I have moved a lot in my lifetime. By the time I was twenty-one I had lived in over twenty-five houses in various towns, cities and provinces. So it became my dream to one day raise my own family in one house. I was convinced that it was a necessity for a child's welfare to wake each morning in the same bedroom, in the same community and to grow up with the same school friends.
Reality was that it never happened. My husband’s elderly parents whom we farmed with, showed no interest in leaving the farm. So instead we bounced from rental house to rental house in the small village near the farm, waiting for the day that they would be ready to move.
Finally, due to the stress of our disintegrating relationship with my in-laws and a struggling farm economy we packed up our family once again and moved to an entirely different community, leaving our dreams of farming behind and my dream to raise my children in one home in one community. Our dreams had ended in a pile of dust, or shall I say, moving boxes?
Yet as I think back I realize that in all of those places we lived God had somehow given me the grace to turn each house into a comfortable home for my family, no matter how I disliked the new residence or how short our stay. Pictures went over cracked walls, rugs over worn floors, paint brightened up a dingy room; an ability passed on by my own mother who also turned every house we ever lived in, no matter how dilapidated, into a home.
Therein lies the legacy. I hope that I have left to my children, amidst all the chaos and disarray, not a life of perfect circumstances or unchanging, easy childhood days as I once wished for them, but a legacy of learning to adapt to whatever life brings their way.
When I look at my sons now, as grown young men, I can’t help but see how God has worked through our circumstances to help mold their characters.
Our youngest son, who serves in the Canadian Armed Forces needs to know how to adapt to many circumstances and has expressed to me that he feels his childhood spent dealing with new situations helped prepare him for that.
Our older son has recently purchased the family farm that we left and is planning on one day raising his own family there. He too has told me that his years spent in a different community were invaluable to him in learning new things and dealing with different situations.
In my own life I can now see how many of my toughest experiences are what has made me stronger. I tend to lean heavily on those trials in my writing; sharing hope and encouragement with my readers in the many columns, devotionals and blogs that I have written. Currently I am working on a memoir of my life in which I hope to share some of those moments and leave a lasting legacy for my family and others of God’s amazing grace in my life.
A favorite verse has always been, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 (NIV). That is the legacy I hope and strive to leave my family and those who read my words; a deep belief that God can and will bring good out of all the circumstances in their lives.