Thursday, October 2, 2014


Today I walked out my door and felt something strange in the air.  Fall.  And happiness leapt inside of me because it meant one thing:  the end of summer.  Not that this summer was bad in any way.  

It was just miserably busy.  

July:  My parents and sis Kate visited.  Wonderful.  Kate stayed a bit extra.  Extra wonderful. We finally found an apartment in our a) budget b) neighborhood and c) close to light rail and d) aesthetic (that last one wasn't quite as necessary as the first item, but definitely a perk).  We decided to be absolutely insane and move into it in two weeks.  With me still finishing my summer class.  That I hadn't even started tinkering with my final curriculum project.  Or even having inspiration for it.

August:  We finally are free of our old apartment.  Praise Jesus for a roach-free environment (Amen, people, and hallelujer).  We have squashed the final vermin and have commenced sticking our tongues out at  our former place of residence as we pass by.  Or do other things with certain fingers that would probably make my dad laugh and make my mother middle-name me.  We moved, unpacked the majority of our stuff in three days, and spend the next week in California with my family.  We came back, continued unpacking and taking too many trips to dump stuff at the thrift store, and started school again.

September started Justin's internship as a student chaplain at one of the local hospitals.  I can't begin to tell you how great this has been for him.  But we'll talk about that in person over a latte or a glass of wine.  Because that's how we do things in the Sear household.

September was also the beginning of me recognizing my discontent.

Specifically, with our bank accounts.  I pride myself on being a good manager of our funds and being able to survive and be mostly happy on little.  I know h how all of our money goes in and out of our accounts.  How to cut down on bills.  How to effectively shop and how to make sure that little goes to waste.  But for whatever reason, all these things seemed insufficient for me the past few weeks.

Before the end of the summer madness ensued, Justin and I sat down with my boss to talk finances because I was eligible to start contributing to the 401(k) plan.  He started out by saying that nobody ever thinks they have enough money.  Even Bill and Melinda Gates (because malaria is still a problem.  They haven't cured malaria yet.  And when they do, they will just go ahead and move onto solving the problem of AIDS or world hunger or  dying bees).  He warned us that as we continue to move on in our lives and plan for the future, we will probably have similar feelings.  "And that's okay!" he says.

As he was sitting straight across from me, I thought, I will never think like that.  What we have now is just enough!

Oh, let me tell you how even the mighty have fallen.

Let's look at the price of flights back to Sacramento for Christmas.  Whelp, there goes approximately half our savings.  [Enter Discontent.]

Let's look at wanting more vacation days to be able to spend time with family for the holidays and being able to go out of town for a few days by ourselves.  [Discontent takes over my calendar.]

Let's look at our dinner menus and think about how long it has been since we've had red meat because chicken is so much cheaper.  [Discontent waltzes across my kitchen counter.]

Let's look at feeling guilty about spending thirty dollars on a pair of new shoes for work that were necessary because the old ones were getting ratty and worn.  [Discontent is worn on my feet.]

Let's look at how I asked Justin if he thought we had enough money, and then after a hefty discussion, I still cried about it.  [Discontent! My old friend--come and stay a while.]

WHEN did my heart become so discontent?  And over silly things like beef and shoes?  WHEN did I decide that what the Lord has provided isn't enough?

[Enter Jesus. And our dear friend Trevor.]

We went over to Trevor's house last Friday because his wife was out at a birthday party and we hadn't seen him (or them in general) for a while.  He was the pastor who married us.  We like him because he always asks good questions like, "So, what's hard about being married right now?  You guys doing okay?"  

We spill.  I tell him how it's a strange thing for me feeling like I can't buy a weekend ticket to visit a friend across the country once or twice a year.  It's strange for me to have to budget my vacation time to see my family instead of being able to drive two hours and spending the weekend in the house I grew up in.  It's hard feeling the well-intended pressure of people encouraging us to start saving for a down payment on a house.  

Trevor listens.  He hears.  He encourages us that we are in a season.  And that's what it is.  A season.  A season to be newlyweds and in graduate school with very little expendable money.  A season to look to the Lord, not our bank accounts, for provision.

A time for me to learn contentedness.  

And that is what I am fighting for every day.  A heart that is content.  To want the things that I have right now.  To keep trusting Jesus--His grace and provision in our lives.  

Give us neither poverty nor riches, but hearts that are content.  

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