Saturday, January 10, 2015

Getting to know you

No Introductions Needed, Kind of.....    I learn more and more about myself everyday.  How narcissistic does that sound?  I'm embracing that side of myself as well, so get used to it.  I know I am weak in many areas of my life.  I know I choose weakness over strength, for the most part due to laziness.  So I am also learning just how far my laziness goes.  I am busy, but I am lazy.  I tend to be a great multi-tasker but am realizing that being able to and actually doing more things at one time makes me a multi-tasker but makes me lazy in not being able to finish one thing fully and successfully.  It's done, but mostly half-way done.  God doesn't care if I'm a leader of any ministry or if I do it well or not.  Nor does he care if I'm an Elder in my church and if I do it well.  He doesn't care if I do my job well and successfully.   Now, understand this, if I have received the gift of salvation in my life then I will care about whether or not I am being graceful, merciful, loving and more in those areas of my life, of course.  But as far as whether or not God really places my worth in his eyes on the multi-tasking life I have embraced, I don't believe he gives a rat's behind.  To say that God cares about anything surely places him in a box, my box, with my "important issues".  God cares that we receive the gift that he so sacrificially gave in the life, death and resurrection of his only son, Jesus Christ, for our forgiveness in OUR sins, or more appropriately, MY sins.  But that is even being presumptuous of me to say that God does anything within the realm of caring.  My God is a caring God, yes, but whether or not he places his daily cares in my opinions or duties, I won't put him in that small of a space.  

That being said, I also find myself, at times, in intimate embrace with my heavenly Father and come to know those things that he wants me to dream, those desires he places in my heart that he wants me to pursue, but not outside of my current situation.  It's the solace in knowing I am provided for by Jehovah Jireh himself and that in his way, his will he has provided a loving environment called "my life" that nourishes love, kindness, caring, grace, mercy, patience that rivals only a small percentage of what God truly possesses in his character.  He places those things there to provide the hope that my life is always changing but my faith in him is unchanging.  That leaning in on the everlasting arms of God will bring me strength more than I could ever gain in my life alone.  It's in the leaning that peace comes.  In the leaning that I grasp the enormity of God's embrace in my life.  Leaning gives me closeness to feel the breath of heaven on the nape of my neck.  Nape, because my head is bowed and I am exposed in prayer with the deepest, darkest morsels of my inner self being seen by God himself.

My God, my Jesus and savior, my Holy Spirit fire is bigger than anything I can dream up.  He's omnipotent, omniscient.  The ability for me to understand my worth in my personal relationship with him will inspire, no better yet it will mean that I have no choice in the matter but to live as Christ.  When I become disenfranchised with my circumstances and feel rejected by not only my environment, but by my God I eventually come to realize that what I am most upset about is that this particular circumstance is not how I want it to be, thus second guessing God's will for me in this instance. The friends God has placed in my life, the job, the church, my circumstances are God ordained and I am wanting something outside of God's will and plan in my life at this moment.  I love my friends, my family, my church, my job and I believe everyone there knows my love for each and every one of them, but my humanness wants to constantly look outside of what my blessings are and be in search of something missing.  Grass is greener in the adjacent pasture?  Maybe.  Ugh, my weakness, there it is.  I'm too lazy to move in the moment God has put me in and embrace the opportunities for his glory to be known in my circumstances.  It's me, my focus on God, my study in his Word that is missing and that keeps me longing for something outside of my current blessings.  

In my weakness he is strong.  Honestly, it's the only way the laundry gets done. 

Food for thought:

I love the message version of the bible!  It just makes me giggle at how frank God can be when he wants us to be aware of things.  So here's a snippet from 1 Corinthians 14:37-40 that you might think on and study up.  Enjoy!

