On Being Content

It’s Tuesday and only 9:30, but it feels like it should be noon or something. Some days are like that though. Yonese has arrived and has started the pouciel (dust) attack. There’s a lot. Mostly from the wall knock down. I just resigned myself to living with it and kept telling myself she was coming in so I would let her work on it.

I mentioned the flying cement the other day. Just so you have some idea about renovating Haitian style I thought I’d share these…

The wall knock down drag out.

You can see the layer of dust on the corner of the wood cabinet on the left…BLAH!

Saturday morning…There was literally cement flying – floors, walls, doors, ceiling – everywhere!

Now you can see why this could cause possible hyperventilation.

The doorway is almost done. There was one spot where the cement wasn’t sticking so Luxon has to put another layer on it. We have to get some tiles next time we go to Port to put in the floor too so I don’t have a dirt strip to sweep. After that I’ll slap some “paint” (it’s more like colored water) on it as a make shift until we give the walls a proper coat of something that doesn’t wash off with a scrub brush.

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The last couple days have given me a bit more time to step back and think a bit. I find “be content in all circumstances” running through my head a lot. When it does I wonder, “Am I content here?” I don’t know if I have a definitive answer to that. Some days I feel like I am. Other days not so much. Some days it’s easier to get there than others.

Over the weekend when the renos were happening and I was stressing out Chris and I were talking through things and I realized that maybe I was pushing too much for things that really aren’t that important. Maybe my time is better focused on other things. I just read a book recently where one of the characters would go through a mental list of what she had. I’ve been thinking about that in light of contentment. It’s often easier to sit and think about all of the things we don’t have and want or think we need, but what about what we do have? I think my list would look like this…

~I have a wonderful husband who loves me more than I understand.
~I have the expectation of starting our family and the knowledge that God’s got all of that figured out – I believe he’s bringing the right baby to us and it’ll happen at the right time.
~I have a roof over my head and a house that doesn’t leak – many of our neighbors aren’t so lucky.
~I have a place to work where I feel the satisfaction of knowing that we’re changing lives and that God has put us here. Whether or not we get a salary is irrelevant – we do it because we’ve been called. How many people can say that about their work?
~I have two loving families and an army of friends that are supporting us and the work we’re doing.
~I have a reminder in front of me every day that sometimes our priorities in life need to change – that maybe it’s not about having, but about being.
~I have the knowledge that I am a child of God and that he has already given me everything I need for this life.

There’s a lot more that could be added, but that’s what’s in my head right now. I want to be content in all circumstances. Sometimes that’s hard, but it is possible. Sometimes the easiest way for me to get there is through gratitude. I learned that through a friend a few years ago and it really changed my outlook on things. Being thankful puts me in the position of receiver rather than wanter.

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There’s thumping and banging from upstairs. I think Chris is getting himself organized to start taking down the walls up there. I will do my job and stay out of the way. Yonese has furniture moved outside and is sweeping my walls! Whoop whoop! I have two weeks worth of laundry to fold. We line dry and last week we had a lot of rain – nuf said. Bathroom needs to be cleaned too. I started earlier by attacking the shower with muriatic acid. Yeah, bet you don’t do that back in North American! Trust me, hard water and humidity are prime breeding grounds for mold, and it’s not thoughtful when it moves it – it just takes over. If there’s anything that can damage a housekeepers ego it’s looking at a shower full of mold. The acid trick was passed on by a friend, and as scary as it sounds it works wonders. Actually, it’s the only thing I’ve found here that works. I’m learning all sorts of weird and wonderful things here.
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This entry was posted in thinking out loud, this is haiti by Leslie. Bookmark the permalink.

About Leslie

I'm Leslie. Wife. Mother. Missionary. In the day to day my husband and I are responsible for running Clean Water for Haiti, a humanitarian mission that builds and distributes water filters to Haitian families. Living in Haiti full time provides lots of stories, and as I tell my husband, our grandkids probably won't believe most of them. Maybe writing them down will give me some credibility.

4 thoughts on “On Being Content

  1. Your post made me smile. As a mom, I hope my kids can feel this contentment with whatever work they seek out in life. Renovations are extremely hard and chaotic (just went through one myself – our couches were in our kitchen for six weeks :) WITH boys running around constantly with school out. Whew!) I have to say, with every ‘hard’ situation, I’ve come out stronger and able to deal with more – go figure.I hope things go very smoothly with the adoption :) keep us posted :)

  2. So whose shoe toe are you going to use to “rub off” the cement? A benefit to using your own would be the rather immediate need for a new pair of shoes. Another benefit could be proof that women need shoes, they are out tools. (Men understand tools) As such they require special racks and a wide variety is necessary. We all know one must have the right tool for the job. Yes? If this doesn’t work you can always give the cement the muriatic acid treatment.Speaking as someone whose house has been undergoing renovations for five months; Leslie, you win the blue ribbon prize for good attitude. Barb ;)

  3. Hi Leslie,I found your blog through the Livesays and stop by occastionally to see what you’re up to. I can appreciate your thoughts…it is not easy at all to find contentment in all things, but you are right, it is possible. I was reading Ecclesiasties this morning…it had me thinking about this and what is truly meaningful.Keep it up and may God bless you and your ministry as you are doing the work He called you to.

  4. Hey Barb!The cement clean up was actually less labour intense than previously expected – mostly because I made the guys do it! They were able to get most of it off with a broom and mop. I just followed with a piece of steel wool to get the little bits. Erika – I checked out your blog. I like the paint colors and the floors are beautiful! I really, really like the pumpkin color :)

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