Sunday, April 15, 2007

here i am

It takes me a long time to digest my thoughts.

I'm in Haiti. Almost done with the first week and about to begin the second. I don't have any concise thoughts to share yet.

We had a few days visiting projects. So strange to be in such a poor, foreign land with a two hour time difference. So close to home.

When I travel for work, I often feel out of place in my job... so unqualified to really be of any use, peering too closely into people's private lives, seeing their suffering without any effect worthy of the violation. I know good will come out of it a round about way, but during the privacy invasion, the round about way just seems too distant. But, the other day, I think I had a small part in saving a little boy's life. He was starving, and now he has a referral to a hospital, which is usually too full, and he will be cared for. He will get food and medicine and be watched carefully. Maybe that would have happened anyway, and maybe he would have gotten food at the distribution next week. But maybe not. At that moment, I was so thankful that I bothered to invade his privacy and enter into his world.

My favorite place is the island of La Gonave, which is the little island off of Haiti's main island. It's a small island, but when you are driving on their "roads" at 5 mph, it is a HUGE island. It is beautiful, but so, so poor. Wonderful people. Part of my heart will stay here for sure. Haiti is beautiful... yet no tourism. It's crazy. Amidst our time visiting hungry children, food distributions, and agriculture projects, we did get to enjoy the beach... I'm in the Caribbean after all. I got to swimming (fully dressed). It was awesome. Seriously awesome. Make a note to yourself - if there is ever a hotel on La Gonanve, you should go.

I'm at a rather vacationy hotel until Tuesday (thank the Lord for working by the pool with rum punch in hand), and then back to the world of dirt and sweat (and no Internet access) until the following Tuesday.

More to come later!

Sunday, April 08, 2007


The other day, Nise - a recent blogger friend, awarded me my very first blog award:

I'm a thinking blogger...or so the rumor says. Quite a compliment really. Sometimes I think I'm just a doubting, un-trusting, questioning Christian who write about it on a blog...but "Thinking" sounds so much nicer. Thanks Nise!

Ok, by the rules of this award, I'm supposed to award others...and I will. But not today. Sorry! I hope that doesn't rule me out for the "good blog etiquette" award, and surely it will.

I'm flying to Haiti tomorrow, and as I type, the shuttle is picking me up in 6.5 hours. Ugh. I really need to go to sleep!

When you hear from me next, I shall be very, very hot. And perhaps under a mosquito net.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Good promise

I've been feeling some emotional/spiritual turmoil lately. I can't figure out what direction God wants my life to go in - what choices He wants me to make. I do trust that His way is good, but I don't feel like I can hear what way that is. Honestly, I'm frustrated. I don't feel like this is something that will work itself out over time - I feel like there are some finite decisions that need to be made.

I had been reminding myself that if I draw near to God, and listen for His voice, He will guide me. But as we are in holy week, I've been reading so many passages of times that Jesus spoke to the disciples and they didn't hear him; He walked with them and they didn't see Him. What if He is directing me and I can't hear Him?

But, alas, our God has a funny sense of humor.

I was reminded today by my boss of our scripture verse for the year (my Christian workplace has a verse every year). It's a promise for me at this time:
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you. Psalm 32:8
I've actually had this verse on a card in the back of my Bible since October and just never look at it. It's painfully applicable today. What a promise. What a promise that God knew I would need in April.

I may not hear His voice today, but I know He will (eventually) instruct, teach, and counsel me. Best of all, His eye is upon me.

A sign of aging

I've fully entered a phase in my life - a phase that doesn't end (I think) until I die. It is the phase of realizing the symptoms of getting older.

Tonight I went to bed, and could not sleep. I prayed. I just lay there. And some more. And yet, some more. I finally decided to get up and play on the computer - may as well.

And today I unhappily ask myself...since WHEN am I not able to sleep after drinking a latte at 6:00pm? Since WHEN do I need to get de-caff after some unknown time in the afternoon? WHEN did this happen to me??

So today I join all the old people for whom PM equates with de-caff. Tomorrow (or rather, today, since it's after midnight), I will also look more aged too, since I am most assuredly not getting the amount of beauty sleep this old lady needs!

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Sleeping Pill of Suburbia

I'm a Jacob. I wrestle with God continually, and while I sometimes pray that He would just break my hip and be done with it, I am thankful that He is patient with this child. It is a joy to know that He loves me personally enough to bother with me. I'm sure I exasperate my Father regularly.

Often, this blog is used for the outworking of that wrestling. If you a reader, thanks for your patience. I'm sure you sometimes get exasperated with me too! Please just know that my thoughts are barely half-baked when I post them here. The writing exercise itself is therapeutic.

Frequently, my pastor admonishes the congregation to fight to wake-up because we are completely and totally surrounded by the sleeping pill that is suburbia. We might live here, but we need to fight at not being sucked in. It's so easy to be comfortable, and then just desire comfort. To be safe, and then desire safety. To be surrounded by beauty, and then require it. Don't take the sleeping pill that is suburbia. You can live there, but we need to wake up. Be in the world, but not of it.

I've gone through such range of emotions during the last year regarding children. You can read back to past posts about how I've been a crazed, alien-woman with babies on the brain. Over the last several years, "baby brain" has been my typical state of existence. So, when I tell you that I have been wondering the last couple of days if hubs and I are meant to have children, you can be as shocked as I was. Today I realized that I definitely do want a family, but that I'm so totally scared to take that step. Who am I? Who took over my brain? This certainly can't be the same woman as before. Seriously - where did Hormona go? Oh, doesn't God have a funny sense of humor?

The way that hubs and I stay awake and fight the suburban sleeping pill, is through my work...focused on serving the poor around the world. I know God placed me where I'm at at work, and I'm honored to be doing what I do. But, I know that when we have kids I will be a full-time mom, and that part of my life will go away. I'm so afraid that the moment we have kids we will simultaneously be taking the suburban sleeping pill and I will wake up 20 or 30 years later with polite, Godly children (Lord-willing), but personally feel distant from God, and not serving at all. I've seen it happen. It's too easy to get sucked into all the decisions (nursery decoration, feeding schedules, discipline methods, school choices, etc.), convince that your full ministry is your children (not that it isn't a ministry because it is)...that your purpose IS your children, and you become self-focused or child-focused, and not God-focused.

I've seen so many people who become convicted that they need to be serving, so they do more in the church. Great. We are a unique family ordained by God and we ought to serve each other. However, this isn't enough for me. I think the church can take the suburban sleeping pill too. So many ministries are good, loving, and kind...but they are all about making sure that we suburban-sleepers maintain our desired levels of comfort, safety, and beauty. There are ministries in the church that make the church become inwardly focused as we focus on improving or maintaining our own life, by the world's standards. Don't get me wrong, so many of these ministries are loving, great things we can do for one another. It is good to serve one another. But it's not enough to ward off the sleeping's just a Christian sleeping pill.

Also, I will add that this isn't about pride with MY job or MY career. I'm beyond that...I get that I have nothing to do with my job. I really don't know how I ended up doing what I did; I know it's all God.

I don't know what to do to ensure that babies don't equal sleeping pill; we'll be giving up our current wake up call. I'm scared though. I don't have any happy thoughts to end this with, or any nice reflections that will wrap this up well. Just my heart on my sleeve...or keyboard.