Thursday, December 8, 2011

Wherever He leads

My kitchen is a disaster this morning.  I spent the afternoon baking several dozen sugar cookies to be decorated at a Christmas party the science club at HSU is hosting this afternoon.  Then our kids all descended about 9pm with the makings for gingerbread houses so we sat around the table and had a great time together.  It became clear that some of us have a little more patience and artistic talent than others.
My beloved husband Ken, perhaps this is not his talent.

That's better.
Our two sons: Jeff and Matthew

Jeff and his sweet lady, Samantha
Hmmmm, I don't know where the boys get it from?
 Having my family around makes me feel content.  When I read the final section of Numbers this week I began to think about contentment.  Numbers 9:15-19 speaks about the cloud that covered the tabernacle by day and the appearance of fire by night.  Whenever the cloud lifted the whole congregation of Israel would set out until they reached the place where the cloud settled down again.  There the people would remain until the Lord directed them to move on, whether it be for a few days, a month, or a year. (from verse 22 further in the chapter.)
I don't have the benefit of a cloud guiding me to where I am to "camp."  But God has clearly led me to several different locations over the years.  I am such an Oregon girl.  Never dreaming that one day the Lord would lead me away.  My husband is a bit of a wanderer and by his side I have learned a lot about being content wherever I am.  I confess, though, I have a lot of learning yet to do.  I was content when we moved to eastern Washington for grad school, it was still close to "home."  I was a bit of a grumbler when we moved to Michigan for his first teaching assignment.  There was absolutely nothing familiar, and I was sooooo far from home.  Over the years of our stay there I grew more content and it began to feel like home.    But another move loomed on the horizon.  This time to Colorado.  Can you imagine someone dragging their feet about the opportunity to live in that beautiful state?  I remember how my heart sank when we pulled in to Grand Junction.  This was not the Colorado of my dreams, but high desert.  Where were the forests?!  Eventually I fell in love with our new setting, but again there was a lot of grumbling along the way.
I can't believe it has now been just over six years since we made our move to Texas.  This was the hardest for me.  The nearest forests are a day's drive.  My extended family is now further away.  It's brutally hot in the summer, which can begin sometime in the spring.  This is NOT the place for me.
Oh, but it is.  This is exactly where the Lord wants me.  Once again I am learning to be content, and I can even honestly say I love being here now, well, most of the time.  But it is not the place, the trees, the climate that make me content. It has always been about the people.  Wherever I have gone I have fallen in love with the people.  And folks, the people in Texas are the cream of the crop.  I love how they "love on you."
What is becoming clear to me is that it is not in things or places that I find contentment.  The way I feel when my kids and husband are around, that total contentment that comes with being surrounded by them; my heart needs relationships.  The one relationship that should make my heart completely content is the one I have with the Lord.  It should not matter to me where He moves us on this planet.  It should not matter how long He causes us to linger here.  Lately I have been dreaming of Oregon again.  Longing to be back where so many of my favorite places are.  It's the time of year.  I miss the big family celebrations.  I miss my family, as cancer and Alzheimer's have taken their toll.  It makes it hard to be content.  I think that is why this section of Numbers, that really has nothing to do with contentment, speaks to me as it does.  The Lord is reminding me of Whose I am.  He is reminding me that His plan for me is perfect.  He is reminding me to rest in Him and be content. He knows my heart and He's got this too.

Woofie congratulating Matthew on a job well done.
Ta Da!

Grace and Peace,

No comments: