Friday, May 11, 2018

Finding the Rhythm


What is life shaping up like, as I settle into life here? Well, a list of tasks for completing my time with Wycliffe and a few other things. Lots of bike riding for transportation and sometimes with friends or family. A bit of working for my parents in their lovely outdoor studio. Yard work with Michael (one day with TWO lawnmowers!) And, of course, hammock time.

Not pictured: I'm excited to announce that God's led me to a house church nearby for weekly fellowship, an answer to prayer. I'm also trying out a Tai Chi class at the community center and enjoying art & spiritual reflection days with my brother's girlfriend. I'm thankful for a bit of routine materializing in the weekly rhythm!

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Easter, Revisited

Over the last seven years I celebrated Easter with sunrises over the Indian Ocean, the Zambezi River, and Lake Victoria. Each celebration was special, casual, and in community, each person adding a song or a prayer or coffee... They were celebrations of Christ's life in us as His body.

This year it was hard to see how to celebrate, without a sunrise and without strong ties to a body of believers here. But my friend Natalie thought of a new tradition that we could share,
even though we're on opposite sides of the state; She suggested we send each other photos of things that make us think of Easter.

One of my favorites is this dandelion photo. The yard had been just green, until one morning it was cheerfully speckled with yellow. It made me think of how Jesus surprises us with life where we think there's none. Particularly, He came after 400 years of what seemed like silence between God and Israel. But really He was working all through that time a plan that bloomed brightly on Easter.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Resignation

res·ig·na·tion
/ˌrezəɡˈnāSH(ə)n/
  1. an act of retiring or giving up a position.
  2. the acceptance of something undesirable but inevitable.
I started this blog in August 2010, after I joined Wycliffe Bible Translators. Since then, I've been a missionary kid teacher. Now, after eight years, I'm giving up that position. I'm resigning from Wycliffe.

I've decided on this path for two reasons: I need to give my body time to recuperate from ongoing issues with insomnia. And, I do not have peace about living indefinitely in missionary community as a single person; while I have loved the last years immeasurably, it's exhausting to live in a community where your housemates and closest friends tend to move away on a regular basis.

So, definition 1 for resignation applies. Sometimes this choice feels like definition 2 as well, "the acceptance of something undesirable but inevitable." That's because I loved what I was doing and don't know what's next and sometimes my imagination forgets that God is abundantly good, including His plans for the future! So I made this picture to affirm His goodness, to remind my soul that definition 1 does not equal definition 2!

I'll continue this blog until my resignation date, May 31. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Ethnodoxology

 I'm surrounded by snowy mountains, sometimes glowing white, sometimes doused with pink. Each time we have a break from classes I go to the windows to see how the beauty has changed. Just looking brings refreshment.

We're here for a class called Ethnodoxology. Ethno=cultural group, Doxology=praise. We're learning a method for getting to know a community and coming alongside them to help them use their own art forms to praise God and grow in His ways (strengthen church community, find His peace amidst trauma, meditate on His word, et cetera).

My favorite part of the day so far is the morning when we take time to connect with God through different art forms. Today we used story telling as our art form. Yesterday we used drawing and word, one of my favorites. Here is my meditation on God's strength in us. It feels freeing and joyful to validate drawing as a real way to connect with God, not just singing or talking-prayer or listening to a sermon. Using a people's traditional arts to praise and grow in God might feel the same way for them, freeing and joyful, validating their way of communicating with Him as real.

Monday, February 26, 2018

It's the Simple Things

Or maybe it's the simple people! I think it's delightfully weird and fun to be in a place where you can find giant, growling vacuum cleaners with long hoses that you feed with quarters to clean your car. I also think it's exciting that the city takes your trash, sorted in colorful containers. A bit different from Tanzania.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Back in Orlando Again

Friday I came back from a second week in Orlando, this time helping with a Wycliffe program for returning missionaries. I got to teach the elementary aged program, spending the week with eight lovely, hilarious kids who have lived part, if not most of, their lives overseas (in five different countries!) as a part of a family serving Bible translation.

They told stories about their lives. We did activities to help them think about God's love and plan for them and discussed good ways to handle all the goodbyes and transitions in their lives. Their parents had similar conversations, at an adult level. So while they were in the classroom a lot, we left ours quite often...