Howdy friend! We are settling deeper and better into our new home each day, but in all the hullabaloo I haven’t posted an official goodbye tribute to that special basement apartment of ours, The Shoebox. Here it is.
I knew The Shoebox was the right place for us the moment I stepped through the rusted door. At times I admit I hated living there, but I always fought for contentment and God provided it. What resulted was five years of sweet, full, growing moments and memories.
This is what our family looked like when we moved into the Shoebox:
This is what our family looked like when we moved out:
Have you ever read Psalm 107? It is a beautiful recount of practical, almost predictable ways that God helped/saved/provided in specific situations for His people after they called out to Him. Over the years in the Shoebox I remember several times that we cried out to God and He answered. I can’t think of a better way to say goodbye to the home in which we started our family than to record our very own version of Psalm 107.
Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever.
When I asked God to increase my faith, He gave me a child and the Shoebox adventure.
We needed a cheap apartment in which to downsize. (One in a nice/safe area, with low rent and a yard that would allow a big aggressive-breed dog.) We cried out to the Lord in our situation and He gave us The Shoebox.
I was disappointed, scared and wrought out over the downsize. Also the huge responsibility and all the changes that accompanied our impending parenthood were overwhelming me. I cried out to the Lord and He gave me courage in the form of Psalm 138:3. The boldness that God injected into my soul that day carried me through years of changes, uncertainty and frustrations.
When I sunk myself in moments of self pity and loathing our Shoebox home, I cried out to the Lord in thanks and He provided the gratitude and contentment I needed to thrive there another year. And another. And another.
I cried out to God to release me from certain fears that plagued and embattled my mind. He showed me how to train my mind to guard from fear and remain fixated on truth and faith.
I asked God to teach me how to practice His presence. He revealed how thanksgiving and constant, working-hard gratitude are the actual keys to thriving and staying in the presence of Almighty God. (Psalm 100:4)
We wanted to move out of the Shoebox the summer after Wolf Pup was born. We made preparations to leave. God had more to teach us, however. He made sure we stayed put: Caveman lost his job, and we couldn’t afford to move out. God provided — He renewed our grace and appreciation of the apartment in His goodness. Also, I started a certain blog to chronicle the lessons and blessings we gleaned from the journey. 😉
For much of 2013 Caveman had trouble finding a job with a stable contract. For a year and a half we had zero health insurance on me. Our entire family had no health insurance coverage for 10 months. We continually cried out to the Lord for protection and health—He was faithful the entire year. Not once were our young boys sick enough to need a doctor. Little Lady was conceived and God provided the money for her appointments. God kept us safe, healthy, protected and completely in His care. We never once went into debt or had a need that went unmet. Anonymous generosity provided a grocery card each month for the whole year. That money was often the difference between us eating healthy, fresh whole foods instead of more beans and items with less nutritional value. 🙂 The Lord cared for us and showed His generous grace and lovingkindness over and over and over.
All through 2014 we cried out to God to provide the right home for us. We looked and dreamed and pushed and prayed. God waited and gently removed the burden of an idol in my heart. Only after I relinquished the inflated fantasy of what I thought I wanted in a home did He—in His own perfect timing and goodness—unveil the actual perfect house for us.
We needed a new home for our growing family and God provided The Green House. It is not large. It is humble. It is peaceful, light-filled, beautiful, PERFECT. This house is His gift, His turning our longing into reality, His loving deed of blessing. This is His story, and we are thrilled to just be along for the ride.
This is His—God’s—story, and we are thrilled to just be along for the ride.
So goodbye, Shoebox.
I am grateful that although our physical surroundings have changed, the faithfulness and the friendship and the gentle leading of a good God have not. Onward!
Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind.
Let them sacrifice thank offerings and tell of his works with songs of joy.