37-38 If any one of you thinks God has something for you to say or has inspired you to do something, pay close attention to what I have written. This is the way the Master wants it. If you won’t play by these rules, God can’t use you. Sorry.
39-40 Three things, then, to sum this up: When you speak forth God’s truth, speak your heart out. Don’t tell people how they should or shouldn’t pray when they’re praying in tongues that you don’t understand. Be courteous and considerate in everything.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

I'm scrappy this Mom's Day

I am a mom.  Not everyone has the privilege to say that.  Not everyone wants to be one.  But I am one of those.  My children are a true gift from God, each and every one.  There were moments in my life that I thought maybe "gift" was a bit much.  The pain of childbirth should've been an indication on what motherhood was going to be like.  Waiting in anticipation for months on end.  Having this plan in my head on what it would be like during labor, how I would act, what David would say, how I would be different than the rest of any of the moms out there.  Whatever.  In the moment of the most intense pain you've ever had the privilege to feel you find out who you are on the inside and the character of your true self.  It gave me a window into myself to want to run like hell away from the pain, but be in the moment knowing what was coming soon.

It wasn't my idea of how my life would go, having five children ages 10 & under by the time I was 30.  I was influenced by the culture of my 20's, tv, radio, magazines and my future scrapbook in my head.  I had mentally cut and pasted pictures into my future that would define me and make me successful.  Pictures of candid moments that would show a strong business woman with a sense of purpose for changing the world one happy bride at a time.  I was going to make a difference.  It was there in my head all organized and catagorized and blinged out with shiny stickers and words made of rhinestones on pages and pages of cute colorful paper.  And I thumbed through these pages, over and over, as I grew.  That was me.

I think back on my spiritual life and how I came to know a man named Jesus.  I'm not a typical follower of Christ that knows the day and time and what I was wearing when I made a committment to seek the will of the Heavenly Father.  I was lucky enough to be raised in a loving home that provided me the opportunity to fellowship at church each week with a family of believers that loved me.  I knew who Christians were.  I knew the Father, Son and Holy Spirit by lyrical definitions.  I had heard the bible stories, the ones I now wonder why they introduce to children.  Noah's Ark, really?  The death of most of humanity was a person's idea of a good way to bring children to know the Gospel?  Yea, ok.  I hadn't become who I was to become when I was going to meet Jesus within myself.  My life was lined out in this focused line that I could almost see the finish line from where I stood and it looked great!  Then it happened.  This heartbeat of a child started to echo inside the pulsating veins within me.  Immediately my life was no longer my own.  I was renewed with a sense of passion for this human that was growing inside of my life.

God was suddenly the most real thing I had.  He was the counselor.  He was the grace-filled, mercy-giving Heavenly Father that chose my life to bring this little one into.  Had He not seen my scrapbook?  Had he not heard my wonderful schemes of bringing peace to the world through wedding planning?  I knew my life was going to change but I honestly thought it would be an addition to my plan, not a game changer, so all was good. I had no idea I was on the cusp of a season of my life that was more nourishing to what I was to become than I had ever imagined.

The end of my life, that was so visible before with my neat little package, was now so blurred with the reality of the moment.  I was no longer interested in being able to see each step I was to take and how it would all turn out at the finale of life here on this planet for me.  I was in life school each and every day learning what was going on inside of me.  In awe and wonder of how the human body can be host to the Creator's plan and be so miraculously amazing.  Not just the physical changes and growing arms and legs and an eyeball within a span of weeks but my soul was changing.  My character was evolving into this person I knew I could be, or that I knew I wanted to be.

His eyes were enchanting.  His cry was mesmorizing.  His power over me was humbling.  That was the moment when I realized that something I hadn't necessarily chosen to be was who I was and it was all because of Him.  Adam defined me as his mother.  I was ecstatic to be chosen to be so.  And so it began.

With each of my subsequent children I became mom all over again in new ways that I knew nothing of.  Adam paved the way that I was mom, but each child brought his or her God given personality to the table that had me in an ever-changing mode of parent.  What worked for one, didn't for another and so on.  But, I was still mom, no matter how each of them grew.  Each pregnancy was different, each child was different and each mom I became was different than the last.  I grew in my knowledge of my children, but I also grew in my knowledge of myself.  I learned who I was in certain situations, falling down, getting up and riding their bikes.  I learned what levels of pain I could tolerate.  The pain of each coming into this world and the pains of watching each grow.  The pains of watching each leave the arms of their loving mother and the pains of knowing it was what I was created to endure.

