But full disclosure-- none of those plans ever even remotely hinted at Vermont. To be even more honest, it wasn't even that I thought of Vermont dismissively. I literally didn't think about it at all. Ever. It wasn't part of my life. I had no reason to believe it ever would be, so it didn't occur to me to give it a second thought (or a first one really). I wanted to be a stay at home Mom. I *thought* I wanted to do that in Texas, close to all of the rest of my family and close to conveniences and opportunities that simply don't exist in rural New England. So when the subject of moving here first came up, my initial response was much less than positive.
Well guess what. God knows me better than I know myself. Way better. He had other plans. Not Texas. Vermont. So pretty much the opposite of Texas. :-D This surprised so many people (including me), and I still find myself in conversations with others that include lots of comments like, "I could never. . . " "There's just no way. . ." "I just wouldn't be able to. . ." Etc. and on and on. There are all sorts of ways to say "NO", right? I'm well aware, because I thought of just about every single one of them while I was resisting our recent move/lifestyle change.
But here's the thing. If we believe in the power of the Gospel to completely regenerate a wicked, sinful heart, why in the world don't we trust that same Gospel to deal with the "little stuff"? These are the DAILY MIRACLES!!! We all love the external, dramatic miracles we get to witness. A baby born. A seemingly hopeless life suddenly and vividly transformed. A supernatural healing or deliverance from danger. We love witnessing and hearing about these things, right? I sure do. I wish I could experience something like that every single day. But in the in-between times, I'm learning to notice the little stuff. The small miracles that happen inside my heart. The smile on my face while I wash dishes. The chuckles as I sort through massive piles of laundry and remember whatever fun activity led to the widespread stains on wild little Gracie's clothes. The warmth in my heart when I trip over a "project" that Macy has spread across the floor and see her creativity at work. Hear me clearly on this-- no way is this the accomplishment of my wicked, sinful, selfish heart. NO. WAY. These are my daily miracles. This is Christ transforming me slowly and gently and patiently and sweetly. I call it quiet magnificence. His work on my insidest insides, and OH does He have a lot of work to do! But He is faithful, and I am grateful that He doesn't rest from this work.
So to those who (like me) try to find all sorts of ways to say no to things that don't make sense to you, may I gently suggest you trust that if God is calling you to do those things, He can change your heart to love them? I am living proof of this truth. Only by God's grace. Here is just a brief list of ways I am seeing my daily miracles:
- I'm one of the most cold-natured people in the WORLD, and yet somehow I feel all warm and "glowy" inside when I see a freshly snow-covered landscape. I LOVE the long, snowy winters here!
- When we accepted the call to come to Vermont, I agreed to move into a house I had never laid eyes on, and it's a long story, but at the time, I thought it would only have 1 bathroom.
- I admit that in my past, I was a little bit OCD about "order" in my house. For various reasons, my house here is rarely up to my previous standards of clean, but it hardly ever occurs to me to mind.
- I enjoy *some* level of "routine." Spontaneity is great fun sometimes, but I generally like to have a regular schedule and an organized calendar. HA! I'm pretty sure we haven't had 2 weeks look the same since moving here. And yet, I still have my sense of humor. :-D
- A dirty car used to be a big problem for me. Here we have snow boot season followed by mud season followed by summer (which means LOTS of kids in the car most days), and the cycle continues. I'm pretty sure my car hasn't been clean since I moved about a year and a half ago. :-D But my blood pressure hasn't risen one bit.
- I enjoy convenience. There was a certain comfort in my past lives in knowing that at the end of an especially busy day, we could just order a pizza to be delivered or pick up something from a restaurant 3 miles away. Here almost every meal we eat is prepared by me in my kitchen, no matter how long or busy the day has been. And I LOVE that!
- I don't have a dishwasher here. Every dish that I use for all those meals prepared at home has to be washed by hand. I can honestly say I have never minded this.