When you Lived an Adventure Experiment...

So.  Here we go again.
We are gearing up for move #9 in 15 years....
I am becoming a professional.
And God is once again, always and forever, proving Himself Faithful at every turn...

All along we planned to stay here for about 18 months, but now at month 13, the Lord has opened up a sweet little house in the country for us to rent.  The price is right, and I would much rather move in the fall than on the tail-end of winter, so we are moving forward....listening to His leading and preparing our hearts and our boys for another new chapter. This move will be the hardest for them, by far.  They will be leaving behind two soul-brothers, and a live-in Aunty and Uncle, as well.
 
Our mansion we've been living in for the past year.  We had the entire top floor.
I can barely even wrap my brain around the fact that we have lived this "glorified-dorm-life-married-with-kids-commune" experiment for an entire year.  And we have done it with crazy success, in my opinion.

Two entire families.
All with different jobs.  All with swirling schedules.  All of us trying to Homeschool.
SIX hooligan boys and one crazy baby girl between us.
But, only 2 broken bones and 7 stitches between 3 boys - and none of these accidents anybody else's fault.
Praise Jesus...
Five boys.  Count them. And one large, blue alien.
Deep and true friendships.
Raw and real conversations.
Open honesty.  And Ruthless grace.

I would challenge any two families to do as well as the two of us have done this past year.
Seriously.

It takes a whole heck of a lot of humility to let others see you for who you REALLY are - no false pretenses, no facade, no walls....just broken, messed up you....trying to live life out the best you can.  But knowing that always and forever - no matter what - you have each other's back.  Even during the messy.

Especially during the messy....
Theirs and ours.
These friends have put up with my chickens roosting for the night in the open windows of their car, and chicken poop all over the porch - despite my best attempts.  Night after night and morning after morning, they have listened to crazy CRAZY loud upstairs neighbors who wake up at zero dark thirty every. single. day, and have listened to fussy baby girls sleeping directly above them for multiple nights on end.  They've had to kick my ducks out of their garage and swerve to miss all of my chickens as they drive out of the dooryard for work each day.  They have loved on a whirling dervish baby who always breaks into their bedroom and steals their chocolate; and almost every single time we asked them to babysit - with the promise that London was down for good for the night so there's absolutely nothing you need to do - we would come home to Charlie holding her, with a bleary-eyed smile on his face, saying that she'd had a pretty rough night.
Exhibit one out of at LEAST ten probably.  I kind of lost count.
There has been no judgment with their friend who hates change, and who got all panicky when they re-arranged their own house.  (Sorry about that one).  They nodded and smiled at their immature neighbors who occasionally liked to pull a prank or two here and there....they rolled with crack of dawn texts to borrow the spare car to get to church on time....and they were gracious when a puppy dog boy broke a cherished vase from a passed away Grammy.  They didn't get frustrated when one of mine shot a groundhog that they enjoyed watching from the window....and they didn't freak out when another one of mine caused their boy - on his very first day of learning to ride a two wheel bike - to take the digger of the century because of an enthusiastic "ride beside."  And that's just the tip of the iceberg.  Truly.

Our boys are giants.  And they live life wild.  They are loud.  And they sometimes lack the common sense to think before they act, or to look before they leap.  They talk incessantly, and meal times are a bit of a circus. Their boys are a little more cautious.  And they live life a wee bit more smartly than mine do.  They know how to be quiet, and they know how to sit still for longer than two minutes.  Methinks once our "pack of wolves" has moved on, these guys will be shocked at the semblance of sanity and order that will once again take over their Homestead.  I think they've probably forgotten how it once was....
Aunty Shandy....who gave London her first taste of popsicle AND of chocolate.
These friends have lived with an insane amount of LOUD and CHAOS....and 365+ days of living and LIFE that comes with meshing two families of ten.

And they have done it with grace.
And with dignity.
With love that has overflowed--that kind of a blood brother and sister love-- from the very depths of their hearts.
Our boys making a Family Supper in the kitchen.
We are a lot to handle....
And they just took on all of it.
They have blessed.
And they have given freely and fully from their overflow...even when there was no overflow to give from.
"Stooping It" with Shandy.  My favorite times.  Coffee on the porch while the kids ran wild and free.
Our hearts will be forever knit, and our souls will be forever bound.
Our friendship will be forever strong.
And our children will be forever bonded....
What an Epic-ly, AMAZING experiment this has been!
What a memory we will have to always look back upon with fondness and Happiness....
This we do. And This we did with each other....
I pray that we were just a fraction of the blessing to you that you four were to us....
To the next Chapter of the Journey, dear Ones.
May God bless you richly and deeply -- abundantly above and beyond all that you can ever ask for or imagine because of your deep kindness to us....

How we love you.

5 comments:

Lisa G.☺ said...

♥ ♥ ♥

Charlie Hodsdon said...

I am trying to figure out how we will do life without you guys. Everything you describe so beautifully has become our happily cherished normal. We cannot begin to count the ways you have been a blessing to us in the last year, and the encouragement and confirmation of our life mission that this glorious experiment has been!

Kristi said...

Beautiful.

Psalm117ptg said...

How I'm going to miss you guys when you're gone. The 2 four year old's that truly love each other like brothers. And the three big boys that beg to see each other every single minute they are apart. The coffee dates, Christmas schemes we worked together, the food we made for our loves on Valentines-cranberry apple pie & and German chocolate cakes-mine eating every single piece of your cake and yours eating all of my pie, and sister friends crying together over each other as life changes...You truly are the bestie-best...And this is the beginning of a future blog post.

Kristen Mowry said...

What an amazing year and life experience all your children will have had. They will have lived out the depths of love that we should all experience!