Saturday, September 13, 2008

Ten Reasons to Love the Desert




When we first moved here, I hated the desert.  In fact, I had already decided BEFORE we moved here that I was going to hate it.  And that decision wasn't made when I found out we were moving here -- I already knew I would hate living in this wilderness years before, when, as my DH and I drove through Wikiup, Arizona and we saw a big billboard advertising forty-acre lots for $15,000, he says, "Sal!  Do you see that?! Look how cheap land is out here! We could buy forty acres and move here someday!"  He sounded like he was joking, but somehow, at that moment, I just knew he would jump at the chance if it ever came along.  If I remember right, I stared at him in disbelief, and when I got over my mild shock, with all my wifely submission having flown right out the window, I simply said, "NEVER."  I swallowed hard.  "There's nothing out here but rattlesnakes!  There would be nothing at all romantic about living in this hostile wasteland!"   I think I might have threatened to go home to Mother if he even thought about it. Sure, before we were married I agreed to go anywhere with him, told him I could be happy anywhere as long as we were together and all that romantic kind of talk, but I was assuming he would never want to live anywhere I wouldn't!

Well, you know what they say.  Never say never.  A few years went by, and we were living in Kansas.  Once in a while I would see my DH poring over the Arizona page of the atlas, and I would give him one of those looks we women use.  Little did I know he had actually been praying about moving out here!  That's cheating, don't you think?  Well, the opportunity did come and when it did, he was mentally ready to go.  It was one of those "Honey, while you pray for us to know God's will, I'll start packing" sort of things. 

So you see, my mind was already made up a long time ago.  I just wasn't going to like it.  ...Forward five years.  Here we still are.  Living in the desert has been exactly what I expected, except for the fact that we have not seen one live poisonous creature since we moved in. It's hot and it's dusty, it's brown and it's hostile, and, well, it's just men's territory. Men and boys love this stuff for playing in.  I think it makes them feel manly.   My DH gets on his mountain bike and climbs a grueling mountain "just because it's there", and I think maybe when he finds a wild and lonely place out there, he becomes Terrell Sackett (you have to know Louis L'Amour) until he has to make his way back down the mountain and back to his definitely non-Sackett wife.

But you know what?  Something life-changing happened recently.  I had a recollection of a day long, long ago, when I was maybe ten years old, when a missionary visited the church where I grew up. I remember hardly anything about her and nothing of what she said, but I do remember that I told the Lord I would go anywhere he wanted me to serve him -- except AFRICA!! Oh God, please don't send me to Africa!  And the Lord was faithful to answer my prayer.  He has not sent me to Africa.  (Well, almost.  But we don't have lions or  hyenas here, and we don't have termites devouring everything made of wood.)  When I thought about that, I felt very ashamed that  I had come here with such a bad, unwilling attitude, in the very place where I knew he wanted me to be!  Here I have been in rebellion against his will for nearly five years.  No wonder I didn't like the desert.  No one can be truly happy or content when they are in rebellion against the Lord.  As much as  I love the Lord Jesus Christ and want to be used of him, my heart simply was not submitted to his authority over me as his child. 

I decided that I had to find some things about the desert to thank the Lord for, or else I was going to shrivel up and die out here, and it would be because of my own selfish attitude.  I confessed my willfulness to the Lord, telling him I was sorry for my hard-heartedness, and immediately I felt a weight lifted from my heart. When I began to make a list of the good things about where I live, I could only think of one positive thing. LOL! (How pathetic!) Now I'm up to ten eleven  twelve thirteen oops, I have one listed twice. Okay, seventeen. The desert kind of grows on you. (I can't believe I'm saying this.) Here is my list so far, and as I come up with more things, I'll add them to this post:

