Thursday, January 10, 2013

Finding Joy despite the Anguish

Good Afternoon Blog World.
To say that I am blown away with your kindness and response to my first post would be an understatement! So thank you for making this girl feel like I wasn't all alone in this blogging world. I truly appreciate all of your sweets and thoughtful comments, the reassured me the importance of using this outlet to tell our story of survival as well as document our day to day life. Once I wrote the last post I really started thinking about what I would write this time. I know I said it would include pics of the new house as well as some tips to treasure hunting "old soul" style. But the fact of the matter is there is something bigger on my heart that I wanted to talk about. Something a little deeper and less cosmetic if you will.
I have always ( well for as long as I subconsciously can remember) believed that EVERYTHING happens for a reason. Its true. I am one of 'those' people. I often find myself thinking back over events and seeing how the Lord had his hand right in the middle of it all! So, with that being said, in January 2012 my mom, my sister and I started in a new Beth Moore bible study offered at our church. We LOVE Beth Moore!! We have done several of the video/workbook studies before and knew that this one would NOT disapoint. The topic was one of her newest studies and one of my favorite books in the Bible, JAMES. I remember sitting in the first class and watching the video and just thinking how in the world will this apply to my life? I didn't make it to the second week of class because that was the week we lost our home in the tornado. Turns out though that the third week of class (second week in the workbook) was based around how Joy and Anguish can literally coexist. And boy did I understand that! I had such Joy in the fact that God spared our lives and the lives of my neighbors but I had such anguish constantly replaying the events over and over again in my mind. Anguish thinking about the "what-ifs" I'm not going to lie- it took me quite a while to get through this. I lived in such a constant panic stage for several months(until joining a bible study this past summer where a very wise lady pointed out to me that God does not call us to a spirit of fear. That the only thing we are to fear is the Lord. Well hello. I knew this, but it wasn't until sweet R laid it out on the table very bluntly that I realized that I was to finally let it go and trust Gods plan !)
There was a verse in the workbook that went along with the joy/anguish discussion. The verses were: James 1:2-4 "count it all joy, my brothers and sisters, who you face trials of many kinds, for you know the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish it's work so that you may be mature and complete, and lacking nothing" These verses really resonated with me and helped to change my thought process over the next 9-12 months. But ultimately. These verses have become my "life" verses. I made the decision to just know that the Lord brought us to this place for a reason and I am to Glorify him through it all. So that's been my goal and will continue to be.
Looking back to January 23rd the Lord showed us several signs right off the bat so that we knew he was there. The were subtle but definitely not coincidence. For example, when my brother and his wife and mil came and picked up my boys and we were just waiting for the sun to come up I found a page from favorite devotional book that I had been given years before. The page was lying on the driveway and when I picked it up and shined a light on it the top read "In our weakness he is our strength" I clung to that!!
Then as our parents arrived and we went back into our house for the first time we went upstairs where our home was opened like a little doll house- everything in Fearings room was destroyed and pretty much gone- but on the wall a cross never moved. On the cross was the verse "Angels watching over you" Psalm 91:11.

And one of my favorite signs came in the shape of a heart. All of the windows in the front of our house were completely gone(window frame and all) except one window. And that window was broken into the shape of a heart. People would stop and take pictures of it because it was really crazy how our house was destroyed the way it was yet that window was a reminder of light in the darkness! I'll include a few pictures- and next blog I look forward to sharing pictures of the new house!

This is the last picture in front of our old house. This was a very bittersweet day- the day they tore the remainder of the house down. We found Joy in knowing that saying goodbye to that house would allow us to start our me journey with our new house. I will always treasure this picture. Lord, I pray we will never lose sight of where we have been and never take where we are today (physically and spiritually) for granted!

Friday, January 4, 2013

New Beginnings...

As I sit here coffee in my left hand pecking the iPad with my right hand my mind is inundatedwith where it is I see this blog going and why I'm even attempting this outlet...again. As crazy as this might sound, I've contemplated this blog for quite a while now. It is almost hard to believe the last post on our former blog was over two years ago. Our lives were so different then. For obvious reasons like we only had one little boy at the time, we were living in a different town in our first home together ( our little cottage that belonged on the shore somewhere)! And we really knew nothing about those vows we took saying "for better or for worse." This to say, we have had our share of better in the last two years, for example the birth of our second son, who we so affectionately refer to as "Babe"; the chance to move back to our hometown near our family; an awesome house that we were able to buy that was way more than we thought we would have at our age- with a great neighborhood; And overall just feeling like we "had" know, like our life was feeling pretty perfect. Sure we had some tough times but we really had nothing to complain about!

On January 23, 2012 our lives took a completely different direction. While we still had our family, our health and the things that we truly needed we experienced a living nightmare at 4:00 AM. Our home was pretty much destroyed(along with most of our neighborhood) by an F-3 tornado.  Just typing that sends chills up my spine and my eyes instantly fill with tears. While it is not my intention to constantly dwell on this event the realist in me knows that even almost a year later it is still very fresh on my mind. The tornado certainly does not define me but it sure did help to 'refine' me if you will. It helped refine me into a woman who knows what it is like to completely depend on her personal Savior . It helped refine me into a mommy who got over always having the most perfectly matched children down to their socks (even though I still do this it is not to extent it once was!). It also helped to refine mine and B's relationship that has weathered(no pun intended) more in 5 years than many will in 30ish! At the one year later mark I feel certain that I am better because of what we have endured in 2012. 


So with the background laid, I'll get to the point of my blog title. New House, Old Soul.  As I mentioned before our first home was a little "cottage" that belonged on the shore somewhere, I'll never forget the first time I peeked through the windows of that little house! It had tongue and groove wood from top to bottom. Literally, you could not tell where the floor stopped and the walls began! But it had good bones! Speaking of bones, we worked our fingers to the bone on that house!! I have an unhealthy  attraction to all things old. Old books, buttons, furniture, dishes, fabric etc. I love to find something that most would see as trash and be able to see past the coat of dust, grime or lack of initial appeal and transform it into something that is perfect for my china cabinet or mantel. Something that has soul! So with that being said, when we lost our home and most of our "stuff" I knew when we rebuilt I would not want to go by all brand new stuff. Where's the fun in that?!  So considering I would have about 9 months to find what I wanted for our new house I made it my mission to A. Buy things that I really liked -not just buy to fill up space B. Find unique items that fit our 'style' (imagine a melting pot of shabby chic, French country, OBX old school beach charm and practical-we have two rowdy boys under 4--who will break things-- lots of things) and C. On a Major  budget. Fast forward a couple of months and you will find my partner in crime (my mom) and I hauling two kids and countless 'treasures' we wheeled and dealed and scored and squeezed into the back of my bus  suburban. Let's just say I'm on a first name basis with the guy at the local paint store and I'm pretty sure he thinks I'm an idiot to say the least. But, I don't care. We pretty munched decorated an entire house with items we found at thrift stores, yard sales, "antique" and junk stores and my grandparents basement. Yep, that's right. We might as well be dumpster divers at this point( there was this one particular junk store that I was pretty sure I wasn't going to make it out of...but that's a post for a different day-stay tuned!) When it's all said and done I can tell you where every piece of furniture and accent in our new house came from and the story behind it. You know, what gives it Soul! I am living proof that you can decorate on a budget and turn a tragedy into a challenge to be better in the end! So next up I'll give a little over view of our new house and include some tips on where to start when looking for 'treasures'