The other two bedrooms had brand new furniture, one in a light wood and one in dark. The hardwood floors had throw rugs near the bed and mirrored dresser. One side of each bedroom held a wall closet with sliding doors for the entire width of the room. Previously the three of us had one small closet to share; but, now, each of us had our very own room and double bed, plus a huge closet—all to ourselves!
Mom and Dad had brought their old bedroom furniture, which was placed in the basement room they had set up for themselves--right under mine. Their bathroom had a shower and ours a bathtub with a shower head, too. This was the first time we had seen such a thing and it was exciting.
The new living room held our old furniture on the wall-to-wall carpeted floor; but, at the point where the living room might end and the little dining area begin, there stood a pillar-like fireplace, open on two sides. It had a chain-link screen in front of the openings; but, that was it—no mantle. It looked ready to use. We had never seen such a unique fireplace.
In addition to the house being much larger than our first home, the area for shoveling snow off this corner lot had increased significantly because the property included a cement driveway, a long stretch of sidewalk from the house to the alley’s garbage removal area and a number of smaller bits scattered around the place. A lot more area to keep clean; that was for sure!
On the other hand, I would have a lot more time to shovel our own walks because, a quick walk through the neighborhood, blatantly illuminated the problem. There was a definite absence of elderly people. Instead, the homeowners were young like my parents. Some homes even had kids old enough to shovel the walks and driveway. Sadly, this move marked the end of my snow shoveling business. I might be able to pick up a few lawns to mow in the summer for a bit of cash, but whatever could I do for those long months of snow in the usual Montana winter?
“Are you busy Saturday night?” The carpool had just dropped my father off from their weekend duty with the National Guards, where he served as the company commander. Still dressed in his captain’s uniform, he gave me a hug and smiled, waiting for my answer. The thing is, my father had sounded like a guy asking me for a date. Reflexively I covered the soft chuckle with the palm of one hand and hoped it wouldn’t erupt into outright laughter. I made a couple of quick throat clearing grunts to help buy me some time to compose myself and responded.
“No, Dad, nothing going in my twelve-year-old dateless life.” My father actually got the joke and laughed.
“Okay, then, well, my lieutenant needs a babysitter and I told him I would ask you if you are interested in helping out. He has a couple of kids and I am pretty sure they should be in bed by the time he comes to pick you up.” Did my father remember that “his lieutenant” was also my seventh grade science teacher? Boy, if I blew this gig, it could mean more than a cut in pay! But, if things went well, it could mean a real change in my totally unemployed status, hmm.
As it turned out, things went well and I was, once again, in business! Okay, sometimes the experience was not one I would want to repeat and sometimes I even refused to return to the torture of “some people’s kids” but, for the most part, it was a lucrative business. I needn’t have worried.
It is wonderful to see how involved God is in our lives, at all stages. He knows us and He understands what is important to us. My parents provided well for us; but, it was not just the needs being met, with extras thrown in. It was the personal boost earning money myself brought to my adolescent years. A sense of self-worth, you know? God knew and provided just what I needed.
Matthew 6:25-27 is a personal favorite:
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”
In fact, I often remind myself of verse 34 whenever I find I am stressing over something that might happen or that I would like to see happen a bit quicker:
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Truly, dear Reader, God understands and He cares!
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