Because Life is short.


So with the departure of my husband to a faraway land (Switzerland) I am here marveling at how God is bringing all whispers together in my heart to move me to action.

I have been failing for a few years at fighting this “no yelling” battle. Many nights of tears, repentence, guilt, and fears beating down my door. “These beautiful children that God has given me, I am gonna screw them up.” the loudest voice in my heart when these things happen.

I have cried out to God so many times. How do I stop? Whether it’s the times I was yelled at as a child or my own triggers from my past that send me into a rage, I don’t know. Or maybe its simply my own sin, my selfishness, as I started contemplating after reading this blog post. It doesn’t really matter. I don’t need to get at the root of why as much as I need to get to the root of how it happens and how its going to stop. Cause its got to stop.

Cause Tonight even as my heart was reflecting on all these things. I yelled. At my 1 year old. Completely insane, I know. I was trying to get his pants on and had 3 other things going on an he decided after getting one leg through to go limp. After telling him several times to stand up, which he understands, I yelled at him to do it. And he started crying. Which broke my heart 1 cause he did nothing wrong, he was just tired and letting me know and 2 completely confused about why I treated him that way and confused about if I am a safe person for him (not safe, his own mom.) 3 cause it’s not like I haven’t been mulling over this issue all day and I here I am doing it to the youngest and least deviant in the household (all in the same day). I prayed that he understood me when I apologized before putting him to bed.

Why is J in Switzerland? Cause he is about to attend a memorial service for his God-daughter that was kidnapped and murdered last week. She was 4 when He met her and became her Godfather. She had just turned 19 and is now gone.

And besides a million other things swirling through my mind and heart concerning this injustice, God is surfacing this desire of mine to stop yelling and start loving more.  Because life is short, and childhood shorter. And I want to be a safe haven not something they fear or tune out and close off to. Because each day that I have with them is a gift and it’s time to start living like that, believing it, and making them believe it by how I love them.

I came across this challenge last week. And although it resonated with me, I didn’t jump on board. Why?

Because I am afraid of failing. I am afraid of publicaly saying ” I need help. I need accountability, I need you.” And then having to come and tell you that after 1 week or 1 month, I failed and had to start at ground zero again.

And because  I am afraid that deep down I cant do it. This will be yet another thing that I didn’t succeed at, or follow through on.

But in light of my emotions and revelations tonight, fear is nothing compared to the thought of not having the chance to start again each day with one of my little ones.

So raise your glass friends (cause I can’t, but could sure use one) Here is to change, growth, and starting new. And here is another to transparancy, and helping eachother as we walk run and crawl through this journey together.

Only by God’s grace I am becoming a Orange Rhino tonight.

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in the storm

So this song that I shared with you is still rockin’ my world. I made this goal to listen to worship in the dark and bring all my burdens to the Lord in this time. Be lifted in his presence and made new. Once a week.

Initially I let all other things crowd out this priority that I and the Lord identified together. But then buckled down. Instead of once a week. I do it almost nightly as a bedtime routine.

I listen to this one song. Cause I can’t seem to let it penetrate enough and the message is still fresh, powerful and breaking me in his presence each time.

One line says “I am your anchor through the wind and the waves. I am your steadfast, so don’t be afraid. When your heart and flesh may fail you, I ‘m your faithful strength.”

Tonight when listening to it something softened and cracked even deeper and I had a deeper awareness. I realized I am afraid.

Afraid of the waves that life has for me right now. They seem to come crashing in on me one right after another. Never stopping. Never giving me chance for air. Chance to dry. Chance to rest.

The only thing that keeps me here is the Anchor. And he gives me no answers. No knowledge or promise of when the storm will pass. Of when there will be a time of great joy and fulfillment in just being in the vast ocean.

The thing I cling to is knowledge that my life is not my own. It was made by him, for him, and it is through him that I am sustained to live it. Whatever “it” is. 

And now its to be in the storm.

I cannot see how the storm is changing me, what its producing in me. And I am helpless to stand up against them.

But he says “I am your steadfast, so don’t be afraid. Though your heart and flesh mail fail you, I am your faithful strength.”

