Sunday, March 29, 2009

You give me joy that’s unspeakable-Newsboys

Pet peeves- everyone’s got them. One that comes to mind for me is cotton tearing apart. I don’t know why, but whenever someone is pulling apart a cotton ball it sends shivers down my spine. For other people it might be scraping a knife on a plate, scratching nails on a chalkboard, talking to someone else while on the phone, etc.
I made a new friend a few weekends back that introduced me to a new idea. He called them Pet Cleaves. I’ve thought a lot about them in these last days. The concept behind them is not the little things that really bother us, but rather the little things that bring us joy. As you know by now, I like joy. This idea really intrigued me and got me thinking. The more I think about it, the more I like this concept. The name Pet Cleaves is suiting, though it can be confusing. I would like to pause here and emphasize that you should not look at the first definition of cleave (to split or penetrate something), but the second definition (to cling closely to). Things that bring joy are things that we need to cling to in order to get though a day at a time.
So my pet cleaves? They may seem a little bit odd, but whose aren’t? Looking down and seeing newly shaved legs. Getting to the end of a bag of chips to find that there’s an even number remaining. When the camera snaps at just the right moment to capture a child’s brilliant expression.
One of my favorites is when the sun breaks through the clouds in the form of visible rays. While sunsets and sunrises are breath taking and I love them, the sight of heaven shining down makes me stop and stare in awe.
When God works little things out perfectly, it’s a Pet Cleave for me. You never know how many of these things are put there by him. Maybe God just knew that you needed a little smile. Maybe God was sitting up there looking at his child and wanted to make you happy; what father wouldn’t want that?
I guess I’ve talked about a lot of others already in my post about what brings me joy here, but these are the smaller things. And I'm sure that there are so many more that I can't think of right now...
I’d really love to hear what some of yours are! Please write a quick comment if you think of any ☺

High on a hill was a lonely goatherd, yodel-odeli-yodele-i-o -Sound of Music

As I was riding on the back of a boda boda (motorcycle taxi) this week, I happened to glance over to my right up off the road a few hundred yards. What I saw was not something that would surprise me in the least in a normal situation, but in this instance was hilarious to me. On that little hill stood a woman in grayish-black dress trousers, high-heeled shoes, a nice button up fitted white top, and a purse adorning her shoulder. In her hand? A rope. On the other end of this rope? A goat. That might have been all well and good too, but their stances were the kicker. It seemed to me that perhaps this woman was on her way home from her job when she happened across her goat who had escaped. So, she must have picked up the rope and started to lead it home. However, he did not want to go back. Basically what came to be was a tug-of-war between this goat and a businesswoman. She was pulling with all of her weight and leaning backwards, while the goat was practically sitting down. His front legs were reaching straight forward and his hind legs underneath him, behind still straight up in the air.
Needless to say, it gave me a good laugh. I’d expect any day to see a child pulling on a goat (it’s almost a daily scene) or to even see a woman yanking on that rope, but more so a woman in a big slightly ragged skirt and hair pulled up in a scarf…not a businesswoman.
I didn’t get to see the turn out of the situation as the boda was moving at a decent pace towards town. I did get into town to buy the next book in the series that I am reading, The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency. It’s about a woman in Botswana that starts up a detective agency after her father dies. Even though it does not take place in Uganda, there are still many similarities and things that make me laugh about all the great African cultures ☺ If you are looking for a new series, see if you can find them in America-I know it’s written by a Brit so I’m not sure. It’s a good, fun, suspenseful, and easy read.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Before I stand up to my feet, before I begin to feel this weak, satisfy me Lord- Tenth Avenue North

One morning as I was making my way to school, I saw two boys standing together with their school uniforms on and bags attached to their backs. One boy looked down admiringly at the other. Chiefly looking at…his socks. Now both of the boys had white socks that were adorned with a blue stripe at the top. The taller of the two, the one admiring the other child’s socks, proceeded to bend down and attempt to hoist up his own socks. The shorter child’s socks where hiked way up, practically knee-highs. Perhaps the taller lad thought that the other boy’s socks were the correct height. His socks were, after all, only sticking out a few inches from his slightly polished black dress shoes. He seemed to try desperately to yank his own socks. What he failed to realize is that no matter how hard he tried, that was the highest his socks were going to go. His socks were not designed to go any higher- the most that was going to happen was that they might stretch, then in the end wind up sagging.
I feel like that is something we do a lot in life. Not tug up socks per say, but try to do things that we are not designed to do. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t try our best, the Bible says that what ever we do, we should do it as if we are doing it for the Lord. However, sometimes we continue trying something that just isn’t meant to be. We all have our own gifts and talents. Just like I am gifted as a teacher, a singer, and possibly a photographer. I may use these talents to the best of my ability and sometimes not be satisfied in who I am. I get jealous of the people around me who converse so easily with teenagers. I am envious of people who are witty and come up with funny things to say to a perfect stranger. What I’ve got to realize is, is that I am not designed to be that person. Though the ever-famous Pride and Prejudice would tell me that it’s something I have to practice to get down to an art. My mind just doesn’t work that way, just as my body is not designed to jump long distances or allow my hair to hold curl. What is the use of trying to change something that is not meant to be? Right now I am sitting in bed and looking up at my wall where there is an orange piece of construction paper hanging. It reads “Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing LOVE, that we may sing for joy and be glad all of our days.” Psalm 90:14. The purpose of me adorning my wall so is in the hopes that every morning when I wake up, I will be reminded of who allows me to rise. But that verse speaks to me more than that. It tells me to allow God to satisfy me in all that he has made me to be. I will sing for joy, for Christ has orchestrated it so!

In my dreams I see visions of the future and today we have today- Switchfoot

It seems more and more I find myself a teacher. Not just a grade 1 teacher at Heritage International School, but in every aspect of my life. Currently I teach a Korean friend proper English, I teach a grown woman how to read, I teach a bible study for a group of young women in university, I teach a Sunday school class of local children with some university students, and oddly enough I’ve taught someone how to bake a cake! What’s amazing to me is how much the teacher in me has come out. In high school, I never imagined myself being a teacher. I wanted to be a famous singer, and quite frankly, I never thought I had the patience to teach. God proves me wrong every single day of my life, and for that I am grateful. Each and every one of us needs to be shaped and molded until we can see what God sees, and become what we have been created to be in Him. I know a person is not supposed to define themselves by their profession, but right now, that is at the core of who I am. I am a missionary. How do I spend my days and after school hours? Teaching. Teaching people of all ages, all different things. My cornerstone and reason for it all? Christ, as it shall continue.
As I sit here, waiting on my God to show me the plans he has for me this summer, I ponder that. Why have I been teaching so much? I’ve been entrusted with such a wonderful gift to have been trained as a teacher professionally…and I should use it. For the most part, I am super excited for these challenges!
Another part of me is yearning to break free and go off myself and take pictures of all the creation that surrounds me. Unable to do this with my lens currently in America, this craving is exploding. This speaks to me as well.
I know that God can use both of these tugs at once; it’s just the leading that needs to come now.
Please pray with me that God will give me a clear direction as to what I should do this summer. There are so many options to think about…and I want to, and need to be, in the center of His will. While I am waiting, please also pray that I will be content living in the now. Today all we have is today, and I need to give my all in everything that I am doing.