1•  We have no mosquitoes!
2•  We have no grass to mow.
3•  The climate is comfortably dry, at least after you get used to it.
4•  Lots of sunshine.
5•  No mold or mildew!
6•  We have a clean, clear, algae-free lake.
7•  No hurricanes/blizzards/earthquakes!
8•  No snow, snow-shoveling, snow tires, salt-induced rust, heavy winter clothes.
9•  My clothesline is the super, extraordinary rapid-dry model.
10•  Gorgeous sunsets (due to all that nice dust in the air)!
11•  There are people I love here!
3 again•  The dry air really is comfortable after you get used to it.  The cracked lips learn how to stay moisturized,  and that sharp, pointy booger sensation in your nostrils goes away. And you quit drinking a gallon of water every half hour.
12•  When it is -40°F in Minnesota, I will be enjoying 65° F! LOL!  (Thanks for reminding me, Jane!)
13•  Glorious fall mornings.
14•  No neck ache from hunched shoulders, to keep the cold wind from blowing down my jacket. 
15•  No jacket!! (yet)
16•  This time of year, all the windows are open at night.
17•  Some interesting spiritual applications can be made here:
 ~"The rebellious dwell in a dry land" Ps 68:6.  Oh me!  (There are lots of rebels here besides me.)
 ~"But lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tempted God in the desert." Ps 106:14  Oh me, oh my!
 ~" Behold, as wild asses in the desert, go they forth to their work;"  Job 24:5  We have quite a few wild asses locally, and I do mean this in the literal sense, lol.
 ~"For in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.  And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water:" Is.35:6,7  We're definitely parched around here.
 ~"Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain:"  We have lots of rough and crooked places around here (it's all rough and crooked!), and we have mountains and valleys, too!
 ~"Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD. For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited."Jer 17:5,6   It's definitely a salt land, and mostly uninhabited.  I'm thankful to have a city here!
 ~And last, this one is a fright! "They soon forgat his works; they waited not for his counsel: But lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tempted God in the desert.  And HE GAVE THEM THEIR REQUEST;  BUT SENT LEANNESS UNTO THEIR SOUL." Ps 106:13-15.  This is why I never ask God to move us away from here -- I'm afraid he'll answer my prayer and give me something worse! lol!

I don't mind the desert so much any more.   Heh heh, actually, I'm kind of glad to be here! 

15 comments:

  1. What is that whole never say never thing? I distinctly remember my dh saying that he would never do the kind of work he does here in the country we were in. I always said I would never live in the town we are living in and you know what? We wouldn't change it now unless we knew His Grace for this time and place had left. I am so glad to see your thankful list. Every now and then I need to remind myself to replace discontent with gratitude. I could do with some of your dry heat. The humidity here has outstayed its welcome for this season.

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  2. And some of us out here in the desert are nice people.. LOL..


    Kristy

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  3. Coming by to say hi and catching up with my blog readings. Thankfully my hubby likes this place where we live cause I was reading him your blog and he was acting like he liked the thought of living in the desert. lol Oh no, never will I read my friends blogs to hubby again. lol

    The good points about living there does sounds good but I don't know about the other points that arent mentioned. lol

    Have a great day.

    Dot

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  4. LOL - In reading your post, I thought of myself nearly 27 years ago when my hubby moved me to that gorgeous town of Tonopah, Nevada. (Ever been there? Makes where you live look like the Emerald City!) I was SO miserable there until a lovely, Christian friend sat me down and told me that the Lord had put me there for a reason and to "bloom where He had planted me". Thank goodness, I listened to her advice and learned to love it! Being there allowed us to travel to Arizona and I fell in love and wanted to live here. I LOVED the cactus and, while we didn't move where all the cactus were, I've grown to love this area and it's really my home.


    I'm so glad you're finding things to love about the desert. It truly can be spectacular and there are so many things to love. I love your list! I'm going to have to make one for myself - good thing to do where ever we live!


    Have a wonderful and blessed week!!


    God bless you ~ Julie

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  5. Hi, again! Tonopah, NV is half way between Las Vegas and Reno in the middle of no where. Honestly. Tonopah makes Ely look like the big city!! Ely is huge compared to Tonopah. LOL We had one Mom & Pop grocery store that got fruits and veggies in on Mondays only and if you didn't get there first thing, you were out of luck for the week! We had a hardware store, a 5 and 10 cent store, a drug store, and a couple of little stores thrown in for good measure. When I was back there in 1995, most of the stores had closed. There was a large grocery store that did come in while I still lived there and it's still there as far as I know. The hardware store, drug store and little 5 & 10 cent store were gone. Lots of casinos there, of course. I used to go to Ely with my hubby and thought I was in the big city! No kidding!!


