Dec 16, 2016

Secret Blessings, Hidden Gifts

...we moved...

I don't know what else to say.  Exactly one week ago was our first day here in a new house with new neighbors and a new town.  Our "purple" home, as my baby sister calls it.  (Our bedroom is purple on three walls and mint-colored on the last one - thus the whole house is dubbed as "our purple home") =)




Moving was a new experience for me.  The last time I moved was when I was a toddler; I don't even remember it.  So how can I describe this process to you?

It was crazy.  Stressful.  Exhausting.  Emotional.  Tiring.  Oh yes, it was all of those and more.  But it was also fun.  Character-building.  Faith-stretching.  Family bonding.  There were some terrible days, but there were some amazing days.  While moving was just as hard as I expected, it was also so much better than I expected.  Though Satan threw some hard obstacles in our way, I think I can safely say that we overcame them through Christ.  We cried, fell down, and got hurt, but we got back up again - holding Jesus' hand.

What I want to say is thank you so much to everyone who prayed for us.  You and I might never know what those prayers did, but thank you.  They truly made a difference.

There's so much I could talk about here...but I want to focus on the many hidden blessings God gave us during this time.  And, in the comments, I want to hear about your own life.  How has God been showing Himself strong to you?


Oh...how blessed we were by all the amazing people around us!  During the first few days, our house was full of people who made meals for us, cleaned, organized, put up cabinets, and did everything in between.  But even before moving, friend came over to help us move, put together beds, take apart our trampoline, and just make the job less stressful.  They made us laugh even when we were having a bad day.  My online friends offered constant encouragement and prayed for us during this time.  What a blessing it is that God has given us such great friends. ♥

Last Friday as we prepared to leave, one cat decided that he would not come with us.  My little sister was heartbroken.  We tried everything to get her to come out from under the shed.  Food, coaxing, kind words...nothing worked.  But *somehow*, after I sent one last desperate plea to God, the cat walked right out from under the shed.  He seriously came up to me and let me pet him and pick him up.  He doesn't even like me!  But that cat went right into a cage and is now safe and happy here in our new house.  Can anyone say that it wasn't a miracle?!?

The hardest part of leaving is saying goodbye.  Looking at something or someone knowing that you might not ever see them again hurts.  It leaves a hole in your heart.  This was the part of moving that I feared the most:  saying goodbye to the home that I've lived in.  The home full of memories, laughter and tears.  But God let me avoid that trial.  As I got into the car to watch the landscape roll by one last time, it just so happened that it was my job to hold our border collie on my lap.  Did I have time to be emotional and sad?  Uh, not at all.  Instead, I tried to keep our dog from falling off the seat, hoping she wouldn't get carsick on our windy roads. (Praise God that she didn't!)  As she fell asleep on my lap, I was thankful for that hidden, God-given blessing.

There are so many other hidden gifts that I could share.  Across the road, there is a potential new friend...someone I might be able to pour into and point to Jesus.  Our bedroom is perfect for us and very similar to our old one; we already love sleeping in it!  Our family's sickness is going away.  Though we had some issues with stray dogs, I think they are ended.  I got my first letter in the mail and a gift from a friend.  Blessing...blessing...blessing.   ♥

Don't get me wrong; it's still hard.  If you get anything out of this post, know this:  hard times will come.  But God allows them to enter our lives to strengthen us and make us grow.  When you fall apart, look to Him for your strength.  He will always give it.

Psalm 46:1-3, 10 reads,

"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.  Therefore we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;  Though its waters roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah ... Be still, and know that I am God."

Now I want to know...

How has God been working in your life?  What are some of the secret blessings in your life?  Comment below!

p.s.  Please forgive me for not responding to messages and comments as fast as normal.  I'm still trying to get back to "normal" life through all this busyness. =)  Thank you!

16 comments:

  1. I'm sure your little sister is a darling, Hosanna. =)

    'Purple house' sounds a little like a book title, doesn't it? ( My wheels are turning..... =D)
    I'm glad you're all moved in now. =) I'm sure you're going to LOVE living in your new home, and we will be praying you all adjust well.
    Your friends sound wonderful, and I'm sure they were a wonderful help to you in this time in your life. =)

    The story about your cat is just amazing! I agree, that was a miracle from God!!

    Thank you for posting this, Hosanna. =) This really encouraged me, so thank you. =D
    Jaidyn Elise

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    1. I'm so glad that this post encouraged you, Jaidyn. Thank you for your lovely comment. =)

      A book title? Oh dear...I have enough ideas already. Don't make me get another one. ;) Lol. But yes, it really does... =)

      I appreciate your prayers so much! While it has been hard, I hope that God uses us to change the lives of people in this neighborhood. Sometimes it feels like we swapped our perfect, "safe" home for one in the real world (closer to Wal-Mart and a bigger town... Lol), but I know that this stretching and growing process will one day prove to be a blessing.

