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Chicagoland was a mystery to me before I moved here.  My husband came ahead of me and got everything as ready as he could so that the transition would be easier for the kids and I.  Being a man, there were some things that he just didn’t tell me about the new place I was going to call home.  I love surprises, so this was fine with me.  The curiosity and anticipation that I felt leading up to our move date was only surpassed by the joy of knowing that our family would be together again.  Initially, I was shocked at how much stuff we had to sort through!  Eight family members collect a lot of junk over the course of 9 years living in one town!  The last out of state move we made, we were a family of three, and our stuff fit tightly into a two bedroom apartment.  It is amazing to look back and see how God has blessed us over the years.  

After we arrived, I spent a little over two weeks cleaning, unpacking, and organizing the new house.  I haven’t worked that hard since the last time we moved!  God gave me physical strength to do all of it.  I was honestly not sure if I would be able to handle that kind of work anymore, especially after the difficulties I had while pregnant with our youngest child.  Once I had finished setting things up, I was able to relax a little more and really see where I was living, instead of seeing all the junk I had to organize.  I love the house.  It has bedrooms upstairs, office downstairs, and a playroom for the kids in addition to the living room areas.  We have enough space to spread out now.  The yard is spacious with a swing set and plenty of paved area for the kids to ride their scooter, big wheels, tricycles, and bikes.  There are flower beds with a rose bush and some lilies, and other pretty plants that I can’t name yet.  Life is not perfect, by any stretch of the imagination, but God used the time without my own home and without my husband to give me some perspective.  I am more thankful for what I have, and less likely to complain when things aren’t the way I want them.  I’m learning to relinquish control and keep the Lord as my focus.  When disappointments come, I need to remember that life is really about what God is doing, not about me!  Psalm 59:16-17 says:

But I will sing of Your strength; I will sing aloud of Your steadfast love in the morning.  For You have been to me a fortress and a refuge in the day of my distress.  O my Strength, I will sing praises to You, for You, O God, are my fortress, the God who shows me steadfast love.

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