Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Learning Contentment - again!

After 4 days without a proper shower
This past week I experienced one of those “fish out of water” moments at the same time I was very obviously still peering out from a very transparent fish bowl.  Ever had that happen?  Maybe I wasn’t exactly out of the water, but just in the wrong bowl.  I kept finding myself thinking, “What’s a girl like me doing in a place like this?”

I’m the girl who never enjoyed camping.  I don’t prefer sleeping on the ground – ever.  I dislike all manner of creepy crawlies.  I’ve learned to limit showers when we have water shortages, but I still expect to wash my face and brush my teeth in a proper sink.  I can navigate without a toilet seat and even manage over a squatty potty when need be, but … you get the picture. 

I’m not the rugged outdoorsy type in the least.  Hiking is not in my top ten favorite things to do.  Last week I did all of these things.  It was a stretch.

All these years people have patted me on the back for my “sacrifice” in staying home with young children while my husband got all the glory (ha!) and adventure of visiting remote Indian villages with teams from the U.S.  Now that the kids are old enough to be more or less on their own for several days at a time, my dh* has started including me in his village adventures with short-termers.

The irony is that we were never together all week.  I drove a separate car, I stayed in the women’s lodging, I took a separate visitation team out as a translator.  We more or less shared the experience, but not exactly.  This past week was one of those rugged trips where I would have enjoyed leaning on dh instead of pretending to be the strong one leading my own little group.

Do I dare admit that I killed my very first scorpion?  After all these years of relying on dh and dc (what are boys good for if not squashing scary bugs for their mothers?), I was forced to act brave and do the nasty deed myself.

That was the least of my concerns.  It was a physically, emotionally, and spiritually exhausting week.  No matter how much my flesh whined and tried to rebel, it was forced into submission.  I can see why short-term teams enjoy these types of adventure trips.  It’s gratifying to see what you can do when you must.

It's a shame that the effect wears off so quickly.  Now I'm back to (relative) civilization, but instead of being grateful for all the blessings, I'm just as frustrated with pesky little things like our bumpy dirt road and daily inconveniences as I was before I left.  I did fine with all the challenges last week, so why is it the little things that make me grumble?

IRL*  I'm learning again how to be content with much or little, a la Philippians 4.  

How about you?


  1. Ha! I am so the opposite of you. I love camping! Love it! I can wash myself and my clothes in a stream and feel invigorated and happy. (As long as the stream is reasonably clean!) And I married a man who will camp, but doesn't like it and wants to camp only at campsites with full facilities including wifi. Bah.

    We did do a three day hike down in the Grand Canyon. It was his dream - although he didn't know how hard it would be and we had to rescue him when he got heat exhaustion. The kids and I thrilled in it, and the boys dream of doing a even bigger hike with me. "Mom, mom, can't we do like a back country week long hike, please, please!!!" I'd love to.... just have to do it while my husband is traveling so he has an excuse for not being able to make it! :)

    I did a hike with them the other day - 7km out and 7 more back. Out took us awhile to stop and see the views from the hills, but coming back took us one hour and ten minutes. Even my nine year old can do that pace, so yes! Big hike/camping trip coming up for us!

    But my parents hiked and camped, so we just inherited it.

    (ok this prove you're not a robot thing is showing me a photo of a mail slot and a doorbell followed by a word that looks like a sneeze while eating noodles - help!)

    1. Apparently, then, camping and hiking is something you inherit. No wonder I don't "have it" at all!

      The prove you're not a robot thing is definitely getting out of hand. I'm amazed if anyone ever leaves a comment for that reason.

  2. Bless your heart, Jamie Jo. I'm sure you handle all of that with a lot more grace than I would have. I hope you have a few slow days. I would need it myself after killing a scorpion and sleeping on the ground.

    (And I'm glad I"m not the only one who has problems with the "prove you're not a robot" thing. I'd begun to think I had some disability, and that no one else had any problems with those!!!!

  3. Funny! I was blessed to go on my first ST mission trip to Honduras this August. I am not a "girly girl", so I can handle bugs, dirt, poor facilities, etc. etc. But I was not prepared for the mental and emotional exhaustion ... combined with the physical exhaustion from the heat. Several nights I sat in my room and cried, prayed and listened to worship music until I could settle down for bed. I missed my sweet family and quickly grew attached to my mission team family. Oh, and did I mention I don't speak a single WORD of Spanish? :)

    All I can say is the "fish out of water" discomfort and the tender care which God showed for me and for others we ministered to shaped me and changed me in a way I can't even describe. I will go back a thousand times if He calls me. But if He never sends me on another ST trip (praying He certainly will!) I know that He has given me a boldness and confidence in Him that I did not have before. That is worth more that words can express!

    "Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For His sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with Him." Phil 3:8-9a (NLT)

  4. Learning to be content....again. Back in (strange/home) Australia, got a skype call asking us to move fields again. What? Leave my comfort zone, my friends, the stuff I'm GOOD at, start learning two new languages, meet new people, new country, new role. But God put out the neon signs on this one, and I keep reminding myself that He will, as always, prove faithful, and it will be His best for us. But contentment seems rather a long way off, so thanks for the reminder. JenniB (no fixed abode)


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...