The pain that brings wonder and joy and peace to my life because I know it is who I am. A mother.  I have endured painful things in my life with each of my children and it has brought me that much closer to knowing the ultimate joy of motherhood when the pain subsides and I see my kiddos are evolving into the people God wills for each of them to become.  I am mom.  I have no desire to see what the end of my life will bring because I am too enamored with the joys of each day.

The scrapbook?  Ha!  I'm lucky if I get photos to make it to the bulk "photo trunk"!  I have all the memories stored in my heart waiting for them to grow even more as the lives of each of these children becomes their own and I get the privilege to watch it happen.  I am a lucky mom.  I am so glad God knew who I was to become and made me realize that its amazing.  Happy Mother's Day to those kids that make me Mom.  I love you.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Day 2 I Hope You Stance

Day 2 means day 1 is over, thank you!  Day 1 brought some tremendous back/shoulder pain w/o the sugar in my diet for a few weeks.  Lord, help me remember that pain when wanting to down a pie later!  A great massage, a wonderful night's sleep, and, oh yea, ibuprofen and I'm ready to roll for Day 2.  

Remember those days growing up when your mom said, "Sit up straight!  No slouching!"?  I've thought alot about that in the last few weeks.  My confidence level has been on a roller coaster lately and understanding my posture is one of these oddities that affects my confidence.  I know it sounds a bit weird.  Ever thought about how you stand?  In public?  At home? In front of your sweetheart?  On stage?  In line at the DMV?  For me, my normal stance in public is arms crossed or hands crossed in front of my torso, feet crossed if standing and legs crossed if sitting.  Jacket wrapped closed, shoulders hunched.  Almost as if I am trying to hide within myself.  I've been trying to be more aware of what kind of vibe I put out there.  I am definitely NOT approachable.  So, I hear my mom's words of "Stand up straight" and I drop my arms by my sides, stop wrapping myself in my clothing to try and "hide" anything, that frankly noone cares about but me.  When I go about physically trying to hide parts of me that I don't feel great about I realized that I was not being authentic in my anti-trash talk campaign.  I will stand up straight.  Wear my high heel shoes that make me feel good about me and strut my way into the DMV from now on!

What's your posture?  Stand up straight!  You might like it.

I found this ahhh-mazing blog with a great Whole30 Menu Plan.  And its usually on the cheap and I love that!  Go here to see the whole 30 days plan.


Skillet Eggs - found on above link
Monkey Salad - again, above link
Coffee with coconut milk


Chipotle salad with Carnitas, guacamole and salsa


Sauteed Kale with lemon and season salt
Raw Cauliflower

Hot tea was definitely on the menu for today here and there.  It was chilly outside!

Whole30 Day 1

Day 1 on the Whole30 found us at a friend's house for a New Year's Day brunch!  This scared me.  I wasn't sure if I would really be able to hold my self back from the amazingness of her waffles and donut waffles!  But, I did it!  I said no to the white flour, sugar laden heaven-on-a-plate.  Huge hurdle for me.  It helped that my friend knew of my Whole30 plan and she has even done it before so she was very supportive and not offended that I passed on the waffles.  So, my daughter and I took what we could eat and picked from the buffet to meet our goal for the breakfast meal.


Butternut Squash, Spinach and Onion Fritatta
Hard boiled Avocado filled eggs
Raspberry, blueberry, blackberries - just a few
Coffee with whipped coconut milk (no sugar added)

Workout Meals:
Pre-w/o Hard boiled egg
Post w/o 3 egg whites scrambled with 1/2 sweet potato

I love that if I want to eat more on the Whole30 it means I need to workout in order to get in another couple meals.  Tell me I can eat if I workout is definitely a motivation for me to get out there.  It was the first run/walk interval in months for me and it was one of only a few times in my several years of training that I actually didn't hate the run.  This is pretty big for me.  I ran with The Civil Wars Pandora channel playing in my ears to my programmed interval trainer.  This was an interesting comparison for me.  There was a war raging in my thoughts for sure!  I realized that there are not many things I actually finish in my life.  I start so many projects and fizzle out before it gets done.  I start training for things and then make excuses not to go out and get moving.  Only childbirth, 5 times, have I finished something but only because I couldn't honestly be pregnant forever.  The war rages in my head most days between good and evil voices battling it out for my affection.  For my exercise routine it usually starts the night before I know I have something scheduled the next day and my mind starts fighting thoughts of "you know you want to do this" and "you know you want to sleep in.  Don't do it."  I'm going to try to raise the white flag to these thoughts and just move through my world right now with nothing but positive energy reinforcing my choice to be healthier.  So, yay!  I worked out and got to eat...twice!

