Let not our longing slay our appetite for living. -Jim Elliot, in a letter to Elisabeth, his future fiancee.
I could stand in one place and pivot, setting my foot first in the bathroom, then the master bedroom, the kitchen, the living room, and the boy's room. It was tiny, our first home. Noises carried easily, the 1948 hardwood floors creaked and popped incessantly. The kitchen found me pivoting again, as I could turn from the oven to the countertop directly behind me without lifting my feet.
And yet, we hosted many people in our home! I could cook meals and clean up afterwards while friends sat at the little dining table directly across the counter; happily, I could still participate in conver- sation while I sudsed and rinsed. I found nooks for corner shelves to display my tea sets, accented by the cherry wallpaper I lovingly chose.
The steeply pitched roof was graced with icicle lights in winter, casting a cozy glow on the front door that we had stained dark walnut, a berry wreath adorning its' center. The back yard and aged trees were a delight to my husband, who often spent his time off mowing and pruning and feeding his special space. My boys learned to walk on that uneven lawn, Corban running from one end to the other when Daddy returned from his four-month semester in Texas. My husband will never forget the sight of his little arms pumping, feet pumping faster, as he raced across the grass shouting, "Daddy! Hi! Daddy! Hi!"
As I write this, I sit in an apartment that is larger than our first home. There is an actual hallway that defies my pivot test - I can no longer be in five places nearly at once! The kitchen is small, but I do have to lift my feet as I pull a steaming casserole from the oven and place it on the countertop behind me.
I can stack dishes neatly in an automatic dishwasher and be back to the conversation taking place in our spacious dining room before anyone notices I am missing.
But still, I have grieved and mourned lost time. Time for my husband to unwind from the ministry of a shepherd by ministering to the earth with his hands, planting trees and breathing deep the fresh air. Time for my boys to break from school and run wild outside, giving Mama a chance to breathe deep the quiet. But in my heart, I am reminded...
LORD, you have assigned me my portion and my cup;It is a pleasant place, yes. Our history timeline graces the dining room wall for all to see, for learning continues even during meals. The same lantern that has followed us from house to house since the very first sits atop our table still, and lights my early mornings. This home is quickly cleaned, easily maintained, and keeps us close and cozy, just the way we like it.
you have made my lot secure.
The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
surely I have a delightful inheritance.
I will praise the LORD, who counsels me;
even at night my heart instructs me. (Psalm 16:5-7)
And, even better, it has been assigned by the One who knows best. It is safety, security, and will always be so if I stay within the boundary lines. I may stretch and resist, but in my heart, He continues to instruct me... Feed, love, lead... It is a gentle reminder of the gravity of my role, as well as the simplicity of these lovely days.
Within the measure of His perfect portion.
You are always welcome at my little place - A Path Made Straight
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