After 20 or so years the smell of a giant can of green beans warmed up for hungry Elementary kids still smells the same. The smell also does not leave immediately, it lingers. It smells ‘fresh’ but at the same time metallic. It was a smell that brought warm emotions and pieces of memories of school. I wouldn’t buy a candle that smelled like canned green beans but it is a smell that evokes sweet memories of people and places.
The memory evoking aroma of green beans followed me all the way to the gym where my two oldest were attending a basketball ‘camp.’ Standing outside of the gym filled with squeaking sneakers and sweaty kids was a heard of parents and grandparents.
We are still ‘new’ to my husbands home town (just over a year) but then we were especially new. As I approached the gym I was unsure of who to start some chit chat with. We were just coming off a short stint of homeschooling and any chance to talk about ANYTHING was very welcome. I spotted the lady who worked with us at the bank to get us the mortgage for our home. She is also a long time family friend of my hubby’s family. I knew there would be no shortage of words with her.
Without chatting about the weather. Without talking about the fun the kids were having. Not even a mention of how the whole school smelled of institutional sized green beans. She jumped right in
“Katie I am so glad you live here. You do know THIS is where you are SUPPOSE TO live.”
All I could say is “I could not agree more.” with a huge smile on my face.
My husband has wanted to live around this area for 5-6 years. I would say a year into his first job in ND he would have liked to jump off the ND ship and head back ‘home’. I on the other hand loved the space we had and the community we were establishing. He never put much fuss up about it. He had more than a couple calls about jobs in this area while we were in ND. Some of them sounded great enough to make the drive to interview and others not so much. I tell people that the phone call about the job interview (not the job he ended up at) came when we were on the beach in Mexico so…I was very relaxed and had an adult beverage in my hand so I am sure that contributed to me saying “Ya for sure I think you should call them” Which lead to “Regardless of what job you end up with we need a place to live we need to go look at houses”…
I had been pretty convicted that once our oldest started Kindergarten we were NOT moving back to MN. In my head we were to established if we had kids in the school. There is a cheese ball saying “If you want to hear God laugh tell him your plans”. In my life that cheese ball phrase could not be more true.
A lot happens in our lives that we do not expect or plan for.
I can assure you I did not have a pregnancy in my plans when my oldest came along.
I can assure you I did not think I would meet my husband on a dating website.
I can assure you I did not think I would live 90 miles from a Target at any point in my life but I did it for 7 years.
I was suppose to have an unplanned pregnancy.
I was suppose to meet my husband on the internet.
I was suppose to live in ND for 7 years.
I get it. Coming home pregnant from Oktoberfest is not something many youth pastors would say a young woman should do. And I would agree with that and believe that sex outside of marriage is not what God wants. I also have to believe that God’s ways are higher than my ways. God is always in control. God has never abandoned me. Each and every step of my path the awesome things and the crappy things God has been in control of it all.
God was completely aware of everything that was happening to Job. Job lost all of his Children, his wealth, and finally his health. Job is a hard book to read for that very reason. It’s also a hard read because of the hurtful things his ‘friends’ or ‘counselors’ say to him. In that hardship God was still in control. God was still with Job.
Joseph is also an Illustration of this. He was thrown in a pit and left for dead by his brothers. Taken in to slavery. Things were looking good for a while until Potipher’s wife didn’t get what she wanted and accused him of molesting her. Because of the accusation Joseph was thrown into jail. He eventually is rescued when the kings baker remembers him and his God given ability to interpret dreams. The position Joseph help with the Egyptians is eventually the reason that the lineage of Jesus did not starve to death during the widespread famine. God knew everything that would happen to Job and Joseph. God knew every choice they would make and the others around them would make. God was putting in a plan of action to redeem it all. (You can find the account of Joseph in Genesis chapter 37-50)
He knew everything that would happen to me, every choice I would make, every step I would take and he came to redeem it all.
This is right where we are suppose to be because this is right where we are. God came to redeem us and our lives. Here is a quote from Liturgy of the Ordinary by Tish Warren Harrison:
“Christ didn’t redeem my life theoretically or abstractly-the life I dreamed of living or the life I think I ideally should be living. He knew I’d be in today as it is, in my home where it stands, in my relationships with their specific beauty and brokenness, in my particular sins and struggles.”
-Tish Warren Harrison, Liturgy of the Ordinary.