Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Gray

Today I feel like we've been trapped inside of the White Witch's Narnia, though without the snow. It's been gray and cold the past week. I find myself counting the days since I last saw the sun: 7. One time I remember counting gray days was the year I spent in Russia and lost track at 17. Today we have rain just at the freezing point so there's ice on the trees and bushes but puddles everywhere else.
 
It feels like it should be Advent or Lent, a time of dreary waiting. But it's not. I listened to 'O Come, O Come Emmanuel" while I washed the dishes after lunch, as if willing a burst of sunlight to miraculously pierce through the clouds to illumine the ice crystals or spring to unnaturally occur here and now on January 16. It didn't and I was struck by the words of the hymn, how they fit with winter's 'deadness', waiting for spring, longing for Jesus to appear. Then there's the chorus which challenges me when I long to complain yet again about the gray, when the drear threatens to overcome me and make me forget the good things that I have, "Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel". 

I'm reading a book about gratitude.  I've read several over the past several years and each one challenges me to be thankful for more than just the good things but to be thankful for everything. How do I be thankful for the gray? For things that are hard? For things that I don't like? Sometimes, I tell God I'm thankful for the gray in faith, praying that he will help me to appreciate something about the gray and to be truly grateful for it. It's hard. Like trying to rejoice when I'm sick of the clouds. 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

In faith

Sometimes I do things in faith. I think that is one of the things that Moz taught me...

I hug my child with whom I am upset with in faith that my love for her is stronger than my anger.

We stayed in Moz even though it was hard, in faith that God was at work and we were part of it.

We settled back in the States where we did, for now, in faith that though, we did not sense God's movement to a particular place, we know that God is with us where ever we go and we will try to serve him.

It reminds me of Hebrews 11 and 12 where the author writes about all the people through the Bible who lived out their lives with faith without seeing its fruition. In some ways its investing in the future and in someways it is, as I read in my Advent devotional, living with "defiant joy" in the midst of suffering, the mundane or the norm. God is at work and we are a part of it even if we don't feel it.

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Cold

I missed winter when I was in Moz. I dreamed about feeling cold, wearing sweaters, sleeping under mounds of blankets, eating soup on a cold day not just because that was what I made because it was an easy meal, watching the snow come down, the smell of winter when I leave a warm building in the darkness of the early evening.

Now it's winter and it's COLD. I really think our bodies adjusted some to the heat of Moz. I feel cold alot...frequently wearing 3-4 layers of clothes inside and still feeling cold.  When I go outside for a walk or to take the kids to the park, I feel the cold through my jeans, so I avoid going outside, thus feeling cooped up inside. It doesn't help that it seems like there are more cloudy days than sunny ones.

Don't get me wrong, I do not miss the heat of Moz but I miss the ease of going outside, the sunshine, seeing people on a walk, my sidewalk vendors, flowers year round, fresh bananas for snack, outdoor cafes, fresh croissants (which have nothing to do with warm weather but I miss them). Adjustments...