Let me put it bluntly. Upon returning from Uganda and starting my own business as a freelancer, I was hoping for a little more…easy success. I was leaving such a good fit for the way I was made–my technicolor dream–at what felt like sacrifice. And I’ve been writing for so long. I just hoped there’d be a few more supernatural wins involved, you know? I admit to thinking of it a little formulaically: Obey God = Find “favor”.
Hmm. Favor. I mean, you could back that up with verses like “Anyone who comes to him must believe…he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” But as I type, I’m realizing I had a somewhat concrete vision of what that might look like.
Grief is a chisel.
As you know now, my family and I are moving back from Africa, i.e. place I have felt technicolor, I-heart-my-life alive for the last five years. Though I believe God is showing us it’s time to move back for now, and though it’s also been a place where our family has encountered profound suffering, it’s been far more of a place of deep satisfaction. All of us are struggling with returning. We’ve been so stinkin’ happy in this place. For me, serving in my sweet spot has throbbed with purpose and meaning.
Ugly truth: My hide has been, off and on, a little chapped. I don’t completely understand why God’s doing this. And after all we have endured here, truth is still percolating into my heart that, hey, God can put me wherever He wants me.
Truth: Even (especially?) in work that serves God, I can get pretty…entitled. Sometimes I think I can even be in danger of passing that on to my kids. There’s a thin line, I think, between our kids trusting in God’s good character, His working everything out for our good, waiting expectantly for God to work on our behalf…and us feeling entitled to His tangible reward here on this planet, when we want it, as we want it.
Is there a chance we’re raising spiritually entitled kids?
I’m posting on this today at weareTHATfamily.com. Hope it encourages you.
It was one of those weeks when the phrase from the Morton salt box from my childhood had to occasionally be batted from my mind: When it rains, it pours.
It started on the way to the airport, where my husband would fly to Kenya for two weeks. (Perhaps you’re already seeing the writing on the wall with me.) That was when neither of our ATM cards were working; problematic in a nation nearly entirely functioning on cash. Of course, it wasn’t until paying for my parking that I realized I didn’t even have the eighty cents to make it out of the parking lot. (“Kids! Start looking under all the car mats! In the cupholders!” We were still about forty cents shy.)
Happy to be posting again on my friend Kristen Welch’s site, WeareTHATFamily.com: To be the Grateful Generation.
I’m super-stoked about her new book, Raising Grateful Kids in An Entitled World, which is chock-full of practical wisdom as we all try to navigate entitlement in our kids–and um. In ourselves. I was struck by her excellent connection between our kids’ entitlement and our own driving force as Western parents: I want my children to be happy!
And I thought, I took this with me to Africa.
Hop on over and check ’em both out.
Mild exasperation, disproportionate discouragement, and sheepishness collided in me when my husband called from the other room that power had died again, after twenty-four hours off the day before.
My sheepishness was mostly because I knew that hey, 85% of the country has no electricity to speak of, period. (I am frequently embarrassed by of my luxurious privileges.) My grandparents lived without indoor power for a decent portion of their lives. So I felt lame that my life was so stinkin’ dependent on it, and that not having electricity manages to peck at me like a duck all day—when I go to use the microwave (aww…), forego buying milk because I can’t put it in the fridge (shoot!), or try to remember I gotta send that e-mail when I can charge my laptop again (dang it!).
Sometimes I just want to be in a place where things work.
Happy to be posting again on my friend Kristen Welch’s site, WeareTHATFamily.com: 25 Low-prep Service Projects for Kids that Teach Gratitude!
I’m stoked about her new book, Raising Grateful Kids in An Entitled World. Hop on over and check ’em out!