We have so very much to be thankful for right now. I've been rehearsing many of the things over and over in my head, now that I'm over jet lag and those first hours of coffee deprived depression. I'm afraid I'll forget many of them or won't be able to state them here, but just so you know what I know and that is the we have been well taken care of. That is true most obviously by our fellow staff members here at the school who have prepared for our arrival, welcomed us with open and generous arms, and have worked hard to help us in many ways.
It is less obvious to others, but increasingly obvious to me and my family that God has been taking care of us most of all. This morning before we left for the first day of school, I gathered up the kids on the couch to read from the Word and pray before the day began. We read of Moses and the Israelites coming to a full stop at the Red Sea, with the Egyptians bearing down behind them and the wall of uncrossable water before them. And God made a way. He was always taking care of them. Earlier in the morning I had read on my own from Psalm 95, where the Lord reminds his people to come and worship him with thanksgiving because of his great works, because he is their shepherd and they are the people of his pasture. He is always making a way for them. It even talks of when you hear his voice, not to harden your heart like the children of Israel once did when things got hard in the wilderness. Those were comforting and challenging words to this child too.
We follow a God who leads, and who provides, and who makes a way. It does not mean the way is always easy- but he is there and walking us through it. We are experiencing that even now and I am filled with joy at the ways I am seeing him provide, sometimes even for the little "desires of my heart" as we've left some important things behind us.
In the midst of all that, there is the actual moving in and transitioning process that we are up to our necks in. The Man has been away at school from dawn to dusk working hard at getting things rolling for the school year while we have been at home, trying to unpack, organize, shop, find food, make food, play, and stay sane. I knew this part would be challenging. I have to say again the women here have been so lovely and generous, taking my kids several times to allow me a shopping trip or two or three to get bookcases or food or an oven (still not hooked up). But there is still so much to do with all of us here together and it has not been the easiest thing I've ever done. There have been several videos played on the laptop if that tells you anything. But regardless, we are beginning to make headway and I am really enjoying this new space to live in.
What follows is some photos of our place, in the raw, from last week, mainly so you can see the place and then in a few weeks I hope to be able to update with some lovely "after" photos. My favorite things about this apartment are it's simplicity (chinese apartments can often be, to my western tastes, gaudy and overdone), the amount of natural light... LOVE, the cleanliness and lack of mold since it is an unused apartment, and the size of the kitchen. While we're at it let's also give a shout out to elevators (we live on the fifth floor), patios for bikes, another patio for laundry (though it's uncovered... will have to get used to that), air conditioning, and king size beds (a surprise- but a welcome one!)
The kitchen, which I've since covered with contact paper... you'll see later.
Living Room, needing a lot of work.
Looking at the entryway (on the left) from the living room. Kitchen door is across from entryway.
The dining room opens up off the LR, and has huge windows!!
Dining. Room. Small table. Banged up cabinet. But lots of light.
Bathroom. With window! Plain colored tile!
But we did have to laugh at this lone piece of tile on the wall... all my efforts to keep the boy's eyes pure down the drain.
Guess Bedroom/Office. Obviously, needs a lot of work. But it has a ton of light and interesting shape to it.
Kid's room. We gave them the MBR. I love the way they make window seats in all the bedrooms here. Have I mentioned that yet?
And now, since you've seen the mess, a few things that are making me happy.
My antique chinese doors in my favorite color in China. I just love them. They need a pretty paint color behind them and then they will shine...
Some things are getting organized.
The window seat again... and the kids love it too. I'm making it into a library corner.
But really, most of the house still looks like this.
The view from our LR, DR, and Kids Room. It's not the sea, but a sea of rooftops, and we like it! At least it's not the wall of another apartment building next door.