Saturday, October 29, 2011

Missing MX

I miss Mexico today... a lot. I miss our little house, and our neighbors, and the mural, and the sun and bible study. I miss the tomale man, and fresh fruit from the tangys market and Mayra's meals at 3. I miss hanging my clothes on the line, and then the whole first floor smells like detergent when the wind blows. I miss Darlene, doing aerobic videos with Iris, I miss sweet bread and walks to Tiffany's to chill or cumbi rides to Laura's to bake. I miss not knowing what's next.

I miss being so amazingly aware that God is moving, and changing things, and saving people and simple. I know that is happening here too, but its different. Its not exotic, and new, or simple. Its home and bills and cold weather, and ministry to high school girls who cuss you out, read at 1st grade levels and are 3 times more likely to be pregnant and impoverished then high school grads or college entrants. Its teaching worship dance to youth I am not even sure enjoy worshiping... its looking for a job when you don't really want one.

Maybe Mexico and Mn. are more alike then I realize. Maybe ministry is beautiful and ugly no matter where are you. I miss the beautiful right now.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


In many ways, life has just happened for me. Things I have attained that may seem as if the certainty of my heart and the determination of my mind made them come to pass actually often were a result of coincidence or unmerited favor. This of course is not the explanation for all my decisions and or "progression",  I have definitely worked hard, set my mind on goals, paid my dues in some respect, but I would say that generally, up to this point, life has been easy going, and my foot has never lingered too long in the air before knowing where to set it next.

Yesterday when I told the coffee cashier that I wasn't ordering, but instead looking for applications, and then later spoke to a department store manager to see if she had holiday part time hours available, I realized that for the longest period of my life ever, my foot has been up in the air. Not necessarily because  I do not have a job, but more so because I am still unclear on what it is I am supposed to do with my day. Even when I was working my comfort was not in my job, but the fact I knew I was to be there. I realize that in 9 months my daily activity will be fed me in a sense, but still, even a baby cannot exempt a woman from obedience to multiply her talent, and keep her lamp burning and ready...

It seems to me that my situation, is an ideal situation in many ways... 24 hours upon 24 hours of endless possibilities. Ideal, and overwhelming at all the same time.

I read a fellow blogger's post of a quote by Charles Spurgeon. It reads, "When you can't trace his hand, trust his heart." And I do.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Last week I had an old roommate call me about braiding her brother's hair.  I told her sure, not expecting that 5 minutes later he would text me and be on his way with his girlfriend. At the moment I was babysitting a 10 month year old, still hadn't made dinner and had a bible study group coming over in 2 hours and needed to clean up some still. But for some reason, I still felt like I should do it. So, I put my Mexico hat on and went with the flow. I threw a frozen pizza in for dinner, said whatevs to cleaning, and told the girlfriend she would have to help entertain the baby. I called a friend and asked her to pray for the time with this kid and his girlfriend.

Prayer is powerful. After flat ironing, his hair was barely 2 inches. I couldnt get all the hair to lay into the cornroll for the life of me. After 2 braids I gave the guy a mirror and told him to tell me if he wanted me to keep going or stop. He thought it looked great. Honestly, I took a double check at the mirror to make sure it was clean and clear. Was he looking at what I was looking at? In my head, I was so confused. But, since he was willing to sit and enjoy it, I talked. I talked about Jesus, my marriage, I asked them questions about their relationship, school, family. Even invited them to bible study, but apparently, it sounded to intense for them. I eventually finished the whole thing. Fuzzy and all, it looked like good braids, 2 weeks old. Again, he looked in the mirror and told me it looked amazing. He offered me $40! I took $20 and when I closed the door behind him, I just sat down and smiled. In those 2 hours, Matt had called to say he wouldn't be home for dinner because of a random work get together, 2/3 of the bible study text and said they couldn't make bible study so we cancelled, and when I looked around, I realized the house was pretty clean as it stood. Funny.

PS. That line I wrote in my last entry about feeling good- take it back. I woke up yesterday and could barely get out of bed, until I forced myself to get up and chew on a bagel around 10. It got more bearable as the day went. I think the best way to describe it is that I feel like a drank an overdose of nyquil but I'm still trying to function normally. No complaints though, as I realize these are healthy normal signs, and we want that.