Honestly, I forget what we had......

Taco salad with ground beef, lettuce, spinach, jicama, salsa, avocado

After dinner my body started fighting back with my decision to cut sugar out of my diet.  I am completely and utterly addicted to sugar.  I have been cutting back since before Christmas little by little knowing this was coming up and cut it out altogether a few days ago (with the exception of the Mojito on New Year's Eve).  My body felt like I had just lost a UFC fight.  My back between my shoulder blades were so, so, so sore!!!  I am not kidding when I use the word sore.  I remember when I had gone off of sugar before, but still had other sweeteners, that it was painful, but not like this.  This time it hit sooner than last time.  It was awful.  I had to have hubby massage my back for an extended period of time while I contemplated crying.  Good grief, why do I do this to myself?  No more sugar.  Seriously, wth!  Addiction detox is nothing to take for granted.  Listening to my body through this will hopefully get me to a different place of thinking from now on with not just food, but with my physical health.

Hope you find your sore spot today and recognize it's source.  Maybe it's not physical.  Maybe its relational.  Maybe its spiritual.  We all need exercise in detoxing the icky stuff out of our lives.  For some of us, it's minor and for others it's huge.  I will pray for you any way I can.  Let me know if you need prayer.  

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 ESV

Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 ESV

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Hebrews 4:16 ESV 

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Monday, December 30, 2013

In a mirror dimly

This summer David and I traveled to Africa on a mission trip and we had an amazing experience.  The thing with trips like that one is that months later you come across a picture and realize that something inside you has changed.  You look differently not only at those in the picture from around the world, but it prods at your gut knowing you've seen yourself differently.

We took this photo, and I say we, because out of the 3000++ pics we took its a blur whose is whose at this point.

It was so wonderful watching these young boys play in the water, swimming and splashing each other.  They were so happy.  As we snapped these pictures our friend, Rury, one of the staffed missionaries told us he loves to watch the kids come out of their shells.  You see, school was out for holiday, usually a month's time off, and these boys go across the river to stay during that whole month to tend to the cattle there.  They are without parents or grandparents or guardian's supervision.  (Some urban moms just gasped and swallowed their gum.)  But this is a good thing that they are not supervised.  Rury told us that when the boys are back in school and back in their huts with their families that the culture in the village is to tell these kids how stupid they are, how they'll never amount to anything.  Day after day after minute after minute they are told that their worth is nothing.  Rury talks about how their demeanor changes the moment they cross back over the river and their feet become dusty with village soil.  They walk with blank stares, solemn and angry.  Our  friend, Percy, has talked so much about wanting to save the youth of his village many times.  Now I see it.  Most young boys grow up in the village dependent on the local beer that is sold here and have no ambition to do anything.  It's quite sad.  It made us cry as we looked out on this moment.  I was frozen there, imagining what they must feel at this very moment and imagining the pain in their hearts when they know they must return.  Visions of the Lost Boys from Peter Pan fly through my mind.  Oh, why can't Neverland be real for them.  It changed the view for me.  My horizon widened from the river banks to the village streets to the huts tucked behind the bar.  I pray that these children never forget to laugh like this.  I pray they never forget to play and splash around in their lives.  I pray they know that Jesus loves them and that their Heavenly Father finds them worthy, so worthy.  I pray the cycle of trash talking the children stops.

As I looked back on the Africa trip pictures the other day then to my own family pics, there it was.  The prodding in my own gut.  The parallels of African riverbanks to my own threshold in my home.  But this time, I'm the bully.  And my victim is myself.  Every morning I wake up to the same reflection in my mirror.  I'm disappointed in what she looks like.  Gray hair.  Wrinkles.  Large, flabby upper arms.  Spare tire around the middle.  I cry if I look too long and dwell on how I've come to see myself.  But there I am every damn day of my life trash talking myself.  It's disgusting what thoughts I let run through my brain and directly to my heart.  If I talked like that to anyone else besides myself I would be arrested for a hate crime.  

