Jun 18, 2013

To Pack or Unpack

I read her blog post this morning like I do most every morning. Today, I read it through tears. A night that ended in prayer and tears and hurt, wondering if I'm doing what He's asked of me carried over through her words on the other side of the world. And I couldn't stop sobbing.

Trips to Africa are easy for me. It's the daily grind on the plains of Oklahoma that wears me down. I can hug and love an orphaned child, but patience with my nine year old's laundry strains a mama's nerves all the tighter. Weary and travel worn after international trips leave me fulfilled and brimming with renewal, but find me at the end of a work week and I'm stressed and ungrateful for most everything.  

As I saw the pictures of one of my favorite places today, more than a twinge of malcontent flushed my brain. 
The longing to pack a bag, hop a plane, to return to my second home grew.
 
"I need to be there."
"I need to go."
"I'm best on African soil."

But as he often does, the whisper came. 
It begins at home.
 
Going for you is easy. 
 
It's the here that is hardest.
 
Learn it here.
 
Live it here.
 
Love me here.
 
Love me now. 

It hit harder than I thought. Truth usually does that. I am always better on the go. Staying proves hard for me. Consistency in living love here is a rocky, previously rutted road. 

So how does one daily live out love from behind a desk?
 
A kitchen counter?
 
Under neath piles of laundry?

The more I prayed, the more convicted I became. The list grew long, but short on execution:

Checking on a friend.
A walk through a garden.
 
Putting down my cell phone and playing another game of hide and seek.


 
Encouraging a co-worker who I know is struggling personally.
Continuing to practice the always tough "I'm sorry. Please forgive me?"
Complimenting the lady who served me lunch.


 
Pull out of the drive thru and pull up to our table for a home cooked meal. And yes, hot dogs and cheetos count as "home cooked" some days.
Turning off the T.V. and tuning into my husband's worries and stressors of the week.

 


 
Slowing our pace to where we not only hear each other but that we SEE one another.


 
Learning less about characters I'll never meet and digging more into the character of my children.

 
Continually, consistently, and sincerely giving thanks. "In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you" 1 Thessalonians 5:18


 
Documenting my #1000 gifts, one day at a time.
Writing our sponsorship children letters.

 


 
Closing the shoe sale window and opening up a list of needs of some of our favorite charities.
Writing a check to some of our favorite missionaries-no matter how small I see it to be.


 
Quit flipping through the latest magazine wanting some thing and flipping to the Psalms for what my soul needs.

While each one is small, no great thing was ever big without starting as lesser. Because to someone else, their perspective of size may be opposite of yours. I think that's why in Matthew He tells us to give someone a glass of water. A bucket is too much and a thimble requires too little of our effort. It's about the receiver and the giver, both receiving rewards from the gift and the gift giving. Pouring enough of ourselves into someone else to fill the need, no matter how small we see the need or our action. 


 
"I ask-ask the God of our Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory-to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing him personally, your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what it is he is calling you to do, grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life he has for his followers, oh, the utter extravagance of his work in us who trust him-endless energy, boundless strength." Eph. 1:16-19, MSG 

This walk, the journey of grace and love and leaning on Him requires both the going and the staying, knowing when to pack and what to unpack. Rejoicing that someone's going is encouraging me in the staying and praying for the opportunity to return the favor for someone else. 

Praying for you all today, whether your are packing or unpacking, going or staying and praying that you are filled with endless energy and boundless strength to accept and grow in the place where you are.

 

1 comment:

Teresa Ellifritt said...

Great post. I have to agree that staying is much harder. The mundane and the day to day is where we have it the hardest. I moved so often that staying put is the hardest for me.