And the lessons continue...

As I shared  here and here , God has been giving me some "2 x 4" lessons lately.   But they aren't all quite that way...some are more of the "still small voice" variety in the goings-on of everyday life.

Sunday night, I was up a bit late, working on the blog and checking Facebook periodically, when I realized it was snowing.  Now, you have to understand that living in Arkansas, snow is a BIG DEAL.  We don't see it often (this year notwithstanding), we aren't especially well prepared for it (as a whole), and (again, as a general whole) we don't particularly know how to drive in it.  When flurries are forecast, grocery store checkout lines wrap around the store, and if you don't get there quick, there will be no milk and bread to be found.

Between the fact that Billy has to go to work regardless of the weather (and once there, the hospital can declare inclement weather policy and he *can* be required to stay overnight), the inadequate heating in our old, drafty house that makes going out to play in the snow much less fun than it would be otherwise (because once one gets thoroughly chilled, it's difficult to get warmed up again), and our ever-present roof issues, snow is not my friend these days.

I realized something Sunday night, though.  I realized that I wasn't nearly as bothered by the chilly house or the roof concerns as usual.  Then I thought a bit more and realized that I hadn't had my usual bout of frustration when doing laundry earlier.  (Our washer is in our kitchen and our dryer is on our back porch, and often I find myself getting a bit annoyed at the inconvenience of having to unlock the back door, carry the wet laundry across the kitchen, maneuver the obstacle course that is the back porch, and get said laundry into the dryer without mishap.)  The more I thought, the more I realized that many of my "old house irritations" hadn't affected me in the typical ways over the weekend.

And then I realized why.

We are in the very, very early stages of planning a move.  I've been saying an "earlier than planned" move, but that is technically inaccurate.  When we bought my grandparents' house almost 13 years ago, we had planned to have it completely renovated in the eight years it would take us to pay it off, and then be able to sell at a profit and move to our "forever house".  What is that saying about the best-laid plans??  We've hit a number of unexpected turns in the road in those years, and we are nowhere *near* having the work done that we had planned to have done four years ago.  In fact, it needs more work now than we were aware it needed then!

So the revised plan was to continue working on the needed repairs and such, and somewhere *way* down the road, sell and move.  Recent events, however, have caused us to re-evaluate, and it appears that we *may* be moving much earlier than the *revised* plan called for.

This past weekend, we did some very initial scouting and pre-pre-pre-planning.  And despite the fact that this move is still a ways out (6-8 months best case scenario, most likely), and not even a sure thing yet, I realized that my irritation with all my "this old house" annoyances had almost completely evaporated (for the time being, at least! :)), because I have been so focused on what is to come.  The fact that there is, for the first time in a long time, a "light at the end of the tunnel" in the form of hope of being *out* of this house and *into* something *without* all those annoyances has completely changed my attitude.  "Only a while left to deal with this!" has been my constant thought.

Then these verses came to mind...

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
~2 Corinthians 4:16-18

And I realized...this is exactly how it should be with our "earthly troubles".

I can't "see" our future home.  I don't know where it will be, what it will look like, or when it will become reality.  I don't even know *for sure* that it WILL become reality.  Probably, but who knows?  We *could* still be in this house when Ammah Grace graduates from high school!  (Perish the thought!!)

And yet, the hope of that home is enough to cause the irritations of this current house to fade into the background...I'm too busy thinking about what is (hopefully) to come!

I don't know when that "eternal glory" is to come either, nor do I understand exactly what it will look like.  Like looking at floor plans, I can see it on paper (in God's Word), but can't really see it accurately in my mind's eye.  But ~ I *do KNOW* for certain that it will happen.  And as the verses in 2 Corinthians say, my eyes should be fixed not on what is seen, what is now, what is temporary, but on what is unseen, what is to come, what is eternal.  And the thought of that eternal glory should make the current "irritations" and "annoyances" and "sufferings" all fade into the "light and momentary" category.

If I have my eyes fixed on the eternal, then like my old house woes, worries about the "storms of life" will fade as hope for the future...a sure and certain hope...replaces them.

But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] shall change and renew their strength and power; they shall lift their wings and mount up [close to God] as eagles [mount up to the sun]; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint or become tired.
Isaiah 40:31 (AMP)

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