Here are the boys at one of the graduation events: We also got to visit Elizabethton, TN. The drive around Lake Watauga is beautiful. Micah and I always love driving though the mountains. Yesterday, we moved from southern Mississippi to northern Mississippi. During this last move, I was confronted with feeling completely exhausted yet having a pile of stuff to do. While I have gotten more and more efficient in moving, it still never ceases to wear me out! There is that exhaustion you feel only when moving- being so tired- but no place to lie down, filthy- but clean clothes illusive, thirsty- but no food or drink in the refrigerator... you get the picture. Sometimes I wonder if there will ever be a day that we stop going from place to place. We also all miss community and the "knit in"ness that comes with being in one place long term. There are other things we have had to put on hold while waiting. The boys miss friends they have met along the way. We are frustratingly unable to make definite plans. From where I sit today, this is all pretty discouraging. The question came to my mind after reading Lamentations 3 and the author's honesty about his feelings then his hope, would I know rest if I have never known strenuous activity? What about comfort if I have never known pain? Happiness... Saddness? Plenty... Poverty? I think in my own soul, I would vastly underappreciate these good gifts if I had not experienced their opposite effect. I guess in that regard, even the difficulties are good gifts. In thinking about landing after this CFA ride, I pray I appreciate more fully the benefits of settling down having felt what it is like to be a constant traveler.
There is something to being honest with the hard stuff as the author of Lamentations exemplifies. Statements like "He has made my teeth grind on gravel, and made me cower in ashes; my soul is bereft of peace; I have forgotten what happiness is; so I say 'my endurance has perished; so has my hope from the Lord'" (3:16-18) are not void of dramatism and show no hint of disguise. I know there are days I run from feeling pain or heartache. I have gotten exceptionally good at the kind of defensiveness that disallows such emotions. But the deeper the dispair, the greater the realization of the reality beyond the feelings: "But this I call to mind, therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies are new everymorning; great is Your faithfulness. 'The Lord is my portion,' says my soul, 'therefore I will hope in Him'" (21-24). My perserverance is far from perfect, but is being perfected. This has been a long last 8 months.
There are new things to see and do all around. The boys have alreay begun making plans to visit the places we pass by. Micah has two months of getting a store ready for a new owner/operator ahead of him.
There was immense satisfaction in lying down to rest last night. God help me not to disregard all the joys along this way.