And each day he is my faithful strength. Only a day at a time. No more.

And there are days that I don’t cry out for it and receive it. I try and brave it on my own .

I go down every time.

Down in the avalanche of my own emotions. Which toss me about just as much as the storm. And I am drenched with fear, soaked from my own tears. Weary from the relentless waves.

The only thing keeping me going is this word from him. “Come to me, I’m all that you need.”

“Don’t look to the right or to the left, keep your eyes on me. You will not be shaken you will not be moved.”

So tonight I press on, keeping my eyes on him in the storm.

Because he is worthy, Nothing more. nothing less.

Come to me

This last Saturday was an amazing day! I needed to get out of the house so I rented a taxi to take me and all the kids to the park. A friend of mine here in the city who is pregnant and has 2 young boys has also been feeling pent up. So we swung by and picked her up too that’s 3 adults and 6 kids in a lil hatchback car. Isn’t India amazing!

I was just expecting to survive the day. Going out here is exhausting. You can only do it at best, once a day. At least that’s my experience with 4 kids. And usually if I had the freedom in my schedule to go out as much as I want I probably would do it every other day, giving me one day in between to recoup.

But God had surprises for me along the way. When I was just wanting to get out and get back in one day without crying. God wanted me to get out and back laughing with joy and gratitude. And that he did.

About a year ago I was at a all time low. My thoughts of flying home and giving up were regular, Like everyday. Even multiple times a day. Life here is stressful, much more than I ever experienced in the states. Independence is important to me. Life as a mom here greatly limits your independence. Having four, and all the work that comes with that, and homeschooling keeps me home every day. It would take half a day to get out and go grocery shopping with the kids for just a few days of groceries, so Id have to do that about every other day. Who has the time for that, and here, who has the energy? Minus shopping carts and clean isles, who has the patience?

Not me. So Josiah does all our shopping pretty much daily he is bringing home all my grocery and household needs. Which I am very thankful for. But that means I can’t ever have a look for myself what new products there are and just feel the accomplishment of getting my own groceries.

Since having Taron I also haven’t been out to visit many local friends. Or been out with the kids in situations where I can meet new friends. I have been here two years and still don’t have any deep relationships.

One year ago I was wrestling so much with the Lord. I told him that if I didn’t make any local friends that I looked forward to spending time with, that last phrase being the clintcher. Then I was sure I couldn’t stay here. Life was too stressful and I was too lonely for it to be worth it. I feel like it is coming at a cost to my kids and my marriage too. Why pay that cost if I was not even in local relationships? I could do this at home and be a nicer person to be around.

Well its about a year past that point and I haven’t made any new friends. And I am a connector, its EASY for me to make friends. But my life just doesn’t have space for that in the margin.

Saturday we were having a typical mom type picnic. Toddlers running around dumping our buckets of bubbles over. Kids getting muddy and hurt and hot. But I didn’t mind. I was outside enjoying my space and freedom. Just getting us outside was a success.

A group of young ladies who are studying art at the university were there painting on canvases. My kids were visiting with them. And finally there teacher came over and introduced her and her daughter. They were so friendly and sweet. I discovered she lived close to me. They both were taken with the kids. Even though I was distracted here and there, only asking questions in between many demands of mommy-hood. They stayed and chatted. In the conversation at one point they said they wanted me to come to there house. I said I’d love to.

Indian women tend to be shy when it comes to asking for numbers and expressing there interest. So I have gotten in the habit of being more forward and getting contact info before we have to go, so that we can have a chance to meet again. But the Spirit checked me when I went to go ask. So I waited to see if they were serious about wanting me to come. Before leaving, the daughter, who spoke more English came and sat by me and said  “We want to see you again, can I get your mobile?”

“Of course!”

My heart was wanting to sit and talk and get to know these 2 ladies more. But my attention just couldn’t focus on conversation at all. Its not often I meet women that are gentle and soft spirited that also initiate in relationships. Usually the initiators are also colder and more critical. Which is a hard thing to adjust to in friendships. Or in my case even want to be around. Since I don’t have many friendships, I don’t want the ones I do have to be life draining and hard for me to even work up the motivation to go visit.

