Though all love originates in God and is for that reason God's own love, yet we are permitted to catch and reflect back that love in such manner that it becomes our love indeed, in much the same way that sunlight reflected from the moon becomes moonlight. - A.W. Tozer

Saturday, January 10, 2015

In Which I Learn a Lesson

The Dauntless, Daunted
Most of what we've done so far in this grand adventure has been just that. Selling the house, the furniture, and most of the random things that had cluttered up our lives was actually fun. There was stress involved, but it was more of the "how am I ever going to get this done" variety. The process was, in the end, not as much of a sacrifice as you might think.

Leaving our friends was difficult, and I won't pretend that I don't miss them and the joy they brought to my life, but we have met many new friends as well, and I have never worried about losing friendships with distance. They will be with me forever in one form or another.

Living in an RV (aside from the smell left by previous owners) has been fun. It's like the forts I made when I was a little girl. How can I fit my life and my family into this tiny space? Where should I put this, that or the other thing? It's exciting and a joy. Our family is close-knit, and we like to snuggle, so the tight quarters have not been a hardship.
The Pier by our Camp

Travelling to Maryland was quite a trip, and driving home for Christmas and then back was a little hard on the backside, but the scenery and the opportunities to see the country more than made up for the inconveniences. The road trips have not felt like a sacrifice.

Doing the work with MDS has also been a pleasant experience. Crisfield is a beautiful, friendly town, and our co-volunteers are good people, kind and patient. They work hard during the day, love to sit around and talk or play games in the evenings, and understand what we're doing and why. Aaron's work load is, by far, the most difficult of the four of us, but he enjoys it, waking up happily in the morning, ready to do something that he knows is important for the kingdom of God.
The Frozen Bay

I say all of that not to brag in any way. I say it to explain why, up until this point, I have not felt like we were making much of a sacrifice. Some of my friends and family think we're crazy, and I'm okay with that. I have had many people tell me they can't imagine doing what we have done, and I suppose that's understandable. But for us, the decision was actually easy, and we have not regretted it for a moment. We are off on a grand adventure, and the fact that it is also a momentous life change, or a self-abnegation of any kind, hasn't actually hit us.
Small Boats Harbor, Immobile

I started to get a glimpse of that this week, however, and to see just what a selfish being I really am. That's because this was the first really cold week we have had in Maryland, and I do not like to be cold. I really, really do not like to be cold. My hands are cold, my feet are cold, and my bones are cold when the temperature outside hits a certain level. More than once this week, as we struggled to figure out why our RV heater is so inadequate, I caught myself thinking, "Maybe I should call up the head office and tell them we can't do this after all for the new year. Maybe eight weeks last fall was enough. Maybe we could get re-posted to Florida."

Mim Watches the Ice Bound Sea Gulls
Then it hit me. We are here because we felt like we should make a sacrifice for the sake of others. It is not noble or praiseworthy if you are doing something fun because you enjoy it. Working for others is easy when you're comfortable and having a great time. But being cold is my first real sacrifice, and once I realized that, it was all so much easier to bear. I am not out on the job sites, and I cannot drywall a house, much less hang trusses or pour a foundation, but I am here so that my husband can do those things, and when I am cold, I can remember that we are giving of ourselves because we want to show the love of Christ to the people of Crisfield, MD, not because it's vacation-time.

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