Warning, this is a sloppy thought dump post where I’m just sharing what’s on my mind at this moment. Grammar po-po and the likes, put down your swords—err red pens. ❤
So I leave for a mission trip in a couple of days… And I’m going from being on cloud 9 to having a really hard time with an intensity that causes me to exude crazy joy and utter grumpiness within seconds of each other. I’m so excited to be going into another place in the world to spread the good news and to love people for the name sake of Jesus Christ! But then there’s a part of me that it’s hard to leave home because I love my family… Speaking of my family – my husband is a worker! He loves to have projects going on to keep him active. I love to see what his creative mind dreams up! And since I’ll be gone for 11 days he’s starting some things to occupy his time.As I prepare to leave the country there are lots of meetings, lots of loose ends to tie up at work and at home in order for me to be gone for almost 2 weeks. As I mentioned, my husband has initiated this renovation project in our hall bath. It’s amazing and it’s something we wanted to do since we bought the house a year ago! I am excited but I have to confess I was a little stressed whenever he said that he was going to start it three days before I leave town.
At first I think I was stressed just because there’s so much already going on and that was just one more thing going on around me but then I realize it’s not really that.
Not at all.
The actual issue is that I struggle with feeling ashamed that we are doing a renovation project in my home when I’m about to go and serve some people that their whole entire “house” is the size of my master bathroom. If they even have a home. 😭 We have lived in this new house for a year now and there have been times that I didn’t invite people over because I was ashamed at how pretty and nice and large my house is. What the heck is that? Why do I feel shame for things that I have?
I come from humble roots and I remember times being so poor that I didn’t know how I was going to eat that day but thankfully I had a program call WIC to provide food to my baby. I didn’t know how I was going to keep my water and electric on and I was desperate just to hold onto the car & the trailer rental that I was barely able to afford. But even on my poorest day – I was still richer than many of the people that I’m going to encounter while I’m in this other country. I’m so overwhelmed with joy & gratitude to go and show them love and serve but also so confused at why I can have such nice things and live in such an amazing country and they can’t/don’t get that opportunity.
How do I come home to such a nice home and such nice things after facing such poverty? I’m in tears as I write this and I think about the battle that I am already having and then I’m anticipating it as I come home. I genuinely mean this – if God were to tell my husband that he wanted us to move to another country and be missionaries and Justin approached me, I would say a resounding YES! But for whatever reason He’s called us here to the states to live here and has called me to the marketplace to work in corporate America and the serve Him there. And call it blessings, hard work, both or either/or – I’ve worked my tail off to get my graduate level degree and to build my career and Justin has worked hard too and now we make good money. And I feel shame when I have nice things resulting from the fruit of our labor – what is that?
Does anyone else ever struggle with guilt for having nice things? I feel as though we are generous people. We give to ministry, tithe, share with others. But I still feel guilt over my nice car and home and such. God help me to see whatever lesson is here and to move beyond my guilt for my possessions and to focus solely on being present and loving the ones in front of me. Help me to use what I have to invite people in rather than hide it because I’m ashamed that it seems too nice. Help me to love deep and well and get beyond this battle in my mind.
I’m thankful for you Father. I’m thankful you love me in my broken, messy self. So thankful. I will choose to praise You still, not because of what I have or don’t have. Not because of what I am or am not but because of Who You are.
In the beautiful words of Ann Voskamp:
“so, the deal is? We aren’t about to let anything steal our thanks today.
We aren’t letting hard times steal our thanks,
We aren’t letting hard sells steal our thanks,
We aren’t letting hard knocks steal our thankfulness.
Because all of us folks down in the trenches know it:
If you let something steal your thanksgiving?
You let something steal your joy,
And if you let something steal your joy?
You let something steal your *strength.*
So in the midst of our Big Things, our Ugly Things, our Hard Things, in the midst of All Things,
We give thanks to God — not because of how we feel but simply because of Who. He. Is.
We’re on it, O Beautiful Lord & Giver of All —
The one thing we must pray to be great at is thanksgiving — because it’s the one thing that makes God great in our lives. “
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