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Living with my In-Laws: Move #1.

Living with my In-Laws: Move #1.

As of March early this year, all we knew was that Derek was selected to be an Officer in the Air Force and we needed to arrange for him to leave for Officer Training School as early as July. In preparation for the Air Force, Derek and I needed to make some pretty hefty moves…literally.

We had two months to close my home day care business and move out of our house by June, since that’s when our lease was ending. Where would we go in the meantime?

Well, thankfully, my in-laws lived two cities away with a guest bedroom and bathroom to spare, with lots of storage space for temporary storing.

Now I know what everyone is thinking, based on the numerous questions that followed our move…

*Serious face, * *lean in close, * “What’s it like living with your in-laws?!”

Honestly? At first, I was pretty concerned with how we would fit, and especially nervous about giving up our privacy. I mean come on, we’re young and married with no kids! We had the ideal married independence and love(d) it! On the other hand, my in-laws are so much fun to be around, I don’t just love them, I actually like them too! I couldn’t have hand-picked better second parents than them. They’re supportive, encouraging, so loving, and they are absolutely and undeservingly generous with Derek and me. They have been blessed to bless.

As many of you know, Derek has yet to receive an OTS class date, it’s September people! And we recently learned that there are no longer any available classes for 2016. What was originally intended to be a month or two of an enormous down-size and sacrifice from a three-bedroom home in Millbrae to a one-bedroom loaner, has turned into a seven month+ affair…and counting!

What I’ve realized in all of this uncertainty about when and where we’d be moving, is that this may have been the first move, but certainly will not be the last, and neither will our next move…or the one after that. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’ve heard that military families move frequently.

So then what?! Well, the “aha” or lightbulb moment God gave me was this:

1.       How can I be a blessing wherever I move?

followed by…

2.       How can I practice contentment wherever I move?

Whoa, as Ron Burgundy would say, “Well, that escalated quickly.”

I was reminded that this is just the beginning of a series of moves, and I need to begin practicing and implementing these foundational principles before I end up in Timbuktu wondering why I ever agreed to support my husband in this whole Air Force thing.

Our church just finished up an awesome series called “Bless(ed)” and our Pastor spent some time on the call of Abram. Abram had to leave his home, his land, and his family like Lauren has to soon leave her home, her land, and her family. But God loved Abram’s great faith and willingness to go until God said stop. He didn’t know where he was going to end up or how long it would take to get there, but he trusted God. That’s when my Pastor hit us with this,

“We don’t have to know God’s plan to trust it, we just have to know God.”
— Pastor Brian Goodell

Boom.

Then he went on to explain Genesis 12:1-3. Because of Abram’s great faith and obedience, God promised to make a great nation of him, and bless him…and that all people would be blessed through him. We too have inherited this promise the moment we believed.

That being said, I want to be a blessing to my in-laws, to this home, to anyone I encounter while we’re still living here, and then do the same each time we have a new address, new neighbors, and a new environment to work with.

 

I want to be an atmosphere changer.

“The presence of God in the people of God should change the atmosphere in any and every place.”
— Pastor Brian Goodell

Since we’ve moved in, I’ve tried my best to encourage at every opportunity, try new recipes for the whole family when schedules are tight, lighten the load and be an extra set of hands wherever needed, add DIY décor to put smiles on faces, and be wholly present to enjoy the time we have here together that we wouldn’t otherwise have. To top it all off, we’ve decided to have a no distraction, family prayer night or Bible study once a week!

While being a blessing can be common-good-willed-sense or easy-ish, contentment is one of those easier said than done topics. I consider myself content overall, but I'm definitely guilty with getting caught up in the little things.

For me, I anticipated this being a challenge because I loved having a home to decorate and make cozy for Derek, myself, and our visitors. I also find it very difficult to not buy household items that completely match my Home Sweet Home board on Pinterest. Derek keeps reminding me that now is not the time, and we shouldn't be "storing" more when we'll be headed for move number two soon enough.

I most look forward to moving to a home of our own, that we can settle into and make ours. But knowing that there are a lot of future locations to live in, nothing will really be ours. I’m going to need to learn to accept, appreciate, and embrace the environments, styles, sizes, and designs, and to be content with each assignment Derek gets.

My Pursuit of Contentment List:

1.       Stop complaining! Instead of focusing on what’s wrong with the situation, focus on what to be thankful for and speak them out.

2.       Stop comparing! As Justin Bieber sings, “The grass ain’t greener on the other side, it’s green where you water it.”

3.       Stop wishing and dreaming for what’s next! Tomorrow’s never promised, so I will no longer rob myself of the gift of today by waiting for a better tomorrow.

4.       Stop assuming the house makes a home! I saw a sign in Michael’s the other day that read, “What I love most about my home is who I share it with.” -Nailed it.

5.       Stop shopping to keep up with the Jones’! Just say “no” to the irresistible bird cage in Home Goods! It took the Jones’ a lot of time to save for what they have…or in some cases, lots of debt. Ouch. Yea, I said it!

6.       Stop rushing the process! Let God finish ripening those tasty fruits in you: joy, patience, and self-control.

“To be content doesn’t mean you don’t desire more, it means you’re thankful for what you have and patient for what is to come.”
— Tony Gaskins

I’m a work in progress, of course. I’m just thankful that my practice round is at my in-laws, and not in Timbuktu.

Are there any MILSO’s out there who have some ideas on making a temporary house your own?

Or does anyone have more tips and tricks on being a blessing and the pursuit of contentment that they’d like to share with the class?

Please, comment below!

Cheers to Fall.

Cheers to Fall.

first blog.

first blog.