It hit me.  It hit me hard.  I was no better than those people who brought down those boys with their nasty attitudes and hateful words.  The tears I shed for them on the banks of the Zambezi rolled down the cheeks of my soul to rest there preserving that feeling for the time I would wake up, realizing what I was doing to myself.  I could taste the salt of my tears months later.  I needed to stop.  

I am worthy.  The Holy Spirit resides in my heart. Christ sent the comforter to me.  I've been fat talking myself to the point where I couldn't see my own worth anymore.  With the help of some amazing women, I am making my way back to loving myself.  Changing my thought processes about how I view me, food, exercise, etc.  I pray that I haven't damaged my daughter's view of herself as she has watched me fat talk my perception of me.  I would kick my ass if I thought I was giving her the wrong impression of herself.

So no more fat talk.  No more unworthy attitudes.  Stop the madness.  No excuses.  I am worthy.

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.

For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.

Dear Heavenly Father, forgive me for dwelling on something so superficial.  This is not your plan for me.  It is not glorifying you, it is glorifying me in a weird, sick way.  Help me let go of this skewed view of myself and cherish this physical shell and take care of it the way it's meant to be.  I want to be useful in Your will.  Focus my eyes on you and understand my worthiness through your eyes and not my own.  Thank you, Father, for giving me life, breath, health.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Just wait... they're coming.

Sisheke.  Oh my. You feel called to Mwandi, specifically, but then you realize the world is a large place with needs to be met everywhere you go. According to the end of Matthew 28, we are called to make disciples while going not called to go.  We go because we believe in Jesus’ call on our lives to love our neighbor when we first come to believe and ask Jesus into our hearts.  So, as we’ve been going during this trip and trying to not only participate in God’s work here but also to be as observant as possible many things come to my attention.  Probably too many to list.  Wonder if google glasses will have the ability to freeze frame all of the memories that entices my brain so that I can go back through my day and be able to remember all of those things that made me stop and say, “wow”?  Somebody call google.  I’m busy.

Percy has eluded many times to the South African culture, mainly the Western Province of Zambia as a mystic people.  Something we don’t embrace much in the states in our own personalities.  But the bible talks about surrealism, the good kind, not the vampire romance kind.  Why is it so hard for us as Americans to believe in the Spirit world?  Sounds new agey, huh?  I have seen the Zambian culture reference many times the things of the spirit and of the Spirit.  It’s just the lines being blurred or the fact that there’s probably just one Lozi word for both and people here mistake one for the other.  But when you come here to love people where they are you realize the beauty in the mysticism of the Zambians.  As Americans, we tend to rely heavily on the knowledge of things, even biblical or spiritual things.  We research it, we read about it, we ask about it, we debate about it, we kill the mysticism of our spirituality.  There was nothing intelligent about Acts 2:1-13.  In that, I mean not one of those filled with the Holy Spirit stopped the Spirit to debate with the bystanders about whether or not this was actually the Spirit and should they go ahead with letting it happen.  Sometimes that flutter in your belly or that quickening of your heartbeat really is God exciting you for the world around you.  He’s beckoning you to speak truth in someone’s life.  He’s calling you to reach out to your neighbor.  It’s not always a need for a call to the doctor to see if you need to up your meds for some condition you may be suffering.  Do you think when we arrive at the pearly gates St. Peter is going to be shaking his head?  “You were called the frozen chosen because you medicated yourself into apathy.”  I’m not down playing anyone’s medical condition, I’m just pointing out that we can be a little too over cautious about jumping in when God wants us too when it takes us out of our comfort zone and plunges us deep into the Spirit.

