Monday, April 30, 2012

Congratulations, Ben & Dara!

Once upon a time, there was a little boy. This little boy and his sister planted a small forest of pine trees at the edge of a field.

The trees grew and so did the little boy. He met a beautiful girl, got married, and had a daughter and a son. When the children were small, the man went back to the pine forest and built a little house, a lovely, cozy log cabin playhouse for them to play in. It had two stories and built-in bunk beds to sleep on.

"Daddy, cut the windows out in heart shapes," the little girl said. So he did. He looked around at the trees that he had planted, wondering at how tall and straight they all were. It seemed just yesterday that he was a little boy planting them, and now he was grown up, already with his own daughter and son.

The man had two more children, and they all had many hours of fun playing at the little house with their cousins and friends, spending the night in sleeping bags there, swinging on a hammock hung between two trees, and running around. It was a place of laughter. It was a place of peace.

The trees still grew, and before the man knew it, his children were grown. His son met a beautiful girl and proposed to her. She selected this special spot, where they had so many memories together, as the setting for their wedding.

Last Sunday, the wedding took place under the canopy of pine branches, amid the singing of the birds and the whisper of the breeze. Ben and Dara, many congratulations to you, and may the years only add to your happiness!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Home for a while

My internship in Betel is over, but it hasn't left my heart. I'm hoping to go back to serve long term.

My blog didn't die--I just didn't have internet access, and my writing urges tended to come few and far between, and didn't tend to hit me on Sunday afternoons (which was the only time I could get online).

In the meantime, I'm catching up on sleep, getting over jetlag, and looking forward to a few months with my family! I can't wait to go hiking with our siblings, meet our new puppy, and see if some of the lessons I've learned in Betel really stick, like getting up early, keeping my things neat, and having a disciplined schedule.

I am back in the US, where everything is familiar and comfortable, but I have changed. So it will be interesting to see how I encounter home. Somehow it all feels different. This is reverse culture shock. You expect everything to be the same, but you can never go back to the way things were; you simply have to go on.

I am also realizing how tired I was. I didn't detect it while I was in the moment, immersed in Betel life and pouring myself out for the girls, but the minute I was away from it, I suddenly realized I didn't want to be around people or invest in them, I just wanted to hide in a cave for a little while and regain my equilibrium. I scarcely spoke two words to the girl in the seat next to me on the airplane--and it was an 8-hour flight! So it has been really nice to spend a week at WEC headquarters where I can just be alone in my room (outside of the debrief classes they have for me) and be quiet for a while.

More than anything, what kept me going in what would have been a tiring and draining ministry, was the Lord. Before my trip, he had encouraged me with Isaiah 58:11, and looking back, I can see that it came true every day.

"And the LORD shall guide thee continually, 
and satisfy thy soul in drought,
and make fat thy bones: 
and thou shalt be like a watered garden,
and like a spring of water,
whose waters fail not."

And that is what makes me know that I can go back. The LORD will give me the strength to do whatever He calls me to do, even if it's tiring.