This is was all Gods doing, I didn’t even see it coming.

Then after the park we had the Taxi driver drop us at Coffee Day, to get the kids a treat. I decided to let him go and that we would take rickshaws home.

It was my first time on a rickshaw with all 4 kids. Plus a big container of bubble mix and 3 bags full of picnic and park activity stuff. I needed a good massage at the end but I made it!

That was the icing on the cake to me. But not God’s. He had more.

On the ride home a beautiful women in a burka and niqab was smiling through her blackness. Her and her son kept riding past me and smiling and waving to my kids. Finally she just rode right along next to me and we started talking. She wanted me to come to her house and visit her. So she got my number. She seemed bubbly and welcoming.

Interesting that was 3 weeks before I go back to a place I have been longing to be and wondering if my heart will make it back to India, not bitter. e puts He puts two women in my path that I was not looking for. It was not in my own strength.

He has been showing me. I strive. I strive hard. To reach expectations I put on myself. Rediculously high expectations. And I weigh my worth against my performance of these things.

He has been stripping this in me. And yet he does things for me. When I am longing but not asking.

This song I found on my friends blog, has been awesome to me. Go ahead listen.

Rest and repentence

In repentence and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strentgh, but you would have none of it.  Is 30:15

This verse was at the top of my devotional today. It does feel like I don’t get any of it. At first my heart responded with defensiveness, it sounds as I don’t want anything to do with those things. But I do.

Life as a mom, taking caring of little ones and not in the company of adults is lonely. Especially when they are little. Constantly testing you, pushing the boundaries, needing help for so many things. It’s a unique time, and temporary, but quiet difficult and lonely. Add to that living in India. I have never stayed in my house so much in my life. It’s very lonely.

I have found myself needing to share whenever I am around adults, and consequently finding myself monopolizing the conversation. At night I fight the urge to be online for hours and hours, connecting with people. I don’t fight it very well. I am struggling with being pent up and my patience tested so much. I find my self irritated even angry at the kids for pushing the same boundaries day after day. Then in the evening I find myself realizing this is normal kid behavior. Learning to obey and be responsible and always getting close to the boundaries to see if they are really there. For security. Why can’t I expect this and respond with grace, tenderly? 

I realized why this morning, a bitter root is springing up in my heart. What I need and what and I am missing out on is burning inside me like a fire I can’t put out.

God has been speaking tenderly with me and with much grace. This whole concept has been popping up for awhile in my life.  As I work on different goals with my coach one of the action steps that I created for myself in this area was to have one night a week where I sit and listen to worship in the dark and just empty my heart and mind to him. Cry if I need to. Receive what he has for me.

It’s been 2 weeks and I haven’t done it yet. This is that last section of the verse. “But you would have none of it”.  I know God wants to redeem this lonely time in my life to teach me repentence and rest, that leads to quietness and trust.

The devotional ends with this:

“But me she forgot, declares the Lord. Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her. There I will giver her back her vineyards, and I will make the valley of Achor [trouble, anquish, crying] a door of hope. There she will sing as in the days of her youth.” Hosea 2:13b:-15a

I am in the desert Lord. Come. Allure.

 

A mom’s confession

5 Things Better Than an Obedient Child

by burningbushes on September 30, 2011

Some days-the ones where I’m humiliated in public, the ones where I say, “Right now,” way too many times, the ones when I feel like I should wear stripes and carry a whistle-some days I forget that I should want more than an obedient child. ‘Don’t be impressed by outward conformity.’ But, too often, I just want my offspring to get in line, stop being so ridiculous, and obey already.

For all those days, God reminds me of these five things that are so much better than a child who ‘obeys right away, all the way, with a happy heart.’

1 A child learning that God loves him.  Loving God is the greatest commandment-on it hangs all the other laws she’s commanded to obey.  But, she will only love God after being convinced that He loves her already.

