This is sort of a hodgepodge letter about family life. Nothing particularly wise or profound, so read on at your own risk.
We are working hard at fixing up our house in hopes of moving in a few weeks. This past week we worked on wiring, insulating, and sheet rock. These days have been long and hard–mornings I wake up aching all over. But Will and I enjoy working together to transform an old, ugly house to a comfortable, cozy one. He has been teaching me some new skills!
Will’s brother Levi volunteered his labor for two days. That was an incredible boost! Levi is a hard worker and has a killing sense of humor–a great combination for perking up our weary souls! We’re trying to soak up all the time possible with Levi’s family before they go to the other side of the world on a Bible translating team.
Levi brought Louis along to play. I hardly heard anything out of the children all day. They were too busy in the dirt pile.
Picking out paint colors for our house is such a painful process. I want to be done with it, and see nice paint on our walls. I know from experience how deflating it is to paint a room with what I thought looked like a lovely color, only to realize that it looks terrible.
Seeing that remodeling and decisions pertaining to that are so difficult, I made the most delicious dairy-free chocolate a few days ago. Elijah is on a gluten-and-dairy-free diet, so I’ve had to learn a new way of cooking. Overall I like it because we eat healthier (but we aren’t perfect granola-heads). Even though we always liked vegetables and healthful food, doing this diet took it to a new level. But yes, sometimes I crave chocolate. What’s not to love about chocolate?
This recipe is super easy. Over medium heat, melt together 3/4 cup organic unrefined coconut oil (use refined coconut oil if you don’t want any coconut flavor), 3/4 cup cocoa, 1/2 cup local raw honey, 1/2-1 tsp vanilla, and 1/4 tsp salt. Whisk until smooth and pour into a 9×9 or similar baking dish and chill. Cut into squares. This chocolate is less heat-stable than store-bought chocolate bars, so it needs to be stored in the fridge. But the flavor is fabulous!
When we move, we are going to miss our neighbors! Kevin gets bombarded by children when he comes home from work. Our kids love Kevin and Cindy, and we couldn’t ask for better neighbors.
But we are already making friends with our new neighbors-to-be, and our old neighbors will be only a few blocks away.
This morning we learned that Willis Nisly died. Willis was a second dad to Will in Will’s growing-up years. Will spent summers with their family and helped with everything from hoeing thistles to training horses. Willis was a gentle, humble man who truly had a shepherd’s heart for people. (And he preached at our wedding!) I’m sad to see him go, and yet it’s so wonderful to think of him being in God’s presence, hearing God tell him “Well done!”
It’s sort of strange to talk about family, remodeling, paint, chocolate, and death all at once, but that’s how life is. A mix of mundane and sacred, and more often than we realize, the ground we tread is sacred.
Recently an email discussion had me thinking about living life out of who God created us to be. Just a question–how many of you think that most of what you do is a good fit for who you are? In many ways, our lives felt hugely uprooted in the last year and a half, but now I see that in much of our former lives we functioned by expectations, not by who we were created to be. The uprooting has actually freed us to be much more true to our God-given design. Do people sometimes need to try a different lifestyle to see how they really function best? Hmm, I’ll be thinking about this more…
I have six out of seven posts on hearing God written, so maybe I can work on that later today. (Sunday afternoon is my writing time!) After the rough drafts are all written, I have to let them cool, then go back and do the painful work of editing. Usually that means adding a little and discarding a lot! And it always makes me realize how little I know, how little I have to say, how much I need God and others to help me on my faith-journey.
Keane is getting into mischief, so I’ll close with a picture I love of Stuart. He was our faithful helper with wiring the house, and I think his gap-toothed grin is especially cute these days. You can’t see it on the picture, but trust me, it’s cute! 🙂
Have a happy Sunday!