Thursday, May 21, 2009

My mind has definitely switched back “on.” I think I’ve thought a million thoughts this week, but can’t remember a single thread of them.

A quick life update:

The Schriebers moved here from Illinois at the first of the month. Glenn and Papa met online several years ago and Glenn has steadily pursued a friendship with Papa, even traveling to visit and encourage us when we lived in Kansas. For several years now they have desired to move and be near us, but this was the first time they were able to sell their house and order things to allow for the move. They've always lived in the same vicinity--the adjustment for them will be huge! On our part, we are delighted to finally have church fellowship. As in any fellowship, we'll have to get used to each other and learn to prefer each other in honor.

“Of all things,” Josiah said sadly one day, bearing a dustpan into the kitchen, “I stepped on a bat.” The poor fluttermousse lay panting, his wings bent and his webbed tail spread out. He must have already lay expiring on the cold garage floor before Josiah’s bare foot discovered him. Perhaps it’s a hopeful sign that more of his kind linger in the nearby woods, ready to annihilate the army of gnats that has encompassed us. This valiant departed assailant had to be laid to rest in the woods shortly after supper, his last breath gone on the wings of time. This was shortly after our visit to the Mystic Caverns where we expressed our desire to have bats move in around our house to help with the insect overpopulation.

I finally sat down and sorted through a million things I'd stacked in my "think about when I get a chance" file. I worked through some of my fleshly cravings for fulfillment to be reminded of the truth that Jesus is all and does all good. I waded through some of the circumstances and issues that confused me a year ago and caught my breath at the perspective I saw--from just a year away. Circumstances are just circumstances. Sure, God allows them. But they bear little weight when measured against truth. And sometimes truth demands time to become more clear. For the first time in my life I am not confused. I think I am finally beginning to grasp the balance between true patience and my own supposed patience, true love and my supposed forebearance. True love is so hard--takes so much time and effort, seeking someone else's best interest through scripture, wisdom and kindness and seeking to base my actions on that--not simply saying what they desire to hear or giving what they want or doing what they want. It's painful--but nothing like the cross, the nails and God's rejection which Jesus suffered for me.

I was listening carefully to Papa’s voice one day as he read the expanded version of First John when the dive-bombing occurred. A mosquito-eater tumbled out of the sky and bounced onto the table, just inches from my Bible, then clumsily bobbled across the table and off the edge. His mission must have remained unfinished since he repeated the performance twice more before disappearing from the scene of conquest.

I finally got a tetanus booster, a week later for five dollars at the Health Department. My foot was entirely healed.

Lauryn got fish. I wish I could even retell the history of her tank of five finned friends and the dramatic disappearance of Pinky Tuscadero and Fred. Falsely accused, Hot Lips was detained in solitary confinement for further questioning until Fred reappeared. Thus began operation "rescue Pinky Tuscadero" which ended happily with Hot Lips being cleared and the whole family being reunited with joy and laughter.

We watched Miss Lauryn direct the Dtown Highschool Choirs--complete with choreography that screamed her name. She did a fabulous job. Is anyone surprised? She graduated with honors a few days later, along with Emily, Shoko, Donnie and Stacy. We spent the day either in bleachers or at parties--parties according the the believers here consist of prayer, encouragement, good food, praise and lots of love--well and sometimes some volleyball.

Originally I told Angela I'd help her photograph her friend's wedding. Then she agreed to become the wedding coordinator, which loaded her down with responsibilities. But it freed up her camera. In fact, I enjoyed our teamwork--I did all the photography, she did all the bossing.

It was about ten o'clock when Nathaniel called a very pregnant Lauren to ask for a ride. See, a group was playing "Fugitive" and Nathaniel, Donnie, Tommy and Dathan had worked out a perfect strategy for eluding the cops. Lauren and I hopped in the car. Well, actually, I hopped, she plumped. Being pregnant slows down activity and Lauren is VERY pregnant. As the four boys crowded into the back of my car I had one thing to say, "you guys smell amazing." Tommy's voice piped up, "What do you mean by amazing?" Folks, those guys normally have great hygiene--Tommy even reputedly smells "dewicious"--but that night they smell amazingly BAD. Their strategy paid off with a winning game!

Lately I've been blessed by April's company. In fact, we discovered that we wear the same size of clothes--she's just six inches taller. Sadly, she looks much cuter in my clothes than I do.

I've been following up on Christy's clients at the clinic. Sometimes as I open a file to decide what course of action to take next I am overwhelmed by the stark sadness in the notes she left--abuse, taking advantage, broken hearts, substance abuse, abortions, devastation. I closed files that were years old. For years Christy has faithfully waded through sad situation after sad situation. The Lord has been at work in my mind and heart--finally I am able to weep as I read a file, pray for that poor girl, close the file and walk away knowing that the Lord is the only One who can save--any of us.

Jess graduated highschool. Dathan had never met her, but he cheered the loudest. Even did a special cheer for her. Of course, he was cheering and shouting names for almost all the rest of the graduates. And clapping so widely he nearly smashed my face in. Without the least embarrassment. I was almost embarrassed, sitting next to him as he thoroughly enjoyed himself at a highschool graduation where he knew no one.

Papa is back at work, but has had weekends off so far! A huge blessing!

And just when the grass is growing more quickly than a child, all our lawnmowers decide to go on emergency medical leave. One is leaking oil. A blown gasket? One destroyed its own blade belt. Too much stress? And one has been in pieces in the barn all year. If we could find all the hardware for it underneath the Schriebers extra stuff that's being stored in it, we might put it back together and sell it.

It's a strange thing. I'd been exhausted for months, dragging myself out of bed each day, struggling to stay awake during Bible reading or prayer, going to sleep any time I sat down and sleeping hard. Lately I've rediscovered quiet time--alone time with Jesus. Perhaps it's just been emotional exhaustion that leaves me zapped. At any rate, I am at rest--with energy again. And thoroughly enjoying the Lord's lovingkindnesses.

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