A Year In The Making

I started replaying all the memories of the last year over and over in my mind a few weeks ago. With each thought came the beginning of new chapters and the closing of others.

Today marks one year that we bought our house home.

I am so emotional, even today remembering where the Lord took us, carried us, sustained us, loved us, provided for us, where he brought us, and how he provided for us . . . whew. It’s overwhelming.

There have been many firsts that have taken place in the last year. The one that makes me laugh and cry the hardest from appreciation . . . you got it. Double ply toilet paper! If you don’t know the story . . . we could not flush any t.p. down the commode at our old house. Then in the camper for seven months . . . oi. Finding out that the holding tank was never drained and having sewage come up in the tub was not a fun thing. I remember the first time my aunt came to our new house, she walked in and said in her squeaky comical voice, “Hey, can I flush the toilet paper?!” Those days were hard days. They became our normal and we got through.


God sustained us. 

I visited my fb feed from a year ago. My favorite times in the campground during those seven months was watching the sunset (no, I rarely watched a sunrise unless I HAD to). God gave us a gorgeous sunset the last night we were in the camper. With each sunset and even sunrise, I always think of Psalm 113:3, “I will praise you (Lord) from the rising to the setting of the sun.” As I type those words tears fill my eyes. There were hard nights in the camper, but God was faithful. The sun always rose and the sun always set. I am a better person for the time spent in the camper. When God allows us to walk through the valley and experience hard times, He is often trying to teach us something . . . be it a new compassion towards others, a deeper level of gratitude, a stronger faith . . . oh the possibilities are endless over what we can learn when He carries us through the valley . . . sometimes it’s just being still.

one last sunset

God sustained us.

This is the penny the Lord gave me when I was on the way to the closing. Regardless how beaten up it is, it is still a penny. It still symbolizes worth. It still reads, “In God We Trust.”


God sustained us.

As I reflect over the last year and even the months prior to us buying this home, I can remember all the no’s. I remember all the disappointments. I remember wondering if we would EVER get out of that camper. But . . . I can also remember when God said, “Yes.” He knew we needed a house with little or no repair needed. He knew our budget. He knew our capabilities. He knew we needed a house move in ready and that there would be no question as to the safety of the house. God had began preparing Ryan and Sarah for the sale of this home months before. The timing is impeccable how God orchestrated everything to fall in place.

God sustained us.

During this last year Christopher was able to attend school at a local elementary school and was accepted into the ASD classroom. What is incredible to me is that with every no or delay we received a call within hours to days saying, “Mrs. Paden, we are going to make this happen.” Over and over. Originally I was told it would take three months to get him in the program. Three weeks from the first phone call God swung the doors open and my boy began 5th grade in a public school. God has answered the prayers of momma’s heart, “Lord, I’ve done all I can do, I need him back in school.” I prayed that prayer for two years.

God sustained us.

During the last year Kaitlyn has thrived at her new school. Kaitlyn’s extreme anxiety left me worried sick over the transition. She did phenomenal! You would have thought she had been there since Kindergarten. She worked hard, made some friends, and came out on top.

Yeap, you guessed it . . .

God sustained us.

Over the last year we my husband and a family friend pulled up Azaleas that had grown so huge around the entry way you couldn’t see over them. Our Mexican Tulips were planted and are filling in nicely. There is a small pond we added to the front flower bed that is covered with wandering jew that is so peaceful. Begonias, Iris’, Society Garlic, Gerber Daisy’s, and I have no idea what else has been added to the front flower bed. We’ve (Gotta stop doing that!) My husband added a Crape Myrtle to the front yard, a Bradford Pear, Gardenia bushes, moved the hydrangea’s from the back yard to the front yard, we’ve (there I go again), HE planted all our bulbs around the circumference of the Bradford Pear and gave me the bulb garden I have always wanted. The Passion Flower we dug up from the old house and put in a pot . . . it survived and is doing incredible in its new place where MY HUSBAND built a trellis for it to fill. A friend gave us some clippings of hers last year as well. We thought they had died but I have one survivor that is beginning to take off and hers were more vibrant than mine. I’m excited for new growth to take place.

God sustained us.

During the last year my husband and even my mother prepared a garden area for us. And while we didn’t have much success out of it, we do have a plethora of Jalapenos and zipper peas! I canned for the first time and have six jars of pickles from all the cucumbers we grew.

God sustained us.

We were able to foster animals again. We adopted out all of Nala’s babies last year except for Gibbs. He is a part of our family now. We rescued an older cat whose owner had to enter a nursing home and her grown children threw him out. He had never been outside and would sleep on her door mat at night wanting to go in. He is now a permanent member of our family as well. We tried for months to find him a new home but no one was interested in an older black cat. It’s funny because he never acted like a cat and just fit right in. We adopted Abbie from the Escambia County Animal Shelter a few months ago. She is a great partner and friend to our Gibbs. We are currently fostering a litter of kittens for a friend and loving every minute of it. We still have our precious love . . . my Valentine. We’ve added chickens and will hopefully add more in the future.

God sustained us.

God waited until we were in the house to show me a gift He installed in me somewhere along the way. I had no idea I was capable of such but He did. I never dreamed I could do anything like this and now God has me opening the doors of my house HOME to friends and strangers that are becoming friends as I host craft parties.

God sustained us.

There are many more stories I could tell but I have filled enough space already. Today I am thankful for the events that took place one year ago today. I still sit in awe of how he coordinated it all. (I mean seriously, with all the time and energy He spends on me and my family I just don’t know how He takes care of the rest of you! ) I am thankful he hasn’t given up on me. I am thankful for a roof over my head. Running water in my faucets and commodes (yes, we have two now!). Air conditioner that keeps us comfortable and a heater that keeps us warm when needed. I am thankful for a yard to cut, weeds to pull, chickens to feed, children that despite the many arguments love each other but more importantly are so sensitive to the needs of others. I am thankful for a husband who picks up my slack when I am down and supports me in all my endeavors. I am thankful today that regardless what life brings at us, I know . . . .

God will sustain us. 


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