It wasn’t long ago that I heard a lesson on how some great men of God in the Old Testament lived in tents rather than houses.
They did so because they needed to be flexible to go where God sent them. When I gave this some thought, I was surprised at how little flexibility I’m comfortable with in my life.
Yes, we have moved and traveled for work… A LOT… yet I don’t think that we have joyfully offered up that flexibility to God.
We started following the military’s orders… going where they sent us. Then because we were used to that lifestyle of often moving… we have spent the remaining years moving with our work.
While we go… there is always a huge part of me that wants that forever house. I want to plant trees to watch them grow. I would like to spend time outside, customizing a yard and space to be enjoyed for years.
And there have been times when we were stubborn and said… yep this is it for us… we are planting our roots here. Here we stay.
And then there we go.
I guess I gave myself credit for putting on a brave face and heading forward… although I often found myself looking back… dang we all know what happened to Lot’s wife when she did that. While I didn’t turn to salt, I did drag along a big ole bag of “I don’t wanna”.
Leaving Oklahoma for Illinois the first year of our marriage was straight up difficult.
The amount of snow there and the proximity to the base, found me with a library full of reading materials and a tiny little attic apartment in which to hibernate in.
It took straight up bribery for him to lure me out of the house into the bitter Great Lake cold for any reason at all.
Our military moves weren’t quite so dramatic… maybe because we had a choice.
In the Navy at that time, they would give them choices of duty stations for their rate and rank, so we would make a list and we always got choice one or two… and the one time they tried to send us somewhere crazy like Iceland… well our little allergic to everything baby made that impossible.
When we left California for Utah, we were leaving behind the military lifestyle and my heart was firmly set in the cliffs of Point Loma, San Diego… where I could see the waves break from the ocean and the security of military housing was a nice warm blanket.
However, as civilians we couldn’t stay there… so off to the best offer which was in Utah.
When we left Texas for Idaho, oh how I struggled with that move. My heart cried so hard to stay in Texas. I had friends, we were close to the beach and the families. The wilds of Idaho were so far from the busy life we had created for ourselves.
When his company transferred us from Idaho to Montana, I wept. I straight up wept… I had been in Idaho just long enough to fall completely in love with my little log cabin with the red door on the side of a mountain.
The views and the quiet were without reproach. Driving into Montana, I was still crying… just a puddle of pity, following that U-haul.
There would be several more moves thrown in there… are you dizzy yet? And throughout them all, I was begrudgingly flexible… but I wasn’t “living in a tent” flexible.
So my 2018 goal is to step back… outside of “self” and to look at the bigger picture. My goal is to adapt and bend.
I want to stretch in my relationships with others and be more flexible. I want to adapt to the changes around me with a joyful heart, not tearful look backs.
And if that means another move, well I will probably cry loudly and drag my feet because I love North Dakota so much… but I hope that by embracing flexibility with a heart like Christ, I will find myself putting aside my pride and being more accommodating to situations and people around me.
Kalynn Brazeal is a conservative, Christian wife/mom/country girl carrying around an MBA, several decades of business experience and a strong opinion. Dividing her time between Grand Lake and North Dakota, she continues to share her column on life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness and cake. She can be reached by email at email@example.com.