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We are a family of fifteen: eight already with Jesus and seven in desperate need of Him. This is the story God is writing in our lives. Proverbs 16:9

Monday, August 23, 2010

Bumps in the Road

There is one word that keeps coming to my mind as I attempt to update our blog. That word is- tired. It is true that new and exciting evokes energy and stamina in many cases. For me and I daresay my family, new and exciting have become normal and predictable and always means we work until we are weary. I know that this position for Micah has offered challenges that have required a great deal of his energy. Regardless of how I feel, though, there is still a task at hand. This is not quite the end of this road. Thankfulness always combats tiredness. Sometimes it takes a good nap, though, for thankfulness to go from being a concept to a driving, exhilarating force~

The above paragraph is one I composed YESTERDAY... not knowing what today would bring. We have now sunk into a new level of TIRED! I have to be careful how I describe our current situation. One thing I can do as a writer for my readers is position a circumstance so that we are right and someone else is wrong. I in no way want to personify myself as infallible- my goodness, I am far from it. This present situation, however, in order for me to write about it clearly is going to paint another human being in a not-so-good light. It is what it is... and we need your prayers!

One thing we have learned about living in apartments is that being respectful to your neighbors is key to living peacefully. We have come to expect some noise in such close quarters and try to give grace to others as they live their lives with different schedules than ours. There is a lot written about children and apartments, so I have discovered. There are parents on two sides of the fence: 1)Those who value their children's growth and development and freedoms above those of their neighbors and 2)Those who have so many rules that children have no freedom to be children at all. We have tried with every move to intentionally make choices that would bless our neighbors and also give our children appropriate freedoms during daytime hours. Love our children AND our neighbors. Love conquers all, right? That is where I was completely wrong. What I have learned is that there truly are people living in apartments that do no like children living alongside them. They do not wish to get along. They do not like moms at home with children during the day (I am not just a stay-at-home mom/home school mom in title, I truly try to keep the raising of our boys centered around our home). Our approach to these people (and we have only met two in the last seven apartments we have lived in) is to do good to them (Luke 6:27) and not return evil for evil (Romans 12:17) among other things- not perfectly but desiring to show them love as we have first been loved. The boys and I, since we are the ones at home most of the time, have spent time praying for those around us as well.

However, what we have encountered at our last apartment has taken this to a different level. Suffice it to say that our downstairs neighbor has been dishonest with us, has demonstrated his quick-temper on several occasions, offered verbal/physical harassment, and not respected any warnings or directives given to him by the management office to take all his complaints to them and to stop the inappropriate behaviors. We have been in multiple conversations with our apartment managers to try and help the situation, but they assure us that we are doing nothing wrong and we should go on living our lives as normal. Unfortunately, there is nothing normal about being afraid of provoking another already hostile human being. It has created quite a bit of stress for me and in turn, Andrew and Elijah. We have decided to move... again... tomorrow. I know this person has no idea the kind of year we have had... moving so often. I don't know that it would make any difference. It really doesn't matter. He doesn't know us- But God ~two of the most beautiful words in scripture~ does.

I ask you to pray for us, specifically for peace, for strength, for rest, for perseverance, for love for others, for a safe environment for our children... But I also ask you to pray for this other individual. He has a much bigger problem than his neighbors. He needs the peace that can rule in his heart and change him from the inside out that comes from knowing and loving Jesus Christ.

There is more going on here than this. Since we settled, we have been trying to enjoy our surroundings the best we can. We found this lovely place not far from Micah's job. The photographs look like postcards due to the picturesque location and clear weather. This is believed to be the only remaining structure featured in the film Gone With The Wind. You can read more about it here.
We have also braved the heat and attended a couple of Arkansas Travelers Ballgames. The evening-sky backdrop for the stadium and the city across the river was spectacular. Our seats were right behind the visiting team's dugout. Thankfully, no one was hit in the head by a foul ball, though Elijah was really hoping to catch one. Andrew, on the other hand, made it his job to follow the cotton-candy guy through the stands so the moment Micah and I declared, "Snack Time!", he would know just where to go to get his ballpark food choice.

Even as we feel exhaustion, God is still God and His strength is perfect. We feel His protection in hotel walls tonight. Our desire is to echo the Psalmist:

The Lord is my strength and my shield; in Him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with song I give thanks to Him. ~Psalm 28:7


Matt Cummings said...

Praying for y'all constantly. I can't wait for y'all to have a place that is permanent. Hopefully I can see y'all soon!

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry all your neighbors aren't as wonderful as us ;) Seriously, I hate you are having to go through this. I can't imagine those sweet little faces not brightening someone's day. I would take you as next door neighbors again any day! Any chance you might end up in sunny Florida? :) love to you all!

jaime Wolter said...

We're praying for you guys. Sorry to hear about your stressful situation.

Anna M said...

I hope your new place is better. It's unfortunate that all adults can't remember they were once children. It's moms like you who raise boys to be the types of adults WHO DO remember what it's like to be kids--what a rich life you're giving them by devoting yourself so wholeheartedly to raising them. We're getting ready to move our boys and I look to your example of rolling with the punches, friend.

Kristin said...

Hi! I just heard about your blog from my husband Glenn who met you all yesterday I believe. :) I am so sorry the experiences were so awful! I hope your next step is SO great for your family!

Also, I would love any tips you have for fun places to go or eat or shop in Little Rock! I am a little nervous about the cultural differences between my hometown of San Diego where there are more people than the entire state of Arkansas and Little Rock! :)

Larry Holleman said...

I've been following you all through your Mom and Dad. We'll continue to remember you as you seek the Lord's puposes. I can see by reading your posts that He has already accomplished much in you and I trust that when He's properly prepared you he will provide that for which he has conditioned you. God's blessings!

Larry Holleman