Sunday, December 31, 2017

Welcome to the end of the YEAR OF OUR LORD 2017

Ornaments ready
Remember when some people thought the year 2000 marked the end of the world? There were predictions of catastrophic meltdowns, people stored puddings and canned goods in their crawlspaces so they could stay alive post-apocalypse, and we were told we were crazy because we thought every calendar day is like every other day to God. No worries.

18 years later ... God is still in control. We anticipate his good care of humanity in the year ahead, regardless of circumstances and human-caused hardships like migration, politics, and environmental concerns.

Friday, December 29, 2018
It's a day of odds and ends. I finish a painting and hang it in a guest room. We prepare the house for our 3rd annual New Year's Open House (on Sunday). We have no idea how many people are coming, which seems to be normal for our house.

I've painted 2018 onto the ornaments that our neighbors will take home, and the helper hung them on the sparkly white tree we snagged in post-Christmas sales last year. Earlier this week, we went to the 100 Day Memorial for a Catholic neighbor: they had last year's ornament on their tree. "I hung mine up, too," another neighbor says.

Love these video calls - the 2-yr-old goofs off
We start with a walk-the-dog loop around our neighborhood.

I've been resting. Years ago, my dear mother-in-law told W (who is a restless bundle of energy) that I know how to rest: maybe she saw me "check out" after a big event. I can "do nothing" for a few days without a single ounce of guilt. I might cook a few meals, walk around, read a few books, paint or play piano, and tidy when I feel like it. Or not. Puttering, the Brits call it.

The ancient Roomba vacuum roams the office and the teras; I'm not in the mood to clean, though I'm finishing a batch of meringues. We have a lot of egg whites left over from pumpkin pies (a total of 8 pies, 4 egg yolks each, @ Thanksgiving). We used up about half of them, from Thursday to today.

Holiday baking (IKEA's amusing gingerbread cutters)
It takes so long for meringues to dry (we don't have precise oven control) so I burn a batch - oh the stink. And as soon as they're dry - on oven, off oven, on again, off again... - we have to whisk them off the warm cookie sheets into a bag, suck the air out with a straw (inhale, extract straw, ziplock, closed!) and pop them into the fridge.

It's not worth it, I tell myself on the third day of baking. They're delicious, but doesn't it make more sense to make one or two Angel food cakes? We'll do that with the second batch of egg whites. Another time.

While W is rushing here and there, running errands in town (hopping out to walk when the angkot vans are stuck in traffic), I stay home. He's asked, "Do you want to come along?"

Are you kidding me? I still have a whole day of puttering (and baking) left. Or so I think.

I don't like to spend Saturday working. But today I get sucked into three editing jobs by opening email. I need to send all of them on their way before the New Year. One is a fundraising newsletter for an innovative, worthy BAM project in Bhutan (please let me know if you could help launch this center); another is the chapter of someone's dissertation; and the last one is the final edit of an advisee's dissertation. I really want all of these to succeed.

A 100-day memorial mass
in our first house, earlier this week
W and I say yes to such projects because we deeply believe that this area of the world needs to be heard: and most of the world can only listen and learn from what is written down. I spend 2 more hours (after the +50 already spent editing and advising the dissertation) fixing grammar, taking out spaces, reformating footnotes and the bibliography, and making it print-ready. (Someone did the same for me - thanks, Dr. Annette Newberry! I'll never forget your kindness or your expertise.)

There's thunder but no rain. The dog hides outside. The lizards are running up the inside walls - drives me crazy if they dart toward me. Something about the way they run shocks me every time. I was up for a call at 11pm the other night, when one ran across the floor. EEEEEK. Some people think they're cute. I think they're hideous. And scary. I know they eat bugs. But they also poop all over and scoot in my direction. (Please do your job and enjoy the place while I'm in the other room. Thank you.)

I take a break after editing by browsing Facebook posts. Friends are writing about massive snowfall across Canada and the USA.

Happy me! Some people love to watch snow piling up from inside their house. They're holding a cup of cocoa and toasting their feet by the fireplace. Me? I like snow only on pictures from places far far away. haha
Can you see the warm rain?
In the evening, W's stomach starts to heave. He's up most of the night, ridding himself of a day's lunch and snacks. Poor guy.

Our granddaughter plays us a song
I enjoy playing keyboard for church this morning. The regular musician in ill; she calls and ask if I can take her place. I've only played in public once in 3 1/2 years in Bandung.

Today is the second time. It feels like breathing, natural and sweet. (I started playing in church when I was 9.) We have a great bass player, who holds the band together. I lock into his rhythm and let the music flow.

We have to cancel our New Years Eve event. W is still too sick for company.

Our neighbor contacts her WhatsApp group with the cancellation notice. I put signs on the gate: the helper who delivered the invitations is in another city with her family. I don't know who has been invited, so a sign on the gate will have to do. It feels so rude, but there's no other way to notify our neighbors.

Happy New Years - to all of you tomorrow. We'll be going to bed early and resting into the New Year.

Read more:
*As for mortals, their days are like grass; they flourish like a flower of the field; for the wind passes over it, and it is gone. But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting. Psalm 103:15-17
*From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. John 1:16
*Jesus said, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.” John 3:16
*Paul wrote: But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, in order to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as children. Galatians 4:4–5
*So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. Colossians 2:6-7 NIV
Moravian Prayer: Immortal God, give to us your mortal children the grace to receive new and everlasting life. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Almighty God, you have poured upon us the new light of your incarnate Word. Grant that this light, burning in our hearts, may shine forth in our lives. We pray through Jesus Christ. Amen.

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