Friday, March 24, 2017

Life: upside-down

March 2017
I just saw a post by Australian Vogue: How to Prepare Your Home for Autumn. I blink. What?

Oh, that's right. We live 6 degrees south of the equator. The South - including parts of Africa, South America, Australia, New Zealand and a host of islands are emerging from summer and moving towards winter - which crests in July and August. It's an upside-down world for us. (Christmas was tropical, too.)

We will have changed time zones 5 times (besides travel) when we get back home. From hour 0 in Bandung:

  • 15 hours backward to Seattle
  • 2 hours ahead to Missouri
  • 2 hours back to Seattle
  • 1 hour forward for daylight savings
  • 14 hours forward to Bandung.
I expect jetlag.

March 2014, with adventures and farewells to come
In those hours, we've had meals and conversations with friends. We've spoken and taught and listened in large and small public venues. I'm stashing memories for the hours ahead.

In our new setting, there are people all around us. But at times, we won't understand the words, intonation, or customs. We won't have a clue what is going on. Then we remember that there are places in the world where people think and speak like we're used to. It's comforting.

Have you ever been in a situation where everyone else seems to know what to do - but you're in the dark? It takes a long time to understand a new culture.

But luckily, it only takes a moment to fall in love with a country, the way we have with Indonesia.

Read more:
*The Lord declares, ‘Those who honor me I will honor, and those who despise me shall be treated with contempt.’ 1 Samuel 2:30

*Jesus says, “You call me Teacher and Lord—and you are right, for that is what I am.” John 13:13
Moravian Prayer: As we return to our daily routines, may we not forget that you call us to follow you every day. May this day be made holy as we seek for ways to reflect your grace. Amen.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Blessing upon blessing

We're homesick for Bandung. But when we get there, we will miss Seattle and our connections here.

The whirlpool laundry sink doesn't phase this grandkid.
  • Kids and grandkids and parents. Yeah. That.
The other two cram in and have a waterfight in the sink

  • Meeting with friends. Knowing what to do at church. We get lonesome for you.

Watching friends' children grow up

  • Speaking and understanding. Language learning sometimes gives me a headache.
  • Hot water from the kitchen and bath taps (ours are cold-water only in Bandung; consistent hot water in the shower also depends on water pressure through point-of-use heaters. Now you have it, now you don't.)

  • Great traffic flow - even during rush hour, people stay in the lanes. (Yes, we mean it about traffic.) In Seattle, there are few pedestrians, carts, bicycles, cars, buses, horse-and-buggies, and toko-toko kaki (street vendor carts crisscrossing traffic. And no 6-10-year-olds are signaling between the hoods of the cars, directing traffic for 5c to make up for the dearth of traffic lights.
I enjoy the patterns on a friend's papasan in Springfield MO

and the grand old buildings of this railroad town
And of course, the reason I came (besides the interviews with faculty and experts) and friendships ... 
hour upon hour of library studies.
Sitting beside this fabric collage artist on the flight home
Meeting in churches and restaurants or coffee shops with people who partner in prayer and support
- thanks Pastor Peter
  • We not homesick for bugs so big that you can't miss them. One day, our granddaughter screams, "Oma! A bug a bug! Oma, a bug!" and points to a little chia-seed sized dot on the table. Oh honey, if you only knew.
A friend comes over with 2 Indonesian puppets - delighted!
Discovering old board games stashed at my mother's house.
  • Convenience - that USA shop or restaurant is actually at the online address. And customer service is interested in finding things for you.
Friendly staff in Chehalis / Centralia

and enormous portions of food - everywhere!

Family reunions (W's mom here)
  • You can find what you want in the Seattle stores, in abundance. Crisp salad? Check. Fresh meat? Check. Canned goods. Check. A new broom. Check. An auto part. Check. The tea I like. Check.
A Sunday morning hotel breakfast shared with little wrestlers and their chaperones
  • Cleanliness - when the dust blows in through every crack in the tropics, you sweep and mop every day. Here, a thorough once-a-week keeps things spick and span.
Grandkids have a sleepover at Oma and Opa's

or a picnic on the kitchen floor
or a tea party.
If you take a grandchild along when you go out, you might find a few surprises on your phone, especially
when your 5-yr-old granddaughter takes selfies with your friends ... 
We don't worry about upset stomachs, no matter where we go to eat:
  • It's so quiet without Muslim calls to prayer at 3:30am. We don't miss those much. But they will remind us of our privilege of talking to God, that he hears, and that he loves us enough to answer and direct our paths.
  • Dinner with friends
  • Wearing seasonal clothing - though wearing socks only once a week (with hiking shoes) and going barefoot in sandals is its own pleasure.
There's more that we enjoy Stateside, of course. But back home, we'll most miss the relationships, among other things here that we take for granted.
Americans lining up in orderly queues, 10 minutes before the first boarding call
Read more:
*The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; I have a goodly heritage. Psalm 16:6 ESV

