this used to be THE place where I vented, shared, waxed eloquent, posted funny things, and asked for advice?
I have thought about this time and again. At first I really thought it was because I had nothing to say. Nothing interesting anyway. And compared to living in Africa, I don't have anything interesting to say. Life in the US is a little boring, to be honest with you. There aren't random pot holes on the road one could lose a Hummer in, there are no crazy foods [think chicken feet and whole pig heads] at the local grocery store, the electricity stays on all the time, and lots of people at church are farther along in their faith than we are, and can encourage us.
Does that mean I am bored with my life right now?
Well, things with the girls are always fun. Life with J-Man is extremely pleasant. But living in limbo, knowing this is not our permanent home, but unsure of where that may end up being, does kind of give one an unsettled feeling. Rootless, I guess you could say.
It has been difficult for me to stay in the States this long. I know that sounds crazy, because we have been able to spend so much time with family and friends. At the same time, relating to ministry, we cannot commit long-term to anything because we are hoping soon we'll be heading back to the field. I can see that has made the hubby a little reminiscent of a caged animal.
However, God has worked WONDERFUL things in our family during this time. He has helped the hubby and I (individually) to let go of things we didn't know we still clung to. We have been healed from emotional and spiritual issues. We have seen God's hand provide and lead. We have been encouraged by God's people, and relationships that were arm's length before have been brought into bear-hug position.
So, I guess when I look back on it, life hasn't been that boring. Maybe we needed this time to just be. Not be busy...or be doing...or be unsure if what we're doing is the best- not just convenient- thing.
It's hard to not do much ministry-wise when you've just come from an experience where your [almost] every waking hour is spent thinking about ministry, and then planning that, and implementing that.
I guess I am learning that God has put us here for this time, for a reason. Slowing down and taking stock of life is something all Christians should be forced to do, I think. We can get so busy in the pace we've set [perhaps unknowingly] for ourselves, that we forget if what we're doing is the BEST thing God would have us do.
I have learned that my first ministry is to my husband and children. Nothing should come before that. Not ministering to OTHER PEOPLE'S children, not doing things people other than my husband give me to do, and certainly not leaving my house more times a week than I've been planted in it.
So, this time of adjustment has been good. I will admit that being still has been painful for me. Is that weird to say? We're supposed to enjoy being still. That's when we can hear God's voice. I think I was busy for a long time, never really asking God what He wanted me to do- just assuming that if it was a good thing, I should do it. I never heard His voice because I wasn't tuned into it. I didn't really have a close bond with God. We weren't as tight as we should have been.
I did many things for the approval of man, I admit that. I like to feel needed. I like to hear that I've done well, or that I've helped. My love language is acts of service, so to say no when asked to do something that helps another is hard for me. I almost never do that. I say yes, anticipating the day when it will be over and someone will tell me that I was a blessing. That they couldn't have done it without me. That they NEEDED me.
God doesn't need me. He does fine without me. He has lots of better options than me anyway. And I am not saying that just to be publicly humble. I mean it. There are a lot of people more together than I am. Who will always give Him the glory.
And you know what? It's a process to learn how to get back to the point of letting God lead you. Listening to Him whisper to your heart the things He wants you to do. Giving you the strength and courage to say no sometimes, when you know you would be doing things for the wrong reasons. Remembering what it was like when you asked Him what you ought to do, instead of asking Him for strength to handle all you've piled on yourself.
So maybe I'll start blogging a little more regularly. I cannot promise my posts will be filled with interesting facts/stories, but they probably weren't before, either, if we're being honest here. And I am thinking about turning off the option of leaving comments, so I can say what I think the Lord wants me to say without waiting for approval/justification/solidarity from all of you.
But probably not just yet. Stay tuned, I guess.