Same Heart, Different Culture
An excerpt from my journal from a few weeks ago...
I had just tidied up the camper and the kids’ room. After sitting to eat breakfast and drink tea, I stood up to see that Elias had destroyed their room. I raised my voice in frustration because I had just cleaned it. Immediately, I realized that how I responded was wrong, but naturally, I thought of so many excuses for why I deserve to be frustrated.
“It’s because we live in a small space.”
“It’s because I don’t get a break.”
“It’s because the kids are in a really different difficult stage.”
... and so on.
To be honest, I can already think of all the excuses I’ll be tempted to use overseas to justify my sinful heart, angry outbursts, selfishness, and pride.
“It’s because of the stress of language school.”
“It’s because we’re so out of our element.”
“It’s because we live in a missionary fishbowl.”
“It’s because we miss home.”
“It’s because I have housework and homework.”
“It’s because I’m tired all the time.”
All of those situations will be 100% true at some point soon. But, my prayer right now is that I will not use them as excuses to sin against my family. I know that moving overseas will not fix any of my natural, sinful heart issues. Simply moving out of the camper and into a larger living space will not fix anything. Moving overseas will just morph and disguise how those sinful things come out.
I have seen over and over that when sinful attitudes reside in my heart, they will come out no matter what my life situation looks like. (Jack has often been the one to point those things out to me. And believe me, I’m so thankful for that... after the fact!)
The Lord, in His goodness, has been revealing things in my heart that I get to practice dealing with now. He is showing me so much about how I naturally respond to stressful situations and how I need to be responding. Would you pray for me in this? Pray that we would handle well the stresses and transitions that will come in the next few months. Pray that our hearts would be receptive to God’s leading and revealing.
We’re driving east this week! We spent sweet time with my family, as well as Jack’s brother Paul and his family. (They’re out in Salt Lake City to plant a church - Jack wrote a blog about their ministry a few months ago.) We’re so thankful to be able to spend time this summer pouring into relationships and making memories to last a few years!