Sunday, February 27, 2011

Moving, Shifting, whatever.

We have re-located our personal base—more familiarly known as our “home.”

After a week of painting and sickiness and packing and all the general business associated with moving, I now sit on my bed in my blue & green room at the end of the hallway. There are two mattresses on the wall, boxes clutter my already normally messy room, and I really should be fixing that. I have to admit, I am exhausted. After going through flu and now a terrible cold, my family hasn’t had the easiest moving week. But we’re here now. We’re done re-locating, shifting, moving, switching houses, whatever you want to call it.

I was really hoping that with the moving process, the stress I’ve been dealing with would leave. Not really. I guess everyone’s stressed out at some point(s) in time. But with the play I’m organizing, and the work I’m supposed to be doing and the friends I’m supposedly juggling, it doesn’t leave much time for stress-relieving activities. I know shifting takes a lot out of people, but when your entire family comes down with the stomach flu, it takes even more. All people get to the end of their rope, the problem comes when it’s time to re-lengthen it. Tug-of-war never ends easily.

But how can Jesus say, “My yoke is easy and my burden is light,”!? He’s got the whole world in His hands!! Because of the verses in front of that one. “I will give,” “I am gentle and humble in heart.” That’s what He says. He was always shifting, moving, changing, on display. He doesn’t complain, I shouldn’t either. He always gives, I should too. The problem is not realizing that, but applying that.

Monday, February 21, 2011

“Africa”

The most frequently asked question of missionaries to Africa of all time is: “How is Africa?”

I cannot answer that question. You mean, “Uganda,” right? I can’t tell you that, either. Only I and those I met in Africa can I answer for. Johannesburg has not shown me her streets. Kampala, well, she’s a hostile city far, far away.

Jinja, at least the small part of my experience, is fine. Well, not that I’ve ever seen it better. If you were to walk the streets of Jinja, you’d probably think to walk Main Street first. Well, don’t. Not if you want to know how Jinja really is. Not that I’m telling you to walk the back roads, but how about one that leads next to the Market? You’ll see, people are busy. But, they live, even on the road between the destinations.

If I think about the differences between America and Uganda, the biggest is how and if people look at each other. You go to any big city anywhere, and nobody’s looking at anybody. Just doesn’t happen. But, in The Dalles, you still didn’t look at anyone, unless you knew them from HAVING to look at them before. Nothing against TD, it’s a good town, but I’m just saying. In Jinja, people look at each other. Whether it’s staring at the Mzungus, or just walking down the street, no one’s afraid to let their eyes be seen. Well, most people. it’s uncomfortable to us Americans at first, but now, as I think, I like it. In America, to be looked at by strangers meant you probably had something wrong with you. The coffee cup was on the roof again, or you have toilet paper stuck to your shoe. Here, it’s perfectly natural—even a bit expected. Here, to not stop and ask, “How are you?” is rude. To not stop and answer, “I am fine,” is to say, “I am having a REALLY bad day.” And I like these things.

Yes, the roads are dirty. Yes, there’s people that are in dire need. Yes, it’s terrible. But there are lessons to be learned both ways. To “Americanize” this country would be to demolish so much we need as humans. No, they don’t always respect the aspect of time. No, they don’t always say they’re “good.” But that’s okay, and it’s something I’ve learned from them, as well.

The Bible says none of us are, “good,” young lady. I ask again, how are you?

Sunday, February 13, 2011

You Belong with Me

There’s this cute love song Taylor Swift sings… and it describes much of the pains I have gone through in life. The thing is, that pain is self-inflicted.

Usually with love songs, I try to relate it to my life in Jesus. But, with this song, and more recently, I’ve forgotten to remind myself in that way. I was just talking to a friend today how much it hurts to have a huge crush on someone that doesn’t even care if you exist. Well… it wasn’t until I picked up my letters—the ones people call the Bible—that the pain was seen in a whole new way…

God has known us from before we ever were, He created us, He calls us His masterpieces! (Eph. 2:10) And, in the most intimate sense, we really do belong with God. He made us to belong to Him. In the word friend, there is an end, but the word “long” is in “belong.” We, in the most deepest parts of our souls, long to belong. It’s natural, it’s even in the words we say.

