Friday, February 10, 2012

Deja Vu All Over Again

It's the start of a new year which makes my heart happy and full. I do love a fresh canvas and new beginnings. In the rear view mirror to 2011 I can't come up with a lot to say other than, "Did that just happen?" It was, unquestionably, the fullest, deepest, richest, longest year of my life so far.

Before 2010 even ended we were contemplating opportunities for change presented to us and as you well know by early spring 2011 we had decided to make one of the most significant leaps we little comfortable ones can make: to change our address. I hope I won't forget what it felt like to walk through Honeysuckle Court across the dark walnut floors (we laid ourselves) for the last time.

To look once more at all of the trim and cabinetry changed from honey oak to purest white that took more than a few "Blast it" moments to complete. Bless Dirk's heart.

The house was home for us for more than eight years. Not an eternity but the biggest whole of our married life. Inside those walls I experienced the fullest joys, the heartiest laughs, the most searing grief and so many lessons learned along the way.

I can still picture in my mind's eye just exactly where I was standing when I was ministered to like healing balm as "Blessed be the Name" played to my broken heart after learning our first daughter had died in utero. I can also remember just where I was on my knees begging God to take my desire to mother right out of my heart if He didn't have that for me. I can remember where I was upstairs when I felt clear as a bell's toll the affirmation to read Joel chapter 2 and the message of hope that spoke straight to me. I can see myself carrying in the tiniest bundle of pink across the grassy lawn in front of the cul de sac only one year later. And where I was two years later when I got the call from my precious believing OB nurse who uttered the words, "God has been very good to us today. You are very pregnant." Announcing the pending arrival of the one and only Ainsley love. Home.

God, in His infinitely brilliant way has weaved a great story for we four Mattsons. One we'd never have penned for ourselves but one far more interesting. I'd likely have chosen a tale which lent itself a lot more heavily on the "everything fell neatly into place" around page four or so type of tale. But those aren't the stories you can't put down. The best ones are the ones where you wonder "Did that just happen?" or "Why is she doing that??" Only to eagerly turn each page to see what's next. And so it has been with our story. Sometime after I told our carpenter I'd be buried in the backyard when I was old and gray we did pick right up and move to the east. It was with hearts filled with great expectations that we moved to New Hampshire.

But we hadn't been there all too long when it became increasingly clear that New Hampshire would not be our final destination. And to our utter surprise we stayed there but six short months.

It was after much prayer and lots of sleepless nights (which were altogether unforgettable in themselves) when we just knew that we knew that not only was it okay to leave - it would be really, really good to leave. And so we did. Now we are in San Antonio, Texas. Yes indeedy - cowboy up y'all!

Though we knew indeed that leaving the east was part of God's plan, saying goodbye to that beautiful little corner of the world was hard to do as well. On Emie's last day of school I walked into her classroom to find her dear teacher had created a wonderful farewell keepsake for her. She had each student add to it their well wishes for Emie. Rewind further still and note that this same wonderful woman incorporated Texas into the curriculum in all manner of creative ways so that Emie would be well familiar with her new home by the time we were ready to move. Above and beyond. Little Moharimet school is a treasure in the woods. A dream of a place to begin one's elementary years and for the brilliant start it provided to Em's education I'll forever be grateful.

I'm glad that dear Dirk had the idea to begin to record every single blessing that came our way as we began our preparations to move and those that came along the way. It became almost laughable - our good fortune - the unmerited favor of the Lord. The reminders of how good it is to be children of the most high God. How He loves us. Astounding. I really should write a post just about those. One especially fun treat was seeing the real Santa eating tacos while we were out to dinner with my family on Christmas Eve in Illinois. How do I know he was the real one? Just take a look and you tell me? Isn't he great?

Amidst the well-recorded blessings and favor more than a few blurry patches could be found where tears flowed freely. Uprooting is hard. Trying to put down roots somewhere unfamiliar is hard. Finding the energy to look for good soil to try again to put down roots is hard. Yet God's faithfulness is immeasurable. His provision sufficient. More than enough.

The girls are my heroes as they took to the change with such ease and grace. Emie's grown up so much in seven short months. Her faith has matured beyond her Kinder status. In facing yet another new environment recently she said, "If I feel a little nervous, I'll just remember God is with me. He would never leave me - that would be silly." I love how His presence is just so organic to her. It's just altogether silly to consider otherwise. Beautiful.

And the Ainsley love, well she's just precious. She mentions sometimes missing the lobsters. Yes, she embraced seeing these little sea dwellers everywhere we went. They seriously are in tanks just about anyplace you go in New England. And where there weren't tanks there were chalk renderings, plush toys, and of course cooked varieties in their stead. As much as she shrieked from them at the time...the little snappers were a constant for the darling girl and she found herself missing what had become familiar.

She does sometimes mention being "A little bit scared" about visiting yet another new place but is quick to pony up and give it a go. Cowboy up indeed.

So we're home. Don't know how long we'll stay. Wouldn't even venture a guess since I'm not the one writing this story. But I do know one thing -- the author of our lives is good, and loving, and powerful enough to overcome anything we face along the way.

4 Comments so far - Add yours!

  1. So beautiful. I am thankful for you and your words of wisdom...what a great way to start my morning!

    By the way, I love it when you update your blog! :)

  2. Melinda... what a dear post. Your little Emie's faith is astounding. The faith of a child...we can all learn so much!

    Sounds like you are at peace in your new place. I think of you often, and pray the transitions continue to fall smoothly into place.

    Love you, dear friend!

  3. Oops! That was me, Shelly, who posted the "Anonymous"... how'd that happen?

  4. I too love your words Melinda. So nice to hear from you again and glad things are going great in Texas. I love and miss you so much and pray God keeps watch over y'all! :)
    P.S. I agree with you - that Santa looks like the real deal!!! Love you lots~