This week is filled with a flurry of activity, as we prepare to move to a new home. My heart and mind are caught up in many thoughts as I pack, throw away, and try to get my family ready.

I have thought a great deal about our first year in Colorado. This past year has been a quiet, yet burning crucible, with some of the more difficult trials that we have faced. They have been so personal that I have not written many of them.

But as I look back on this year, I am astonished. It has been a year of tremendous growth and beauty. This year has changed us forever, and we will never be the same. And that is largely because of the difficulties that we have faced. I wouldn’t trade those things, painful as they have been, for anything.

The other thing that has astonished me is that we have somehow been okay. This year has met us with burdens that are great, as we have been unable to sell our home and as we have gone through a very costly cross-country move. Yet somehow, as we have strived to follow what the Lord has directed us to do, we have been alright. In fact, we are flourishing. We have been blessed abundantly, and somehow, we are doing well, in spite of the turmoil in the world.

It has truly taught me something. That has we try to do our best at following what the Lord says, we will be taken care of. I had a conversation with an acquaintance recently who was angry at me for suggesting that she trust the Lord, and she stated that “If we leave it up to Him, we will suffer. I have to make my own decisions.” While it’s true that you do need to make decisions, and that you do have the possibility of suffering, the only way to joy is through Him. I felt nothing but sorrow for this woman, whose pain was evident. But my sorrow was not for any misfortune she may have had. It was for the lack of trust and love for her Father, Who so dearly loves her.

Somehow, regardless of everything, the Lord has blessed us beyond what seems possible. And I believe it is because of this, which has been my creed since before I had a family:

“And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.

And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.”
Isaiah 32:17-18
I believe that, regardless of where we have lived or what has been happening, we have dwelled in a “peaceable habitation,” because we have tried to follow our Father. I am truly one of the most vastly imperfect people that I know, so imperfect and full of error that at times it causes me great sorrow. But I believe firmly in a loving Father who sees our hearts, and Who knows, in spite of imperfections and sins, the desires of our hearts, as well as our potential. Somehow, even though we are terribly imperfect, He blesses us anyway, when He knows we are genuinely trying our best to be righteous. He blesses us with peace, quietness, and assurance. He blesses us with a peaceable habitation.

And sometimes these blessings come to us in different ways. This past year, some of our greatest blessings have been our profoundest trials. And some have been bounty in spite of leanness. But always, as we have strived to do our best, there has been a peaceable habitation, and quietness and assurance.

As we prepare to go to a new home, my greatest hope is to create for my family a “peaceable habitation,” a “quiet resting place.” And I know that the only way to truly do that is to follow our Father, and to strive with all my heart to do as He asks.

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