What are your temptations? The things that cause a direct rift between what you know is best for you and your reality?
We all have them. Sometimes they’re small little temptations that sit on the sidelines in boxes that we can indulge in from time to time. Sometimes, though, they’re big. They occupy our thoughts and our desires and our energy and they pull us from what we know is better.
Mine? Mine happens to live in those beautiful western North Carolina mountains that I long for (and write about) all the time.
There’s nothing WRONG with mountains. There’s not even anything wrong about the specific mountains that my heart has its own little affair with. The problem is where my heart prioritizes those mountains.
Lately – life has been BUSY. Our house has been filled with friends, with kids of friends, and with the chaos (amazing, filling chaos!) that it brings. Outside it’s blooming (literally) with hard work and sweat that we’ve put into building this house into a home that we can feel at ease in for the long term. Our work lives have been hectic as we (John and I) are both achievers who are driven to help the organizations we work for and with find success. Oh yeah, and we’ve been working on publishing my first book (which has become a true joint project between us, occupying many late nights!).
These are not only good things, but they’re also things that we feel God has put us here for. Our moving to this specific city and this specific street are not happenstance. It wasn’t an accident or our own whim. We feel firmly that we were PLACED here to keep our doors open, to help our kids learn and flourish, and to accomplish kingdom plans that are not based in our own dreams, but in the plan that’s so much bigger.
This summer, we were set to go back. It’s nothing new, we try to take yearly (at least) trips back to Asheville. While there, we stock up on food. We remember key points in our kids’ lives and we reconnect with those dear friends we love so much. Harmless. Right?
Most of the time? Yes.
This year? It wouldn’t be good.
Leaving those mountains is hard every single time. Coming home means tears. It means looking up vacation cabins to buy or build. It means obsessively planning the next trip. It means I (and “we” as a whole family) are sidetracked and unable to focus on what amazing things have been happening in our lives here.
Sometimes, it’s okay. This year? This year we are establishing roots, roots that have taken two whole years and then some more to grow. We are focusing forward when visiting that place that’s so dear to our hearts would cause backward longing.
We love to “go.” But this year, our (“my” if I’m being extra specific) heart needs a little extra protection. This year, we will “stay.” Staying is hard, but this year, going would be harder.
When have you had to take an extra step to protect your heart? When was your answer “Stay?”