October 11, 2006

There are no dryers in China

This morning I woke up early and had a great start to the day. The shower was warm AND pressured (often times it's one or the other). I put on some Jennifer Knapp and got ready for the day. At 7am we had team Thought time and the focus was "Delighting in the Father". Talking to the Father with the team is always good times, but it was especially good this morning.

I don't teach until 10am on Thursdays so I came home to get some stuff done. I pulled laundry out of the washer and went to our quasi-balcony to hang my clothes to dry. With wet clothes in my arms, I felt this really peaceful wind come over me, like no matter what- I was and am taken care of. Those moments of comfort can not be described for others, but I know when they come and try to fully experience them. I pictured myself next to a beautiful creek in the mountains, sitting in a teak chair and just watching water rush by. In that silence, the Father reminded me that it had been a year since my earthly father died. That didn't process for a couple seconds. My thoughts were, "Really? A year? There's no way..." I don't pay attention to the dates here, but I checked and it has been exactly a year- October 11th.

I just continued to stand on the balcony not really moving, just thinking about the past year. I think anniversaries give a great opportunity for reflection. What has happened in that year? What have I learned? The beauty of it all, is that I probably wouldn't be here, in this foreign land, if October 11th hadn't happened a year ago. I realized that seeking status, money, and prestige were a dead-end road. Delight is not found in those things or in materials accumulated, but instead found in the Father. I am not most happy in the times that I have a new possession, but when I am hanging laundry to dry on a balcony.

My inheritance is not in a will, but in His Will. In the film, Dead Poets Society, Robin Williams reminds his students to 'Seize the Day' because when it's over, our bodies are 'pushing up daisies'- we will not take our Corvette with us. I took a good look at my priorties and decided that I would not live a mediocre life, attempting to attain. Instead, I would spend my life with purpose.

I also realized that I had an AMAZING group of friends surrounding me that loved me deeply. They were real with me, comforted me the best they knew how, and were available to just sit and let me talk. Thank you James, Lisa, Cynthia, Kyle, Cori, Jen, Anya, Misty, and Vince for your ears and love during that time.

Using the term Father when Thinking was pretty difficult at first. Over the last couple of months, that title has become easier to say... and mean. I think it's just incredible how our Father takes care of us and loves us so deeply. I want to delight in Him everyday.

October 9, 2006

Let me dispel the rumors

I've been in China for a couple months and I still have not found the following stereotypical American-Chinese items.
1. Fortune Cookies- I once thought it was a staple of Chinese food, but alas I have still not received one with my bill.
2. Orange Chicken- We found Lemon Chicken in Beijing, but Orange Chicken does not seem to exist outside the U.S. Panda Express establishments.
3. Chinese Finger Traps- Haven't seen one yet, but thanks to the girls in San Diego for sending them in a package!