We love because he first loved us.  1 John 4:19

2 A child learning to love God’s Word.  His words are living…more powerful than any reward or deal I can make.  He is the WORD.  And so, more of the word in her means more of her conforming (eventually) to Him.

Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.  John 17:17

3 A child learning to love repentance and restoration.  Only God’s spirit can bring change and He only abides with those who humble themselves and admit failure.

These are the ones I look on with favor: those who are humble and contrite in spirit, and who tremble at my word.  Isaiah 66:2

4 A child learning to love people more than he loves himself.  Selfless living is anything but natural. But learning the love of Christ and His sacrifice makes becoming the Good Samaritan seem as natural as the sunrise.

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”  John 13:34-35

5 A child learning how to live a life of JOY.  So much of sin and disobedience comes from looking for happiness in all the wrong places. When he learns to find his joy in Jesus, all the world’s offers pale in comparison.

You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.  Psalm 16:11

I hit a wall the other day. M has been RELENTLESS in his disobedience. Everything goes “in one ear and out the other”, as my mother used to put it. There is nothing more frustrating, even angering, than me “being a broken record”. It translates to me ” I don’t respect you”. Which is a big wound of my past and one that provokes anger in me. The anger is combined with hurt when it comes from 3 of the people I loved MOST in the world, that I would do anything, even die for. And when all 3 are disobeying at once, all day, or all week. It’s more than I can handle.

So I had a moment I am not proud of. At the end of the day M just placed the last straw on and I caved in my self control. I was loud, angry, and doing the one thing I don’t believe in when it comes to discipline. I disciplined in my anger. I could tell he was shocked, hurt, and trying to cover it up from me. And half of me was feeling SO convicted right after, but the other half was still seething.

He went to bed, and I went to my bedroom. I just couldn’t release my self to sit and relax and “veg out”. I had failed him BIG TIME.

I love this blog post above from this blog. Cause over the years I have been recommended so many books, and theories, and seen so many different models. Since I tend to lean towards more rigidness and proactiveness, even perfectionism in my parenting I have gravitated towards some of those resources that today I just don’t see God’s character in. I don’t see how you can raise kids who know that God loves them and really want to follow him. So coming across this post my heart cried out “YES!” I need to hear this, and I want to be able to say these things later.

Number 1 was so convicting. After I went to my bedroom and crawled into my bed I complained and vented and asked God what I should have done, given the circumstances. And he whispered, “What do I do with you when you relentlessly disobey?”…” but i dont…”…. “well maybe I do…”

He is patient and gentle, sometimes firm and unchanging in the consequences ahead but always loving and calm. Not what I was, for sure. I had some forgiveness to seek.

Such important things, repentence and forgiveness. I woudn’t say I was very used to it before parenting. But  Josiah and I established in our relationship. The foundation of asking for forgiveness for the wrong that you have done, with no excuses and no blame shifting and then recieving it from the other with the real words ” I forgive you”, not “It’s ok” or ” no big deal” or some other sentence that comes out of feeling uncomfortable and sadly unfamiliar with this process. So it naturally flowed int our parenting. Well natural in the way that we felt it was important to do with them if it was important for us. Not so natural to carry out.

I went into his room, and he was laying there, awake. Afraid that he was gonna receive more punishment. I sat on his bed and started crying, bawling actually. Invited him into my lap and just hugged him. And as I sat there and blubbered my way through repentence and forgiveness for my anger, my precious son astounded me.

After he forgave me, and after my crying made him cry (because he is so tender hearted). He asked ” Mom, can I pray for you?”

And he did, he prayed that God would help me to forgive myself, and not be sad anymore. This broke me. Maybe my boy knows me better than I do. Cause this is where this whole situtaion would live on in my heart, me not forgiving myself. Me letting the condemnation take over.

And I was encouraged. That: number 3 above, is something that, by God’s grace alone, he is learning. And that he valued prayer, inviting God into this moment, knowing that it would make all the difference.

I felt such shame when I recounted everything to J later that evening. Afraid that he would be shocked or disappointed in the mother of his children. It took me a little while before I really did forgive myself. And it still deeply moves me that M blessed me with forgiveness and prayer. And I was so thankful and proud of him as he gave what God has been cultivating in his heart, that sometimes goes unoticed by me.

