The day before our third Valentine’s Day our family moved into our third house, putting an end to the year we lived in a military high rise community called Hannam Village. If I had to pick one thing I have learned in my time living in Hannam Village it would be Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted in all the nations, I will be exalted in all the earth.” In everything from loneliness, to culture shock, to doing big jobs like homeschooling with six kids, God taught me to rest and trust instead of getting upset. Perhaps the best example of how He did this is the final exam of our moving week, and yes- it was a moving week. The entire time from finding a new apartment to moving in was a total of six days! Here’s how it went:
Wednesday- Kenny starts the apartment search.
Thursday- We find this amazing apartment.
Friday- A housing inspector shows up at our current residence wanting to inspect it for move out and informs me we will be out within a week. I have a minor freak out.
Monday- A man from the moving company comes to look things over and tells me he will be back Wednesday, as in the day after tomorrow, because that’s the only day they can move us. Kenny looks at me a little warily (will she blow?) I hesitate a minute, then shrug and laugh.
Wednesday- The movers arrive. Kenny has to spend the day attending briefings and filing paperwork, all of part of a military move. So, I stay with the movers- me and up to six kids. While the movers pack we camp in a corner of the living room and the kids create an elaborate game using pieces they drew on notebook paper. Paper, markers and scissors turn into an entire world. The movers dash about and I- I practice being still- literally. I sit through the entire move in a lawn chair with my feet on a back pack and my nose in a book, or a kid on my lap holding their nose in a book while I read. It was the most I have sat still all year. I love moving.
Thursday- We just manage a night’s sleep in the new apartment. I’m glad I packed sleeping bags and pillows in our overnight bags because there is not a moment to open a single box. Up early in the morning we dash back to the old apartment. We have to have the apartment clean and ready for inspection soon after lunch. We get our supplies arranged, grab magic erasers, pass out assignments and dive into the work- for about thirty minutes. Then, David is trying to look through a window that Cody just washed, but clean and David have never gone well together, and so he slips. Face first he crashes into the edge of a heater. What teeth he doesn’t knock loose he puts straight through his lower lip. There is blood everywhere. One look is enough to tell us a trip to the hospital is needed, so with only hours till deadline I leave Kenny and Cody to clean the entire apartment and I take the younger children to the hospital. Holding David as pain and motion sickness battle it out in the back seat of the taxi he asks me to sing him his favorite song, Silent Night. So, I am still and sing quietly and I realize what a treat it is to hold the boy who rarely wants to be held as we ride through city traffic. The taxi driver keeps glancing in the rear view mirror and you can imagine he must have kids himself from the sympathy in his glance toward David, either that or he just is worried we are going to get blood on his upholstery. We spend four hours in the hospital. We play more paper games and I read aloud. Hospital beds can actually be quite comfortable even with four people in them. We are all just being still. One of David’s teeth has already fallen out and is now in the coin pouch of my wallet. Doctors examine, rinse, poke, prod, send us across the hospital for antibiotics, then across the post to find a pediatric dentist. She examines again, then finally says “One more x-ray, then we get the stitches done.” We are almost done, but as David tilts his head back for his last x-ray he takes the practice of being still a little too far and actually falls asleep. By the time they are ready for stitches David is sound asleep on the examination table. The doctor decides to go ahead with the stitches anyways. Half way through David wakes up and finds scissors and needles literally sticking out of his mouth and he does what any of us would do, he flips out! Blood is everywhere again. Any stitches put in come out and I just grab up my boy and hold him very very still. When, at last we leave I have teeth in my purse, a brown paper bag with a bottle of antibiotics and pain killers, David looks like a boxer, and we are all exhausted, but then we are picked up by our victorious men folk. They have, all on their own, passed the move out inspection and gained the sympathy of the moving inspector through the tale of David’s plight. So, as we head home to our new apartment it seems like a lot went wrong, but not once do I freak out (although I did almost deck a nurse who tried to take David’s temperature orally while he was still spitting teeth,) and at the end of the day all we feel is proud to have managed so well as a family. Be still and know that God will be exalted.
Its a week later and I still have not unpacked. In fact, we all decided to celebrate moving in by getting sick- again. As I write a man with a jack hammer has been camped out in my skull for two days. If he doesn’t move out by tomorrow we will go back the the hospital and have them fix my sinus infection, (and I will be careful not to fall asleep on the exam table.) Our year in Hannam Village was sometimes very hard. A lot happened that was physically and emotionally exhausting, yet, through it all God was teaching me to be still. Our new apartment is amazing- every morning I feel like I’m waking up in a luxury hotel or spa. The river runs by the windows and I think of the 23rd Psalm every day, “He leads me by still waters for His namesake.” I hope that is what our time here will be- a time of being still- no matter what happens!