And The Lord says, “Trust Me.”

My trust muscle is getting stretched some more today. It has been a grueling summer of selling our home (twice!), moving cross country, and a blur of packing and unpacking. I have purged, and packed, and wept as I have let go of items of sentimental value, and said good-bye to dear friends and a house and property that I loved.

On the flip side of all that stress, is the awesome revival of a dead dream. I lived here before and hated leaving my church, my friends, my home, and my life. And now, years later after all hope was gone, The Lord opened the door and made a way for me to return. But, my joy today is tempered with a dose of frustration.

And, this frustration is over a house! I want to be settled into a “forever house” with a yard for a garden. For months I have been long-distance stalking home sales via the internet, but was never in a position to seriously look, until now. I have watched most of the homes that I have liked and could afford to buy progress from “for sale” to “pending” to ultimately “sold.” Apparently my tastes must be similar to most other home buyers; the houses I like seem to be snapped up in a hurry.

Today’s pending home sale was the last home on my original “watch list.” It has an accepted offer and is no longer officially on the market. Sales contracts sometimes fall through; I personally experienced it this summer on the FIRST sale of our home. The Lord is faithful, and ten days later we received an even better offer and were able to close the sale.

This is another opportunity to trust Jesus; another opportunity to reflect on His faithfulness, restoration, and love for me and not get tangled up in the weeds of circumstances. But, silly human that I am, I tend to be short-sighted and lose focus on the big picture. My gerbil-brain forgets all of the times The Lord has provided for me time and time again. I get caught in the thistles of here and now and am easily distracted. But He is faithful, and The Lord says, “Trust me.”

Reflections

My snow-birding adventure in Florida is rapidly coming to a close. Winter is over. Tomorrow morning we will embark on a new chapter, as we walk through a door that the Lord has opened and follow His divine direction for our lives. It seems like a perfect time to review and reflect upon the past three months.

I am so grateful for my husband; he is my hero. He has sacrificed so much for my health and comfort; most recently in his decision to file for an early retirement and spend the winter in Florida, working via up-link from our tiny RV. He will not officially retire until the end of April and certainly would have been more comfortable spending his last months on the job in his office in Michigan! Adjusting to life in the RV has been a challenge mostly due to the confined space (and in sharing that space with the cats!). We call our Maine Coon “the House Monkey” because he insists on finding high spaces to inhabit and doesn‘t mind climbing over anything to reach them, including important papers. He has added many a wrinkle to my husband’s attempts to stay organized.

A job lead brought us to Florida’s western panhandle, but my first month in Florida was spent in physical recovery. I battled influenza, a urinary tract infection, and wrapped up January with a viral upper respiratory infection. Other than trips to the Santa Rosa Medical Clinic, my days were mostly spent in bed, listening to sermons or watching DVD’s on my laptop. The job lead fizzled, but I was too ill to care.

This snow-bird experience was not what I had imagined. While in Michigan, I envisioned a winter of summer-like days spent by the water with a book. The weather in January and February was too chilly for extended outdoor activities, I was easily bored, and missed interaction with people. Everyone stays inside when the weather is cold and wet, and only venture out to quickly walk the dog or do laundry.

By February I was feeling better and had my fill of campground life. I asked the Lord to open a door for me, and He led me to the Santa Rosa Pregnancy Resource Center where I became a “full-time/short-term volunteer.” It takes many willing hands to make a ministry function and this filled my days with a variety of activities, from addressing banquet invitations, answering phones, meeting with clients, sorting baby clothes, general housekeeping, and assembling baby equipment. I got to know wonderful godly women, help the ministry run smoothly, and be a blessing to others. The reality is, they were even a bigger blessing to me! I enjoyed every moment spent at the PRC. In this short time I have made friends that I hate to leave.

As I reflect on the past three months, I can say that God is faithful. He protected us from the many storms, answered a multitude of specific prayers, and showered us with innumerable blessings. Jesus came that we might have life to the fullest, and walking with Him is never dull!

Are you bored, frustrated, or lonely and wondering just how and where God will ever use you? Abundant life is waiting for you. I urge you to start investing yourself in others. There are many opportunities for service in your community; not all ministry happens in a church! Ask the Lord to lead you and direct you to where He has already prepared a place for you. You will be blessed beyond your wildest dream as you become a blessing to others. Listen for his voice and be willing to follow whatever He directs you to do. Life’s great adventure is waiting for you just outside your door!

CATastrophic living

Snowbirding takes major adjustments. How do you transition from living in a sprawling 2500 square feet to 300 square feet – a space just slightly larger than a college dorm room? From the nearest neighbor being 1/8 of a mile away to life in a trailer park? How does one transition from commuting to work in an office to working “at home” from a laptop? And, how do you adjust to living with two cats in that tiny space? What do you do with the litter box?

At home, the litter box is a non-issue. The cats have their own space in a room under the basement stairs (which is actually larger than this RV!) where their beds, food, and litter box reside. Odors are no problem. Clean the box daily when you feed them; it is out of sight and out of mind. Here the litter box presents a major problem.

We thought we had the problem preemptively solved . My husband removed a chair from the “living room” section of the RV and replaced it with a cabinet. The top houses the TV and printer, but the litter box is hidden inside with an opening for easy entrance for the cats. And, because we occupy a very small space, I purchased a new brand of kitty litter that is specially designed for small spaces. One would think we had the problem solved.

However, I did not factor in sensitivity to scents. I have allergic reactions when burning scented candles and sitting near someone wearing strong perfumes. A heavily deodorized kitty litter is not the best solution!

My husband’s workspace is next to the cabinet and he has complained since we arrived about the “landfill odor.” It gives him a headache and has talked about moving to a different town just to escape the smell. I have developed a “stomach bug” and have battled an upset tummy and headache, which increases when I step into the RV. Oddly enough, we don’t notice the “landfill odor” when we are outside!

The proverbial light bulb went off today and we finally connected the dots! The rank smell is from the litter box! Since we are using the showers here at the camp, which are far more spacious than the tiny shower stall in the RV, we have relocated the litter box to the bathroom shower stall. We must keep the door ajar for kitty access, but can open the ceiling vent, and hopefully, dissipate the smell.

And, after work today, we have a date planned to visit Wal-Mart for some unscented litter. I can hardly wait!