Monday, February 6, 2012

Things you learn from a life changing trip and then have to re-learn.




The process of second guessing the American dream started twelve years ago when we visited India.
We came back from that trip and re-evaluated everything.

It was so hard to stand under our hot shower for fifteen minutes, 
when we'd given Jemimah and Kumar their very first warm bath out of that five gallon bucket.

Complaining about sharing a meal at a restaurant seemed ridiculous after we had watched them eat a peanut butter & jelly sandwich, without a single argument,  even though they didn't enjoy it in the least.

The 600 square foot cinder block apartment that we lived in during seminary seemed all the sudden
just fine
after we saw whole families living in cardboard boxes and children living on the streets.

It's amazing how life changing a trip like that can be.
You think you'll never slip back into your old ways of thinking.

But, the truth is, when you immerse yourself back into your culture, it does happen.
You begin to dream big dreams about jobs and retirement and homes and stuff to fill those homes.
Old thought patterns slowly make their way back into your heart and mind.
You may not ever say it out loud, but deep down you feel entitled to whatever your mind can conceive.
It's nearly impossible to live in America and not dream up things to need.

After almost 6 months of renting, and a lot of whining, 
I'm finally grateful that we lost all of our equity when our house in my hometown sold.
Okay.  I'm not grateful for the huge loss, but I am grateful for what it's teaching me.  

We went on a Sunday afternoon drive yesterday 
and realized that the home we thought we wanted two years ago is so very far from what we want now.
We're realizing again that our money and our resources are not our own.
We've never done consumer debt, but we had become too careless in our spending.
{finding things to need}

I have no idea what kind of house we'll end up buying, but our prayer is that God will direct us.
...to the house where He wants to plant us and to the neighbors He wants us to love dearly.
We want our home to be a refuge for all who enter.
We never want to hold it {or the things that fill it} so tightly that we wouldn't share it all with others.

1 Chronicles 29:12,14
Wealth and Honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things.
Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what has come from your hand.

{thankful for}
265. breakfast for dinner. french toast rocks.
266. bathed children. clean hair smells delicious.
266. Sunday afternoon drives.
267. life changing trips.
268. trust in God as provider.

24 comments:

  1. It's like you read my mind. I've been thinking about this a lot. I would love to go on a missions trip. It would be life changing. I need that priority check.

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  2. Well said...I love that verse. I memorized when we did the Crown Ministries Study. Love your blog-you are in my reader although I rarely comment.
    xo Jana

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  3. Oh... oh...oh... I love everything about this post. It's so true!! If only I could remember those who have so much less... it could change my every thought and constantly re work my perspective of life. Oh to keep it in the forefront of my brain! I love your heart so much.

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  4. Once again Tara you have me remembering to be grateful for all my blessings.

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  5. this post spoke to my heart...i am one of your newest followers:)

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  6. He is rooting around in my heart too! Making room-love that verse thank you for it and for your open heart that shares! hugs and blessings

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  7. i know what you're saying. i've been complaining about having to rent since we've been in asheville and really?? it's not that bad. our rental house is super nice...especially compared to a box for goodness sake! i had to let it go too. i want to buy a house, but we're not sure if it's the best thing for us right now...so we're waiting. and i am fine with that.

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  8. I love this. It's so hard to stay humble and grateful in a society that preaches "more more more!". I think plenty of Americans have had to learn how to get back to the basics in recent years. That just having food on the table is enough to be grateful for. Forget that dream home, I'm happy to have a roof over our heads.
    Thanks for the reminder. :)

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  9. oh i'm crying..how this pulls at my heart
    its true
    its true
    will be praying along with you on where HE
    wants to plant you
    open doors that no man can shut
    and that you all only go where He is
    because there is no safer place to be.
    love you
    xo

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  10. I have been back only a month and feel just what you describe happening. I am trying so hard to hold on to my island mentality and gratitude, but this culture does whisper in our ears doesn't it? I once met a wonderful family that has a huge, magnificent house and they told me that it means nothing if they can't share it with others and they feel that is why God blessed them with it. They open their house for anyone and for so many to use and that has always stuck with me. You guys are an inspiration and I know God has great things in store for you, the best of which is your Heavenly home that He is preparing right now. Isn't that exciting??!!

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  11. What a lovely heartfelt post. I'm sure God will point you to the right home. You have a wonderful spirit. Thank you for sharing it with us. Have a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

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  12. yay! good job girl! i just finished Radical by David Platt and even though i thought i was not clinging to the "american dream" it really exposed how much i still am. man alive, it's hard huh?

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  13. I have a book that I bought years ago. It is even kinda falling apart. It is about worldly possessions. It goes to different countries and has a family put everything they own out on their lawn. It is amazing. Some countried have so very little. Our country of course looks ridiclous with all of your possessions. It is very interesting.
    There is a blogger that I have read that lives in a tiny home. All of their clothes fit in a suitcase. I had another friend that would travel with her husband on monthly business trips. She and her children would stay with him in hotels. They downsized their belongings to 10 plastic bins......two children and two adults.....wouldn't that be nice.
    Your post makes one thing for sure.

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  14. Wow Tara, I love how you are trusting God in this decision and how you remembered your "new neighbors" to be. Be patient and your prayers will be answered! hugs, cathy

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  15. Love it when you inspire us to really reflect on seeing things through God's eyes & not our own! I always tell my boys, 'If they don't have Jesus, they don't have anything!" It is HARD to not get caught in the bigger is better trap! Darn those Joneses! ha ha!

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  16. Great read on this blog that you shared to all of us. Thanks.

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  17. So beautifully stated Tara~ you are an inspiration my friend! You have such a good heart that you just have to know that you'll be lead to your next destination.
    Hugs~
    T

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  18. May the Lord place you exactly where He needs you all! May He keep you all simple.

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  19. I Chronicles 29 is awesome! My husband and I took the Crown Financial Bible study, then taught it FIVE times just to let the 1 Chronicles 29 passage sink down deep. SO GOOD!

    xo,
    Linsey

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  20. Thank you, I needed this reminder today.

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  21. this is beautiful and a good reminder to not want more than we need. you have to make a real effort to keep the wants in check. have a beautiful weekend! susan

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  22. Thank you so very much for your thoughts. Beautiful insight :)

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