    There is a Tonopah, AZ, but I've never been there. Sometime, I'd like to see what it's like.


    It was fun reminiscing! Thanks for asking!


    God bless you ~ Julie

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  6. Wow! Look at this amazing progress!! I think 5 years isn't even that long for being petulant; some people do it their whole lives!

    I am looking forward to visiting the desert next year! I like a nice sunset.

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  7. Well, you're a much better woman than I. I have tried to like the desert, and in fact do like portions of it. I love the mountains, and I love the sunsets and twilight sky. On the other hand, I have a hubby that is more eager to leave than I am, so there's not much incentive for me to open my mind and heart.


    I am so glad for you that this change has taken place, though, because our mental attitudes are 100% of our successes or failures. Yay!!


    Okay, off to get coffee... my comments sound like gibberish when I read them back...


    Have a wonderful day!

    Shani

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  8. I loved this entry. I could definitely relate. I was this way about the city. I was raised in a family of homesteaders before homesteading was popular or had a name. The city was the place of evil. Of course, education and work forced me here, but I was whiny for nearly 20 years (at least it only took you five). I finally accepted that this was where God had called me to and decided to be thankful. I feel better, but you know that feeling too.


    Now, of course, I have to undo the damage I've done to the children by whining about city life and promoting country living. :-/

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  9. I just popped over from Cahanbury's blog to tell you that I think you made a great comment- wonderful way to look at inturruptions! Thanks so much!

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  10. And don't forget to add that it's pleasant there when it's -40 here. :)


    I think most people aren't content living where they are - perhaps we all should have one big moving day. I'm not 100% happy where we are at, but at least we don't have any major natural disasters and thankfully all tornados have missed us thus far. Just getting back from camping, I'm just thankful for indoor toilets.

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  11. Thank you for posting this!!! It's amazing how 'things' change when we recognize we're in the Lord's will for our lives!!


    Arizona, for my family, is Canaan!! We lived in the 'desert' while surrounded by all this beautiful greenery and yet life was miserable. By being obedient to Him, He brought us here way before we thought we'd be able to come!!! I seem to be a rare breed of those who love the desert, right from the beginning. It must be because I know, without a shadow of a doubt, we're smack dab in the middle of His perfect will for us!!!


    I think you might be surprised how that list will grow and grow and you'll actually start to love things!!


    Blessings to you and yours,

    Robyn

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  12. I'm not sure how I'd do in the desert these days. But I have such wonderful memories of living in California with the Mojave Desert as my backyard!


    Your list made me wonder if we should move there! =D

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  13. I must say, that the Lord has been leading us to Arizona as well and I like you have been struggling with the thoughts of living there. I looked at all the negatives and let me tell you I TOLD the Lord every one of them incase HE didn't know!! LOL. I needed what you posted about the desert. I am giving my fears (those snakes, spiders, scorpins, etc...) and frustrations to the Lord. He knows what is best!! Why do I even try to help Him out?!??


    Thank you for your openess and sharing your life with me. I enjoy reading your blog. You are an answer to prayer that was needed. I can now say, "Yes, Lord, I will follow my husband with a good attitude and try not to make it hard." Thanks!!!

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  14. twistedsisterinChristSeptember 24, 2008 at 4:33 PM

    I had to smile. My husband and I met in Tucson. We moved a few years after that. We now live in Kansas. My husband is always looking at the Atlas and ending up on the Arizona page. If he can get stationed there after his year in the Middle East desert, I know he would move in a heart beat. Might be meeting you sooner than later.

    Twisted.

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  15. WOW! That post spoke to my heart! Many years ago my husband was in the AirForce and we were in NM. I LOVED the desert - the sun sets were the best and I loved being outside in December! We have moved often and are now in NH. I was born here but have never liked it. I hate the very long cold winters and the amount of clothes one has to wear to try to feel there feet! So I am going to make a list of 10 things I like about NH. It may take me a while but I plan to pray about it, do and post if all over the house to remind me that God put me here so learn to love it. Thanks for the wonderful and gentle "kick in the pants" Lynn Marie

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