Okay, well, my life is a roller coaster of fun.

When last we visited (before I got on my homeschooling sassy pants!), I was talking about moving to a home with no stairs and how we were pretty sure we found our fashionably colored home.

Well, you are in for a treat, because I am introducing a plot twist!

Yes, dear reader, grab some popcorn, because this is better than a movie.

To begin with, I didn’t really feel settled about it, but I did know that we needed to get rid of the twisty stairs. Lots of things were muddling my mind, but my husband really wanted to pursue this particular rental, so I went along with it, provided that the owner show us proof that he was up to date on his payments before we gave him our security deposit.

Guess what my husband did not insist on seeing before he gave “the owner” our security deposit?

And guess who didn’t own the home?

That’s right, dear readers! We were hoodwinked! And since it happened around Joy’s birthday, I felt even more…I don’t know…upset. It was embarrassing and costly and depressing and discouraging and it made for a very bad week, but I decided I would laugh about it, because in ten years it will be such a funny story.

So, why not laugh now?

(Well, especially because I, in one unusual instance in our marriage, was really, really right, and I just usually am the whimsical one, so it was kind of nice to feel right for a change.)

I felt like Riley in National Treasure:

Anyway, by this time that guy is probably sitting in Jamaica sipping mojitos on the beach and enjoying himself immensely.

Live and learn.

We rallied.

I told the kids it was like Valley Forge. Without the snow. Even though this year has been tough and we have felt pretty beaten up,we are going to finish on top. We are going to win this battle against whatever is determined to knock us down (and sometimes I think it’s just my own stupidity), and it’s going to be great!

Because It Actually Is.

Because It Actually Is.

So, I gave my inspirational speech about how it’s always darkest before the dawn and all of that, and I smiled and laughed and then I went in my room and tried to laugh about it by myself, but I have to admit that when I was all alone, I kind of cried for a minute.

And then, I waited on God.

And He delivered.

Will We Live Here? I'm Pretty Sure...

We found a place without stairs that is not anything like I imagined it would be. It’s not really a fashion color, but it’s stunningly beautiful.

It doesn’t have a pool, but it has a community pool.

Not A Personal Pool But It's Pretty Awesome.

It is in the opposite direction I was looking.

You see, there was this house in the area I was looking that I liked, and I kept bugging the owner to see it.

I have been bugging this guy since August. I even apologized for phone stalking him.

And, he laughed and said that’s okay, that he thought it was great that we were so determined, as he had been really hard to get a hold of this summer.

And he finally let me know that the tenants, who had been renting month to month, had decided to stay.

I was kind of disappointed. I mean, I was almost willing to buy this house.

But, then, he said he had another house, and would we like to see it? It didn’t have a pool and it was in the completely opposite direction, but he was impressed that we had kept bugging him and thought we might be a good fit.

And, we almost didn’t look. But, I had this feeling.

So we did. And, by the time we were done looking, he told me I could meet his mother.

You see, she would like us, because when she first came to this country, she had run a daycare watching 25 kids a day while the parents were out trying to find jobs and better their lives because they had come to America to live the dream.

And she would like that we had a large family and were trying to raise our children right. (Emphasis on the word trying.)

That’s when I realized we would be a good fit. And, that’s when I realized I had been doing it wrong.

I had been trying so hard to be normal and do things like normal people do.

Okay, I don’t know if you all have realized it or not, but my family left normal about six children ago. There is no going back.

Society doesn’t view me that way, and I can’t do things like other people do. And I miss that sometimes. Especially when I don’t understand why the SMeE is still part of my life.

Everything we do…everything…with this many children…everything is a heroic act of faith.

Grocery shopping. Going out to eat. Moving. Living. Dental check ups.

We don’t get to do it the regular way.

Do you know how many homes are designed for a family like ours?

(We don’t necessarily need space, we need the space to be configured correctly.

Our family does not need a media room or a craft room or a bonus room.

We don’t need a “breakfast nook”. We just need one huge dining room.

We don’t need a master “retreat” because it never will be. The kids will always find a way in, and we don’t need it to be the length of a football field, anyway.

My husband and I don’t need a master bathroom the size of  Montana, and we certainly don’t need a closet that resembles the inside of Dolce and Gabbana.)

And, when we do find a house that fits us, then we have to find people who are interested in us–the large family, you know–like the Duggars.

Do you know how many people are interested in us? Living in their house? You know, like the Duggars?

Not very many. (And we’re just not quite ready to buy a house yet. Just too much commitment, and we don’t know the area well enough…)

It’s an act of faith, I tell you.

Somebody’s mother has to like me.

God’s hand has to be in it, and I have to trust Him, because we left normal a long time ago.

It’s kind of scary, but it’s also really amazing, because one thing is very clear: God doesn’t abandon us. He is always there, and He knows what He’s doing. We just have to wait on Him even when it feels like maybe He might have forgotten about us. Because He hasn’t.

Normal is great. And I loved when I was there. I look forward to going back.

But, for now, I am living in momentous times. And I am living wholly for something greater than myself. My husband and I, we are not “following our passion” or “living the dream.” We are living for someone else’s dream and hoping and working and sacrificing for something so much more incredibly grand than “our passion.”

Laboring For A Promised Land We Will Never See...

We are living completely in faith. We are laboring for our children–for a promised land we will never see. For a better world, for a brighter future.

We are walking with God and we have to trust in Him to lead us to good people who are willing to have faith, too.  We have to trust God and trust that there are still good people out there.

And, you know, I believe there are.