Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Now

Currently waiting for my pseudo-chai to brew in it's milk with ginger and cinnamon. Which makes me miss Biruk because he makes the best ginger tea, with floating chunks of ginger-root in it and that great spicy-warmth that makes it not need sugar or any other flavors.

I'm also missing Biruk because of the nearly empty bottle of mango lemonade in the fridge. I went grocery-shopping today and saw it. It's the best brand, although expensive. If you pause after each sip you feel like you just ate a mango, the texture is so real to your mouth. Biruk and I used to always buy a bottle together whenever we went grocery shopping and drink it on the ride back.

I'm also sitting very comfortably with my feet propped up on the couch and the keyboard stretched as far as the cord with allow to my lap. Listening to the kids outside, just below screaming very random things; hopefully they are playing a game, but sometimes it is hard to tell.
I move around alot. I was in a dorm room at my college, visiting Biruk in Edmonton, in my apartment, in Haiti, my apartment, soon to go to my parent's house, then to Winnipeg. Living in the moment and sucking in now is sometimes really important to do; so that I don't run past my whole life and wonder where it went.
However, there are several trips I went on that are a blurr in my mind; San Antonio, Venice and the Czech, much of my sophmore semester at Spring Arbor; all because I just kept plugging (or plunging?) forward.
I am trying to grasp that perfect balance; in allowing myself to dream and hold on to that hope of the future and what is next, yet still being 'here' now as well as not forgetting what I just did.

I helped teach English today, to a small group of Burmese woman. I was helping my friend and neighbor, as her roommate could not do so.
It's interesting how one understands English better through having to teach it. We don't notice grammar so much because we are fluent and don't think about such things.
Part of the lesson included explaining words we use with measurements of time.

IN when referring to YEARS
IN when referring to MONTHS
ON when talking about DAYS of the WEEK
ON when talking about a specific DATE
AT when referring to actual time segments

So, I invented a little upside down pyramid as an illustration. The biggest sections (years, months) use IN. The smaller segments (days) use ON. And the most precise (times) use AT, which is the tiny point of the upside down pyramid because it is so precise.
I had all the ladies extending their arms and saying IN, IN, ON, ON, AT as the kinetic part of the learning exercise.
Then, they all had to tell us their birthdate using ON (date) and IN (year).
It was fun.

I went to Haiti and came back from Haiti without a glitch. It was restful. I got to sleep in a bed. and take a warm shower (our hot water hasn't been lasting very long). And eat wonderful food! and such full meals.

Actually, thinking about it, it is quite ironic that I went to Haiti to experience these luxuries when I've been living in the USA!
But I sleep fine on the couch. I don't like air conditioning, even though we do have the option here in this apartment. And not eating good food is my own fault.

I hope that my sister's wedding was everything she wanted, even if it did start nearly two hours late and the flowers looked terrible. She looked really happy and her new husband cried. It is strange to see a 7(??) foot tall man cry.
The reception was fun, and my youngest sister ran away from the tossed bouquet; I guess she's not ready to be the next one to get married.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Summer in the City

A few days ago I recieved the most random of phone calls.
B----- called me up, sounding identical to his younger brother, who I was supposed to visit while in Calgary and never got a chance to (who, coincidentally I am facebook-chatting with as I type this).
I thought he was pulling my leg, actually, because it was a Calgary number calling me.
I demanded that he prove it really was him.
So he simply said, "You wrote me a letter from Brazil while I was in H-ley last winter."
"It IS you!"
Still has the letter, tried to write me back, but my address kept changing, so it never arrived. And after all this time, he still wanted to call up and talk about life.

When our conversation ended (and I explained the very strange sounding conversation that my roommate overheard and summed up to her how I knew him and my former job, and then we laughed about how little my roommate and I actually know one another) I racked my brain trying to figure out how he managed to get my phone number. I asked him on the phone and he said that I gave it to him in the letter I wrote- the one I wrote a year and a half ago. A year before I even owned this phone.
Very strange...

And as I look back on this conversation and other events on that day (or was it the next day?), I realize the confirmation God was giving to me.

Remember all those times I felt so sure that I was called back to Winnipeg? That I was supposed to spend my summer there (I discussed some of them on this blog).

And then, life happened. My school closed. I got engaged. I graduated. I had/have classes to take over the summer. I had a place to live. I was hoping to have a baby sitting job. I had plans to move in August.
I guess 'life happened' isn't the right term, because in many of this events, I made choices, I set plans.
My plans happened.

But if I really felt called to Winnipeg this summer, it should not be based on MY plans, or MY emotions or MY anything. If God called me there, I am disobedient not to go.

And that's what it boils down to.

So, I'm going.

In about two weeks. I am going back to Winnipeg. I'm spending the next month and a half there.
Serving with a ministry, working with teenagers in various avenues; worship nights, camps, mentoring and more.
It's a really flexible schedule, so I would have time to work on my online classes as well as, more importantly, visit friends I haven't seen in a long time.

L----, my 'best man' for my non-wedding (does that mean I can always call him my best-man?)
G----, who I have only met once
B----, who I have never officially met
S----, who's brother was killed over Christmas
Netta, my 'maid of honor' for my non-wedding
The L's, who I lived with for about 3 or 4 months one year
and my former co-workers
MoMo, a roommate/friend/travel buddy
and the list could go on and on.

But, even in this, it's not really about me. It's not about me being happy with how I spend my summer. It's not about me making money. It's not about me visiting friends.
It's about me being obedient.

And I believe that I am.
God asks that I be obedient. He won't make me do any of this on my own. My own plans were bound to fail in some way or other. I'm glad he is saving me from those.
In following his plans, I have nothing to fear. He has kept me safe each time before.
My only regret is that I hesitated to follow immediately.

I think I relate to Jonah a little (except for the whole being swallowed by a whale part); Jonah still went, he just took a detour. It's not something to be proud of; I was slow to obey.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Back... home?

Haiti
Fort Wayne
Spencer, IN

Edmonton


I'm at my new apartment, which is understocked with food staples, and overstocked with dishes. It took me 5 minutes to put the clean plates away because everything had to be just so because it was so completely full.
There are giant pink marshmallows- the size of your fist. But no white flour. I want to make bread, but all I have is whole wheat flower, and I want to do half and half.
There is also a decent amount of strawberry whipped frosting... but I still can't find flour.

There is a cat that claws a bit too much and fits the proverb about curiosity who has scratched my feet and is now climbing on the couch behind me.

I'm going to sit on the floor and knead bread while a watch a movie.

This apartment complex has a lot of immigrants. If you can't tell by the many children running around outside, playing games and enjoying the weather, because, lets face it, most of the American kids are inside watching television (not that I have room to judge, I'm currently watching a movie myself). Or, it could be the men wearing skirts... the best way to explain the wraps that that the men wear.
Or, the easiest clue for me would be the car covered in clothes.
No one is moving out, not were they thrown out, they are drying. They are using the car as a drying rack of their clean laundry. That's the dead give away for me.

I'll only be here for another day, then I have a wedding to go to.
Then I'll be home for a few more days, then head out to another wedding.
And then, then I'll be back in Fort Wayne for up to a month! that will feel nice,to stay somewhere for a little while.

Tomorrow I'm doing something new.
I'm gonna dye my hair.
I never have in all my life. Piercings, yes. Tattoos, yes. But I have never dyed my hair. I think it is time.