Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Pizza, Cappuccinos, and Secret Projects


From the time my plane landed in Kazakhstan I never went a day without blogging. That changed these past few days. I wish I had a good excuse, but I don’t. I have been distracted with the big picture God is trying to show me. Well, He is at least taunting me with it, because we all know that He never just shows any of us the big picture. But, He is good and He is guiding. I am just trying to get a better grasp on life and of course, help Him do His job (I don’t know about you, but that is something I love to do). I also discovered that I am a compulsive planner, to the point where I can get freakishly obsessive. However, more information on that will have to come at a later time. Let me give you a recap of this week:

Sunday was an amazing day. It was one of those relaxing days (the kind we have every day) but it finished with a glorious occasion. Three men from the General conference Euro-Asian Division of SDA’s came to Almaty and decided to take us out to Pizza Hut. When we got to Pizza Hut they told us they couldn’t seat a group as large as ours and we were all disappointed that we were going to have to go somewhere else. But, hope prevailed and they moved a party just so we could sit together, except we were still kind of divided. They told us to order what we want because the division was paying. Normally when people buy me a meal, I try to be very modest and just order the necessities. All of us SMs looked at each other with shear thrill in our eyes and I knew that modesty was to be thrown out the window. This is American food we’re talking about. So after some spinach rolls, a glass of Pepsi, too much veggie pizza, a bite from the Intergalactic salad bar (you have to see it to understand), and a couple cappuccinos, I wiped the crumbs from my face and beamed with satisfaction. But, the night wasn’t over. We grabbed our coats and went over to the Center (where Steven and I teach) and we had some interrogation time. I don’t mean that it was scary or intimidating because all of these men were bursting with positive spirits and you could tell by being in their presence that they were looking after our best interests. So we told them about the joys of Kazakhstan and shared briefly the troubles we are having. I’m still praying that God handles the little situations here and puts out all the little fires. Anyways, after coming home on Sunday I got to talk to a few people from home and that always puts a smile on my face. Sunday was a happy day.

Monday and Tuesday were pretty typical. I stayed up way too late compulsively planning the rest of my life and so I ended up waking up way too late and the days seemed to be very short. I haven’t had very much peace the last couple days, but God and I have been working on a little project and even though it kind of throws everything in the air, I have secretly been enjoying the newness and excitement. What I remember most about Monday is the lack of patience I had with all my students. I scared my kids because I had to make a very loud noise to get their attention and I almost strangled a couple of my older students because they were making simple mistakes. Being a teacher requires patience, and patience is not a permanent thing that you carry with you every day.

Today the girls came over and we scrounged up some pasta and beans and finally broke into the tomato sauce that Gina gave us. We would have prepared something a little more elaborate, but we were just about out of groceries and the secretaries left yesterday without giving us our lunch money. So broke and out of groceries, we called the girls and together we improvised. Yelena joined us and it was fun as usual. Spirits are not necessarily high right now, but you can’t expect them to stay high all the time. Even optimism needs to get off its tippy toes and rest sometimes.

I feel like a child again. I feel clueless, small, and sometimes even afraid of the complexity of my existence. I sometimes cower at the intensity of life, but even in the cowering I am smiling. My choleric personality secretly loves to worry and plan new things, and I know that God didn’t just bring me around the world for no reason. He had something to say, and I can be a pretty bad listener. So He is revealing new things to me little by little. The Message puts this part of Ephesians 2 in a way that really makes the text come alive. Consider this: “Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It's God's gift from start to finish!”

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