Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Lessons from the hill :: dance together...toward home

Lessons from the hill 2

I have lived in Budapest, Hungary for the last two years {Though, for the next 2 months, we’re back in the States}. This series,“lessons from the hill :: the keeping grace”, is all about the things God teaches me as I take 20 minutes a day to walk a hill by our flat.  This post is part 2 about how concentric circles help us order what we love.

One of the biggest struggles I have had living overseas is common to many, I think.

How do I spend my time?

There will never be enough time in the day to get everything done. If there is for you, then I’d like to meet you and hear all your secrets;)

The struggle has become greater as it just takes more time to do most things in another country. Shopping. Cooking. Laundry. Forming Relationships. Talking…

My brain has been a little crazy these last two years. At the hardest points, I had some pretty strong anxiety and knew that I needed, needed, needed some ways to center myself in this new life.

The Lord,  the utmost of gracious and kind, as I poured out my heart to him and begged for His peace, gave me the picture of concentric circles.

Jared and Abby #1 

As I saw the circles, I was impressed with my stripped bare can’t-do-anything-well life. I had the opportunity to add the layers of importance God’s way. And He wanted me to see my marriage : the loving, honoring, cheerleading, praying for with heart of hearts as my #1 human relationship. The intimately linked next circle after loving God and receiving His love.

It may not sound earth-shattering, but somehow it was.

I had let the heart-deep, searing, knowing of this proper love-ordering grow dull. For me, it’s been the transitions, the packing, the endless goodbyes and tentative hellos, the language-learning and babies in the midst. It’s like the parable of the sower. Between rocks of bitterness, lack of thankfulness, whining {yes, little brat whining} or the weeds of worry, exhaustion, loneliness, desire for control, playing mommy-martyr, etc. I had lost the little girl wonder and joy of a life-long love affair with my best friend.

And God, being rich in mercy and grace, brought me to another country, let me go through fire and pain, in order to surrender all sense of worth in other things. 

It’s an achingly beautiful place.

A place where I was hungry to hear the words of life. Ready to lay it all down and take up Him.
It felt so freeing to see how drawing close to God, loving and knowing Him and being loved and known by Him, would lead me home to my husband in ways that revive, refresh, and renew. This truly is an easy yoke and the rightness of heart in honoring this one human relationship above all others brings great peace.

Jared and Abby #2 
Since that dawning of a few months ago, I can say that I see it. I really see in my life how connected it is--that singular heart of loving God above all others and then loving my husband in that next closest place. It both centers and strengthens my intimacy in that chord of three strands as we dance toward Home.

Linking with Laura, Jen and Michelle 
and a new first-but-not-last Sheila @ To Love Honor & Vacuum



  1. Thank you for this, Abby - so much truth here, and I am so thankful for how God has led you to this place during your two years in Hungary. And I am also thankful to have you back writing, and sharing your heart here. I look forward to hearing more, and pray that your two months here will be amazing and wonderful as you connect with family and friends.

    1. Thank you Cherry! I have missed YOU and am thankful to be re-connecting too! I can't believe we only arrived one week ago...we have had so many gifts and blessings in our joy in family and supporters. So your prayers are availing much...thank you, thank you, thank you!

  2. You're beautiful. And so are your words; your story! Loved. LOVED seeing you again on Sunday...

    I thank God for you and your desire to keep walking this road. Dancing, too!

  3. Keep dancing, you two cuties. And enjoy your time in the States. I pray it is all you need and want it to be.


  4. I like the simplicity of ordering the circles. #1 God & you #2 husband & you It does help put things into perspective. With 5 grown children with lives and problems of their own, it gives me some peace to put the priorities where they belong in relationship with God and husband before kids, friends, or job etc. Thanks for sharing your insight here. --Janet

  5. Amazing the lessons we can learn in our ordinary, every day living when our heart and soul are open and willing. Nice to find you over at Jen's.


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