No, this is not a post about a particularly hearty bowl of chicken broth.
It's about me.
About the *stuff* that I'm made of.
*Sturdy: healthy, strong, vigorous, stalwart, rugged, tough
*Stock: lineage, family, ancestry, descent
When I moved to the mountains I thought I would fit in just fine. After all, I reasoned, I still go tent camping, sleeping right on the ground. I have an inner *pioneer woman* whose heart loves the wilderness. A new mountain home should be a piece of cake.
I thought so…
However, to my great dismay, I have found that there lurks within me a remnant of *Off the Hill*, California, "DIVA girl" behavior.
There's no other way to explain the hissy fits I've been having lately.
When you live in a remote(ish) area, there are many challenges to face. Most are just a matter of convenience.
Like living in a two-story house for the first time - (I've fallen twice). Like busing your own trash to the dump. Like driving into town to get the mail. Like having to drive down the hill to go to the bank, or CVS, or a mainstream market. (Or any sort of "chain" place…I mostly miss Subway).
Yes, we do have a gas station in town – if you want to spend around 30 cents/gallon more. (I don't…)
And the snow.
Beautiful, and fun to play in – not so much fun to travel in. Just ask Eddie, my car.
And it's really, really cold. I'm just not used to having to bundle up in my own house.
You see, we're trying to save on heating costs – propane is WAY more expen$$$ive than natural gas, by the way. (Yes, I hear you people in the Midwest and back East - or anywhere else with snow - chuckling at my naivete…)
So, I have been confronted on a regular basis by things that are just downright inconvenient – including a remodeled kitchen that isn't quite done yet. (Oh, boo hoo). And then, there are some things that are frustrating, difficult, bothersome, and challenging.
I thought I was a pioneer woman.
I have come to find out – I am a wimp.
I am very dismayed about this.
I really, really thought that I was NOT a typical prima donna diva…
I don't get my nails done, I don't wear much makeup, my hair is colored but not immaculately styled. I don't wear designer clothes or high heels – in fact, mountain clothing is one of my favorite things up here.
But, I am evidently a convenience junkie – who is woefully challenged when challenged.
I am not Abraham – who left his homeland with faith and fortitude.
I am an Israelite, whining about the meat back in Egypt.
On a semi-regular basis, "The Hub" asks me:
"What is wrong with you?"
And all too often I reply:
"It's hard living up here."
The Lord and I have had many talks about this. About why He has brought me up here. I'm still struggling with it. Wrestling with the struggles. Trying to "make peace" with my new home. Especially with the fact that it does NOT feel like home to me.
At some level, I feel like this is a spiritual battle.
Evidently I am also a bit of a faith diva, too.
When the going gets tough, I want to get going…in the opposite direction.
(Jonah is my soul brother).
I don't think the enemy wants me up here. I'm not sure why. But I know that God prompted this move. And that fact alone accounts for the spiritual warfare.
That's part of what I'm learning – if God wants you somewhere, Satan will fight against you. First he'll try to keep you from going. And if that doesn't work, then he'll try to keep you unhappy and ineffective where you are.
I'm thinking about those Israelites again.
Yes, they moved when God said move.
But then they spent years grumbling about it. They fought against His clear direction, they did not appreciate His constant presence, they missed His blessings for want of something else.
I am convicted.
Another thing about those Israelites. They never saw the Promised Land.
I am reminded of a certain scouting report:
"After exploring the land for forty days, the men returned…They reported to the whole community what they had seen and showed them the fruit they had taken from the land. This was their report to Moses: 'We entered the land you sent us to explore, and it is indeed a bountiful country—a land flowing with milk and honey. Here is the kind of fruit it produces. But the people living there are powerful, and their towns are large and fortified. We even saw giants there, the descendants of Anak! The Amalekites live in the Negev, and the Hittites, Jebusites, and Amorites live in the hill country. The Canaanites live along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea and along the Jordan Valley.'"
(translated into Sharon-speak): "It's so hard here."
"But Caleb tried to quiet the people as they stood before Moses. 'Let's go at once to take the land,' he said. 'We can certainly conquer it!'
But the other men who had explored the land with him disagreed. 'We can't go up against them! They are stronger than we are!' So they spread this bad report about the land among the Israelites: 'The land we traveled through and explored will devour anyone who goes to live there. All the people we saw were huge. We even saw giants there…Next to them we felt like grasshoppers, and that's what they thought, too!'" (from Numbers 13, NLT)
(translated into Sharon-speak): "It's so hard here."
Those ten spies were divas, in my opinion. And they got the whole bunch of Israelites complaining. A bitter spirit is easily spread. And it grows once it is given a foothold. I know – I've got some bitter roots that have taken hold in my heart.
Only Caleb and Joshua saw the possibility in the new land.
Because their eyes were firmly fixed on the Lord's presence and power – not on the obstacles.
Whining is for wimps – courage is for conquerors.
So, I'm praying…hard.
Because I want to see the Promised Land up here. I want to see God in all of this.
I want to be made of sturdier stock.
I want to be one of the two spies who looked to the future and said with spiritual faith and fortitude:
"We will surely conquer the land."
Lord, please help me to focus on You. Take my eyes off the difficulties, and show me the opportunities and blessings that are just waiting for me up here. Give me direction this year. Uproot my bitterness, quiet my complaining, melt my stubborn and stony heart. Grant me the courage to be a conqueror.
Make this mountain my home.
"'The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good. If the Lord is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us. Only do not rebel against the Lord. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will devour them. Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us. Do not be afraid of them.'" (Numbers 14:7-9, NIV)
Sharon of Sturdy Stock
(YES! That is a knee brace - my version of sturdy! LOL!)
What's keeping you from entering your Promised Land?
Linked today with:
Joan at SHARING HIS BEAUTY
Michelle at HEAR IT ON SUNDAY, USE IT ON MONDAY
Tracy at WINSOME WEDNESDAY
Charlotte at SPIRITUAL SUNDAYS
BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"