Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Contending for my content


This  past Tuesday, charley had set up some appointments to look at houses for rent. We drove into the neighborhood thinking, wow, awesome location. Close to everything. Not to far from work. Gasp! it had a full sized fridge and a backyard. We were sold by that point alone, but also by it’s charming layout and ample room. Triple score points because it was a 1920’s ranch and got beautiful photogenic light from the dining room and living room windows. Did I just say dining room? What exactly is a dining room..I’ve forgotten. You mean they designate an entire room for a table!? such luxuries.

We oohed and ahhed over the space, the screened porch, the brick oven in the backyard. The poor landlord must have thought we hadn’t been in a real house before. We were so in love with this house that we halfheartedly went to the other house viewings but were already planning a new life in dream house A.

I guess that was the first mistake really. I let myself get carried away. I mentally put each and every bit of our furniture in place. I mentally played with the dog in the yard. I even savored the idea of being able to let the dog into the backyard via door attached to house. (We currently must get dressed, find keys, leash dog, unlock padlock to put her in her 4 foot long courtyard). I’m sure charley was envisioning a peaceful night cooking dinner from our amply stocked pantry. 

Enter crash and burn let down. A couple came the day after us and on the spot paid the deposit and first months rent. The landlord knew we wanted it and that we were trying to work things out with our current landlord, but money in hand is the key.

The wuss in me went to the bathroom and cried for a few seconds.

I was whiney and dejected all week. I complained. I griped. I was sad.

I wanted.

Enter a reminder from God on my entitlement.

In my heart I’d passed over the line of “oh that would be nice”. I coveted, I felt entitled to it. Then the “whoa is me” song starts playing, and my disposition to complaining starts to roll out. My contentedness is wasted away to dissatisfaction. It’s not a new thing, it’s an ongoing struggle and it is certainly a hindrance to being a joyful person.

And if realizing this wasn’t enough, God kept the perspective flowing from all sides. Case one: I read someone’s blog- a newlywed couple in Africa battling  sickness and yet giving their all and making do with a pail of water and a house full of bugs. I realized how weak I am, and how much I have.

Case two: Christmas music fills my car as I shuttle kids to and fro from school. Christmas music irritates me. It’s overly perky, repetitive and the words are usually “under the tree” “presents” “christmas christmas chrismas”. I have yet to hear a Jesus/Christian song this year. Yes I know I’m a scrooge. But because of the annoying music, I’m constantly mentally trying to remind myself of why we celebrate Christmas. It’s because of Baby Jesus right? You know the guy who comes to save us even though we’re sinners. We celebrate it because of grace. We celebrate that God loves us and provides for us. It reminds me: What is it that I deserve? For some strange reason, I am a creature fully aggressive on my own entitlement in spite of the fact that every blessing has come from above.

Case three: yeah thanks a lot pinterest.

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So today, I am grateful. Grateful for my patient and loving husband. Grateful for food on the table and a job, and  gas in my car to travel to the people  I love. I’m grateful to God for the apartment  he provided and a chance to say '”I live downtown !”. Life is an adventure and in every part of it I am learning. Our move to Charleston (leaving friends and family) was part of God’s greater plan.  I’ve found that here, I’ve been stretched more as a person. I have less to fall back on, less safety net. I’m grateful for this time of our life because I’ve been learning the crucial-ness of letting go. I’m learning to adapt. I’m learning to love people in tiny places. I’m learning that stuff/ houses/ space/ decorations…it’s all just stuff. It’s not important. What is important is my attitude, my heart, and how I treat those around me.


ps. this probably has typos since I killed  my keyboard with a cup of cider.

pps. for some genuine and lovely true- meaning-of-Christmas music check out Sea wolf mutiny’s New EP that they’re offering for free (but don’t be afraid to give them a little gift so they can keep producing awesomeness!)

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this, Sarah - really powerful reminder for me of what's important. Hope you guys have a great Christmas :)


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