People ask what has been the hardest thing about this transition and so far; I think feeling unsettled is my answer. We have been renting an older double wide home for 4 months now. It was the only home we could find available to rent.
The first couple of days we were in it, I would get overwhelmed and tell Darren, Emily and Rachel I wasn't sure I could do this. I wasn't sure I could live here. Mice poo in almost every cupboard, closet or shelf. Dirty walls. A dead rat in one closet. Hearing mice in the walls at night. No screens on the windows. No air-conditioning. Ants. Earwigs. Spiders. Oh my!
As the days went by, I would occasionally say, "this house might be growing on me" just to get a laugh. And we have had lots of laughs over many things about this house....we even named the llamas outside our windows. Darren bought a roll of screen at Walmart and duct taped it up onto 3 windows so we could have airflow. It looks ugly, but it works. I learned how to find a dead mouse in a cupboard and be okay with it. I can now squish bugs on the kitchen floor with my bare feet. We have learned to share one bathroom. I learned to make popcorn on a stove that doesn't work very well. I can actually live without a microwave, a garbage disposal or cable TV. And guess what? We could actually live with just one third of our stuff.
More importantly, I began to embrace that this is right where Jesus wanted us. He allowed us to live in this double wide home which is far nicer than many we serve here on the reservation. I needed to live it to get a glimpse of the poverty some experience. And then, as some of you know, the electric company turned off our power on a Friday afternoon and we learned what it feels like to have no power. It's a scary, hopeless feeling. Food in the fridge goes bad. It feels eerie and dark in the house.
Would you believe that this past Tuesday night, one of the youth told me their power was off at their house? The power bill was overdue. The food in their fridge was going bad there was nothing to drink. My heart felt a kindred sympathy and sadness. I whispered to Jesus, "I understand now." I don't know when their power will go back on. And I know most people here on the reservation would not have the resources we had to deal with it. Our power outage was short lived. We stayed with my aunt and uncle for a few nights. Our food was able to be salvaged.
What I've shared here is only a speck of what some are going through here on this reservation, but I'm thankful for the tiny glimpses and things Jesus is teaching me during this unsettled time.