Friday, May 16, 2014

Contentment and eating our fill of honey

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This past weekend marks the two year anniversary of when Mason and I squeeeeeezed everything we owned into the tiniest budget friendly U-Haul and hitched our wagon (so to speak) to Fayetteville. We signed a lease for an apartment, settled onto our Craigslist couch and wondered how two people without jobs pay the rent. Luckily, I had my trusty Psychology degree.... which helps you get a job at.... no where.

Here's our Criagslist Find. 
Can you believe the previous owner let this gem go?? 

One day we were at the local coffee shop (Mama Carmens) using their free wifi (unemployment=no dinero for internet) to search for jobs. Mason's dad called and the conversation went a little like this:

Mason's Dad: What are yall doing?
Mason: Oh, we're at Mama Carmens applying for jobs.
Mason's Dad: WHAT??? You both have college degrees! Don't apply to work at Mama Carmens yet! Lets keep looking!

So we didn't get jobs at Mama Carmens, but it would have been cool to learn how to make all those yummy drinks. After a few weeks though, we did start to wonder how to Lord would provide. It was during this time that we literally made a list of everything in our lives that we were thankful for and posted it on our bathroom mirror. Reading our list daily helped up remember the ways the Lord had already provided and would continue to meet our needs. We learned a lot about being content where we were. Which brings me to a verse that we have on display in our daughter's room now:

[Yet true godliness with] CONTENTMENT IS ITSELF GREAT WEALTH. - 1 Tim.6:6

ohhhhh man contentment can be hard. It was hard when we had no jobs and it's hard today. It's hard if you're single or married or wanting kids or having kids or wanting a house or living in a house or even if your dream is a home gym but YOU DON'T HAVE A GARAGE BECAUSE YOU STILL LIVE IN AN APARTMENT. (ahem.. *that one isn't actually MY dream*) It's so hard to remember that the great "wealth" that we're all chasing after- what we THINK we need- actually comes when we learn to be content with what the Lord has already provided while pursuing godliness.

Eating our fill of honey

So, SURPRISE! we got jobs. Mason got an accounting job that he could walk to from our home and I got a teaching job clear across the state (20 minutes away) that I got to drive our only reliable vehicle to. Our only reliable vehicle at the time was Mason's large manly truck. So I summoned my inner he woman and proudly drove that big rig to work, reminding myself to be thankful for transportation.

Fast forward to now. Mason has a different job now- that he LOVES. I've been given the opportunity to stay home with our beautiful girl. We are so so happy. So, a few months ago I was reading Deuteronomy and realized that I was reading my own story. Here's what jumped out at me:

Yes, he humbled you by letting you go hungry and then feeding you with manna.... He did it to teach you that people do not live by bread alone; rather we live by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. Deut. 8:3

The whole chapter is actually really good and convicting, and if you're in the mood for a kick in the butt I encourage you to read it. Because from there we start talking about honey.

The Israelites are entering a land of blessings. There are promises of gushing water, food, and sweet honey. Food is plentiful and "nothing is lacking." But there is a charge at the end that I can't shake- "when you've eaten your fill, be sure to praise the Lord your God..." (v.10) because "this is the time to be careful! beware that in your plenty, you do not forget the Lord..." (v.11).

I think the hard thing about remembering to thank God for the "honey" is the REMEMBERING. Being taught something is fine but when it comes to remembering what we've been taught - its hard. Trust me- I saw this first hand as a teacher. Usually it would go a little something like this:

Me: "What are the endings for -AR verbs in the present tense? Lets say them together."
All of us: *cheerfully* *with excitement* *we love Spanish!* " o-as-a-amos-an!"
Me: "Okay, fantastic! Now write them down on your quiz!!"
All of them: *angry faced* *downtrodden* *no I didn't just steal your iphone so stop looking so sad!* "we don't remember....."

Lord help us remember where you've provided and be content where you have us for now!

So, I guess what I'm trying to say is- I'm ALLLLLLLL about a good deal and saving money and stretching our income to cover all of the extra expenses (I'm looking at you student loans...), but at the end of the day- I want to sit and be content. I want to realize that contentment is great wealth. I want to remember the ways the Lord has provided and not take him for granted in times that we've had our "fill of honey." And I do mean literal honey. Yall wouldn't believe the bottles of honey we consume.

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