I recently spent a week in Houston helping my son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren find a new home. This trip combined two of my favorite things: grandchildren and house hunting. I got to briefly pretend that I was on HGTV’s House Hunters. “So, which house would you eliminate?” (Insert sound effect here…) I also experienced some wonderful moments playing with Ben-Ben and “Roly-Poly,” as little Lily’s 3-year old brother calls her.
I had one more reason to be excited about traveling to Houston; our family lived in the Houston area for 3 years when the children were little. Houston was one of my favorite places to live; however, I hadn’t been back for over 30 years. Driving around different areas, I recognized street names–Spring Cypress, 1960, Kuykendahl Road–but after 30+ years, that is all I recognized. Why did it seem like absolutely nothing was recognizable? I mean, 30 years seems just like yesterday, right? *Sigh* My vague memories are just that–memories I’ve locked away that are only meaningful to me. Those of you who have moved can understand what I’m talking about. I’m not sure what I expected. Well, actually, I am. I expected things to look the same–at least, there would be something familiar.
But then, my life has been nothing but changes since living in Houston. The kids have grown up. We had another child–and she’s grown up. I’VE GROWN UP! Our family has also added a son- and daughter-in-law, a future daughter-in-law, 4 grandchildren and numerous kitties in every family unit. When I think about all of the changes that have occurred in the last 30 years, I mean, really. But still, is a little familiarity too much to ask? Three whole years of my life, and I came up with nothing! On the outside, at least.
But, inside. Inside, I know those three years were life-changing. I learned how to become a (slightly) better mom. And wife. (Slightly.) I ran a 6k and learned I wasn’t a runner. I learned that I really did hate heat. And bugs. And snakes. And hurricanes. I met lots of wonderful people–and still keep in touch with some. I remember going to Bible classes and learning so much–SO MUCH! I recall thinking about how little I knew about God. I remember feeling like a sponge. Like my heart was thirsty–so thirsty–to know about this God I called my own at my confirmation in 1968. I literally soaked up everything I learned. (Thanks, Pastor Adler.) Yet, now I look back and think, “The tiny bit I knew about God then was not even a thimbleful compared to now, which, in the scheme of things, is not even a thimbleful.”
The thing I love most about getting older is being able to think back on the times when I was young(er), ponder the past, and see God’s hand in everything. Literally, everything. Nothing goes to waste, not even the things I think should have gone to waste. He uses it all for good, because He is good. Thank you for Houston, God.
Heavenly Father, I am speechless when I think of You and how You work. Help me to be pliable in Your hands, like clay that is soft and ready for shaping. Or reshaping. Or whatever Your plan is. Thank you for loving me, calling me to be Your child, and working in my life. Thank you that Your work never, ever stops–until the one day when You call me home. Amen.
God bless your week, y’all!