      I appreciate your kind words. May we both grow stronger in our faith together as friends and sisters in Christ. ♥

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  2. It's so wonderful that you got moved! I love hearing stories of how God showed His love and joy through difficult times. =) I'm sure it was really hard to move from a place you've lived all your life. =(

    Have a great weekend!

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    1. Thanks for your prayers and encouragement, Hannah. They were so encouraging to me as we went through the moving process. =) You have been through the same process multiple times, so it was a blessing to know that you understood how it felt. ♥ You are a great friend.

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  3. This was an awesome post, girl. Seriously.
    I am so glad that you are settling well into your new home! And I am also really glad that you are so transparent about your struggles...because people need to know that they can also have hope despite their trials. Your message of hope really spoke to me because of the trials we went through this year. Thanks, girl! <3
    And that story about the cat?! That is epicness. Only God.
    All these hidden blessings that you are talking about are so cool! You just inspired me to do a post on my blog about wrapping up the year's hidden blessings. =)
    God has been working in my life lately by showing me that my school isn't as important as He is. I've been trying to pray more during the day and make the decision Jesus would make...it's a struggle, but the Christian life won't always be easy. ;) Pray for me?
    Thanks for posting, Hosanna! Praying for you!
    -Ariel

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    1. Aw, thank you so much, Ariel! It's not difficult to be open about struggles when you know that you have such encouraging and loving friends. ♥ You girls are amazing!!

      I'm sorry that you also have gone through hard times this year...but I know that you can look back and see those secret blessings in the midst of the trial. It almost makes you eager for the next trial...because you can see what God will do in your life!

      Oh, that made me so happy! Do it, girl! Be proud of the little gifts that God has poured out on you and your family. =) The whole book of Psalms is just that - a book dedicated to praising God! Even though David and the other writers went through hard times, they showed others the vastness of His glory! Why would we not do the same?

      The Christian life is most definitely not easy. Yes, I'll be praying for you, Ariel. Take those little steps forward. Hard as it is, He will be right by your side. ♥

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  4. I'm so glad that your family got moved in safely, despite the obstacles! I appreciate you sharing them with us, so we can rejoice with you. All the stories that you shared were quite amazing!
    Thank you so much for the wonderful blessing of your amazing posts, Hosanna! <3

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    1. I'm thankful for the opportunity I have been given to pour into such wonderful girls, Emily. I definitely don't feel "worthy" to be where I am. You are all just so amazing! But I hope that by just sharing my struggles and convictions, you are encouraged to press on despite the trials that come your way. Thank you so much for being a blessing to me as well! I love that we can all stand by one another encouraging, uplifting, and praising God. ♥

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  5. Wow sounds like you had a crazy time! So great that you're all moved and settling in now. God does amazing things, and you've definitely been able to see that which is so awesome. <3

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    1. Oh yes, He does do amazing things!! I can't imagine how impossible it would be to live life without God. I know that I would soon just give up...but with God, we can have strength to overcome every temptation! Jane, thank you for leaving your kind words on this blog post. ♥

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  6. It sure WAS a crazy week! Every day is getting a little easier though. =) Friends and prayers are awesome!!!!

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    1. Yes it was! Lol. =) But watching your calm, stress-free attitude really helped. No matter what, you are never frazzled. I appreciate how much you trust God. Love you! ♥

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  7. The Bible reference that came to mind as I read this: "In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I [Jesus] have overcome the world." - John 16:33

    Your words encourage me not to get so caught up with the hard times that I miss the part where Jesus overcomes - which might be obvious or subtle.

    As for me, I don't feel like I face any outright struggles this week. I feel blessed to be in an environment that nurtures my relationship with God and with someone investing in my spiritual life.

    Let's praise God in the good times and bad.

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    1. What a beautiful, beautiful verse, Jordy. Jesus has overcome the world. He is in control of everything - our lives, surroundings, futures. But we so often focus on the first half of the verse. We see the tribulations all around us and lose heart. We forget the next part: Jesus has overcome the world! What a wonderful promise.

      Yes, it is a blessing to have breaks in the fight...reprieves where we can "charge up" and focus on Jesus. I'm glad that you are being blessed in that way through your time away from home. ♥

      Yes! Let us praise God in good AND bad times. Thank you for that reminder. ♥

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  8. I'm always inspired by your positive attitude, Hosanna - looking for blessings in the middle of hard times! Keep letting Him shine through you! xx

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    1. I appreciate your kind words, Jessica. But YOU have encouraged me so much! Even now, you are across the country sharing Jesus' love wherever you go! What a beautiful heart you have for Him. Thank you for radiating Jesus to everyone you meet. Even just by commenting here, I am encouraged to press on in the good fight. Let us both grow stronger in Him and His love. ♥

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Thank you for commenting! You made my day, and I'm so excited to become better friends as we seek to have a heart like His. ♥