Hello Family and Friends,
This is part deux of news from the pod and week 6 of perseverance, frustration, determination and depression. Praise God the ditch witch is gone and the construction dumpster left last week, filled to capacity twice. As you can see from the first picture, we are making some progress, slowly but surely. My problem today is that I want it to be QUICKLY, not slowly. I’ve had it with the slowly part. How I envy Paul when he wrote that he had learned the secret of being contentment whatever the circumstances. (Philippians 4:11) Why can’t I be more like him and just take all of this in stride and do all things for the Lord’s honor and glory? After all, it’s only a temporary state of chaos and disorder and is not going to last forever. (Someone promise me this is only temporary.)
On days like today, I don’t want to consider it pure joy whenever I face trials of many kinds (James 1:2), like pods and dumpsters and STUFF! How come I still have the same elementary struggles with patience, a right attitude, a gentle and quiet spirit and being a sweet, submissive wife? I know the Lord has given me 6 weeks of special, tailor-made lessons in character development, patience, maturity and perseverance. But, alas, I’m afraid I am a very poor student. Guess that’s why the Lord is giving me so much time to practice.
So, here I am in the pod again, rearranging and sorting: which stuff has to be boxed, displayed, repaired or given away. If you’re hearing the “poor, pitiful Patt” in my voice, you got it right! But, my work has been minimal compared to J.L.‘s. Truthfully, he has been doing the lion’s share of the sorting, packing, organizing, in addition to helping with the construction and building work—which he loves—painting 3 coats on all the woodwork, walls and ceilings in the new office and storage building. He goes out there about 6:30 or 7 each morning and comes back in the door about 9:30 at night. So pray for him. We have literally been passing like ships in the pod, I mean night. But, with all this heat and activity, he’s lost about 15 pounds and looks great! (I’ve lost nary an ounce. Go figure.)
In the midst of all the organizational challenges today, I thought about some of the women I’d met in the Bhutanese refugee camps, the Samburu women I had tea with seated outside their huts on cow skins, and that dear lady in the leper colony in Nepal. They would swap my struggles for theirs in a heart beat. When I think of them, I feel guilty because I live a life of abundance beyond anything they will ever experience in their lifetimes.
So I said to myself, “Self, enough of this negativity!” And went back to James, who makes it clear that perseverance must finish its work so that we will be mature and complete, not lacking anything. After all, this life is not a learn-it-once-and-you’ll-never-need-to-learn-it-again kind of life. It’s a long obedience in the same direction—to Christ. We are to be steadfast, unmovable, always giving ourselves fully to the work of the Lord, knowing that our labor for the Lord is not in vain. (I Corinthians 15:58) If my view from the pod does not include a Christ-focus, if I’m more in tune with my personal discomfort than His purposes, and if I can’t remember that Christ was a servant to us all, then I will keep wallowing in my self-pity. Ahhh, yes, that’s it. Wow, who would have thought you could learn all that from a pod parked in your backyard? That’s definitely one of the reasons this has been a part of my daily life, and yes…I can almost say, it’s been a blessing.
Say, do YOU need a pod? Call me. Have I got a deal for you!
Once again, love from the pod,
P.S. J.L. and I want to thank all of you who responded with such love and compassion to his Father’s Day message. It seems that many of our friends and partners are suffering from similar family estrangements and pain. After hearing so many of your stories, we can better pray for each other as parents and grandparents committed to reconciliation and restoration.
“May the God of peace…equip you with everything good for doing His will, and may He work in us what is pleasing to Him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” Hebrews 13:20-21
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