Learning to Love Where You Are

After my first trip to Asia I declared I was never eating rice again. After consuming this staple for breakfast, lunch and supper for 5 weeks (except for the one or two times I ate Western food out of desperation), I felt I had eaten enough for a lifetime.

Then I moved here, of course. And you want to know something funny? It has grown on me. I have gotten particular even about how I like my rice- just the right combination of a little bit chewy and not too mushy. I don’t eat rice every meal but normally once a day. I actually enjoy it. I’m not quite to the I’m-not-full-if-I-don’t-have-rice level of the Cambodians, but I’m not sick of it anymore at least!

There are plenty of things that frustrate me about life here, but if I only dwell on those things I will be packing my bags for a different location pretty quickly. I don’t think it matters if it is where we find ourselves on the globe, or the season of life we might be in, we need to love where we are or at least enjoy something about where we are. We should put down roots, embrace the good and deal with the not-so-good. We can look for the gifts God gives in the midst of each day’s joys and trials.

In an effort to curb my heart’s bent on complaining as of late, here are a few gifts I have enjoyed from my Heavenly Father.

– The grin of the motorcycle taxi driver who gets chosen for our morning run to the market.
– Washing dishes with running water (as opposed to hauling it from the back tank)
– Paleo brownies altered to fit our current diet and resources
– People who want to be our friends
– The sound of rain dripping off the tin roof
– Sellers who wonder where we’ve been if we haven’t bought their produce for a couple of days
– Rain that waters the earth after stretches of dry days

Romans 12:1 (The Message) So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life– your sleeping, eating, going-to-work and walking-around life– and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him.

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