Within the years of 2005 - 2009, I was not once within the continental United States on March 10.
2005 - Italy / Greece
2006 - Panama
2007 - China
2008 - Ireland
2009 - Switzerland
Of these five years, I spent a total of two overseas.
I have visited 27 countries, and have spent more than a month in China, Afghanistan, Switzerland, and Ireland.
I first kissed my husband in Paris.
He proposed to me in Dublin.
After we got married, we spent four months in Switzerland.
Occasionally, I look at our pictures and think, "wow, our life used to be cool."
This morning, I took care of five poop-covered bottoms before 12:30, all belonging to people other than myself.
Truthfully, I did not really think that was fun, and most certainly not cool. In fact, if Mark had been home, I would have gladly passed the joy to him.
I spend a lot of time doing menial, repetitive, unglamorous tasks. I am not kidding, I clean my house (or at least part of it) every single day. I estimate that I picked up a crying child 25 times this afternoon alone. Every time I sit on my sweet husband's lap, there is an adorable, attention-demanding 3-year old sitting on mine as well.
I loved my days of travel with Mark. We became the best of friends through endless hours on dirty trains with only chocolate sustenance ... and no showers. It is quite possible that you can experience every horrible, sinful notion during trips such as these. We often thought, "If we can work through this, we can work through anything."
I'll be honest. There is a difference. Life in the country, working for a church, attending school, running a household, and raising two children is not the same as traipsing across the globe as a young carefree couple.
Seriously? This isn't real life?
However, there is one similarity.
The fact remains that contentment does not come in our circumstances, but rather in our security and trust in the Lord. It is only as we seek to live as He desires and follow the path that He has laid for us that we are able to tackle each day (whether in China or Charlotte) with a sense of purpose and hope.
I am grateful for the Lord's guidance and direction in our lives.
I am grateful for the circumstances that we are in.
And ... I am still grateful for Mark.
(Samara took this picture.)
Lesson Learned: Contentment is not found in where we are in life, but in whom we trust.