Saturday, February 19, 2011

Leaving behind my flannel sheets

As each day ticks by and we get closer to our departure, I find myself looking at everything with a discerning eye. Should we pack that? Will I miss that if I sell it? Are the kids really going to play with all these toys and read all these books? How heavy are those shoes? And most recently, do we really need to take our flannel sheets?

Today is the first time I thought about leaving those sheets. I mean, they are nice and warm. They would keep us cozy during those winter nights out on the farm. Darin can mock me all he wants, but below freezing at night with no heat!?! Come on people, that is cold! If you know me, you know I do not like to be cold. Give me sunshine and warmth any day. Flip flops year round? I'm in!

We were driving around and I was giving Darin some reasons why I think we'll be leaving the sheets behind. First, I really want to buy one of those heated mattress pads with separate heating zones, so I can keep my tootsies nice and toasty and the rest of my body cool. Second, the washing machine we'll be using is small and there is no dryer. Flannel sheets are kind of bulky and totally heavy when wet. Out at the farm, we'll most likely be falling into bed with dirty feet and less than perfectly clean bodies and our sheets will need to be washed often. Washing and air drying flannel doesn't sound very fun to me.

Tonight I watched something that made the whole issue of taking or leaving flannel sheets so much more to me. If I haven't mentioned it before, I am a blog stalker. That means I read lots of blogs of people that I do not even know. Strange? Maybe, but it's what I do. Tonight as I was stalking reading blogs I took the time to watch the following videos of a family that went to Uganda to bring home their son and daughter. Here is part one and here is part two. While I was watching these videos, I was reminded of why we wanted to move to South Africa back in 2008. We had made connections to people that were doing good in their communities and we wanted to get involved with these local organizations because we felt we had gifts and talents that God could use to help them and help others as well. Not that we are so great or so capable, but tonight I was reminded that we both felt like God was calling us to do more than live out our days in Hudsonville, Michigan wrapped up in our flannel sheets! I want to feel that way again.

I confess that over these last few months of waiting and anticipating and a whole lot of other -ings, I have been focused on the wrong things. I have lost sight  of where God has called us to go and why. In fact, it isn't so much losing sight of it, but I haven't even been searching for His vision. I have been caught up in where we'll live, worrying myself about what school will best fit out kids, what church we'll go to, how often Darin will need to be at work and how we can somehow figure out these things and then triangulate the perfect location for us to live based on these places we need to get to. I've left no room for what God might have in store for us. None at all.

I've been tied down by more than flannel sheets. I've been trying to drag my whole life out to South Africa. How can I replicate the school experience that my kids would have here, out there? How can I find a church to meet our needs, be it kids programs, a Bible study for me (Beth Moore to be specific), or a worship service that is similar to what we experience at our church? Is it going to be more fun/relaxing/easy to live outside the city or out in the country? Where can I go and what can I do to find people like me to be friends with?

Our church recently wrapped up a year long series on how this life we are living is not about us. I am not the main character in the story, God is. He is the author and He is also the one the whole story is about. And here, for the last 10 months, I've been making it all about me. No wonder it's been such a struggle. Almost as bad as wrestling wet flannel sheets onto a laundry line.

No comments: