|Thanksgiving Day 2013|
Christmas greetings to all!
We hope this letter finds everyone healthy, happy, abiding in Christ, and seeking to do His will here on Earth. Our time here is but a vapor, and we pray that we are using our time for His glory, which alone is what matters in this life. “…you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.” James 4:14.
I could go on and on about all of the activities and things we've done this year, dedicating a paragraph to every person like I always do, but honestly it’s just about all a repeat of last year. I do plan on posting a blog update of the past year, since I haven't been blogging, but here's a very quick re-cap. We’re still homeschooling, Ed’s still working at the same place, the kiddos are pretty much doing all of the same activities: 2 Baseball Leagues for the boys and one for Bailey (with Ed still coaching one of the teams), Piano and Guitar lessons for all, Praise Dance for the girls, 2 Bright Lights groups for the girls, Alert Cadets for the boys, Homeschool Sports Co-op for all, and last but not least a vacation to Florida in March.
Our "vacation" to Florida ended up to be a bit of a bummer, because everyone in our family was either sick on the way there, sick while we were there, sick on the way home, or got sick after we got home! We haven’t been that sick in years! We did manage to have a LOT of fun in spite of being sick in Florida, and on the way home, we even tagged on a trip to Legoland Florida’s amusement park! J
I don’t mean to breeze over that part of our life and our year, we are VERY, VERY thankful for all that we are ABLE to do! PRAISE GOD for the ability, the time, the finances, the sacrifices, and everyone and everything involved that allows us to be able to do what we do everyday. J
BUT, the main highlight of our year, by far, was our moving adventure. I really wasn’t going to go into all of the details, but we feel compelled to share of the goodness of God! "... Jesus said to him, Go home to your friends, and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He has had compassion on you." Mark 5:19.
This adventure involved the selling our home we've lived in for 15 years and moving (and more than once, even)! We’ve wanted to move out a little bit and find a little more land for our family to roam on for quite some time now. As much as we loved and enjoyed our house in North Saint Paul, and it has served us quite well for all of these years, it had been evident for quite a while (since the kiddos were all about elementary age), that our yard was just way too small for them. When we first bought our home in North Saint Paul, Ed was very fond of our small yard when he declared: “it’s less grass to mow and less to maintain.“ LOL! J
Well, after approximately 57 showings of our house and being on the market for what seemed like FOREVER (around 5 months, but not during the best time-during the holidays), we had a nice family write us a letter and an offer. They were not like all of the others that loved our house, but didn’t want to buy it because of the too small yard. No, they loved it for all for the reasons others didn’t and it seems like it was meant to fit their family perfectly for their situation-an answer to our PRAYERS. After all, we didn’t want just anyone in there… especially not the investor that tried to buy it! After negotiating, we had an agreement in April, but we pushed the closing date way out to the end of August, figuring that would give us plenty of time to find “the” house for our family.
After months and months of searching for a home for our family (which of course began before we even sold our house), it became obvious that we were not going to get what we wanted, in the area we wanted, and within our budget. So we began expanding our options, but Ed was only willing to move out just so far from work and no more (I don’t blame him).
We ended up finding a home that is just about a mile from our old house, and even though it didn't have the acreage we were hoping for, it was on about an acre of land, and backed up to a nature preserve, park, and walking trails. This house instantly felt like “home” and we made our first and only offer during our search. Nothing else seemed to “fit”, but this place. It was a foreclosure, so we negotiated back and for the with the bank, and as we were waiting to hear back from what we thought would be our “final” counter-offer, someone else got in there and outbid us! We had lost “our” house and we were so bummed out! And worse yet, we were only about 3 weeks from the closing on our home and we had no where to go and no other prospects on a place to buy.
Although we felt devastated and disappointed in the natural, my comment to my husband and a few close friends was, that I didn’t feel that we were “done” with this house for some reason?!? It felt like God was doing something, but of course I didn‘t know what at the time. I decided that He had us right on the palm of His hand, and if it was to be His will, it would come to pass and we moved on.
