a house, a home.

i had a day of tears the other day.  despite those days being restless, frustrating, and confusing, i find that they end well if i sit before God long enough to receive understanding about my feelings.

i am so ungrateful.  we moved to this house a year ago, and i’m pretty certain i’ve spent the year recounting all the things i dislike about the place.  God sort of plopped the place in our laps — and it was such a great deal financially for us (saving thousands of dollars on the move-in, as well as hundreds monthly in rent), and an amazing blessing in so many other ways, that it was a no-brainer: God wants us to live in this house.

i remember our first night here — the day had been crazy, as switching houses with the owners required that we be totally out of our house and sleeping in the new one in one day, while they still had a few rooms of the new house full of their things.  it had started raining halfway into the move, and i remember coming in when the men were mostly done with their work, and looking around.  bryan was beaming, so proud of all that he and his friends had accomplished in one day — and it was amazing!  but the house was cold, it was dark and rainy, and there were unfamiliar creaks.  someone had okayed strange-looking updates without thought to matching aesthetics.  there was wood paneling on many walls of the house.  odd-looking light fixtures.  a lingering odor from somewhere.  a cold shower without hot water.  a stone bathtub that would give my boys concussions.

i cried that night, and i’ve allowed a disquiet to overtake my heart ever since.  on my day of tears, i saw how narrow-minded i had become in my dreams for life, thinking my circumstances must change in order for me to be happy/fulfilled/passionate/spiritually fed.  this sinful disquiet had taken residence in so many parts of my heart, i haven’t been able to tell it apart from the truth until God let me.  if we moved to a smaller house.. if my house were cleaner.. if we attended a church with more ritual.. if we started our own church.. if we were not doing college ministry.. if this college ministry would change.. if i only i weren’t so lonely.. if we had more people on our team.. if we moved to a new city.. if i had more time to myself..

and gently and slowly, i heard that it was not my circumstances at all.

“..for i have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. i know what it is to be in need, and i know what it is to have plenty. i have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  i can do all this through him who gives me strength.” philippians 4:11-13

i’ve had difficulty being thankful for this house, this setting, this job.  but i want to fight for it, search for it, beg for it.  i’m starting today with this:

i’m thankful for:
-the pink flowers in our front garden
-the free heater we received when we moved to this place
-the big bath that can fit our whole family
-space for my boys to play
-a kitchen with a door, so i can cook without distraction if i really need to.
-pancake breakfasts we’ve had at this table, in this dining room.
-a place for my family to grow.

2 thoughts on “a house, a home.

  1. So thankful you wrote this. We all have to fight ungratefulness from taking over our souls. It is so foul. I have been praying through the Psalms, and it keeps me focused on God’s character. And I’m so very thankful!

    Don’t give up the good fight, Jamie.

    We’re hoping to expand our family, too, with foster children! Will know more in a few months…

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