How God Works in this Portion of Our Grand Adventure
We’ve been traveling back and forth between Michigan and Florida, pulling our trailer behind our truck. Most people pack everything, load all their belongings onto a moving truck, and go. They may come back to clean up and turn in keys if needed, but not us. Nope. It takes 3 or 4 trips simply because of the delays in building our home and a harsh winter up north. The move would have been treacherous, for sure. Yet I’ve discovered God is with us every step of the way
End of Pandemic Move
As you know, my Boaz and I started this leg of God’s adventure last fall. We began living in our camper off and on in August 2021, and then steadily from October 2021 until our COVID-era-built house was finally finished. Since then, we’ve been living with some necessities and two compact fridges (instead of our regular sized fridge). At least I could talk my Sweetheart into buying a sofa and loveseat because my backside needed cush. In the meantime, he tore his rotator cuff, taking a large box out of our loft storage. It required surgery and physical therapy, which takes about six months to recover fully. All the while, he’s discovered retirement, much to my dismay. So instead of integrating into my schedule, he’s tried taking over. Nope, it’s not going to happen.
Satan Tries to Thwart God’s Activity
Also, I shared with you this month about several diseases and health conditions, all of which my medical providers have diagnosed me. Balancing my needs with living in our camper and moving is no easy feat! Sometimes my sweet Boaz accidentally kicks the covers onto the floor—teeming with dust mites–in the middle of the night. Also, some kind yet ignorant soul at one of my go-to restaurants picked up bits of lettuce on the counter covered with crumbs and then put them back into my dish. I realized what happened when I ended up with mouth sores and a horrible belly ache. Kind, well-intentioned hosts offer me comfy upholstered chairs. Still, I’ve declined it in favor of a hard straight-back chair. I’d rather have my backside whimper with fibro pain instead of taking Benadryl and heading to the local ER. I’ve often had to choose the way of lesser comfort.
Even with my best protective efforts, I’ve woken up several mornings feeling like someone whacked me in the head with a baseball bat. Covered in an itchy rash, I head to the shower in a foggy stupor, take Benadryl, and dress for my day. There’s no way I can think clearly to write! And that’s what Satan wants—an ineffective writer for the Kingdom of God.
Marital Bliss in a Stress-filled State
Our marital bonds have been stretched thin as we give eye rolls to each other about furniture choices or style preferences. Testy arguments ensue, fueled by frayed nerves from one more dumb thing we discover that the building contractors did, or didn’t, do. We still deal with craziness as we finish our move. Even the twenty-plus-hour drive tests our resolve.
“Char, would you drive for a while?” my weary hubby pleads on our way to Michigan.
“No! I’m scared to drive this truck towing our trailer behind us. My depth perception isn’t great. Why don’t we pull over for a while to rest?” I suggest.
“No!” he retorts. “We need to make good time.” His eyes blink a few times, and then he decides to stop at the gas station. Restroom break. I came out to find him wandering around in the gas station. Sometimes, it’s just best to sigh and pray. After all, there’s no need to push my point. Satan would love for us to engage in a nasty knock-down, drag-out fight. And for what?
Take It to the Air
Yet God opened my spiritual eyes to see Him blessing my Boaz’s prayers. He left our Michigan home with our oldest grandson to fly our plane over ten hours home. In case you didn’t know, it’s easy to get cloud-weary. The scenery can become monotonous, but what tired them out more was dodging storms. They needed to land in Tennessee to wait out a storm and fly out the following day. A few hours later, I got a texted photo of our plane parked in our driveway in front of our hangar. His aircraft was home! He flew back commercial to drive our truck and loaded trailer back to Florida. On the way, tears welled up in his eyes. He expressed gratitude to God for his dreams fulfilled, “I have my hangar home with my plane in the hangar. I have my Sweetheart, and our stuff headed HOME!” This is what he’s always wanted. My heart is full.
We discussed how our Michigan home was a landing place for us in our early marriage. He originally started it for his family, but divorce halted this work fueled by love. I helped him finish one-third of it, but by the time that portion was done, we discovered it was too much for us to care for. Now that we are older and he is retired, five acres is a lot to keep up. Finishing that home is now up to his son and daughter-in-law. We have a home in Florida suitable for us to age that we designed and built. Ah, home sweet home!
