Tuesday, July 10, 2012

His giving in the taking

It's been a couple of weeks here now.

We can see planes leaving Puerto Plata from our window.
I honestly would feel a great sense of loss if we were packing up to get on one of those planes this week. I simply know that God has more for us here.
God has faithfully been squeezing usefulness out of every spare second of our time here.

This place is beautiful. Well, it's actually more than just beautiful.
I love many things about life here.
I like the slower pace...most of the time.
I love the views of God's glorious creation.
I love the beach.
I love Haitians here.
I love doing church with them.
I love seeing my husband enjoy his work.
I enjoy discovering new things about our world, together as a family.
I love discovering new things about our God, as a family.
We've enjoyed family time and conversations we previously didn't,simply because of the busyness that surrounds our life back home.
I could go on.

But the point I'm actually getting at is that new and unfamiliar situations,no matter how wonderful, also often show us unpleasant things about ourselves.
You know that experience of going on a long anticipated family vacation,
and then you get there and spend most of your time in a moody funk, and you're not sure why?

There have been some things here that have tickled at my discontentment.
If ya know what I mean.
You often don't discover how much you have been feasting on the world for your satisfaction until certain dishes disappear from the spread and you find yourself under the table kicking and screaming,tears rolling,shrieking for the return of the thing you "love the most."
Perhaps it's not that dramatic.
Perhaps it's worse.

For me.
It's things like food.
Big shocker.
I actually love Dominican food.
LOVE it.
And if I had an endless budget, shoot, 
I'd just eat out for every meal and let all the Dominican grandmothers whip me up endless batches of qeuso frito,mangu, and coffee with raw sugar for breakfast.
Fried chicken with rice and beans for lunch,
salad,fried plantains, fried fish and endless amounts of coconut water for all other parts of the day.
I don't.
Which means something far worse.
It means me, in a grocery store,if I'm lucky,
in a "carneceria" (which is a local butcher/meat shop) if I'm not,
trying to find appetizing food for cheap prices.
It means lots of let downs.
Like the time we went to that carneceria.
Don't ask for details. 
My mother reads this blog.
I will say this.
We heard that the pork here was pretty good.
So we got some pork chops.
Noah made them.
Noah served them onto plates.
And it was then that I noticed a grotesque odd difference in the pork chops from here.
There was the pork,and the chops, and the blubber fat layer,then another layer and another over that layer,ending only in the layer of dense fat with black,spiky hairs all over it.
Now, I'm no pig farmer.
But I have watched enough "Babe" and been to enough state fairs to know some outer pig skin when I see it.
As we've touched on before, I'm an adventurous eater, but 
Still recovering from that experience. 
Or not.
It was enough to simply see it.
Noah ate it.
And by "it" I mean the outer skin of the hairy pig.
His comment?
"Man,that's porky."
skin crawling.

My point?
We're getting better at it, but I hadn't realized how much effort I've put into eating good food and doing it cheaply in the states.
Eating on a budget in another country can prove to be...um adventurous...at best... horrific, at worst.
I find in myself many frustrating moments when I just want to experience the taste of something delicious and satisfying on my taste buds.
And there is nothing to be found, or at least not what I am craving.
Should it really matter that much?
It's just stuff to fill my belly,right?
A way to sustain life?
Turns out, I am again reminded that it can be so much more in my life.
It can be a thing that brings me comfort, satisfaction and pleasure in ways and times that only God intends to fill.

I find the same thing happening with the simplicity of life here.
Not having as many friendships or transportation, the options for my day most of the time involve being at home, a very tiny home.
If the kids need to get out of the house, or I need to get out of the house, our other option is the beach.
These are both great options,don't get me wrong.
But I'm used to much more diversity in my day.
How many times do you find yourself running to Target for a single solitary item that you don't have to even get right now? Just to get out of the house,grab a coffee,peruse the clearance section...
none of that for this discontent,antsy heart.
Not here.
So I'm left with my antsyness and the question of why it's so hard to not have life the way I like it...
a little distracting and at an "active" pace?
Why is it so hard for things to be so quiet sometimes?
Especially when I long for more quiet back home?
What holes do I recognize in my own self when I have nothing else to distract me away?
Am I really so frustrated with the kids simply because we are holed up in 600 sq feet? Or is there more to it than that?
Is it cause I've got nothing else to move on to...
But God?
And I find myself not wanting him as much as I do a milkshake, or my car, or a/c, or my bed,or freedom, or friends...
I would be wise to let this be a time of teaching for my heart.
An opportunity for maturity for this foolish girl, who likes things just the way she likes them, when she likes them.

1 comment:

Melissa Pearce said...

Sister, wise words. I can relate being holed up in 600 sq feet with no friends, but remembering Isaiah 40:11 comforts me in my brst and worst moments. Praying for you tonight.