I was looking up flights to Johannesburg last night. Seriously. I was thinking that Joe and I should go on a missions trip. Or maybe the family could go for a year, Joe could take a year's leave of absence, we could somehow find someone to rent out our house to and take care of it for a year, we could use our savings to live off of while in Africa. I had seen on Pfunanane's website where they are looking for teachers looking to serve for at least a year. Also, they said they host missions trips there. (Don't worry mom.......keep reading.......) Does anyone ever feel this way? Do you feel that pull to make an obvious, noticeable difference?
I know I have been over this before but there are children dying, people starving. There is not enough water, not enough food, not enough ways for people to earn a living, the schools are too expensive for families to afford, there are real, hard problems. How can I live in a place where my pantry is filled to overflowing, where Sofia is going to a great school with a fabulous teacher for FREE, where I can walk into any room and turn up the heat, turn on the water, find any comfort I could imagine. How is it possible to have so much? Is it right to have this much? Is it ok?
I don't know.
We try to give, to live a generous life. I don't know if it's enough.
And, then on the other hand, I don't know how to fight my way upstream - to not care that my children won't have the lastest and greatest everything because there is a greater need. To not care that someday they may be affected by our choices. I care sometimes when our choices dictate that they don't have everything their friends may have. I look at our house and know that we could go bigger, go better but that would limit us in more important places. How can I say it's more important for Fia to have her own room or Nico to have a bigger room when our money ensures that Noemi, Sebastian and Alberto get to eat and go to school. What about the goats, the chickens, the seeds - really, our "needs" seem idiotic in comparison. How can I say, nah, we need a bit more square footage? (Right now is where my mom is going to go to bat for giving our children EVERYTHING that we can - and I have to say when I am a grandma I am sure I will notice my feelings change..... :)
And this is why sometimes I think about running away. Sometimes I think a place where we are rich in material things and are able to give and give and give in a real and obvious way would be easier than being in a place where there is too much. Or just to be in a place where everyone is a have not instead of being in a place where there is a constant battle to have MORE. Where every day it is a choice not to be wasteful, not to give in to the thinking that what we have defines us. Where on every street, on every corner there are stores and billboards and signs crying out YOU ARE NOT GOOD ENOUGH, HAPPY ENOUGH, YOU ARE NOT FULFILLED UNLESS YOU BUY THIS, HAVE THIS and sometimes it's hard not to believe it. There is so much that I want - I want new jeans, I want to get my hair cut every two months, I would love to go out to eat once a week, I would love to have new carpet in the entryway, I would love to go to a really expensive, luxurious cabin for a weekend in February, I want to not be careful with money, I want to buy food that is quick and easy to cook when we have company, I want to splurge on my parents, I want to fly out to see my brother and sister-in-law, I want all of that. I want. I want. I want.
But I want something more...........I want to see God's Kingdom here on earth. I want to love on people. I want everyone to be fed spiritually and physically. I want children to live. I want parents to be able to work hard and work honestly so that they can care for their children. I want bellies to be full, minds to be stimulated, thirst to be quenched. I want that more.
And for right now........God doesn't want me to run away. This is the life that He has called me to, a life where there aren't empty bellies but maybe there are empty hearts. I see it so much. I see a lot of pain amidst all the abundance and all the things that the world says should make us happy. I see broken families. I see people searching. I see people overindulging, constantly looking for satisfaction and coming up empty. Do you see it too? There are people all around that need His love. I want so badly to love them. I want to love families. God is pushing me. He is calling me to open my heart, my life and my family to others. I have burrowed for awhile now. I have been afraid for a bit - afraid to come out from behind my own family, my own children. But He is calling, calling us to step out on faith. He is calling us to live together, love together and serve together.
I am waiting a bit impatiently to see what He has in store for us......................hopefully, I won't hop on a plane to Johannesburg while I am in the waiting :)
Will you pray for us? Will you pray that I won't get sidetracked or make excuses? Thanks for reading my rants. Love you all.