Friday, January 27, 2006

Weekly Word for Jan. 27 thru Feb. 3, 2006

Weekly Word - January 27, 2006

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!
Let your forbearing spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near.
(Philippians 4: 4 & 5)

It was getting down to the wire, and I still hadn’t written a story for the upcoming week. I had spent the last two days doing things around the house, starting to get a few things packed away, for when we moved. The day before, I had decided to pack up some of my pictures that were hanging on the walls. I went from room to room, taking down pictures, and stacking them in the living room. I had put two empty boxes there on the floor. As I wrapped each picture in newspaper, I then gently put them into a box. Filling up one of the boxes, I sealed it up and moved on to the next. But just then, I looked up at my walls. They seemed so bare without the pictures on them. I wanted to continue wrapping up the pictures, but instead, I started to walk around the apartment. I should have felt happy, after all, we were moving to a much bigger apartment. But instead, I felt depressed. As I got to the study, I stopped. There, I looked at the wall that had held all my children’s pictures. I had hung up all sorts of pictures of the kids - - - but now it was empty. As I looked at it, I couldn’t stand how I felt! I wanted my children’s pictures back up . . .

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!

As I looked at the bare wall, I decided that I needed to put the pictures back up. So, pulling the boxes apart, I found the pictures of my children and grandchildren. As I put each back up in it’s place, I wondered what was wrong with me. After all, I knew that it was a good thing for us to be moving - but still - I felt so down . . .

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving - let your requests be made known to God.
(Philippians 4: 6)

My husband had taken a new job - in Connecticut. We lived in southern Massachusetts. He was going to have to drive about an hour or more each day, just to get to work. But at the time, I didn’t care. He had already been traveling to work for a couple of years. So this new job wasn’t too much farther for him to travel. At least that’s how I looked at it. I liked where we lived. The children were happy and had lots of friends. Mike was doing great in the small parochial school there. And in another few years, Jenny would be going to that school. For me, living in southern Massachusetts was good, it was home.

He traveled for a few years, but he made it known that he wanted to move. So he kept showing me ads for houses, and telling me how great Connecticut was. But still, I didn’t want to move. But he kept pushing, and so we started looking . . .

I had said “no” to every house he showed me. That is, until we walked into “that” house! When I walked into it, I immediately loved it. I don’t know why I loved it, but I did. It had lots of windows, and the living room and dining room opened into the kitchen. He knew I liked it, and so he wrote up the contract that week-end. As I signed my name, my stomach felt in knots. I liked the house, but I still didn’t want to move!

Be anxious for nothing, . . . Let your requests be made known to God . . .
And the peace of God, . . . shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
(Philippians 4: 6 & 7)

That spring and summer, we got ready to move. We had to wait for the owners to finish building their new house, and so the kids and I spent one last summer in our old house. We sat on our deck, we played in the pool, and we spent time with our friends. I didn’t know how I was ever going to say good-bye to my friends.

Finally, it was moving day! Everything was packed, and there were boxes everywhere. As we sat in the living room, our friends Charlotte and Ron came over to visit. They lived right next door, and I knew I would miss them terribly. Charlotte had spent so many mornings in my kitchen - drinking coffee and talking about anything and everything. We went to every birthday party, and their family felt like part of ours. As they left that night, I knew that things were never going to be the same - - - ever again . . .

Finally brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, . . . let your mind dwell on these things.
(Philippians 4: 8)

I didn’t sleep at all that night! I spent the night worrying and crying. I didn’t want to move - - - but we did anyways . . .

I lived in that new house with my husband for 10 years. I made new friends, and started a new life. My children grew into teen-agers there, and Mike headed off to the army from there. And then it was time to leave again . . .

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want . . . He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul; . . .
(Psalm 23: 1 - 3)

I didn’t want to leave, and I told my lawyer that! If there was any way to fix this marriage - I wanted to find it. So I had everything drawn up, with the condition that if things got better, I was going to cancel it all! As the date grew closer, I searched for a reason to stay. I hoped, and I prayed - and I wondered what I was going to do. And then I stopped wondering . . .

As I drove home from work that evening, I really did wonder if things might actually work out in our marriage. I had music playing on the radio, and like usual - I was singing along. But as I turned into my driveway, I heard her. She was screaming and crying, and it took a moment for me to see what was going on. There she was, on the garage floor, with her father towering above her. I didn’t hear what he was saying, but I could see he was furious. Before I could get out of the car, he kicked her. When she saw me, she came running - sobbing and trying to catch her breath. I tried to listen to what they both were saying, but I couldn’t really get past what I had seen. She had disobeyed, and I knew that she had been wrong. But had she deserved to be dragged and kicked? I didn’t think so. That was the moment - that changed everything . . .

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil;
for Thou art with me;
Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me.
(Psalm 23: 4)

It seems like a lifetime has passed since that day - so many years ago. So many things have changed since then. I did leave my husband. We did get a divorce. Over time, we both changed - and the anger and hatred disappeared. And then I found love - - - I found Ted . . .

Thou has anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows . . .
(Psalm 23: 5)

When I look back over time - to all the changes and moving I have done - I am able to see the good things that happened because I said “yes” to moving. I have to admit, I always complain about it. It is never easy for me. But somehow, with the Lord’s help, I find a way . . .

Last week, I got a note from a good friend. She wrote how much she liked my stories. And then she wrote: “your life was changed because of your friendship with Norma - I like the stories you write about her”. As I thought about that, I realized that if I had never moved to Connecticut - I would never have met Norma. If I had never left my first husband - I wouldn’t have found Ted. “If” I hadn’t said “yes” to change - - - I wouldn’t be “me” - today!

Thou hast anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows.
Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me - all the days of my life,

(Psalm 23: 5 & 6)

Again, we are getting ready to move. As I look around our little apartment, I see the “home” Ted and I have made together. There are pictures on the walls of each room. There are souvenirs and mementos from places we have gone, and times we want to remember. All of these will be packed and taken with us. So why was I still having trouble with moving?

The people I have met, each time I have moved, have brought about changes in my life. I am so thankful for the gift of Norma’s life. I would never have wanted to miss one moment - of the time we shared together. I am also thankful for the friends I have met, in each place I have lived over the years. It will be hard to say good-bye to our new friends we have made here; especially little Michaela who lives upstairs. She is only 7 years old, and feels like part of our family. When she heard we were moving, she had to come down to see me. When I opened the door, there she stood - looking up at me with tears in her eyes. As I knelt down to hug her - I knew I would never forget this little girl, who had found a place in my heart.

Quite a few years ago, when Ted’s wife first left him, I gave him a present for Christmas. It was a plate with a picture from Thomas Kinkade. It shows a house next to a small brook, with a bridge leading to the house. The lights are on inside of the house, and dusk is setting all around it. The words on the picture read: Home is where our hearts feel welcome.

No matter where Ted and I live, our love is there - and so it becomes “our home”. I know that I will cry, the day we move from this little apartment. But I also know, my heart - and my home - is where the Lord - and Ted is . . .

I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.
I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.
(Philippians 4: 12 & 13)
Where are you going? Where is your heart, and your “home”. My hope is that you will ask God to be in your life, and to help you to find your way - - - home . . .

“For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans for welfare and not for calamity - to give you a future and a hope.”
(Jeremiah 29: 11)

God bless you in the coming week ahead!

In His Love,
Debbie & Ted Ayers


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