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Sunday, April 23, 2006

Moving Heaven and Earth

Heaven and earth have been moving in mysterious ways lately.

Upon our return from Spring Break in Seattle, we discovered the adjoining lot directly behind our house had been razed of trees to make way for new construction. I had known it was coming for some time, but that sudden dirty void was a shock nonetheless. I had kept secretly hoping that the lot would be determined too small for a single family residence (like a minor obstacle like size that would ever stop developers). I was not pleased about losing the trees, and consequently, our privacy.

The loss of trees was bitter, but at least for a few weeks their absence would allow me a view of the Kenai Mountains out my bedroom window, and a great deal more sunshine at the back side of the house. I would be able to enjoy sun and mountains for as long as it took the house to be built. Then, once the second story and roof were in place: hasta la vista, baby. My temporary view would be blotted out forever.

From my bedroom window, I watched the earth be cleared, graded, a foundation built, then floors, first-floor walls, and then… oh my gosh!…. can it be true?!… roof joists?…. roof framing?…

It truly seems too good to be true, but it looks like this house is going to be a single story. In a city with very little buildable space left, where optimizing square footage is the rule of day, the new house I’ve been dreading is going to be rambler! This is truly a miracle. I can still easily spy the mountains from my bedroom window!

Meanwhile, the heavens are heaving about, unsure which season it really is. Yesterday we “Seattle snow” – enormous, fluffy flakes that melt on contact; one second erasing visibility, and the next vanishing as shafts of sunlight illuminate the gunmetal-gray yard. On days like that, when it is snowing and sunny at the same time, I wonder: is there such thing as a snow-rainbow? I’ve yet to see one.

Last night I had the pleasure of announcing to Bruce that Sunday night we could expect two inches of new snow (keeping in mind that winter’s snow is largely gone; we have been outside a great deal despite unseasonably cool temps). This morning I chuckled to see that the forecast had been modified: now only one inch expected tonight, but up to three tomorrow, for a total storm accumulation of four inches; on the 24th of April no less! I love it!

The grandest miracle of all was this morning. I had gone to early church service because Evan has a cold and we didn’t want to take him to the nursery, thus infecting all the other kids. Bruce planned on attending second-service.

This afternoon, between 2-5:30pm there is going to be a “mini” marriage seminar, which until this morning I hadn’t given much thought to. But, this morning, I became quietly convinced that this was something we should try to get to; a great opportunity for Bruce and I, who have been trying to “tune-up” our relationship lately. Childcare was provided for kids up to age 11.

Obstacles:
Evan’s cold
Jack and Sabrina’s invitation to Hayden’s birthday party between 2 and 4pm.
Bruce having to be on Elemendorf A.F.B. at 1pm to show the Explorer to a prospective buyer.
Evan’s daily nap at 1pm.

I called Bruce from ToysRUs (yes, we still have ours) and expressed a strong interest in going. I told him I was willing to go alone if necessary. Not surprisingly, he pooh-poohed me, citing the day’s obligations and obstacles, and firmly stating that no matter the opportunity, the timing was very, very bad.

Unhappily, I acquiesced to his wishes. I pouted, but then, recognizing another typical instance of my expectations not being met, of being disappointed, and thus angered, I decided to let go of control.

Instead I prayed.

“Ok, God. If you want Bruce and me to go to this thing, You are going to have to move heaven and earth [I was thinking specifically of Bruce’s resistance]. I’m willing, but I wash my hands of ‘making’ it happen through my own efforts.”
Thus freed, I felt calm and peaceful while shopping for Hayden’s gift. Ten minutes inside of ToysRUs, the phone rang; it was Bruce.

“You know, I’ve been thinking. If Lucy and Gus don’t mind keeping Jack and Sabrina for a bit longer, and if Evan gets an early nap, I don’t see why we can’t go to the marriage class.”

The earth shifted, the heavens parted, the angels sang.

So, it has been arranged. We are going. Evan will get an early nap; Jack and Sabrina will hang-out at Charley and Hayden’s house for a bit longer; though Evan is still a bit stuffy, he is cheerful and perky and not at all feverish. I guess God really does want us to go; He must have something significant to teach us.

Uh oh. Perhaps by day’s end, heaven and earth will be moved yet again.

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