Sunday, February 14, 2016

Filling to the brim

Wednesday, February 9.16
My mom calls. She remarks that I need a new hairdo: my long face looks likes Grandma's (her mom) and needs a lift. So I head for the bathroom. In 4 "hold-and-cut-across" passes on dry hair, I take an inch off. It's relatively straight, takes 2 minutes including cleanup, and lifts the weight off the ends. It's probably time to color it for body, too. But I'm done.

Three meetings this morning - which flow into each other. The first is ife-giving, a visit with a friend. We are joined early by women attending the second meeting.

It is a treat to hang out "in English!" with people I love and trust. The gals are in ministry of one sort or another. We catch up on things I've missed before exchanging prayer requests for concerns. We share what the future may hold.

The final meeting is an extension: the gal who introduced the idea of W and me going to Indonesia is there. Hurrah!

The beautiful NW: moss in abundance
We're meeting in a food court with a bookstore adjacent. (Danger alert.) I wander over and get lost for a few hours. Oh the treat of so many English books! I browse, graze, and flip pages. I even find a poetic fantasy that a friend wants - except that she orders it online so I get to keep it.

At Ross' next door, I find a discounted dump truck and digger for grandson Levi. He takes to it immediately when he comes down to the basement for a visit.

I notice something strange. I feel fuller, more like myself. When I set off from Bandung, my inner self was tapped out. Not speaking much English, missing the exchange of ideas, the ability to read and absorb information ... it becomes draining. Between meetings, art demos, library books, and driving the car here and there, I'm almost back to life.

One of the greatest pleasures is time with role models. I forget to take pictures today but in the morning, I meet Louise G, a dear mentor and prayer support to me and many others.

"Take all your pictures in the first years because soon you won't see anything unusual," she counseled me before we left for Indonesia. She based her comment on her years of service in China. And she was absolutely right - when people visit us in Bandung, they point out things we no longer find strange.

Over a late lunch, I join Phyllis at Molbaks, a garden shop. The café used to seem like a tropical paradise. Now I feel at home in the lush green surroundings.

I even find two small potted plants in the 70% discount area before I leave. Unwrapping them, I feel at home: I have no animals here, but at least I have a few plants on Grandma's dresser!

Shall I go or stay home? I pull myself out of bed and head out the door to a mid-day demo of painting portraits at the Daniel Smith art store.

I love Alison's style of teaching: she's both fun and funny. And her work is amazing. We see a face emerge in color blocks, using only color markers. I learn a lot by watching and listening. (I can understand everything. WOW!)

A good start on a friend's face
In the evening, it's sleepover time. Levi says goodnight but MissK stays over. She talks herself to sleep and talks through the night. I don't get to bed until midnight and I'm a light sleeper. I listen while she tosses and turns.

When she whispers before 7am, "Oma, are you awake?"

... I groan to myself. And she says, "My stomach's kind of rumbly. I think it wants to eat something."

So she hops and I roll out of our beds and this clever 4-year-old makes her own breakfast.

"Can I make a snack, Oma?" She raids the pantry for 4 (handfuls / scoops) of berries, almonds, currants, dried grain sprouts, chocolate chips, and yoghurt. Good girl: she eats a bowlful before heading upstairs to get ready for church.

And since I don't have any obligations today, I head happily to our home church: Creekside. I attend "Softer Sunday" at 9 and the regular service afterwards. It's refreshing to hear Pastor Andy's encouragement and shake hands with people we love.

Pastor Don and Brenda come by to send a hello and pass greetings to W - they and the current pastor Jason have been great partners and supporters. I always feel at home at Creekside.

Like each day, I work on the Lenten discipline of "Paint what you Pray." Today it's a reminder of how much the Cross and church mean to me. Jesus is all in all on Valentine's Day, God's love in person among us.

Read more:
*He will bless those who fear the Lord, both small and great. Psalm 115:13 ESV

*Come; for everything is ready now. Luke 14:17 ESV

*(Love) does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Corinthians 13:6-7 ESV

*For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Ephesians 6:12-13 ESV

Moravian Prayer: Gracious Lord, through your blessings we become ready for all things. We are strengthened with your grace and guided by your Spirit. We hope for every opportunity to show that we are ready to answer your call. Amen.

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