Tag Archives: God

Seven

Today is our seventh anniversary. Happy Anniversary, Matt!

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In some ways these seven years have flown by, and in other ways we have done so much I wonder that it has only been seven years. We have both graduated with Master’s degrees, joined Wycliffe and done MORE school, had one precious little girl and then moved halfway across the globe to learn a new language before having another precious little girl. We have globe-trotted a bit in between and now we are charging forward in the next adventure that God has for us. Still trying to figure out exactly what that is, but we’re still charging!!

I was thinking this morning how different my life is from what I expected it to be. I remember a time in high school when I was pretty clear what kind of life I was and was NOT going to have. The list of things that I said I would never do is very comical for me to look back on.

I will never go to college for piano – now I have a Bachelor’s and a Master’s in piano performance.
I will never teach piano – started teaching just before college, and I absolutely love it. Really miss not having the opportunity to do that now.
I will never get married before I have my doctorate – I got married RIGHT after (like, two weeks) I graduated with my undergrad. What can I say – when you meet the right guy…
I will never be a missionary – ahem, obviously…
I will never live in a different country – also, obvious
I will never (be able to) learn a foreign language – I really thought my brain was unable. Stuck in English.
I will never live in the country (i.e. not in a big city)- we’re building a village house where there is cell phone signal, but electricity and water are sketchy. Most people that live there are subsistence farmers and fishers.
I will never be one of those crafty people – I now have a three year old, and it’s starting. Where we live, if I don’t do it, it won’t happen! Now I can’t throw away toilet paper tubes.
I will never bake stuff – I started baking out of necessity (can’t get good bread here), and now I really enjoy it. Yesterday I baked muffins just because I had a hankering to bake something.

Some of this stuff is really small, but I felt very strongly on what I would and would not be and do. Maybe I should learn not to be so opinionated…

At many points in my life I had everything planned out exactly how I knew it should be. And most of those times were when God started moving us in a different direction. It hasn’t always been easy to listen and follow those directions. Sometimes I have downright said “no” before slowly dragging my feet into sullen obedience. You would think that after all of the changes in direction we have taken I would learn not to say “I will never”, but now if I near those words come out of my mouth I start to get a premonition that the very thing I have jut forbade will soon be looming in my future.

The thing is that everything that I/we have done has been a testament to the verse that God’s plans are not our plans, and his ways are not our ways. Now, I can’t imagine a better life than the one that God has given to us. It’s not always easy, but God is always good. Every experience we have had has been used by God to get us ready for what he has next. Usually I had a totally different plan for it. But God’s plan is always better, even if it seems impossible or repulsive (or both) at first. And yes, I am slowly (s-l-o-w-l-y) learning to listen and obey with a ready heart instead of one blockaded against change.

But the best part is God gave me a partner. He gave this life to me to do with the most wonderful husband and best friend a girl could have. We love to laugh together, talk together, and just be together. I love you so much, Matthew Joseph Menger! Happy seven years!

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Today…

…I put away the suitcases. We have been back in Indonesia for 5 weeks now. I unpacked in the first two days that we were back home, but just moved the 8 empty suitcases over to the side and let them sit in a pile. For a while I was leaving them out just as a visual reminder to myself that I shouldn’t expect to feel settled yet because we really did just come back. And then for about a week they were still out because I wanted to pack them up and go back to America. But for the past week they have started to bother me. Time to feel settled here, and happy here, and put the suitcases away!

There is a huge list that I made our first week back here and it includes house projects, cleaning projects, the cooking projects (from the previous blog post), and furniture that we hope to buy. Huge list. The cleaning and house projects are what I’ve been focusing on the most – when I’m not cooking. And taking care of the girls. As I’ve worked on things like updating family pictures, making a spot to store my makeup and hang my cosmetics, and rearranging small things here and there, I have been thinking a lot about why I want to make the things around me not just livable but beautiful as well. I really want to be creative and make the girl’s rooms cute and have order, creativity, inspiration, and beauty around me.

Then I came across a verse in Exodus. I started a read-through-the-Bible-in-a-year plan in January and, yes, I know it’s May and I am just now finishing the February readings. But, hey, I’m getting there! Anyway, that’s not the point. The verse that I found was Exodus 28:2. God was giving directions to Moses on Mount Sinai for the temple and the priestly garments and after giving lots of specifics he said, “for glory and for beauty.” God is the great Creator of all things orderly and inspirational and beautiful. He wanted some of those decorations that way for the sake of glory and for the sake of beauty! As I have thought about why I want order and beauty I realized that practically no one comes in to see those parts of my house, so my sinful motivation of other people seeing what a great job I did at making something creative in the bathroom doesn’t get “fed” all that much, if you know what I mean. If I’m going to be completely honest that is usually my primary motivation. But what do I do with that? I have worked on confessing it to God and then offering up my creativity as an act of worship to Him. It is not a sin to want things beautiful and to look for creative ways to bring order to little things around my house. It is another way I can worship God for who He is.

Oh what a long way I have left to go. But realizing this has brought me some freedom in the “hum-drum” activities of menu planning, re-arranging the kitchen, and figuring out where to put toilet paper and hang my necklaces. How about you?

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