Made a monday

I thought about sharing some of my own thankfulness journal with you a few days ago, on a Friday. But I pushed it aside. I climbed onto my bed, kid’s tucked in bed and contemplated what to do with my free time now. Journal? maybe. Read? I haven’t picked up His book all week. First I will do some things online. Took care of some business, started a quick post about (104) earlier this evening, cleaned out my email box. Replied to a few, downloaded (105) some homeschooling  materials. Then read. Was stopped short actually. It’s alright that I didn’t come to him. (106) He came to me. Right out of the archives. No Judgment. No guilt. Just pursuit. Pursuit of teh one he loves. The one he had a gift for. Another gift. And the tears ran down. (107) Turned into sobs. Are still threatening to stay long enough to leave their proof in the morning.

Was it the thought of him that broke me? or reading words that echo my own voice? from the past? now?

I try to keep this in mind. Touch. His daddy needs it. This little apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. (108) He taught me as an infant. While rocking him to sleep he reaches up to my mouth. I kiss it, over and over.  (109) He grunts delight through his binky. Every night. (110) A 2 year old’s most frequent sentence “hold you?”. And now, almost 5. He senses frustration, a consequence coming, or my own stress. He comes in hugs, (111) abundant hugs.

We hug at bed. After repentence and forgiveness. First thing in the morning. I have been working on replying “yes” to a request for cuddles, a needed hug. Whatever I am doing. Stop and …

STOP. I have to stop. Cause…

I see the gift. Right now. (112) A gift just walked through my door. I see the moment for what it is. A second chance. God stirred him from sleep. His hand hurt, it was asleep. He came seeking comfort. The lights go down low. I help him onto my lap. My full lap. But he can fit. (113) Baby squirms beneath him. Two embraces at a time. I rub in circles. I remember him as an infant, skin to skin bonding. Sliding my hand under the back of his shirt I rub. Massage shoulders. Run my fingers up through the curls. Over and over again. He relaxes into me. Breathes deep and heavy. (114) Sighs.

My second chance. God saying, “Don’t cry over days not taken advantage of. There is still time. There is now. There is tomorrow. And another.” Maybe 1000 more tomorrow’s to touch. To build a foundation of reassurance. Revival. Relaxation into love. A foundation for the future. For the day when he will give another women the opportunity to give these things first. A foundation that prepares the heart to always accept these gifts from me. Even as a man. Run my fingers through his hair. Rest my chin on his shoulder. Hold his hand, in public.

I know deep somewhere that a day will come when I long so badly to have moments, just like these. (115) 40 something pounds of weight against my chest. (116) Curls tickling my nose. Body lifeless in sleep in my arms. In trust. (117) Soft forehead skin agianst my lips. The littleness coming to recieve gifts. The best part? knowing he will recieve them. Isn’t that what He is teaching me? Confidence that He is giving gifts. Good ones. Always. And (118) He models what I am to do. Until this boy learns how to recieve the gifts himself from his Father.

I am so grateful. For this special interruption. Two really. But I am longing. For more. Addicted. Completely addicted.

He moves restless to change positions. I stand. Careful to not pull a ever expanding stomach muscle. I look in the mirror at (119) his sleeping face on my shoulder. His eyes crack open and catch me, smiling. (120) He smiles, wraps his arms around my neck. Sighs. I carry him back to bed. Then he stirs enough to collect (121) one more kiss, (122) one more hug. One more touch.

holy experience

Happy Mother’s Day

“God see’s children through the eyes of their Mother’s, measuring there value by their virtues.”

I sure hope not! This was one of many quotes hanging around the kid’s school yesterday at the Mother’s day function. I’d much rather God see me through Jesus’ eyes than my mother’s. (not that my mother doesnt think I’m perfect or anything;). And for my children’s sake I hope this too.

My own “Mother eyes” can be rose-colored at times. Seeing only what I want to see. Only what my pride allows. And then they can also be critical. More critical and demanding than my Heavenly Father is with me. In fact He isn’t at all.

