Sometimes I think the angle I choose to view my life from (and thus often the picture I portray on this blog) comes across as a bit glamorous.
“She travels the country in a big RV, schooling her children and eating real food while seeing the world alongside her wonderful husband.”
Um, yeah. Sounds glamorous to me, too. But here’s a little slice of reality…
We have left all that is familiar and moved to the deep south in the middle of one of our country’s hottest summers and are living in a converted bus between two vacant homes in the middle of a trailer park that owns the reputation of a slum.
As an artist, I particularly feel the absence of beauty in my new surroundings, all though the grass in my lot does look better after I spent every morning last week picking bag-fulls of broken toys, crushed beer bottles, game pieces, stuffing, empty medicine tubes, and crumbled Styrofoam—shards of a discarded life—left by evicted tenants.
The first time I watched as my husband mediated a dispute between tenants, my stomach churned and my throat grew tight. It was uncomfortable to see the depravity of a life without God or boundaries or grace–live, right before my eyes. The park is full of children of detached or entirely absent parents, victims of recession, and people who have never been given the chance to live for anyone but themselves.
And life on the bus. As much as I love it, it has its drawbacks. My hips are covered with bruises from navigating small children through bathroom routines in a bathroom made for one, waif-like person at a time (Waif-like I am not). I must be as tidy as a Dutch women or we won’t be able to navigate to the door, and the sugar ants will take over if I leave one crumb of food out after a meal.
I realize this post may have begun to sound like a rant (which I try to only do in person, pardon me) but I really just wanted to set the stage for this testimony:
I am content. In fact, I’m as happy as a stray dog in a trailer park. (oh, man, I can’t believe I just allowed that analogy). The Lord has given me incredible grace this summer to see this interruption of regularly scheduled programing as an exciting, life-changing adventure.
When beauty-starved, forced to look deeper to feed our souls, it’s amazing what comes to light. (<—Tweet this!)
I love the thunderstorms we get nearly every evening. I’ve taken time to notice the textured painting of raindrops on a puddle for the first time in years. I gasp at vivid colors on a beetle’s back. I’m embracing this season sans-distractions to invest deeply in my children and delight in their youth.
It’s all a matter of perspective. My life is not glamorous, and yet, when I look at from just the right angle, I see a glint of diamonds.
Do you see your life as glamorous? Would someone in a third-world country view it as such? When’s the last time you viewed your life from an angle that shows off its bright spots?