We spent the next few weeks, in between packing of course, trying to look at homes, scrambling to find an apartment to rent, a home to rent, or something to buy…but nothing was working out, nothing! Then, as though miraculously, through a series of “God-connections”, (that went back several years, come to find out) we found a place to live temporarily… out in Andover of all places... and in just less than a week before we were to be out of our current house! Whew! Talk about cutting it close! We weren’t totally happy with the location, being so far from Ed’s work and all, but when I say that God worked everything else out, I mean He worked EVERYTHING out!!! It was all lined up, and every detail of our lease and this situation fit perfectly for our family (little did we know at the time). This all came after lots of PRAYER and pleading with the Lord, and lots of our prayer-warrior-friends and family praying, too! Thanks, everyone! J
So, we moved out to Andover, and we were getting settled in for our “temporary” situation, still looking for a house to buy online and with our realtor. I would say that within 2 1/2-3 weeks of us being in our rental house, we got a call from our realtor saying that we wouldn’t believe this, (and as much as I wanted to finish her sentence, because I just had a “feeling” about what she was about to tell me, I let her finish telling me) that “our” house we had lost out on, was going back on the market in a few days. I immediately called Ed and we made another offer on "our" house that very same day, before it even hit the market again. Well, even a longer story shorter, and another series of complications, lots and lots of prayer, and delays, and on and on...we are now living in “our” house, and God even answered my prayer of being in here before Christmas! J God is SOO good!
Imagine... moving TWICE within 3 months with a family of six, homeschooling, the end of a school year as well as the start of a new homeschool year for us, the start of a new school year for Ed with all of the overtime and all that his job involves, etc. That is a LOT on your plate all at once! Not to mention all of the other inconveniences of moving with address changes, dealing with all new services and agreements, trying to navigate new surroundings, not knowing how long you will be there (so not knowing what activities to continue with or if you should "start" a new life in another area, etc.), and driving back and forth to the Saint Paul area for both Ed and I several days a week, no laundry on site at our rental house, I could go on and on, but you get the picture. As much of a nightmare it felt like at the time, and as stressful as it was, I always maintained a level of PEACE in the midst of it all! It was unbelievable and I have no explanation as to why, except that the Lord was with us and He gave us the peace that passes understanding that comes only from Him. "You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You." Isaiah 26:3.
After we moved into our new house, I was looking through some papers, and I found a note that Ed had written to himself after he put in our very first offer, before we found out that we were outbid. On the paper, he had written that he felt the Lord speak to him telling him that "the house was ours". This was something that Ed had totally forgotten about. God is SO good! I pray that we remain faithful, He sees fit to speak to us always, and that we testify of His goodness all the days of our lives! J
We don’t take any of this for granted, it is NO account of our own, as we all fall short of the glory of God (sometimes daily)! We are SO humbled that the Lord has brought us to where we are, in spite of all of our failures, sin, and shortcomings. His mercy endures forever! J
As we reflect on this year and all that we’ve been through, we are SO thankful for our GOD, as well as all of our awesome friends and family that helped us through all of this! I, personally have learned SO much about God and His character and how He really, really does take care of His children, even when if feels like you are about to be homeless and when you feel like you have no where to go. HE is there and HE is taking care of us no matter what our situation “looked” like with our natural eyes. He’s there working in the midst of every storm and trial, I hope we all listen for His still, small, voice. And God's people are the best! I (we) mean that from the bottom of our hearts! You are awesome and we are so thankful to God for all of you! J
If you have not come to know Him, we pray that you will before it’s too late! J We want to share heaven with ALL of you and so does God! "The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that ANY should perish, but that ALL should come to repentance." 2 Peter 3:9. He wants all to be saved and KNOW Him and KNOW of His goodness! "Oh taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him." Psalm 34:8.
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." John 3:16. And THAT, my friends, is what Christmas is ALL about! J
Much love and Merry Christmas! J
The Lacy Family (Ed, Melanie, Korbin, Makayla, Bailey, and Cameron)