Today as we had a time of worship and singing as a family I sat on our bed, combing my fingers through A’s hair and wondered what kind of legacy I was passing on these days.

Since we have moved here I have been so impatient and short tempered. Taking out some culture stress on them. Or just letting the consequences of a bad choice to stay up late rest on them the next morning.

“Raging at the children for minor wrongdoings while I’m the one defiling the moment with sinful anger.” A.Voskamp.

What are they learning from me? How do they view the way their Father loves them by what I am teaching about love? As we each shared what we were thankful for, M said family day (which is our sabbath we usually have on sunday.) I felt God’s grace wash over me that he actually enjoys being altogether still.

We had a great day full of sleeping in for me and waffles with chocolate syrup. Husband-made iced mocha. I was greeted in bed with hand made cards with scribbled messages of love. Painted faces and puzzles. Night time scooter rides (all 5 on 1 bike) to our fav restaraunt. Pizza and fries. Sundaes. Breezy trips home with the fragrance of flowers. Eyedrop tickles and bedtime kisses. First baby kicks.

a butterfly, kitty ,and doggy become friends.

More than anything today has gently reminded me of the opportunity I have. To love with the Holy love I am given. To forgive much and and meet with understanding. To hug and to kiss and say those 3 words often. But to show them even more than I say them. To hold and to comfort. To listen. To change my tone or lower my volume. To be with them and know them. To pray for them and give them room to grow. Room to grow up into God’s Marvelous love for them.

Just as my mother taught me what compassion and giving looks like, I desire to model the artwork of the Holy Spirit in my life. Happy Mother’s day to my own across the deep blue ocean! To the one’s that have been like a mother in so many ways, displaying God’s womanly advice, mentoring, comfort and care. And to all you momma’s! As you fiercely love and sacrifice for your little ones, may you know the compassionate and fierce love of your Father.

What do I love…

When we first arrived in this city I was overwhelmed by the dryness. The dirt, the dust, EVERYWHERE. I instantly, desperately missed the ocean. The cool breeze, fresh air, blue water. I challenged the Lord to show me an ocean here that I could grow to love. Little by little I get to expereince a new ocean, each time it feels like a fresh wave has washed over me.

Seeing a bright green tree on my rickshaw ride. The shape was like that of a Cypress tree reminding me of the coast. It was a stark hello from Him amidst all the dark dusty trees here.

While having my friend over and her 10 family members, I served an american dish. “Pepper? Salt?” and I went back in the kitchen and smiled at some complete opposites between hosting in America and hosting here, The Lord reminded me that I could just enjoy that I had this great friend to come to my home for a visit and she feels comfortable enough to correct my cooking. For that I smiled.

The warm breeze that has settled on our city makes every rickshaw ride enjoyable.

The afternoon sunlight that comes through our bedroom window.

Hospitality is unmatched here. Dropping by anyone’s house whenever I want, I will always be greeted with a smile and cup of chai.

The patient people in my life that are willing to see past my limited speaking ability and invest in a friendship that will only deepen with time and fluency.

My new friend that was right under my nose all this time. She is tenacoius enough to still talk to me even though I dont understand much. She is willing to take me places and teach me how and where to get things. She just brought by a cute little outfit that her daughter made for Vange (pictured below), and when leaving invited herself over for chai tomorrow. I loved it! There is no other word that I can think of to describe her than jovial. I suspect that she will have much to teach me about the joy of the Lord.

The dividing wall of hostility

I have been wrestling with an issue for quite some time. It is a very complex and very pervasive in our human condition. But even more so in India. It all comes down to pride. The very thing that got Lucifer kicked out of God’s kingdom. The very thing that separates us from God, and each other. Self.

Today I had another, of many experiences with this issue of “who is is better? Who makes up “us” and who makes up “them?” I get questions all the time why are you talking to that person? he is lower cast. Why do you let your children play with those children? they are bad. I get the looks when I let my precious baby be held and kissed by our dear friend the rickshaw-wallah. It’s like I am watching my child roll around in feces and I don’t care. Why do you let them come into your home, they are lower cast, uneducated and ignorant? They are a bad influence.

