Pleasant Places

I tossed and turned a lot last night. Tuan is out of town and I don't sleep well when he's gone. But with each waking in the night, waves of gratefulness kept sweeping over me.

I think that's the theme of this season of my life: gratefulness. After some wild and crazy and hard and good years, where we saw the LORD move in incredible ways to guide and provide for us--even as we struggled with the means of His provision, I'm just so thankful for right now.

Our hearts beat for camping--for serving this gospel ministry and the staff who do it. In the season where the LORD took us away from camping (and provided in amazing ways!), I wrestled so much with contentment and this question: Is Jesus enough? Could I be content just in Him, even if the door to camp never opened again and we stayed in our current situation for the rest of our days? I think I was just beginning to dig into the depths of my heart on the matter when this job was offered. Lots of folks said, "of course you'll go back into camping!" However, I knew that the LORD might not do that, and my heart needed to be okay with his leading. It was a similar situation to the chaplain who told me when Aubrey was in the NICU (and all was uncertain), that "your baby is going to be just fine." Well, no. God hasn't promised those things. Can He? Absolutely. Will He? I don't know. I only know what He has promised in His word.

I'm in a bit of a skeptical place where when I hear outside-the-Bible advice and wisdom, that I question it. "Is what you're so passionate about declaring as true for the mourner, the wounded, the refugee and the oppressed as it is for me?"

So here we are. The Ebenezers are piling up and I'm just savoring HIS kind mercies and graces. It isn't always easy, but its good. I'm deeply thankful that Tuan loves his work and that the kids have friends to play with. I'm thankful for the staff and every chance I get to talk with someone and hear their stories. I'm thankful for a church family to get to know. As the psalmist said, "the lines have fallen for me in pleasant places". Then again, they always have. It's just easier to see it right now.

Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
  I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord;
I have no good apart from you.”

  As for the saints in the land, they are the excellent ones,
in whom is all my delight.

  The sorrows of those who run after another god shall multiply;
their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out
or ltake their names on my lips.

  The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup;
you hold my lot.
  The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.

  I bless the Lord who gives me counsel;
in the night also my heart instructs me.
  I have set the Lord always before me;
because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.
             Therefore my heart is glad,              and my whole being rejoices;
my flesh also dwells secure.
  For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol,
or let your holy one see corruption.

  You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Psalm 16

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