26 Oct Buenaventura
Last week I flew to California to look for a house. Todd was already there for work. He’s going to be back and forth a bit until we make the big move. He met me at the airport and we drove up to the area we’re going to call home for a while.
I fell in love, folks. The city of Ventura is absolutely beautiful! But let me begin at the beginning, so you get the essence of my experience.
Flying is not my favorite. I tend to get nervous. I worry the plane is going to drop from the sky. I imagine it’s my responsibility to concentrate on keeping it in the air. I’m getting better. I have to get better. Last year I flew twice (round trip). This year I’ll be flying three times. The flight from New York to Los Angeles is close to six hours. I don’t want to spend all that time riddled with anxiety. On the flight out, I kept my mind and heart focused on God and His goodness. I learned a new acronym from this podcast with Max Lucado, and it has helped me overcome some of my anxiety.
Ask God for help
Leave the problem with Him
Meditate on good things
Max came up with this useful tool from the ideas presented in Philippians 4:4-8. These verses have become some of my favorites over the last few months. They are comforting, and filled with sage advice. I have staved off many a sleepless night by meditating on good things.
Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon. Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
So, as I was flying and “fixing my thoughts on what is true,” I began to realize what good gifts my Father has given me. Instead of fearing the worst or letting my imagination run away with me, I began to thank God for air travel, that I had this opportunity to go to Ventura for the weekend, to find a place to live and a school for the kids.
The night before I flew out to California, I went to Bible study. The leader talked about how important our words are, that we need to speak life and have faith, rather than confessing negative things. I struggle with this view. While I believe there’s enough negativity in the world without us adding to it, I also believe in being truthful about our feelings. I don’t exactly concur with the “name it, claim it” philosophy that seems to suggest we have control over every outcome. However, I am learning that God rewards our faith. I also know having a positive attitude makes a world of difference in my own life. I began to trust that God has the perfect house for us to live in during our time in California. And that He would help us find it that weekend.
As of Wednesday, we had a list of ten or so houses to look at. When I landed in L.A., I checked my email and saw a new message from our realtor. The list had dwindled to one or two! My high spirits plummeted. This wasn’t exactly what I wanted to read.
I took a deep breath and told myself, “God is taking care of us!”
I was right. He was. And He is. And He always will be.
We only need one house to live in, after all. The first house the realtor showed us was perfect. We looked at the second one “just in case.” But really, we loved the first one! I am so looking forward to living there!
Ventura’s official name is the City of San Buenaventura. Buenaventura means “Good Fortune.” I know there’s no such thing as “fortune,” though. Only blessings from our Father in heaven who loves us.