"This life therefore, is not godliness but the process of becoming godly, not health but getting well, not being but becoming, not rest but exercise. We are not now what we shall be, but we are on the way. The process is not yet finished, but it is actively going on. This is not the goal, but it is the right road. At present, everything does not gleam and sparkle, but everything is being cleansed." --Martin Luther

Saturday, June 19, 2010


(Two different posts Brian wrote before we went to Zambia, combined and adapted somewhat to now. I think it is still relevant because it talks about how we live. Hopefully it makes sense, I combined them the best I could. I have been searching through some of the many posts never posted. Some just can’t be posted at this time, some probably never will; but some decent ones in the mix anyway to post.)

These two words I have confused for a long time. And I am still trying to figure out in certain situations which is which. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with having wants and desires. The problem is when we confuse what is a desire/want and a necessity. Believe me I can justify anything with the best of them. The red flag is when you say “I have to have it”. Do you really? I’ll make it personal. We are a family of 9; do we need a bigger house? No, we don’t. Would it be nice? Maybe. A bigger house means more to take care of, more expense. In Zambia we actually had about the same size house that we (had) now, about 1,700 sq ft. Not super big but not all that small either. The house we live in now is over 4000 square feet-nice, roomy, fun—but truthfully, lots more work! “But you have 9 people.” Yes we do- it’s easier to keep track of everyone in a smaller house though and keep it clean! How soon we forget that most of us grew up in a house that was smaller than 2000 sq.ft. And no, the kids do NOT need their own room. They need to learn to share and how to respect others.
Some say the kids ‘need’ to be in this activity or/and that activity. No, they don’t. I probably sound like an old curmudgeon. I really question how beneficial it is to be running around multiple nights a week. I don’t think it does the family structure any good. When we were raising support we made multiple calls on any given night. There was hardly anyone home. Eating around a table in a restaurant is not the same as sitting around the kitchen table at home.
I find it interesting to keep in touch with and read about other missionaries’ experiences in the field, the not having the simple “pleasures” of life. Not having a washing machine to do clothes but doing it by hand, not having a personal vehicle and using public transportation, having a hole in the floor for a toilet, cooking differently and eating different foods (often healthier then here)...
Many people had trouble understanding how we were going to be able to live in Africa. The thing is they were looking at what their life is like here and thinking it is very different than what it was like where we are in Zambia, and they just could not see being able to adjust. What people do not realize is that our life here is not like most other peoples. How? For one we are home most, if not every night of the week. We eat just about every meal together at home as a family. We are not running around to all these different kids’ activities. Some might say we are depriving our children, I don’t think so. Personally I don’t think all this running around is beneficial to the family structure, to building relationships. Another area is TV. Our TV is not connected to a dish, or cable, or even UHF. We cut the cable about 4 yrs. ago. Honestly it is one of the best things we ever did! Personally it has been a huge benefit to me in the area of mental and spiritual purity. Our kids will occasionally watch a video as a treat. (We do now have UHF. Oops!) School: we home school now, so really no difference there. Cooking: we used charcoal, propane-not too different there either.
I guess we looked at it this way- it was going to be different and yes at first that would mean harder until we got used to doing things differently. Are you going to look at things in a positive light or negative? It is your/our choice.
It comes down to the fact that we as a people have confused our wants and desires as necessities and needs. We need a big or bigger house- no, you don’t. You need a roof over your head, God doesn’t promise to provide you a 3000 sq. ft house. We say we need a new or newer vehicle- no, you don’t. You may need transportation nothing more. We say we need a boat, a snowmobile, a 4-wheeler, another car, bigger house, a plasma TV, the i-phone, etc…..you fill in the blank. Is it wrong to have these things? NO! But realize that these are NOT needs, they are wants. Maybe you should consider them gifts from God, and be thanking HIM for them and asking HIM how HE would have you use them for HIS glory.
Our lifestyle is probably a lot different than most. We really did enjoy the way of life in Zambia. We can look back and see how the Lord had been preparing us for our time in Zambia for a very long time, and that is very cool to think about.

No comments: