The 4th of July kind of reminds me of Thanksgiving. I think the two go hand and hand really. Because as we celebrate the birth of our nation, our independence and our freedom, how can we not give thanks? We have so much that we’ve grown to believe we’re entitled to all of it and more.
In the midst of a fun filled day of family and friends, of parades, and flags, burgers and hot dogs, fire works and red-white-and-blue, I want to pause a few minutes to reflect.
We have so much. So, very, very, very much.
I’m educated and have the right to educate my children how I see fit. I am allowed to worship whomever I want, however I choose without fear of my life. I feel safe. In fact, pretty much most of the time, I feel safe. I have a voice which can be heard. For so many woman in the world, this is not the case.
I am thankful. Thankful for the sacrifices of men and women now and in the past to preserve our freedom. Thankful for our forefathers who founded this great nation with such wisdom. Thankful to be an American. Not because I think Americans are better than the rest of the world, but I do think we have it easier than the rest of the world.
“America, America, God shed His grace on thee.”
These past few weeks have been some of the most exhausting in my life. It’s been 9 years and 4 kids since our last move and let’s just say we’ve acquired a whole lot more stuff since our last move. I purged and donated and purged some more and yet have found myself with enough miscellaneous boxes of random to sort through in the new house till Labor Day! Meanwhile we were listing our house for rent, showing it to perspective renters AND still trying to juggle the spring extra curriculars like year end home school evaluations, baseball games, gymnastics classes, play off games, mini Olympics, piano recitals, and birthdays and our anniversary. We’ve pulled countless nights up till the wee hours of the mornings when I was so tired I wanted to cry.
And here we sit in our new house… with pretty much MOST of our stuff out of the old house and some of the stuff situated in the new house.
And I couldn’t be here without the help of some fabulous friends and family.
Truly, I am humbled, humbled beyond words at what our friends have done for us in the past month.
- I had a friend drive and hour and a half to spend a Saturday scrubbing my house (while I was out at baseball and gymnastics events). She gave up the day with her family, to serve me and mine. To scrub my filthy bathrooms!! (and mop my floors, cleaning my windows….)
- I had 2 other friends take turns watching each others kids (so they had 7 kids 6 and under at their house) so the other could come and help me pack. The afternoons I spent with each gave me the jump start I needed to finally really start packing up the house.
- Another friend came to my house for an entire Saturday (make that an almost 12 hour day) to work NON STOP on packing and organizing the MOST unorganized, horrendous rooms of my house. Truly, more than once we looked at each other in the pile of crap and thought, “how will we ever get this ready to show in 2 days?” But she persevered with me, and even endured carrying logs full of slugs on them, to help me clean, organize, weed, load up the van full of donations… basically work our tails off to get my house ready to show to renters.
- My parents came and got my kids and took them to their house for 5 days entertaining and caring for them (even nursing 2 of them through the stomach bug) so I could pack the house kid free for a long weekend. Then they came back 2 weeks later and worked pretty much non stop to pack up our belongings, haul them to the new house and scrub the old house top to bottom.
- Then there was the group of guys and gal who spent their Wednesday afternoon and evening moving all of our furniture and a good deal of our boxes onto the moving van, off of the moving van, and into my house. Some took off of work early, others spent their day off serving our family, others came after spending the day at work.
- We had friends who spent move in day with us, entertaining our kids, helping pack and then staying super late to help make our home comfortable and homey. They set up our girls beds, helped organize their dressers, packed and unpacked my kitchen… kept their kids up way past bedtime all to help make our home ready to live in and homey.
- Then we had more friends come and help us as we continued to move out. Friends and family who just jumped in and did whatever we needed… paint a wall, sure… empty your shed into my truck and unload it at your new house- no problem…
- Other friends offered to take our kids for us… watching them for a day, or picking them up from gymnastics for us, truly just being there for whatever we needed through the moving process.
- Other friends prayed… when I had showings I had a slew of friends and family who I could text and I knew without a doubt that they were lifting the process up in prayer for us. And I have seen and felt these prayers these past few weeks.
- And then even after we moved, when their were still more projects to be done at the old house, we had friends give up their precious summer family time to help stain a railing, unpack our house—to work alongside us as we seek to finish the tasks.
I am truly humbled at the amount of love I’ve seen poured out on us these past few weeks. I’ve seen people selflessly give us, what I KNOW FOR A FACT, is one of the most precious commodities we have during this phase of life, THEIR TIME, time spent away from their families, time when they could be working on projects at their own homes, time, they could be at work earning money, they’ve given that time to us. I have no words to express the gratitude I have for these friends and family members who have given SO MUCH to us. We could not have gotten through this past month without you. Truly, we couldn’t. There is no way Scott and I could have tackled this task alone. Thank you for helping us. For joyfully helping us. We appreciate you more than you could know.