He was on a mission. I stayed in the car while Joel went inside the second hand store to see if the winter coat he had left there two months earlier was still on the rack. It was not to be found. We drove away discussing how many things we wish we had kept now that we are spending another winter in Iowa. Over the summer we had taken van loads of stuff we would not need or no longer had a use for to a place called Affordables. That included about 60% of our winter clothes, coats, and old boots, etc. How often would we need them in Arizona?
And now as winter looms ahead, and Joel is outside on this warm November day putting up Christmas lights, (we had not given those away, thank goodness), I ponder what to make of it all.
When I mentioned our dilemma to the kids, our oldest daughter told us it was time to go shopping.......we have......and expect to purchase a few more things before Joel starts up the snowblower for the first time. (Again, so thankful we did not get rid of the snowblower too!)
There are a few quotes that go along with our current circumstances. "Best laid plans......." "Life is what happens while we are making other plans...." "If you want to make God laugh, just make plans"....I am sure you could add a few to our growing list! Funny thing is, we thought we were following God's plans.
Getting back to Christmas lights, we stopped to visit with our neighbors last night as they put up theirs. It is so much easier when you don't have to wear gloves, battle the cold, and try to climb a ladder with heavy boots on. We were telling the lady of the house, S. about how we had given away so much of our heavy winter stuff not thinking we would need it, and how Joel had actually gone back to Affordables to try to find some of his gear that he used for snowblowing and outside work. We told her how we keep having to dig through the plastic tubs we packed to search for things that we can't find....and asking ourselves, "Did we give that away or pack it?" Even though we wrote on each tub what was inside, it is like some mischievious elf came along and switched lids on us because we are continually on a treasure hunt and have been frustrated to the point of giving up on our search for certain items. Our latest line is, "It must be at Affordables!" S. got the giggles.....Did I tell you that she had prayed we would not move? She said, "I am so happy you are staying here....and I hope it is for good. I prayed you would not move, but I did not pray for cancer to be the reason." Of course not. Sickness is never an answer to prayer and it is not from God. So she was giggling about all we told her, just as were we. When I shared that the Bible says we are all called to go, she interrupted me and said...."Yes, to the grocery store....to the mall....to church!" Funny. I continued, "Some are called to stay." We are trying to discern this. Then when I shared with her the whole story of the clerk at the furniture store, my crabby self, and the "dammit doll" she really laughed. As we continued our walk she said...."You guys always make me laugh. It just brightens my day when I talk to you, I am so glad you are still here!" We could hear her giggling on the way into the house.
Getting back to God's plans........... We still believe that God was leading us to Arizona full time. Yes, we are very aware we could have heard wrong, or seen what we wanted to in the affirmations given or the scriptures presented, BUT we also know that sometimes He tests our obedience and this could have been one of those times. Was He wanting to see if like Abraham, we would follow Him to a new land? Although Abraham took everything and everyone with him I believe. Of course we know that we would see my sister and BIL several months of the year, and we have friends who live there full time, but we would be far from our family. Have we come up with any answers in our pondering? Nada....
So, when S. said to us she was glad we were still here, I found myself thinking, 'So am I." Hmmmm
I don't know if I will feel that way when the snow is knee deep, but for today I am grateful for a summer day in November, a walk around the paths in our association, a neighbor who giggles at our antics, the renewal of friendships, new friendships in the making, a church that gets us, and a cancer center just 15 minutes away that is staffed with good and caring people. Oh yeah, and I am thankful for our home and that we can go out and buy what we need to stay warm in winter when our old stuff must be at Affordables. It is all good.