If you could see that I’m the one who understands you! Been here all along so why can’t you see? You belong with me. Standing by and waiting on your wood shelf, all this time, how could you not know, Baby? You belong with me!

Oh, I remember you crying out to me in the middle of the night, I’m the one who gives you peace when you know you’re ‘bout to cry! I know your deepest thoughts and I gave you your own life. Think I know where you belong. Think I know that it’s with Me.

I wish I could never forget the One who wants me to know this. I wish I could never leave Him on that shelf. I wish I could never lose sight of His face…

my little job

I… love kids. :)

They seem to usually find the joy in anything—especially when it seems there is none there. The simplicity of life always draws me out of myself and into the lives of the kids around me.

That is why I help in the Sunday school program at church. I know it seems a bit selfish. They help me out of my self-inflicted misery, and I get all the credit for “helping” them. I love them. I usually just stay with the “little kids” and keep them from disrupting the service on the other side of the house. And, quite a few times in the hour I am with them, I take the girls to go “su-su.” Basically, I transport them to and from the toilet room. Sometimes… there’s a bit of drama. But, over all, I got it really easy. I probably should stay in service, I never really do anything but hold them and tell them, “Well done! It’s beautiful!” when they show me their pictures they colored.

My job description—schoolwork 5 mornings a week; hanging with friends 3 afternoons a week; cleaning amounts to 1 full day a week; and play with 2-5 year-olds 1 morning a week. It’s little, the last phrase there, but it’s the best time of my week. I compare it to my wonderful youth group, but nothing—I repeat—nothing refreshes me more than the simple smiles of the kids who seem genuinely, non-taintedly joyful to see me. No one else can do that.

Gracie, Didi, Mark, Dianna, Gloria, Jacob, Jake—you do way more for me than I ever have done for you. Thank you.

Storytime!! :DDidi and I <3sweet Gracie <3"what was the name of King Xerxes's first wife?"--Bible Quiz Time!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Super Bowl XLV-- Lord of the Rings!!

Tonight's game is between the Shire Hobbitses vs. the Mordor Orcs.

There's the kickoff. Legolas goes wide! BUT WAIT! Gandalf with the interception! He's running down the field shouting "YOU SHALL NOT PASS!"

EPIC FUMBLE by Bilbo Baggins! It's a mad scramble! WAIT. Smeagol grabs the pigskin! "My precioussssss!"

FRODO WITH THE FLYING TACKLE! YEAHHH! I think there's more to this hobbit than meets the eye!

Gandalf, where are you going?! The end zone is THAT WAY! Your love of the halfings' leaf has clearly slowed your mind!

Here comes Gimli with his Mithril shoulder pads! As light as a feather and as hard as dragon scales! Very dangerous over short distances

SAM WITH THE FIELD GOAL! SCORE HOBBITSES! THE SHIRE GOES WILD!!! Now there's an eye-opener and no mistake!

Saruman with the punt return! Who knew the White Wizard kicks barefooted?! Marvelous catch by Arwen! Fly you fools!

Horrible pass by Aragorn! The ball bounces off Elrond's helmet! This evil cannot be concealed by the power of the Elves!

Why is Pippin doing cartwheels down the field??? A fool... but an honest fool he remains.

Mordor fumbles! The eye is moving! The Shire has the ball! Cast it into the fire! DESTROY IT!

ARAGORN IS RUNNING FOR HIS LIFE........... punt Return of the King!

EPIC TOUCHDOWN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Shire Hobbitses win, the Mordor Orcs lose. Everyone meet at the Grey Havens for an awesome after game party! See you there.

--Adam Young's version of Super Bowl XLV