The day was sunny and bright. Just the thing after a long, snow-filled winter and a disastrous move from one home to another. I stretched myself out in the hammock my husband had taken the time to so carefully string between two trees for me. Closing my eyes I found my mind filled with the past few months.
And even more than the warm sunshine on my face, I felt shame.
I had met with trials in the previous weeks and, lying there under that blue sky, I realized just how miserably I had failed. Shame and remorse coursed through me.
I shifted in the hammock so I could see the place from which the happy voices of my children floated in the air as they played in the field. The field adjacent to the house I didn’t want to be living in. The house with wood floors that needed to be refinished, the dining room that had once been a carport and the great room that just never managed to feel great to me. And don’t even get me started on the iron-laced water. Truly, you don’t want to get me started on that. The rental house we had moved into in an effort to save money was draining us in more ways than could be counted in dollars and cents.
Oh, how I’ve hated this house. And oh, how that hatred has seeped into every corner of my life without my realizing it.
I felt hot tears sting my eyes and roll down my cheeks as the full impact of my attitude hit me.
A house is just walls. Bricks and mortar erected to offer shelter from the seasons. Houses don’t define us and we do ourselves an injustice to allow them to dictate our joy. Ask me how I know.
I looked around me again and saw some of the kids playing ball while a few others jumped on the trampoline. I had watched just the day before as my littlest boys chattered excitedly to each other as they explored the edge of the woods lining the 15 acre property. I saw happiness in those sweet faces. I saw an eagerness to accept this new adventure with wide open arms rather than a critic’s eye.
I saw Jesus walking through that field waiting for me to realize He’s right here. Not in that house or those woods, but in this moment. Every moment. Even the ones we wish away.
I didn’t leave my swinging oasis that day in love with my house. But I did leave in love with my life. Again.
I don’t know what season of life you are in. I don’t know what you’re struggling with or how difficult it is to capture the contentment He is calling you to. What I do know is this: Jesus is there. Right there with you. And that, my friends, is the only thing that really matters!