Monday, August 26, 2013

"Gone Country"

It's been a while since I've lingered here. Schedules changed and the depleting demands of toddlers and preschoolers eased into easier days of school-aged independence and fun. And so this blog, which was fueled mainly by my need to make sense of the often senseless early years, sat dormant and quiet.

But life threw a wily curveball in the spring. Josh was laid off just before Easter when the company he worked for essentially went under. And so we embarked on a whirlwind, worldwide job hunt, holding fast to each other and our faith that God is good; that he has a plan; that he would provide.

And he did. Just not where we had hoped.

In an unexpected twist of fate, we've traded our Rocky Mountain paradise for the sub-tropics of the Houston suburbs. We said goodbye to my immediate family (the rest of whom had moved to Evergeen within the last two years), our friends, our church, the kids' amazing little Montessori school, and the small town we said we'd live the rest of our lives if we begin again in the state we said we could never live.

Life's funny like that.

But somehow, it's good. And already, God's provision is evident. Even now, only three weeks after our move, I can see that paradise is where you make it. Or, perhaps more accurately, where you receive it.

We will be happy here. Life is different, certainly. We've traded God's landscaping for manicured lawns and gardens. We've traded windy, two-lane roads through forested canyons for sidewalks and fountains in man-made lakes. We've traded snow for humidity, blizzards for hurricanes, fireplaces for air conditioning, winter coats for the occasional sweatshirt, and skiing for swimming. We've traded elk and bears and mountain lions for alligators and turtles and snakes. We've traded many good things for different good things, one set of drawbacks for a different set of drawbacks. Everything different. But the Artist and Storyteller is the same.

And so we can enter into this new place and time with confidence that He who began a good work in us will be faithful to complete it. And apparently, the gun-toting, Bible-slinging, Republican-card-carrying state of Texas is to be the setting of this next adventure. God is not short on humor.

Fortunately, we enjoy a good chuckle ourselves.

I jest, but in reality, I can already see that God is slowly deconstructing my categories and boxes, disassembling my stereotypes and generalizations. This move is an invitation to remove yet another layer of judgement obscuring the way I see the world so that I can come closer to seeing it as He does. Because if I'm to love my neighbor, I must stop looking through the filter of labels and begin seeing folks purely, simply as God's masterpieces. It's impossible to know and love and listen to and learn from a caricature.

This is just the start, I know, of what God has in store for us, so I hope to spend more time here in the coming months recording the moments when eternity surfaces in our suburban Texas lives. I'm anticipating many.

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