look how far we’ve come!

Last night, I picked up some takeout at our favorite Vietnamese/Thai restaurant on my way home from work. Chris & I have grown very fond of Friday nights on the couch with some “#74, green curry with tofu.” As I left the restaurant with our order, I noticed a woman exiting the laundromat next door. She had one of those industrial-sized rolling racks with a basket attached, full of what was probably two weeks’ worth of clothes. Now, I don’t know her story. For all I know, she was waiting on the newest, shiniest machines to be delivered to her house any day now. But just the image of her rolling her clothes out to her car… it took me back.

Lots of people don’t own a washer/dryer, and it’s no big deal to them. Big cities with small apartment-style living make it simple (& even fun) to hit up the laundromat. But I believe that a family in the suburbs suffers when it goes without. Chris & I used to load up kids, quarters, and dirty clothes and head to our apartment complex’s community laundry facilities. The whole process was long and laborious even then, before any of the babies came along! What a blessing it was to get a neighbor’s old washer/dryer when he upgraded. What a blessing it was to be able to purchase a brand-new set of our very own a few years later, when we bought our home.

I know I’ve blogged about it before, but I catch myself staring at Chris all the time and whispering, “We have come so far.” I am just astounded at what God has done with us in such a short time. There was a time at which I thought I’d never marry Christopher, because my parents weren’t so sure about him. There was a time at which I thought he would wander & wonder for years before God brought him to a position as a worship leader. There was a time at which I thought we’d be eternally scarred & discouraged by financial debt, never to be homeowners. While the money could be greater and the debt could be less, I still want to shout about His faithfulness. We have come so far.

But so have you. It’s not about the washer & dryer, or dream jobs, or even about money. It’s about seasons, about landmarks, about victories. Everyone has a milestone at which they can look and say the same thing – I have come so far. What is yours? I’d love to celebrate with you!

13 thoughts on “look how far we’ve come!”

  1. What a wonderful, uplifting post! It is so good to reflect and be grateful for everything that we have. Can you believe that some people in the world can afford a dress that costs more than a w&d, and at the same time, more people will never see a new dress or a w&d in their life? It is so important to have such a healthy perspective, you both have so many wonderful things to teach your kids, kids that will be loving, grateful adults someday!
    For us, we are about to transition to a new city and a new state as a family of 3. In incredible debt, but we are chasing our dreams and we have plans to use all of this hard work for a greater good. I can’t believe we have a toddler who speaks in almost perfect sentences, who is funny, compassionate and loving. Our family is getting stronger and we are becoming more independent. We have no possessions yet, but we are becoming increasingly more accepting and grateful for what we do have: health, clothes, a clean place to live, love and our future.
    Thank you, Rachael, for writing this and giving me a chance to reflect!

  2. This post made me a little teary eyed when I started thinking about how far we have come. I could mention what financial issues we have overcome, but truly the most amazing thing is that last year my husband and I were totally living in the world. I decided to go back to church and made the decision to rededicate myself to the Lord in November. After a few months of just me and my 3 kids (pregnant with #4) going on our own, my husband joined us and he got saved last month! My 4 year old daughter just went up yesterday during the altar call at VBS and asked Jesus to ” live in her heart forever”. Never in my life would I imagine us having such peace, or being married to a Christian or having children with a love for Jesus, but I have that now. Even when He wasn’t on our minds, we were always on His. We have come so far.

  3. your post was very encouraging. My husband is also a musician and is employed by our church as a music minster part time. We have lived for 5 years now by faith. We both had part time jobs and then I got pregnant. I have taken the year off to look after our son and somehow we are surviving on a part time wages ( he works two p/t jobs). I too look back an think look how we have come. Often I am overwhelmed because I would love it if my husband could be working full time doing music, but I have to keen reminding myself that we are in the most perfect place that God wants us to be and I can’t argue with him. We too think that we will NEVER own a home or be “wealthy” but we look to our God who is our provider and are encouraged.

  4. My husband has certainly came a long way. Most of his high school teachers never thought he would graduate, but he did (with the minimum credits and a 1.7 GPA). As if that wasn’t a big enough accomplishment to the nay-sayers, My husband was able to get into a very good university and is about to graduate with honors! He plans on attending law school after that. His family is known as the “town drunks”, but we are hoping to start a good association with our last name :)

  5. we’ve had a week of celebrating God’s goodness & the journey he’s brought us through. our twins just turned 1 this past thursday. and according to the doctors they may not make it. they are not just living but thriving & exceeding expectations with no health problems!

    we also just listed our home for sale 2.5 weeks ago with the thought that it would take a while to sell. the Lord’s timing is amazing. we signed a contract friday! and not only that, there was a bidding war & we got a full price. His grace & favor keeps me in awe.


  6. i love this!! i look back at my fiance and I, and I can’t believe how far we’ve come as well. With a little faith in each other, it’s amazing what a couple can accomplish. Lucky ladies, we are :)

  7. It’s awesome that you can look back and appreciate where you’ve come from. It’s easy to become accustomed to your current standard of living and take it for granted. When we bought our townhouse, having a washer and dryer was hands down the thing I was most excited about! I hated those trips to the laundromat but I’m glad that my husband and I had that bonding experience :)

  8. For me its “look how far God has brought me” because even though I was raised in a christian home and attended a christian school I don’t think I really knew, understood or cared about God until I became an adult. Life is so much better surrounded by his grace and love. Another great post, my friend. You are a great light for His kingdom.

  9. I love this post. It really took me back. Back to when my parents had just divorced, both in their mid 20s with barely any money. Mom and I made lots of trips to the laundromat. My mom saved up and saved up and saved up. It sounds silly and materialistic but when she finally had us at a point where we were secure and even had a little extra to spend, she bought herself a pair of diamond earrings to symbolize where we’d come from and all the hard work it to get there. She gave me those on my 21st birthday.

    When I visited my dad, he always tried to find fun things for us to do that cost little to nothing; my favorite: dad would buy a loaf of bread and we would go feed the ducks. We spend most of our time together commuting from my mom’s house to my dad’s and those countless hours of talking gave me more than any material item my dad could have ever given me. I look at my dad and stepmom’s life now and am just amazed at where we came from.

    I am so blessed.

  10. What a great post of the Ebenezers in your life! I’ve loved reading your journey and meeting your family. The moment we think we don’t have any farther to come we are actually going backwards.

    Anyway, thank you for such a beautiful post!

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