"make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you,
so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody."

--1 thessalonians 4: 11-12

Thursday, October 27, 2011

my source of joy


our seemingly perfect story
threw me for a loop when we moved in.
of course, it all started with
the huge extra expense at closing,
but things really went downhill after we moved in.
i had already been struggling because
the current state of the kitchen is a down grade,
and we didn't even have money
to paint or refinish the wood floors.
those things would have at least
made me feel like i was doing something to make it mine.
i desperately wanted to make the house look like home.
my frustrations were all cosmetically based,
or so i thought.

the water pressure was so low
and there was so much air in the pipes
that it literally took me 3-5 minutes
to rinse the sink with the sprayer
while jason was trying to get a "shower".
meanwhile, he was getting water in short, air filled bursts.
when he hooked the washer up,
it took forever to fill up with water...
but for some reason, it never stopped filling. 
we came upstairs to water all over the floor.
when we tried to drain it, it backed up into the kitchen sink,
spilled all over the counter tops and onto the floor,
resulting in water coming through the basement ceiling, too.
trying to hold back tears, i managed a half smile and said,
"we've never been on an adventure like this house, have we?"
jason assured me things would be ok.
this was temporary.
still, i felt dejected.

because of the water pressure, i couldn't use the dishwasher.
that's a lot of dishes to hand wash,
and a lot of lotion for my rough, sandpaper hands.
i thought the oven was too hot,
so i bought an oven thermometer.
my suspicions were dead on...
it wouldn't stop at the set temperature.
 i finally shut it off once it reached 500 when i set it at 350.

all of these things were overwhelming me.
i couldn't function in my role
as a wife, mother and home maker;
not feeling like fighting it,
i felt myself withdrawing.
i buried myself in books.
it kept my mind busy.
i holed away in the basement, working on my new blog...
in the dark.
i wanted to be left alone.
part of me wanted to go back "home".
i cried, questioning the lord and myself.

the only time i felt happy about what we had done
was when i was outside.
i was reminded of the blessings:
my kids could play in their back yard for the first time.
they had a swing set.
we have land.
we have a small farm.
it's what we've always wanted.

finally, i gave in and listened to the small voice inside--
"the enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy.
he wants your joy."
of course.
it all made sense now.
even though the lord had made himself so evident throughout the whole process,
 i had forgotten that if things aren't perfect, 
it didn't mean he hadn't called us here.
satan wanted nothing more than to divert my focus
and make me doubt, taking the glory from the One
who had orchestrated this faith filled journey.
i had let him succeed.
but i had a choice to make,
and when i saw the effects my "despair" was taking on my family,
the choice was easy.

he wasn't stealing my joy

my heart rejoiced as once again, i fell into my source of joy.
i allowed myself to be held, to be comforted, to be encouraged.
while struggles are ever present, that isn't to be my focus.
my focus is jesus.
he is my source of joy, my constant, my hope.
suddenly these things weren't so important.
if these things were all in the past, 
 of course it would be easy to say that now, right?

none of those things are fixed yet,
and i can tell you honestly that i feel that way.
i cook on the stove top or use the crock pot,
and do laundry at one of our parents' homes.
dishes are done by hand every day,
as both sides of the sink fill with water while it slowly drains.

things are tough, but i am sustained.
it's only a season.
it will pass.

be encouraged today, and keep your priorities in focus.
things really aren't so bad if you think about how blessed you are.

thanks for reading.


Laura@happyroost said...

Just came across your blog and I love your writing! I would love to see more photos of your little farm. I grew up in the country so I know the pains (and the joys!) all too well.....my mom still to this day doesn't have a dishwasher!


Michelle said...

Oh I sure do hope it gets better! Just when you think it's going to be smooth sailing, there are bumps in the road.

Karma said...

Sorry Drea, but I had to laugh when I read your post (w/tears!) it hit close to home. When we bought our house, it was our dream house. We joke now that we should have had higher standards. It's a long, rough road but so very worth it.

12 years later...we laugh at those stories. OK, some still aren't funny... ;)

Life With The Leyba's said...

I can finally read your newer posts!
I remember for months I had to do dishes in a bath tub when we had no kitchen, boil water for warm baths when we had no gas and cook noodles in the coffee pot when we had no stove! I just had to look at it as an aventure, a character building one, and boy did we turn out to be quite the characters ;-)

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