*We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy  name. May your unfailing love be with us, Lord, even as we put our hope in you. Psalm 33:20-22 NIV

*But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought  and never fails to bear fruit. Jeremiah 17:7-8 NIV

*Paul wrote: God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:8 ESV

Moravian Prayer: Lord Jesus, who promised us life in abundance, open our eyes to all the resources at our disposal this day. Fill us with your generosity so that all your good gifts may be shared with joy. Amen.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

A whole bunch of no's

Although we've been and seen in the last weeks ... it seems like there's been a lot of "no, thank you!"s as well. This weekend, we're

selling the old car
Exchanging the current loaner car with a friend (Thanks, D&P)
Faculty for online course
Blogging days of Lent
Catching up on 3 beta-tested courses (2 exceptional seminars on business leadership; 1 art course for fun)
On an overnight trip to Canada to see partners and parents
Finishing weekend plans and speaking engagements
Taking an early flight to Missouri on Monday

Everything takes time. And God gives us just enough,

so that we have permission to say no to what we'd do -- if we had headspace and more time. I am grateful for limits.

Maybe I'd say yes to more art. But even with the incentive of a painting course assignments and my Lent Days project, I'm not "doing art." I have 2 Lent days and a few scribbles on the canvas. Creativity seems low when obligations are high and routines are non-existent.

I need a nap. No to more work. Hurrah!

Question for you: What's YOUR trigger? When do you say, "Enough already?!" when everything you're doing is wonderful or necessary?

Read more:
*For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.

So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God. He has saved us and called us to a holy life-not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace.

This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. 2 Timothy 6-10 NIV

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Speaking English

I'm always optimistic that the next week or season will be restful. It seems the only way that happens - for now - is resting between wonderful moments.
Chilliwack snow in March
We've been and seen a lot - people, places, things in 2 weeks. Here are some of our favorites.

Sunday 1
God refreshes me each time we get together with his Family. Here's Brandon, who interviewed us and spoke 4 times at Canyon Creek.
Brandon Beals
During the week,  we have time with family, from grandparents to grandkids.
The fam, minus 2 in Texas. (We missed you!)
I forget to take pics with W's family (as did W and his fam - or at least). We have a nice supper together - my mother-in-law has always been a memorable (excellent) cook.

In the morning, I have enough wits about me to take pics with my folks and the beautiful landscape behind their house.

Mom's on a clearing spree so I check out some memories:
Waldemar (middle), in our first years, hired to do PR at the local college
One of many dresses I sewed and embroidered for our daughter (size 4)

My brother takes us for lunch. Beside us, a table of typical Canadians: manners = space between persons.
Here, 6 chairs, 3 people, nicely spaced.
WPPRS: we've met since Fall 1993; my accountability group and dear friends
Grandkids play peek-a-boo under our DR table
Sunday 2
A wonderful, hospitality-filled weekend in Lacey with Peter Degon and team
And, between grading, class prep and editing, I give myself a quick haircut and we head for the hills, where ...
W and Beth film 3 sessions on scriptures and women in ministry leadership
Time with friends (don't get pics of all)

Morning tea - between playing Cruella who catches puppies (Oma chasing grandkids across the furniture)

and too many adventures to tell. But all, memories to keep. Maybe we'll see you while we're here?

Oh - did I mention how relaxing it is to speak and hear and understand? Our friends and we can communicate heart-to-heart. That's the most restful thing of all.

Read more:
*Praise the Lord! How good it is to sing praises to our God. Psalm 147:1
*He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8 NASB
*Paul wrote: Speak to one another with the words of psalms, hymns, and sacred songs; sing hymns and psalms to the Lord with praise in your hearts. Ephesians 5:19 (GNT)
Moravian Prayer: O God from whom all blessings flow, when the echoes of songs and praises from Sunday grow dim, revive them in our hearts and minds. May the songs of grace accompany us to our classrooms, offices and homes this day. Amen.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

The start of Lent: Qualities of Jesus

Last year's art discipline.
The focus was "Holy Resignation"
During Lent, I'll post daily. It's one of my annual spiritual disciplines. This year's focus is the qualities of Jesus that make him our role model, as well as our perfect Savior and Redeemer.

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