Last week was hard. Or maybe it's been a slow build through a hard month. I did not really notice it until Friday when I realized I was spending a good part of each day spinning in figurative circles, not really ever finishing one task. Or if I did, it was empty and I got the distinct feeling I had placed my focus and time on something unnecessary masquerading as the Very Important.
It all feels Really, Really, Important right now. We are less than a month from our first project trip and I think I still need to relearn a LOT of technical stuff. Last week I attempted to make a video from our camping trip and realized just how much I forgot about how to edit (or shoot, for that matter). I could no longer get around in Final Cut Pro or GarageBand or even my own Zenfolio website (crikey). There is also the sound equipment that is very simple and I think I know how to use it until I actually do use it and end up scratching my head going, "Which one is the start button? Is it recording? How do I sync it to the video?" And this stuff is important, right?
And then there is our homeschool. In April and May I am usually bubbling over with excitement for planning our next year, and that is true this year, but I feel like I am also drowning. Because Eleventh Grade and no one seems to have any idea what the beautiful state of Colorado requires for a high school diploma. As far as I can see, every single district makes their own rules (from the state that brought you legal weed) and then there are almost none for homeschoolers and while a year ago I thought that sounded awesome, now it sounds like way more rope than we need to totally hang ourselves while also getting too used to writing run-on sentences full of bad grammar.
Oh, and the kitten got spayed and thus had to be kept calm and still (good luck with that) and Joel had his wisdom teeth removed and there is a mouse (or maybe 6) somewhere in this house.
It all culminated in a dream wherein I was walking around a theme park carrying my friend Kelli's infant daughter. We got on a roller coaster and she loved it but she fell asleep. Then she began to holler something fierce and when I looked down I saw that she was now a toddler boy having a temper tantrum. So I did the only reasonable thing I could think to do: I tossed a large jar of peanut butter at him, giving him a very large lump on the forehead. Then our landlord showed up, asked me to go for a ride, and told me we were being evicted.
Then I woke up, really happy it was Sunday and I could go to church.
I love our new church. It might be my favorite thing about this move. We attend New Life Downtown and it is a real sanctuary from the clutter and noise and emptiness of the world. Each week at some point in the service (usually communion) I find myself in tears and I honestly have no idea why. If I had to guess I would say it's probably the healing of God, the kind we all need to experience every week (okay, everyday). Today our pastor spoke of taking time to think on what it really means when we turn to each other and say, "The Peace of the Lord be with you." How can we live a life where we actually have that peace to give?
For the last 24 hours before that service God was reminding me all I really need to do is show up, be obedient, trust Him. In truth, He has been reminding me for weeks. It comes through every story I hear from other EMI staff about the things God did they could never have planned for, they just followed His lead. It comes as they remind me no one has any expectations I need to meet (whew!), they're just excited to have me here. I have this idea in my head of all the skills I need to be able to add to my kids' transcripts but only God knows their futures and what really belongs in their personal toolkit. I think I am going to Kenya for photography and video work because that's what I did in Honduras, but God might have something very different in mind and I can't prepare for the logistics of what I cannot see; I can only prepare my heart.
Being overwhelmed by it all is a luxury. The mother in Kenya trying to feed and raise 9 babies does not get to faint onto the couch and declare, "I am just too overwhelmed! I'm taking the day off." If she does that, someone goes hungry. Heck, even if she doesn't take the day off, someone is probably hungry. This is who we go to serve. For her sake, I will choose not to be overwhelmed. I will fight the good fight for her too, but I will do it by trusting, resting in God. Maybe then I will have some of that peace to pass on to others.
From the Keiters:
Here is where we share our daily experiences of how God is using our life in the US and abroad with EMI to draw us closer and to make Himself known.