have been such a blessing to us... helping with the kids, bringing a few meals, helping move, clean, and install things. It's been amazing. I love our church!
(7) My parents have let us live with them during these last 2-3 weeks of transition. See, our rental house where we'd been living is about 40 minutes from our church & Doug's work, but my parents live 14 minutes away. Particularly since we're a one-car family, it's been such a gift to cut down that much time off of our back-and-forth trips each day.
(8) His goodness and kindness to our children, through all of this, has been such a gift. We counted up yesterday, and once we move into this house (which will finish happening today), my oldest two sons will have lived in 13 different places in the last 6 & 1/2 years. Despite the moves, the transitions, the different languages and cultures, and the changes to our family (we went from 2 kids to 5 kids in less than 6 years), God has been so faithful to lead us as we parent them and keep things steady for them. Every time we pray for wisdom, He answers that prayer (James 1:5), and has surrounded us with wise counselors & godly people. Our children possess a sense of 'home' that basically means "wherever we are all together as a family" and perhaps will lend itself more easily to a perspective that Heaven is our true home, when we are all together as the Body of Christ. I am so thankful to know that our Father cares for our children even far more than I do.
Truly these are the "gracious deeds of the Lord," "praiseworthy acts of the Lord," and I praise Him for all that He has done for us.