Every time it makes me angry. My heart gets heavy. It’s not like this is only India’s problem. I experienced in America to. I knew people that refused to go to Walmart cause “those” kind of people were always in it. Or church members that didn’t want me to bring my interns from an risk program (that the church was sponsoring) to go to Sunday services, so they wouldn’t mix with there own children. It made me just as mad. I know this is an anger that is from the Lord. But what do I do with it? How do I speak up in love and not shame people? But cause them to wrestle with there prejudices and choose love instead?

Jesus was accused of hanging with the utmost scum. And his response was that he came for the sick not the ones who thought they were already good enough.

But the ones who think they are already good enough are sick as well, they just don’t know it. And this is not an issue that I can solve in one night , or at all.

For some reason God has given me this passion to reach out to people on the fringe. To treat everyone with the same amount of respect. To include everyone. Maybe that is one reason I am here. I have always been uncomfortable being a part of exclusive groups or being around people that are drawn to cliques. I just don’t see Jesus interacting with people like this in his time. The kingdom of God is not exclusive, there are no hierarchies. There is no class. There is God and his creation. And he loves us all equally. “He sends his rain to fall on the righteous and unrighteous”.

How I can communicate this to my friends in a way that inspires them to wrestle with it?

A dose of India = a dose of honesty

I’ll be honest tonight.

If I had a twitter update to give you it would say something like “I’m cursing like a PG sailor”. Well, not really. I am only saying “freakin” as an adjective about every OTHER word.

Our new life here has SO many adjustments that waves, sometimes Tsunami’s of “culture shock” come crashing in. Pretty sudden, sometimes feirce. This one’s a mildly sized wave. I’m not quite sure how it snuck up on me. It’s not like I am not happy. Josiah and I are doing very well. We joke and laugh throughout the day. We are more affectionate than we were in the states because any affection is forbidden outside of our home. It’s nice.

But India still wears on me. At least when I get heavy doses of culture that clash with my own. I find myself thinking “This NEVER happens in America.” I know, that sounds pretty ethnocentrically snotty. But it’s true. And that is one thing about this culture that I will embrace, people will tell the truth even when it sounds horrifically rude or blunt. And they will ask ANYTHING.

How much did you pay for your new fridge?
Why doesn’t your kid like me?
How much money do you make?
What kind of birth control do you use?
Why won’t you pay me more?

and the list goes on.

But to give a “buffered edge” I will coat my complaints in the context of “You know your in India when…”

1. You know your in India when you order three pieces of furniture to be delivered today at 5pm and they come at 9:30 pm three days later.
2. You know your in India when the newly arrived furniture arrives all beat up from the rickshaw ride over.
3. You know your in India when only 2 out of the three pieces of furniture arrive and one of them is not the color you ordered.
4. You know your India when the managers says it will be promptly delivered tomorrow morning, only for tomorrow be a holiday and no one shows up, and you have to call back and ask about it 3 days later.
5. You know your in India when the delivery boy wants you pay a delivery fee AND a fee to carry it into your house (even though he brought it up an elevator most of the way).
These next one’s may surprise you…
6. You know your in India when you are wearing 3 pears of pants, 2 pairs of socks, 3 shirts and a down jacket under your 3 blankets in bed because it’s in the mid to upper 40’s in your bedroom because there is no insulation or heating system.
7. You know your in India when your husband has to go buy three space heaters because the low tonight will be 38 degrees.
8. You know your in India when they get plugged in and start heating up the room, the circut box overloads and catches fire and all your power goes out and your newly bought heaters are useless.
9. You know you are in India when you are not surprised because everything else in your house seems to malfunction within the first week of moving in.
10. You know you are in India when you fall alseep every night to the sound of street dogs barking and howling for a few hours.

Those are most of the reasons why I am feeling “short fused” tonight(except that my fuse box in real life just melted). I just had one too many straws that broke this camels back.

Stay tuned for when I am over it and I have a list that shares with you the things I love about India. Because, if I’m being honest here, I do love things about India.