Snow is falling again. Wait, let me rephrase that: it’s always snowing these days. Its true. And it keeps piling up and up and up. My husband has made a heap of snow from shoveling our driveway that is now taller than he is; it’s ridiculous. Do I like snow? Yes. Do I wish that I could see the sunshine? Oh, yes! I think what bothers me the most is that it has been so cold that I can’t take my daughter out much at all. Single digits are not exactly the ideal weather for a one year old. However, despite all the snow, and being cooped up inside 24/7, I am trying to change my outlook on life.
I started reading “One Thousand Gifts” last year and still have not finished it (ha! such is life), although I have continued to try adding the art of thankfulness into my life more. I get so caught up in what needs to be done every day, from cleaning to cooking to changing diapers and making sure the babe gets her nap etc etc etc, that I let myself and my mindset get swept away by the rush of it all. I need to learn to catch a breath here and there to be thankful for the vast blessings given to me and my family. Like, here’s one to start: I am sitting here looking out the window at the snow flurrying by and I am thankful that I not only have a roof over my head but that I also have heat and running water. There are so many others who are without a home or without money to pay their gas or electric bill during weather such as this. I couldn’t even imagine what that would be like. And then I get to looking around our house that is filled with so many wonderful things and I think about how (for the most part) we could just go to the store and buy whatever we wanted, whenever we wanted. We don’t have to worry about where our next meal is coming from or if we are going to be evicted because we just don’t have quite enough cash to cover the rent.
It’s mind boggling when I think about how blessed I am.
When did we start thinking that we need the perfect house/car/dress/shoes to be happy? When did we decide that material things are what bring us joy? It is my hope that I will break free from that mindset and live a life that is happy no matter what house I live in, or country I move to, or what picture I do or do not have hanging on my wall.
Contentment: my goal of life.
On that note, sort of, I want to tell you about what is happening in our lives right now. My husband and I decided that we should act on a plan that we have been mulling over for a while now. Our long term goal is to do mission work but we have wanted to wait to do that until we get our school loans paid off as we want to be self-supporting missionaries. So, we have decided to move back to Detroit at the end of February. We will be moving into the upstairs of my in-law’s house (which is basically like an apt just with no kitchen) and doing everything we can to get rid of our debt as fast as we can. We currently own two houses- one in Arkansas from when we were in school and the one that we currently live in here in Grand Rapids. We want to sell both and be free from mortgages until all other debt is obliterated. Our main goal is to be free from things tying us down; whether that be debt, physical possessions, you name it.
We want to be free to go where God leads us WHEN He leads us.
Will we someday “settle down” again and buy a house? Probably, but only if we can pay half of the price with cash or something. Debt is something that didn’t mean much to me when going to school and getting loans to pay for my education. Now that we are on the other side of school and trying to make things meet with the “dream job that is supposed to make everything better”, we have realized that debt is so not worth it. Debt means you are indebted to someone else; they have something over you. You are at their disposal, in a sense. I hate that feeling.
I want to be content wherever I live, with whatever I have, with the family whom I love. I want to live a life that is free from debt. I want to bless others as I have been blessed. Those are my dreams. So despite the snow, or even the scorching summer days that I know I will not be happy about either, I will choose joy. It doesn’t matter what the weather is like or what my circumstances are; what matters is how I choose to react to them.
Have a joyful week!!