Sunday, October 23, 2011


2 weeks ago I was frying potatoes when I literally left the stove on and the spatula in it, to appease an itching suspicion. I took a pregnancy test and there were 2 lines. I showed Matt and he went into shock mode for about 3 hours. He went for a run, took a walk, shower and a nap in that window of time. Processing. We took another test Thursday morning in case it was a defect but no, another second line. Matt has had them both sitting on his night stand since then. Memoirs... I think. 

This to say, we are very happy. Gregariously happy actually, we have been telling pretty much everyone we run into. "Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks..." It was somewhat earlier than expected, but God is good and perfect with his gifts and their timing. I feel very normal, so much so that I worry I will show up for my first appointment Nov 14th and the nurse is going to laugh at me and send me home for a mistaken self diagnosis... Matt assures me that won't happen.

Yep, so there it is. 7 weeks now I think... according to my experienced sister n laws who understand how to calc these things. Just hoping for a strong heart beat at the check-up. Don't worry, I will not turn the blog into an expectant mom journal. At least, that's not the plan.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Buying time

I smiled with true joy in my heart when I received probably my 6th or 7th notice via email of "Thanks for your interest but another candidate has been chosen." Its becoming comedic that I cannot even land a secretary job after rounds of interviews. I do not mean it with any ounce of sarcasm, though I realize it appears I am writing it with such.

I am almost certain God is buying me time. Not in the way he bought Hezekiah time, but in the way he allowed Moses years over the Sinai Peninsula in preparation for his Pharaoh confrontation, or the way he bought Ruth time in her travels with Naomi and part time job in the field, or the way he bought David time in the pastures during early adolescence. He buys time for quiet. For learning. For redirection. For hypersensitive ears to hear his voice sharply and clearly. And even that is just an expression doing little justice to the season. God doesn't have to buy anything. He owns it all. Maybe the more accurate description is, God is borrowing me this time. He is so gracious to do so.

Afternoons of couch journaling, and kindle reading. Hours of YouTube videos where I hone my knitting skills, teach myself web design and edit side jobs to keep building a portfolio. Of course this is in between applications, revisions of resumes and interviews. My house is clean, my husband is well fed, I am all ears to his daily activities and find his experiences fascinating. I am free to be in love not to just be married, to rethink what ministry looks like in my life, or what it doesn't for that matter. I am allowed to reevaluate how I do faith, or how I don't for that matter. How I love those around me, or how I...

I am in Chicago. I drove up yesterday. A couple missionaries from Mexico are here speaking about Arts in Missions at Moody Bible Institute.  Spent last night with one of my best friends from college. How beautiful to catch up and just have a good ol sleep over. Talk God, and boys and watch Dancemoms at all the same time. Deep.

Life is good, because God is bigger than it. He makes it worth my time.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Say Yes

I signed up to volunteer with a mentorship program called, "S.A.Y. Yes" (Save America's Youth). Mentorship is a portion of the entire dessert cart. It includes: After school tutoring, bible club, gym and dinner, crafts and lifeskills... it's mother is a non profit org called, "Here's Life Inner City" but operates completely through the local church. I love it.

This last month entailed my entry interview, weekly orientation/trainings and yesterday we had our first parent orientation opener. The flow of parent's was slower (to be expected in a low income, high crime, 30% English as a second language neighborhood). In pairs, we took bundles of flyers overviewing SAY Yes and went house to house last night surrounding the church. I ended up using my Spanish a good amount. It was heaven.

South Minneapolis is eclectically diverse. As we were talking to a White man about getting his kindergartner involved, a Native American man from the house prior yelled at us from the porch to talk to Gabriel a block down. We walked to the address shouted us, and after letting ourselves in through 2 open porch doors, we walked up a duplex stair case over loads of shoes, old t shirts and toys. In response to our knock, we met a smiley Gabriel...his 4 elementary kids, and his wife who does not speak or read English. They could utilize the tutoring program and plan to come to the orientation this Wed. at the church.

It all just felt so comfortable. Maybe because it simulated the going-ons of our 3 months in Mexico, maybe because I could speak Spanish, maybe because of the one-spiritedness of all the volunteers with me, maybe because I was in the hood-? Maybe because it was something to get me out of the house. I don't know. But, I am excited to be a part.