Doug preached twice yesterday.  Yea, you guys just thought you had it bad.  LOL!!!  Just kidding!  The preaching duo team of Doug and his interpreter, Percy is an amazing thing to listen to…. even twice in one day!  We were in church in the morning at Living Sword Ministries in Sisheke, Zambia.  Church started at 9:30.  We arrived at 10.  Doug didn’t preach until at least 11:30 or after I think.  I honestly didn’t even look at the time until we got in the car and Abby and I looked at the clock and realized that it was almost 2:30.  So I’m totally guessing on the time that he started his sermon.  Let’s just say that here in Africa they love to worship with music and songs and prayer and an occasional sermon in the middle somewhere.  Doug brought the Word to a very dry and thirsty crowd that soaked it all up.  The congregation was beautiful.  The music was AHmazing!  It was a soaking session in the Holy Spirit for sure.  Full of mysticism and solid truth being preached.  The best of both worlds, theirs and ours.
Before the evening crusade was to begin, the pastor of Living Sword was adamant on letting us get to our accommodations and resting up for the crusade later that night.  He realized that it was getting late and hurried us back to rest about 430.  We all set our alarms for 515 to be up and ready by 530.  The pastor and elders were to return to brief the men on what was going to happen that night.  530 came.  6 came. 630 came. Noone.  Oh boy, was the sermon that morning too truthful?  Was no one wanting us to come back?  We were all ready and waiting.  Turns out after some texting back and forth that the pastor knew we had gotten back late so he decided to give us extra time to rest up, but had neglected to tell us that piece of information.  You see, here in Africa, you arrive when you’re ready.  You rest until you feel its time to go and get started.  In America, we place demands on our time to show up when we say it should start whether we’re rested or ready or not.  I think we may have to start moving when we’re ready not when its time according to the clock.  It goes against everything in my veins to switch that around.  I’ve never had someone intentionally give me extra time to rest up knowing I was tired and hold back the event just so I could be ready to receive.  Lord, forgive me.  I want margin in my life to rest in order to receive.

The crusade itself was breathtaking.  They meet at the local basic school campus on Sunday mornings, so for the crusade they used the futbol fields out back.  It was set with a stage and power for microphones and keyboard and lights!  It was freezing cold, too!  People were bundled up in their blankets and winter hats!  The local church members and local townspeople showed up around 7:30.  We were there by 8, maybe.  Time is different here.  We were met with lots of dancing and worship music and then Doug brought it home again with the message of Restoration in Christ.  I couldn’t see the number of people that were actually there because it was dark, but when Percy asked if anyone wanted to pray for Jesus to come into their hearts there were 60+ people coming from out of the shadows!  Young, really young and old came from places we couldn’t even see.  Doug said there were townspeople out in the shadows way back there with flashlights listening to the sermon and music.  It was surreal.  It was mystic.  It was definitely the Holy Spirit.  Each person was prayed for right then and there one by one.  Each had their own story of what they needed prayer for in their lives.  Some young boys who struggle with alcohol addiction.  A lady who didn’t want to be a prostitute anymore.  One young man who was alone and HIV positive.  Christ was alive in that moment and in the lives of those who wanted to know him.  I love my time in Mwandi, but this time in Sisheke was life altering.

Yesterday was also a big day in the states.  Did you hear the fanfare and see the celebratory parties?  Yes, my youngest turned 14 yesterday without her parents.  It was an odd feeling.  I’ve never missed a birthday for her.  She had a great one and will continue to celebrate through next weekend when her second party will take place!  I thank God for my family and friends!  They have been so amazing and wonderful in making this trip possible for us by providing for my children at home.  Sarah is so supportive of our trip and knows how much we love her.  I wish I could be more like Sarah and her journey with Jesus.  She is such an amazing young lady.  Her spirit is much like the mystic people of Zambia, open and ready to be filled with God’s grace and mercy.  She’s prepared.  She rests up.  She knows how to be filled without pretention.  She doesn’t question.  She just is.

Acts 2:12 “Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?”

Are we ready to answer this question ourselves?  Are we ready for the Holy Spirit to just come upon us with no forewarning?  Rest up!  Be ready.  It’s going to be amazing.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

It's time to wake up. It's 7 o'clock in the morning. (British Accents only)

Adjustments.  Adjusting to the time change.  Adjusting to the weather.  Adjusting to the cuisine.  Adjusting to a new bed.  Adjusting to the British lady's voice on my African cell phone waking us up in the morning.  Adjusting to someone else doing my laundry (can I get an AMEN?).  Adjusting to being so far from home and family and friends.  I could go on and on, but you get the picture.  Everything is an adjustment.  You just wake up in the morning, when the clock says its morning, and just go with the flow.  No expectations.