We see ministry opportunities by moving into our community, yet Satan throws a monkey wrench into life in Florida. This year has been fraught with delays and obstacles to settling in and getting to know our neighbors. What God intends for His good plan brings demonic opposition. It will be one year of settling by August. Crazy!
My Boaz’s shoulder is now on the mend. We certainly are a sorry mess between my health issues and his lifting limits. At seven weeks post-op, he forgets what he can and cannot do. “Char, I need your help at the hangar.” I agreed to go along. I’m ready for a break from sorting and boxing the last few items in the Michigan house anyway. When we arrived, I asked if we could have the hangar door open, to which he replied, “Yes, we certainly can.” I remembered the mold on the wall at the back of the hangar. We checked the cylinders for air leaks. Check! He’s set to fly it home.
That night, he flopped around in bed because of so much pain. He held the airplane prop, so it didn’t spin while I added air pressure to the cylinders. What misery! I must have been exhausted because I only remember him going to the recliner once in the middle of the night. But getting the plane home to Florida will be worth it all.
My hip screamed at me after a few nights. The bursa under the IT band and the tendons to the hamstrings became irritated from doing the ridiculous number of steps required in that home with a spiral staircase. Also, I noticed several bruises on my legs that looked like they had been pelted with stones. Ugh! Burst blood vessels are common in my health condition. I’m glad I won’t have to do that much longer.
Living a Healthy Lifestyle Helps
All of our walking and my water exercise is helping me box items, lift, and carry our stuff down the stairs. Sure, I’m tired and crash in bed, but eating healthy and regular exercise has helped quite a bit. As you know, most people hire someone else to move their stuff nowadays. Either you can’t get Friends & Family Movers to help, but also many people don’t have the strength and endurance to move a household’s worth of belongings. I can tell you that the strength and endurance required to move your stuff means you have to take care of your body. I discovered that carrying a couple of heavy boxes downstairs strained my heart. As we age after forty-five, the elasticity in our muscles is lower, making our hearts a bit stiffer. It can put additional pressure on your heart when lifting and moving weight, similar to the Valsalva maneuver. It’s imperative to breathe continuously.
As for eating healthy, fueling your body for work is extremely important. Before menopause, women have a greater cardio capacity, burning more carbs. This means replenishing glycogen stores in the muscles for work. But protein is also needed to rebuild muscle tissue that gets broken down from lifting. After menopause, women have less estrogen so that we can build more muscle than in our younger days. This advantage now requires we consume more lean protein, which also aids in weight loss. Intake of healthy oils is valuable because as you lift and move for several hours, your body begins burning fat for energy rather than carbs. Your carb intake is still important, but you won’t require quite as much as when you were younger. After you finish the move, your recovery time means you still need a few additional calories from carbs and protein for twenty-four hours. Then you can get back to low-calorie, healthy eating and still lose a bit of fat weight. Since our move, I’ve devoured quite a bit more in the past two days.
My pain levels are not as bad as they could be. Even with chronic pain and fatigue illnesses, if you take care of your body, it will carry you. But this is only a small part of what keeps us going. The rest is sheer determination to get the move done! I certainly don’t want to continue doing thirty-three to fifty-one flights of stairs just a year shy of the big 6-0.
In Our Weakness God Works
We are weary, though. As I write this, sorting, pitching, and packing has worn me down. Yet God has made the way giving me the strength and endurance to do it (Philippians 4:13). God carried my Boaz, giving him the strength, endurance, and wisdom to get the plane safely to Florida, dodging storms. Eagles’ wings come to mind for him (Isaiah 40:31). God continues to strengthen our marriage as we go through trials like these. After all, He brought us together ten years ago (Matthew 19:6). God is in our move. He provided our home in the particular community for a reason. Since that is true, He will continue to carry us forward in this grand adventure He has for us in our retirement years. We need only to trust Him.
What about you? How is God carrying you through your trials? Do you trust Him even when you can’t see how things will turn out? How can I pray for you? Feel free to comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Many blessings to you!
Used with permission from Charlaine Martin.