Here I sit on a Wednesday morning. Freshly fallen leaves have scattered across the yard outside. A squirrel is vigorously digging to retrieve something from the ground. There’s a gentle breeze, and though this is December, and North Carolina, the Bear left for preschool without a coat this morning and I could probably open the windows for a while.

We’re in our new place. Christmas colored candles flicker here and there. The Elf on the Shelf watches over the den with cheerful interest.

My body aches — yesterday my personal theme was “high impact” and with that in mind I vigorously attacked room after room, cleaning high and low, stacking and sorting, placing and re-placing, unpacking, scrubbing and scrubbing and scrubbing so much I told HH at dinner “Today I came to really understand the meaning of that old saying, ‘Put your back into it.'”

But here we are, and I imagine myself an Israelite entering the Promised Land. Entering a house I didn’t build, sitting on furniture I didn’t buy, enjoying the comforts of someone else’s choices, in this mountain turned molehill of a home.

If this was a vineyard, I’d be eating the fruit.

My frame won’t allow me to go “high impact” every day — working and scrubbing and rearranging, fussy baby on my hip. And so I slow and pause, remembering to sit still and be thankful.

God has provided, exceeding and abundantly above and beyond all we could ask or imagine.

Even if there is some work involved in receiving this gift.

I cannot think of a better scenario for coming off the mission field than this one: moving into a home where you only have an electric bill to pay, already so well furnished the odds and ends you’ll need to get for settling in are few, close to family (and friends) who are constantly helping with their hands, their time, with gifts, with encouragement.

If there is a better picture to be painted, I haven’t seen it.

The breeze picks up again and a lone leaf flaps like a flag, not yet ready to let go of the branch. The Christmasy smell of a nearby candle wafts in my direction. My lips curl up to a smile.

Like that last leaf on the branch, I find myself close to settling in, finding rest, slowly drifting into the comfort of a new place called home.



Disclosure: The link to The Elf on the Shelf is an affiliate link for Amazon. “Choo-Choo” (as we named him) has been a fun little addition to enjoying Christmas around here. And the Bear’s behavior improves when we mention him. Score.