Today I did something I never would’ve thought I’d do. Today I walked into our realtors office and withdrew our house from the market. Not because it’s the wrong time of the year to be trying to sell a house(the market is hot), not because we haven’t had any interest(we had a strong offer), and not because we don’t “want” to move, but because God said so. For those of you who don’t know me personally, I’m a go-getter with a planning fetish; not that being driven is a bad thing. However when I pursue my plans at all costs, then I’ve made them idols in my heart.
For years now I have wanted to sell this house and get a place out of town. By the way “town” is less than 500 people- so it’s not like I’m living in a huge metropolis here. I can load up the kids in my truck and be in some of God’s most beautiful creation in a matter of minutes(the picture on my home page is one I took minutes from my house.) I have friends around who do ranch and thankfully will always put me to work when I need a little ag-therapy. I have so much to be thankful for, and yet I have not been content or nearly thankful enough for the blessings my zip code allows me. I’ve not enjoyed my house because I’ve been focusing on resale value. I have not truly loved my neighbors by working through our differences, because I’ve always seen the situation as temporary. I’ve aloud myself to buy into the lie that if only the house would sell/ we could get out of town our whole lives would be better. And I have exhausted my energy, time, resources and relationships to try and make that happen.
I’ve struggled with contentment throughout my life. I have always been looking for what’s coming next. Trace Atkins song “Your Gonna’ Miss This” has been me to a T. What better work can I be doing? I’ve thought that not having acreage and my own milk cow meant I couldn’t truly homestead or help people live more simply. I know in my head that the Bible teaches that God is my portion and all I need, but do I really believe that in the deepest places of my heart? Hebrew 13:5(NKJ) says “Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
So how is this an act of obedience? Well a couple of weeks ago I heard a message on discipline. It was a great message and I was really enjoying it, taking it in, and noding my head as he talked about requiring first time cheerful obedience from our children, because that is the only true obedience. Then the pastor said something that kicked me in the teeth. He said if someone(me) hadn’t heard from God in a while it is possible that we didn’t cheerfully obey Him last time. Um ouch! You see God has told me for years to be content, and I’ve done my best at faking it. The problem with that is I can’t fool God anymore than I can control the weather. God looks straight at my heart and sees all the ugly I try so hard to hide. Paul wrote in Philippians 4:11-13 “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or want. I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.” I am encouraged that Paul also had to learn to be content; not that my circumstances hold a candle to what Paul endured. God teaches each of us and even a great apostle had to learn this lesson. If that wasn’t a big enough pill to swallow the pastor went on to suggest that we go back to the last time we were unwilling to obey God; obey Him, and wait for further instructions.
Does this mean our “starter” home will be our forever home? I don’t know. What I do know is I have decided to believe with my whole heart the promises found in Jeremiah 29 and Proverbs 3. I am going to choose His plan over mine. I am going to learn to be content right where I’m at. I’m going to homestead this .27 acres to the best of my abilities, and I am going to Praise God each and every day for my home, my family, and my many blessings. I may even paint Hebrews 13:5 on my bedroom wall and throw resale value to the wind!!