Do Not Send Us Up from Here: a Guest Post by Kate Redmon

 A month and a half ago, I attended an amazing conference put on by Living Proof Ministries called LIT, for women in their 20s and 30s with a passion to be Christian communicators. A month before the conference, thinking about how fast the tickets sold out in the first ten minutes or so, and about the intensity of the type of women who would attend a conference like this, I decided to start an unofficial Facebook group for the conference (after getting permission from LPM). I wanted to connect these women together. Not much has blessed me more than creating that group.

This is how I met Kate Redmon, who is guest posting for me today. She was one of the first women to join my group, and we have all been blessed that she did. When I started reading her blog, I was impressed with her writing style and message. In fact, when you finish this post, I hope you go read her testimony at her site: A Softer Shade of Red. I guarantee it will be worth your time.

Now, enjoy!

Your Presence

Do Not Send Us Up From Here

by Kate Redmon

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Resting in Porch Swings

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Our front street is extremely quiet since houses on both sides of the street have garages in the back and there are several empty lots. I’m really thankful for this front porch swing where I can go to get away from it all.

Anybody with young children who has moved all possessions from a full three bedroom house to another will tell the same story: it’s a lot of work, there are a lot of interruptions, and therefore, it takes a long time. I find it hard enough to keep a house clean with three children under regular circumstances–add a few hundred boxes the contents of which need unpacking, organizing, and “re-homing,” and someone who likes her house under basic control can lose her mind.

On top of all this, Greg had to go out of town for three days and four nights this past week, just four days after we moved in. This past week, I have let the chaos around me control my time and energy, and I have dropped all else to try to tame it. I’ve dropped complicated meals, homeschooling, vacuuming, my blog post last Wednesday, exercise, and even my quiet times with God.

Most of it was necessary to drop, but I was crazy to drop that last one. It wasn’t long before I and the rest of my family started noticing the change in my attitude. Instead of looking to Christ to help me with my stressful surroundings, I looked at the surroundings and stressed out more. Instead of taking time to rest in Him from all the work around me, I just worked until I was about to break. And the work still wasn’t finished by the time I needed to start homeschooling again this past Monday. I am well aware of the barely contained chaos that comes with homeschooling on a normal basis, so even the thought of starting that again on top of the mess brought on panic.

On one particularly bad day, I Voxered a group of my close friends to ask for prayer. I was irritable and at my limit. If you don’t have a group of people you can quickly contact and ask for prayer and support, please develop one! I immediately felt their prayers–I felt encouraged and strengthened. One of my friends put it well: “I am glad we have such a sisterhood. Because when it is hard to pray for ourselves we have each other to lift us up to the Lord.”

Probably in answer to my friends’ and my own prayers, I feel like God gave me a verse on Sunday that I needed very much. It’s Hebrews 10:22: “Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.” After a week of stress and not drawing near to God, I can attest that my conscience needed some serious sprinkling. Not only that, but I also needed the rest Christ offers when we come to Him. He says in Matthew 11:28-30, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

So I forced myself to drop all that was spinning in my mind and go outside to my front porch swing where I wouldn’t see the projects in front of me. James 4:8 says, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” I felt that is exactly what He did and will continue to do if I just keep drawing near to Him in the middle of my mess.

I hope you do the same and take time to rest in Christ in the middle of the craziness that is your life!

Land Boundaries

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The closing date on our new Texas house is October 9, and our lender is hopeful that we’ll close earlier than that. I do hope so!

I am so thankful for the time we have spent at my in-laws’ house. It has been a blessing and a joy to be with my husband’s parents. It is extremely easy and enjoyable to live with such quiet, generous, and kind people. They have watched the kids while I have gone on runs in the morning a good amount of times (while the kids got started on independent homeschool work) and have let Greg and me go out for dessert once a week after the kids have gone to bed. They put away the clean dishes before I can get to them, keep the house very tidy (as much as is possible with five extra people and many extra pieces of furniture), and help us in extra ways like taking our library books back and picking up items from the store. Every day JP asks Grandpa numerous times to play trains or blocks with him, which Grandpa willingly does, even if he’s doing something else (of course, Grandpa initiates this activity as well).

Just the fact that they took in our noisy, active family and let us fill their garage floor to ceiling with all we own (some of which, by the way, Greg’s brother and sister-in-law have in their garage as well) for an indefinite period of time is incredibly generous. Mr. C has asked a couple of times what we would have done if we had moved somewhere where we didn’t have family, and he was shocked to hear we would have had to rent an apartment and pay money we’d never get back. I know renting an apartment would not be a dire situation, but I am thankful we didn’t have to do so.

At the same time, I am ready to be in my own home and let the Bocks have their space and privacy back. I’m ready to have access to what I need again, to actually know where everything is. It’s definitely nothing to complain about compared to all the blessings I have, but I am glad we’ll be in our own house again soon.

A friend of mine sent me a verse the other day that I hadn’t noticed before. It’s Acts 17:26: “From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands.”

Paul is preaching to some Greek philosophers, one group of which believed life was entirely left to chance, the other group that life was predetermined by fate. Paul contradicts both of these views by telling them God has life under control, that He has planned out our births and deaths and the places we will live.

God knew exactly how long we would live with Greg’s parents. It’s a good thing, too, because He’s made sure we had access to everything we really needed from our boxes while we’ve been here. We’ve found soccer balls and shin guards just when we needed them, colored paper for party preparation (Little E’s birthday is coming up), and shoes when others went missing to name a few. Now that the weather is about to change to fall weather, we’re going to move into our house and be able to find our fall clothing just in time.

God also marked out this house for us. We don’t know who are neighbors are yet, but God has that planned out, too. I prayed from the beginning that God would place us in a neighborhood where we could be a blessing to the people around us. Only He knew the best place for us for that reason. I recently read a book called Praying Upside Down about a woman who had a lot of trouble trying to sell her house. She decided to start praying that God would bring just the right person to that house–a person who would be blessed by the house. It took longer to sell the house than she liked, but the woman who ultimately bought the house came with a story that made it clear the house was perfect for her at that time. I pray we will be a perfect fit in our neighborhood for God’s purposes, too.

What about you? Where did God place you? How does He want to use you where He’s placed you? “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them” (Eph. 2:10). Don’t miss those good works He’s planned for you to do in the place He’s planted you!