Y’all (all the people I love who read this blog)… It. Is. Cold.
I’m sitting in my living room with layered thermals and scarf, the sun is shining down, the power is on and the plug-in oil heater is running full blast and pulled right up next to me. And my laptop is like ice and my teeth are chattering. There’s just no way around it. Sometimes life here in the beautiful Indian mountains is just not that comfortable.
Recently I spent several weeks at home in America and I really struggled. I wrestled over the disparity between good people doing great things… and one lives in a warm beautiful house with their days set on “Easy button” and the other lives in a glorified garage in a remote village. Now, there are those who live in extreme wealth or slums strategically, and for both I can say, “That’s the life God has given them a passion and call to live.” But for all of us in the vast chasm of the middle, its hard for me not to compare what she gets that I can’t (more than 2 bedrooms), the choices he has that I don’t (good hospital, a big grocery store). These things probably sound petty, but I’m just me being real, and this was the biggest eyesore in the midst of my swirling thoughts for nearly a month. The kind of thoughts that made me want to move to the midwest America for central heat and a yard.
Then one day I meditated on Paul’s words in Philippians 4, that “I have learned to be content with little and with much”.
And later we ran into an acquaintance we never see, who asked to pray for us. And he prayed for us the passage I had been reading over and over that week from Jeremiah 17, that we would be “like a tree planted by the water … It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green… even in drought it never fails to bear fruit”.
And God didn’t give me a simple answer to my heart’s earnest struggle with comparison and contentment. But He proved to me again (and again and again) that he knows where I’m at, that He loves and accepts me, and that through Him I will always “bear fruit”. And that was the peace I needed to come home.
So the first five days was a shock. The bathroom is colder than outside and no one wants to shower. The wifi and 3G weren’t working till yesterday and I felt that familiar feeling of isolation
But I woke up every morning this week to the sun, rising hot pink across the 10,000 ft peaks right outside my living room window. And I sat down and wrote in my journal, “If I can watch the sun rise on these mountains every morning, then I can do anything.“
This perfect sunrise (mine is better than yours!! 😉 ) is God’s gift to me every day. It’s exquisite and peace-giving and to breathe slow and sip coffee as the sky bleeds pink and shifting clouds… well this is the meditative moment that bring me back to perspective.
Despite jumping into events, reopening the café after winter, having lots of friends over and catching up, I have been struck each day by the fact that I feel… healthy. Peace-filled. Happy. Positive. Balanced. All the things that I did not have one ounce of a year ago today.
I was lost. I didn’t know if I was going to make it. I had been given this wonderful upbringing and good truths poured into me, and I couldn’t make sense of anything.
But God was so good that He taught my husband and I how to build healthy habits into our life. He taught me through counselors, friends, mentors, strangers. He taught me through scripture and books and through silence. And He taught me through experience.
If I were to put my finger on the things that keep me emotionally healthy, these would be them. This list is not exhaustive. But you’ve got to start somewhere! My list of healthy habits. 🙂