Meeting

lifeIsMeeting

Who reads the book of Numbers anyway? Lists of names… information about sacrifices and people constantly making foolish decisions and the discipline that comes with those choices. Who spends several months swimming through a book like this? I didn’t intend to. But I’m raising my hand on this side of the screen.I planned to spend this year focusing on the New Testament. I wanted to understand more of the depths of my savior. So, how I ended up in Numbers was quite unplanned by yours truly. But, now I must say– this book has rocked my perspective so much. What happened then in history was pointing to my sweet Savior. This book pointed me to finding my everything in Him. In Jesus.

I had a commentary on my Kindle for this book, I suppose that’s why I dove into the book in the first place. But as dry as Numbers seemed at times, the way the author connected the events with the coming Messiah– was like a child discovering that the dying iPod only needed to be connected to electricity for it to be revived. Don’t ask me where that analogy came from. However, the point of this isn’t to give a book review– it’s to talk about the end of the matter.

Life is meeting.

Life is meeting new circumstances, many of which we don’t expect and can’t control. Life is meeting new people and developing new relationships; it’s meeting new ideas, some of which may upset us. As much as we try to avoid it, life is meeting ourselves and not always liking what we see. But most of all, life is meeting God, for He’s always there, protecting us, wanting to teach, and always seeking to mature us.” Warren Wiersby

My heart was gripped by this. I can’t explain why I was so moved by this — but I was. Maybe, it’s because this is so much of what I’ve been learning lately. My circumstances are constantly changing in this land over here and I can’t.. CAN’T control things here. I want to, I try, I think I have— but reality hits and at the end of the day I have no control.

People… oh how I could spend days talking about the hundreds of people I am connected with over here. Relationships are part of my purpose in this life. Building them, deepening them, nurturing them– yes as messy as relationships get, I want to continue diving into them.

But then comes that word: me. Meeting myself and discovering who I am is a huge part of this journey. I think I know myself, but I have no idea about the depths of my depravity. I also fail to grasp the boundless oceans of mercy that have been gifted to me. I think I know I can keep my life under control, then some situation happens where I am confronted with my fears and my failure to trust God. Learning who I am and who Jesus is is a life-long process. Throughout all of this meeting I want to be awake to what God is trying to teach me. I don’t want to be like the Israelites who feared the unknown and disobeyed because they focused on their weakness and insignificance. Life needs to be lived by faith. It’s easy to say that– but it’s when the refining tests and trials come that show if I’m living by faith.

As I walked down the sidewalk this afternoon I realized just how much of life is meeting. I ran into a lady who worked in my apartment building since I moved in, several years back. This week she suddenly disappeared. My heart ached when I learned that she was relocated to a different part of campus. We hugged each other as tears welled up in our eyes. I have no idea why she has been in my life for these years. We couldn’t even communicate for most of my time here. But this I know. It wasn’t by accident that I saw her today, and it wasn’t by accident that she’s been watching me live my life for the past few years here. If God is the one going before me, He’s the one placing people in my life. After saying goodbye, I continued walking down the sidewalk only to be greeted by two of my former students. They yelled my name and were just so full of joy. We spoke and caught up a bit. Father knew I needed that burst of joy after the prior meeting.

All I can say is… Life is meeting, and I want to keep meeting.

Aware

Toms and hearts

Sometimes my days are lived with very little intention. I go through the day focused on myself and forgetting to live life with my heart and eyes aware of what is going on around me. I neglect being aware of people in general, my students, and even the Lord. It’s a shame and that is why I want to live being aware. Why waste days on frivolous things when you can be fostering a heart of gratitude and awareness of just how great this gift of life is.

Cheers to the leftovers in my fridge that morphed themselves into a delicious fall soup that makes you want to go create a leaf pile and jump in it. Cheers to the sweet message my student-friend left saying she misses me. I get warm fuzzies because I miss her too. Cheers to the friend whose internet doesn’t exist, creating reasons for her to basically live at my house for part of the week so that she can get lesson planning done (aaaaand check her facebook). Cheers to the neighbors who create reasons for me to craft and create and use the stash of craft supplies my home hoards. Cheers to you, coconut oil. You know who you are and you know that you make my life just a little more beautiful every.single.day. Not only do you make my food taste like island magic, but you keep my skin nourished and soft in this dry climate. How do you do it? Cheers to JJ Heller for creating sweet music to dance to in my little house.

This is how life can be lived being aware, lest I get lost in the mundane.
What are you aware of lately that makes you happy?

 

J.

Dreamers

Remember that time I started a blog and only made a few posts. Yeah, well I can explain part of the reason: the internet. The internet here at my home sometimes chooses to work, and other times it simply won’t connect to much of the cyber world. In the words of this land.. Dui Bu Qi… (sorry). Yet I’m not really sorry. The past few months were marked with marvelous adventures that maybe I’ll take time to tell in the coming days. Malfunctioning internet also has its way of forcing my life to connect with others that I live near. This takes me to last Thursday morning, I almost wrote Friday, because it totally felt like a Friday (yay for random holidays).

SunniesandNeibsLet me first say– I love living in a community. Sometimes when the selfish self is wanting to have control, I don’t love it. But when I’m thinking about truth… I love living in close proximity to my neighbors. It’s these people that are there for me when I want to share my joys, troubles, cookies, recent craft project with, or even a roll of toilet paper when the need arises. Actually the last one never happened, but we would totally provide if one was in need. These are the people that message me when they’re going to the import store to ask if I need anything, because we all know that traveling 1 hour each way to get a stick of butter is kind of troublesome. These are the people who come and plop themselves on my floor at the end of the day when we’re trying to load an episode of something on the internet and it takes 20 minutes to load 5 minutes. We sit and talk about life and share what’s going on. It’s kind of one of my favorite parts of life here.

So Thursday morning started with my mother dearest texting me. I decided to get out of bed and skype with her before my next meeting. Fast forward to the next meeting. With coffee in hand and house shoes on, I knocked at her door. Went in and sat on the most comfortable couch this building has. I ate cake– which was close to angel-food cake. Any cake like angel-food cake is good in my book. Yay for finding it at walmart (just took 3 years to find…). We sat and chatted. That was the point. Drink coffee and talk. We did just that. We talked about life and the future and this girl has her way with me. She encourages me when I become fearful and sends me back to truth. She shares blog posts that she’s read lately and saves quotes to share with me. Yet its when I express my fears and my desire to throw in the towel, she cheers me in the other direction. She wants me to not worry, but find peace for today. We shared ideas. We want to be used and poured out in what ever way our heavenly Father sees fit. But sometimes those ideas have to be held with open hands. No, not sometimes. Always. Though we dream, we have to keep surrendering those dreams into His hands. Dreaming with open hands is hard, but it’s also exciting because it’s not so much about me and my dream but about me trusting my God to be the one who places opportunities and glimpses of glory into my life every.single.day.

So cheers to neighbors.