Well, my family is reunited again now that the kids and I have joined Drew at our new house in our new city. Long story, but it ended up that Drew did not come down to drive us up to Missouri and his parents very graciously agreed to drive with the kids and me so I wouldn't have to brave that trip alone with three children. I suppose I could have done it alone, but I'm very, very thankful they were willing to help. Drew has already bought their plane ticket to Charlotte, NC to spend Christmas with his brother and pick up their car which we left there on Friday. We left South Carolina on Friday afternoon- a balmy 80 degrees - and stopped at Drew's brother's house in Charlotte, where we spent the night. My brother and his wife came over on Friday evening and visited with us for a few hours, too, and it was great to see them again.
Then on Saturday, we left my in-laws' car at Drew's brother's house and consolidated six of us into my van with all of our stuff and the things I did not want moved on the moving truck. We had so much stuff strapped on top in our luggage holder that we were joking that we looked like the Beverly Hillbillies driving down the road. All we needed was a rocking chair on top. That van was packed full, too, and when we stopped to weigh it, since the Army will reimburse us for what we moved ourselves, we found that we had added 1300 pounds to the empty weight of the van. Wow.
We spent the night in Nashville, and I worried, a little, that all the stuff in the luggage holder on top of the van might be gone in the morning, but we were so tired at that point and the kids so ready to get out of the car that we didn't worry about it too much. Then on Sunday we finished our journey and when we arrived in town it was a cold, cold 15 degrees, which dropped to 8 degrees when the sun went down. Factoring in the wind, it's really, really, really cold here! We're not on the island anymore!
I could probably write a book, or at least a very long post, about how being cooped up in the car with my in-laws and children for three long days after a very trying week of packing and waiting on the movers and and cleaning our empty house and all that that entailed proved to show how much I still need to grow in sanctification and how it can show up the sin in my heart as tempers get frayed along the way, but I'll suffice it to say that I probably needed that light shined on my heart, but it wasn't pretty all the time. I'm glad we're done driving.
I am very grateful for the hedge of protection and safe travel God granted us along the way. And I have to say a huge, very heartfelt thank you to my mother and father in-law for their willingness to sacrifice and drive with us. I know that it wasn't easy for them, but I am very thankful they shared this burden with me. I'm not sure I could have managed this drive by myself. I also have to brag on my sweet husband. He did an excellent job at making our new house look like a home, even without furniture, which we have learned will not be delivered until the Monday after Christmas because the truck driver needs to be home with his family for Christmas, and how could we complain about that? Drew greeted us yesterday with colored lights all along the outside porch and cute decorations and a cute little Christmas tree with white lights (just the way I like it) and some wrapped presents around the tree. He had even stocked the pantry with a trip to Costco (how we've missed having a Costco close by!), and it was just so good to see him again.
Oh, and I'm typing this on the new laptop Drew bought us. Cool, huh? I'm kind of having a hard time getting used to the keyboard, so kindly ignore my typos, if you please. I have lots more to blog about, but I'll try to get to it soon. Right now, I'm just plain tired. We're going to be having an early Christmas celebration with Drew's parents before they fly out and then a nice time with just us on Christmas day.
One other thing I am also thankful about is that when I was up here a week ago visiting Drew we visited a church together that is just down the street from our house. They were performing their Christmas music program that morning, and it was just so worshipful that Drew and I both sat there with tears falling down our faces. In all the hustle and bustle of this move, as I mentioned in an earlier post, it seemed that the meaningful part of Christmas was so hard to focus on, and that Sunday morning was wonderful. Drew went back to that church yesterday, and, Lord willing, we think we may have already found a church home. What a blessing.
Merry Christmas, everyone. No matter what your circumstances, may you take time to ponder the wonder and hope that is found in our Lord Jesus Christ this Christmas season.