Friday, September 21, 2018

Pity problems

I've been complaining a lot this season. Over little stresses and mess ups and problems that in the light of things, aren't really a big deal. But in my conceited head, the world falls apart when all these little stresses come, and the pity party starts when I have to deal with them alone in a 3rd world with no one to vent to. Then God puts it all into prospective for me. He sends me little reminders to find joy in the mist of pain. To find happiness in the mist of gloom. To find the light when all around me is darkness. I'm trying to learn to "suck it up,buttercup" and continue serving my neighbors. Because you see, where I live, my little stresses are nothing compared to theirs.------------------------------------------- My security guard yelled through my bedroom window that he needs to leave. Someone was driving his motorcycle as a taxi service and accidently hit a 4 year old girl in the road. She suffered a broken leg but will be ok. The law of the land over here is whoever owns the vehicle, or a motorcycle in this case, is responsible. Not the driver. Responsibility over here means paying for everything. The repairs if you hit another car, the hospital fees, the medicine. Everything. And there is no such thing as insurance for these people in my village so they are completely on their own to find a way to pay when its already hard to make ends meet. Ends that are completely different than ours. On top of that, it's September. Several employees have asked for their paychecks early so they have the money to send their children to school. So last week my almost finished being built house flooded. A pvc broke and the house flooded. All over my huge (2 bedroom) house with ceramic floor tiles. All around the fridge where I open it and am reminded that I get 24/7 electricity most days. All around the actual toilets, not just a hole in the ground and a sink where when you turn the faucet, water comes out so I don't have to walk a mile to pump water manually then carry the 40lb bucket on my head to return to my house. A pvc broke that I could easily buy a new one without double checking the wallet but I didn't have to because I even had some stored in my storage room. Stuff. I have lots of it. And instead of being thankful that I at least have stuff, I complain when my stuff breaks or falls apart. And then my security guard tells me he hasn't been sleeping. He's stressed. The hospital bill is already at $130 and that is a lot of money over here. He has a beautiful wife and two boys and works 48 hours a week to feed them and clothe them and he's still considered very poor. No electricity. No indoor plumbing. No juice boxes and ice cream for after school snacks. He's struggling. And it puts into perspective my problems. I can't tell him God is with him and it'll all be ok as I walk back into my fancy house where my kids are fed 3 times a day and I can sleep with fans all night because I have solar panels that give me electricity and I have a fridge where I can keep clean cold drinking water and then I get to lie on my mattress at night alone. Not with the entire family like some people do because one mattress is all they could scrounge up for the whole family. Sometimes this country messes me up. If I lived in the states, I could be completely blinded to the poor and their problems. I could go on venting about my own "problems" and people would run to help and assist me because God forbid we live a hard life. That wouldn't be fair if our middle class selves had to battle.(rolling my eyes) I could throw a pity party and not feel guilty. I could ignore the cries of the poor and go on with my happy go lucky self. because sadly thats the norm sometimes to some people. But I'm here. In Haiti. With reality. Smart enough to know the American dream isn't really a dream and to be blinded by the world's hurt is worse than being surrounded with their problems. I'm here so God can continue to teach me. And I wouldn't want it any other way. I'm still blinded at times. I'm human. I'll still complain and stress. That's ok. But you see, living amongst these people teaches me a lot about what's really important in life. Struggles. We all have them. Stress. Itl'l always be lurking around the corner. But if we have our hearts open to God and what he's wanting to teach us, all those stresses will start to become pity. And we can go on loving our neighbors and that self-focus will soon fade away. And in that, God will get all the glory. That's the ultimate aim of life anyway. That God gets all the glory. No matter what is thrown our way.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Releasing the reins

School. This is how it is suppose to be, right? More lonely than ever before? Separation anxiety? Having to let go of the reins? I sent 5 of my girls to school last week. 3 went for the very first time. 3 that I've raised since they were little babies. 3 that only I know how to tend to when one refuses to eat and the other throws a tantrum. Yet I'm suppose to hand them off to a stranger. A teacher. For 6 hours a day while I stay home and twiddle my thumbs. It has been a few months since I really felt the Lord trying to teach me "let go and let God". Trying to remind me these are His children and I am just to borrow them on earth while planting seeds in their hearts yet still allow Him to do as He pleases. Yet I have this motherly bond. Like I can't let them go because I know the world they go into. I can't let that happen. Yet I have too. I have no choice and so the pain hits my heart like never before as I release my reins into His hands and try to wake up each morning letting Him be in control of these children. Elizabeth Elliot writes "through the transforming power of the cross, even loneliness is a gift." He comes to meet us, He gives us himself. He will never let us go." "The Love that calls us into being, woos us to Himself, makes us His bride, lays down His life for us, and daily crowns us with lovingkindness and tender mercy, will not, no matter how it may appear in our loneliness, abandon us" Elizabeth writes. So this life, gives us new marching orders through each season. Sending your baby to school and learning to accept that change. Sending your child to college, it comes again. Giving your daughter away to marriage, there it pops up again. Loosing a loved one, going to the mission field. New marching orders. On and on we all experience that tug at the heartstrings yet it's just a new marching order. And we ought to do it gladly and happily because we know who goes before us and after us and right next to us through it all.
I arrive to school early every afternoon to pick up the girls. I sit in my car twiddling my thumbs waiting for that door to open so I can scoop up my girls. I eye that door like a kid in a candy shop eager to see them again. And then I smile as I know I'm about to get brownie points because I could afford juice boxes this week for an afternoon snack! So then we take the ride back down that gravel dirt road. Reunited. Together. At home at last. Motherhood. It's a beautiful thing. It's a gift. An offering I may make to God.