Last Christmas I went to bed in the glow of our Christmas tree; on our futon, in the living room, where we had slept for the past two years. Each of the two bedrooms in our 500 square foot house occupied by kids that had grown too big to share a room. And as I cuddled up in that bed I was thankful because I knew that we were beyond blessed. Despite not having what most would consider the American dream we had more than enough. A warm house, two cars, plenty to eat, presents under the Christmas tree.
To be honest I prided myself on being a simple person with simple needs which probably makes this year a little difficult. Sleeping in the living room of our rented house was no big deal. Having 3 pairs of jeans, 3 or 4 shirts and boots that were 14yrs old were plenty. My dumbphone on my Wal-mart bought plan that barely worked most of the time, perfect. I always considered myself to have more than enough and Haiti only made that all the more clear, but then why am I writing this?
Well a few months ago something strange started to happen. In the process of preparing and going to Haiti I also became friends with a family that was selling/giving away all their stuff to move to Haiti. I walked with them through this process.. watching them sell off belongings, move into their parents basement til they make the final move and give away the rest. Then watched as their house became our house (lease/purchase) and a lot of their stuff became our stuff (generosity on their part). I jumped in feet first to a house payment that was twice the amount we had paid and a 3 bedroom house that needed to be decorated and filled. Then I jumped into a fancy new phone contract that I believed (hopefully) will help me to better organized and maybe make the leap into some sort of business. And to top it off we got a dog.
So the point of all this is Im living in this weird place right now. On one hand God was showing me (even more clearly) the beauty of less and on the other hand I'm getting more. I'm sitting in my king size bed, in my own room, in the house of my very modest dreams, on a half acre of land, in the neighborhood Ive always loved. While my hearts screaming what are you doing, how does this fit what you know to be true and what do you do with all these conflicting messages? Luckily the only thing making me feel somewhat sane is that we found out our car (that we still make payments on) needs a new engine. So we've been limited to driving none or driving my hubbies 92' Crown Victoria thats windows don't go down in I might add. If not for this I might be freaking out fully.
Even worse I believe God brought me to this house which adds to my confusion. Although I want blame him for the iPhone. That was totally my doing which by the way terrifies me for fear that I might becoming someone I want recognize in a year. Yes I am that neurotic or as I like to call it hippie-ish. Remember I did say I prided myself on having simple taste. Now Im a smart phone carrying, house owning (somewhat), possibly dog dressing (really haven't done this yet) American. God forbid!!!
This year I will be going to bed in our own bedroom and waking in our new house. All the while I'll be remembering those kids at the orphanage. The dirt-floored shacks and tent cities. The me I was there.. beautiful and bare. I will be questioning what this all means and where I fit? I will be getting close to saying good bye to a friend who in the months ahead will grow to have very little in common with me. And who honestly Im a little jealous of because that life seems to fit the me I want to be better.
Maybe what I will find out is that as much as I want to rush ahead, give it all way and live out this dream of who I wanted to be. God is calling me to a moderation, a middle road, that Im not sure I'm comfortable living. In the meantime I'll pray because that's all I can do and throw a pity party because that's what I do best. Kinda of funny when you think about it... American woman complaining because she got everything she wanted. Very typical (or at least it is for me).