August 21, 2016 | Melissa Weissenberger
It’s been a couple of months since we’ve posted anything–we unintentionally allowed ourselves to unplug and unwind from the school year and it was the best accidental decision we’ve made in a long time!
I’ll post soon about some of what we’ve done this “summer” break (it’s winter here), but for now: an update on our current situation.
We moved again! This is the 8th time in our 3.5 years of marriage that we’ve packed up everything and moved to a new place. For this next school year we are, again, taking care of a home owned by a missionary spending a year Stateside on furlough. It’s a blessing to be able to move into a furnished home and take care of someone else’s property. I love watering flowers and fixing small issues in a house when I know it’s going to bless someone else.
Our new house is closer to the school and in a more cozy neighborhood. We see our neighbors now and there are lots of children around.
It feels safer, even if it isn’t, and for that I rejoice! I felt comfortable enough to leave the house alone this morning and go for a quick jog. I haven’t felt safe doing that since we left the US.
All of this being said: the challenges we did not know we’d face in this house have been an answer to prayers.
Lots of people told us that our first year of marriage would be our hardest. Then some people followed up and said that year 3 is really the hardest. Then others said that if you can make it past year 7, you’ll be set for life.
We didn’t really have a hard first year, but something about this move has made it feel like year one all over again.
I’ll let some pictures from the past few days tell the story:
We spent a good deal of time, yesterday, sorting through ceramic plates at a local store. Lots of Bolivians gave us longer stares than usual as we sat there on the floor digging through piles to find matching sets.
We also don’t have sheets yet–so a painting drop cloth and two t-shirts are working for now.
The main reason we went looking for plates yesterday is because we were eating off of cookie sheets.
The stovetop doesn’t heat up hot enough to cook our food well, so I’ve developed a two-pan system to trap heat.
Case in point: it took 3 hours to make these enchiladas. From Chris going to a neighbor’s house to cook tortillas on a hotter stovetop (and borrow their pan), to the black beans taking 1 1/2 hours to cook, the enchilada sauce taking 1 hour to simmer and thicken… it was triple the amount of time the lovely mommy blogger suggested.
So how is this an answered prayer?
Awhile back, we’d been discussing our marriage and where we’re headed, and we both noted that we aren’t fully satisfied. We love each other deeply, and we’re absolutely committed to our future together, but something about our recent habits, schedules, and attitudes wasn’t living up to our distinct emotional needs.
So I began to pray.
I asked God to change our environment and give us an atmosphere of gratitude. I wanted our marriage to be filled with hope and for us to spend more intentional time together.
Little did I know, we’d be moving into a quasi-fixer upper house and doing the majority of our life the old-fashioned way. I have spent more time with my husband intentionally working on projects over the past 3 days than I think we had all “summer”.
The house really is wonderful, it’s not even remotely falling apart, and we are beyond blessed to have it–it just has some unique qualities that make us slow down, for which I give thanks to God.
As we begin the school year soon (which will be another upcoming post), I feel fortunate to be entering it with this attitude. I don’t want our time together on Earth to be rushed through or spent unintentionally too busy for each other.
What a joy it is to know that God listens to our prayers and challenges us in ways we wouldn’t have imagined!
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