Our days are full of the OVC, the agriculture center, Live School retreat, staff counseling, devotions and just whatever we can get into that looks fun, which is pretty much anything around here.  When you have no idea what is being said or how people are reacting to you being there it frees you from any pre judging on your part.  It leaves the field wide open for me to be happy within my own skin and focus on the people around me and the task at hand rather than my own self awareness.  It’s amazingly free.  Everyone says hello here.  Not the southern hello, bless your heart kind of hello but the sincere hello, hey stop and let’s talk about the day kind of hello.  Adjustments to sincerity, both in those around me and in myself.  Feels good.  But truthfully, being sincere with myself has helped me to understand the sincerity of those nearby and I’m sure I have been missing out on those beautifully sincere people back at home by my preoccupation with self.

Jet-lag is not for sissies, by the way.  If you have never traveled internationally or to another time zone altogether, then you’re missing out on this lovely physical reality called jet-lag.  Ick.  It’s a lot like altitude sickness to me. Headache, queasiness, dehydration, loss of sleep, etc.  It’s a joyful time had by all….NOT!  I didn’t realize it would take quite so long to adjust to the time difference.  Don’t know how people do it working nights instead of days.  It’s got to be a similar change.  Adjusting.  By Sunday evening my body seemed to have adjusted to the time and I slept the first good night’s sleep since we left.  Just in time for our week to start.

I’ve met a wonderful lady, Anna, who heads up the sewing center at the OVC (Orphans and Vulnerable Children Center).  The first day I showed up she asked me what I was going to teach them.  No pressure, right?  I helped cut out patterns for the bags they sell to raise money for their sewing center the first morning, but by afternoon was sewing with Anna!  I was a little nervous walking in and seeing a dozen treadle sewing machines lining the room and thinking, “uh oh, I am going to sew my fingers together!”  Thankfully she has two electric machines that she and I used for the bags.  The treadles are for the students since most do not have electricity in their homes, so what they learn here is what they can use at home someday.  Adjustments.

David has really jumped right into his duties here.  He’s helping out at the agricultural center and is even doing devotionals with the guys.  He said it’s good to get out of his comfort zone.  My husband is an amazing human. 

Funny though, he finds this pace painfully slow and frustrating at times when you just lean on the shovel waiting for the gravel to arrive, that may not make it til afternoon or tomorrow or whenever.  He says next time he wants to bring a watch.  I don’t think that will make it better personally.  Adjustments.  God is good.  He is faithful.  He is merciful.  He likes to hand out the adjustments.  My hubby is handling his very well.

Most residents of the village do not have electricity or running water in their homes or huts.  It is, however, such an odd sight to see a tv or some other electronic device hooked up to some places that look like they’d fall down if a big wind came.  Everyone without water must walk to the river or to the wells in their areas and carry their water back in large containers.  It’s carried mostly on their heads.  Adjustments?  I would need a chiropractic adjustment if I tried to do that.  Maybe I’ll try with something a little less weighty.

Everyone adjusts to doing whatever it is you must do to get the necessities taken care of around here.  It really is that way everywhere, but here it’s such a simple life it seems a lot easier to see how adjustments are made.  No one talks about how to adjust, why to adjust, the right procedure to adjust, if someone should seek counsel on the right adjustments, they just adjust.  Adjustments.  But is it always a good idea to just adjust?  Should a person just give up and do what everyone else is doing?  Is the adjustment good for those around you?  Or are you adjusting for the convenience of self?

If God calls us friend and calls us to Love one another, what adjustments must happen in our lives to make this possible to be Love to each other?  We do nothing to deserve the Love of our Heavenly Father and all he asks in return is to Love each other.  

Our devotionals came from John 15:15-17

I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his mater’s business.  Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.  You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit – fruit that will last – and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.  This is my command:  Love each other.


Related Posts with Thumbnails