Thank you to everyone who stopped to call, email, facebook, or comment and tell us you were thinking of James and us yesterday. (By the way, I just added a “new” photo of James to the previous post that a friend from church took when he was about 7 months old.) Can it be only three years ago that everything changed? We are humbled again by the legacy that one short, weak, seemingly insignificant (from a worldly perspective) life can have…and the most astonished at the impact he has had on us. This can only be through a wise, good, redeeming God.
Well, as I said before, with the help of friends and family (thanks again John Y., Josh and Cheree H., and Nana and Grandpa Bill) we got settled in. John Y. and Josh did a lot of heavy lifting. Cheree unpacked our closet in record time, while Grandpa Bill and Nana organized my kitchen. John Y. modified the stem of a ceiling fan so we could fit our canopy bed in the master bedroom (now the fan blades clear the top of the bed by about 1 inch). We worked everybody pretty hard.
We are renting for about 4 months, and if our house sale goes through in Orlando, we can move into something more permanent after that.It’s kind of weird, moving into a rental, because it’s not really where you plan to be long-term. So you don’t really fix or change too much, unless it really bugs you, and you’re not even supposed to (John did switch the door on the fridge to open the right way, and I have caulked up some ant holes). You don’t plant a garden, you don’t even pull many weeds, you don’t put in new carpet even though there are mysterious stains that don’t belong to you. You just shrug and say, “That’s ok, it’s a rental.” Which is both a relief and an irritant, because I would really rather be settled somewhere permanent, even if it were a place that needed lots of fixing and weeding and planting.
I am trying to remember the mindset of Abraham, who “By faith…when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God” (Hebrews 11: 8-10). Abraham never got into a “permanent” house during his lifetime, which helped him focus on the reward of a heavenly home. I don’t want to get too caught up with the security idol of the perfect housekeeping gig, either.
The first time I heard the name of our new neighborhood, Taberna, I almost laughed out loud because it sounded like “Tuh-BUR-nuh,” or a mouthful of nonsense grunts that you spit chewing tobacco after saying. I think the title was chosen for this manicured subdivision because it contains the word “bern,” as in New Bern. Ironically, I later found that the word is Latin for ‘hut, booth, tavern,’ so it really is appropriate for a place where I feel like we are camping out. Its diminutive form is also the familiar word tabernacle, which means ‘tent,’ ‘residence’ or ‘dwelling place.’ This reminds me of how God came and lived among us, the Word made flesh, tabernacle-ing with us on the sinful, painful earth. I’m sure there were a lot worse-looking things to Him here than ant holes and weird carpet stains.
So for those who want pictures (hi Mom!), here’s our family room and dining room…the front door looks like it’s leading into a nice shiny heaven, but that’s just a glass door to a sunny day.
Nice kitchen…lots of storage…I put all the cards people have given us up in the windows so I feel surrounded by friends…:)
Carolina Room…curiously similar to a Florida Room…where we eat/throw food around (Valor) and compute. That’s the backyard out the windows. A nice big laundry/utility room through the doorway, and garage through there.
Master bath and closet. Also, Valor’s bathtub is in the big tub.
Valor’s room… his dragon quilt banner is hanging on the side of his crib by the bookcase since we are supposed to avoid putting large holes in the walls. I managed to center the footstool over the biggest, strangest carpet stain…
Going upstairs, looking down…Valor’s room is through the door by the front door, the guest bath (not pictured) is the open door, and our bedroom door is to the right of the china cabinet.
Upstairs, a loft with my sewing stuff…need to get back on that…
Guest bedroom is called the FROG (finished room over garage, new term for us). Come visit!
One person who doesn’t seem phased by all this moving and change is Valor. He turned 8 months old today! People here (in church nurseries) think his name is pretty confusing. We don’t know anyone well enough to explain where it came from yet. Fortunately he’s pretty good-natured, so they like him well enough for that reason (in spite of his name).
A snapshot of what Valor is up to: He’s babbling nonstop, and has said “Mommy” and “Daddy” without knowing what he’s doing. He got his first tooth, without much pain, and as a corollary, is learning what “No, Don’t bite Mommy” means (right now he thinks I’m telling a joke). He’s been able to turn over for a while, but almost never did until the last couple days, when he’s flipped onto his tummy during almost every naptime (is he really sleeping in there?). He’s also gotten his leg stuck in the slats a couple times. I had to stop using the breathing monitor because he keeps moving so far to the side of the crib that the sensors don’t feel him and a false alarm goes off. That was a little nerve wracking (to trust that he’s still breathing when I can’t see him), but getting up in the middle of the night for the false alarms was more nerve wracking.
Valor’s got the thumb-finger pincer move down and loves to feed himself finger foods. He does this cute thing when he’s excited (hungry or anticipating a pick-up) where he sticks his arms straight out at the sides and opens and closes his fists while twisting his wrists. At 22 lbs. the 12-month clothes are starting to get tight, so he’s about to move into 18-month clothes; he’s been in size large Fuzzi Bunz for a month. He’s still nursing 5-6 times a day, and sleeps about 8 pm-7 am but wakes up about 5:30 am for a snack. He takes 3 hour-long naps, morning, midday, and afternoon, or two naps, the afternoon one longer. I didn’t think he was interested in crawling at all until yesterday, when he started finally getting the backfield in motion while he was on his tummy. He progressed so much, I bet he will be crawling in the next few weeks!
Please pray for us to find a church home soon. We’re anxious to get rooted and invest in relationships somewhere quickly, but a fit hasn’t materialized as easily as we had hoped. John is having lunch Thursday with the pastor of the church we’ve attended most recently…did I mention it’s named Tabernacle?