I’ve been a resident of the state of Florida for 4 weeks today. So far things have gone fairly well.
I didn’t come here with the expectation of a smooth transition. When you are combining three households into one there are bound to be some glitches. When you are feeding 15+ people every day you don’t just sit back and put your feet up either!
Meals have been the biggest challenge. Someone had to be delegated to sort of oversee the planning, shopping and meal prep. That would be me.
Of course I have many helpers available to contribute meal suggestions, help with shopping, unloading and putting away a mountain of groceries as well as with prepping and cleaning up. It’s a major production every day.
Added to that is the challenge of cooking for a variety of health issues. We have two diabetics, two with liver disorders, one with food allergies and when Andrew’s father-in-law joins us, one on blood thinners. So, we watch the carbs, watch the salt, watch the nuts and the red meat. And try to watch the budget too! What does it cost to feed up to 17 people everyday? You don’t want to know!
But in spite of all of that, I am up to the task. I actually like the challenge of cooking for an army again. Back when I was cooking for as many as 11 every day I had lots of helpers but they all needed stools. Now the adults out number the children so that helps a lot.
And we have a huge kitchen with two stoves. We also have two refrigerators and a membership to Costco. We are already on a first name basis with a few of the helpful folks at Costco. We really only shop for meals about three days in advance since much more that than would really put a strain on our storage options.
And speaking of storage, Randy and I have had a couple of trips already to the storage unit and are trying to sort and continue to purge stuff we realize we can live without. It’s amazing how your perspective changes and you realize just how little you really need to be comfortable when you downsize from a 2400 square foot home to a 160 square foot bedroom. Not that I don’t have this huge lovely home to enjoy with everyone else, but as a woman, my “nest” space has been drastically reduced. It’s a good thing, really. I’m learning to be content with just a few things easily accessible. The rest is in storage and the longer it’s there the more I realize I don’t really need it. It’s a great blessing to come to the end of the day and retreat to my room that I only share with my husband and feel completely content.
It was a great blessing to have Randy home for almost a month before he started his new job. We have already had many wonderful adventures with the grandkids. Now in the second week with Randy going to work every day, we are settling into a more normal routine. We know there will be many more adjustments and challenges ahead, but we are so thankful for God’s grace through it all and thankful for the lessons we are learning. He is making us a stronger family and working on the refining of our hearts as we work through the challenges of living in a household this size.
James 1:2-4 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
2 Corinthians 9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed.