Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Monday, March 29, 2010


home: noun, residence; a place where one lives

The word, "home", has been much in my thoughts of late. The Revelation study of the past weeks called on heart and soul to imagine a home to come beyond the mind's comprehension. The short process of staging, showing, and selling our family's first house called for recognizing that a shelter is not a home. Our days at House of Hope in Puerto Lempira (photo below) demonstrated how a home has little to do with the roof over one's head, but everything to do with having a place to be loved.

At the end of the week in Honduras, there was an overwhelming desire to finish the journey home. Not home to our old house. Not home to our new house. Not away from House of Hope. But home. To the place where we belong. The place where we live amongst those with whom we share the bonds of family, fellowship, friendship, marriage... Home.

And just days after the return from Honduras, our family made the move to the place that will be our new home. It is in semi-chaos with boxes and belongings in disarray. Even without putting everything and everyone back in place, it is already becoming our home. And that is oh-so-welcome.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Consider the Field

There's a woman in Proverbs who both vexes and challenges. Despite the many areas where the Proverbs 31 woman demonstrates the goal rather than the reality of day-to-day life around here, this week the first half of Proverbs 31:16, "She considers a field and buys it," has come to mind repeatedly. Our home is not simply our dwelling place. Neither is it only employed as our family's shelter, but as the base of operations settled on a mission field.

The mission field on which we stand is not necessarily a field of financial or intellectual poverty, although many here have found the security measured in dollars and sense shaken in recent days. There is low crime, but we hear from our neighbors that many have found themselves robbed of at least some measure of peace. The sympathy toward those suffering financial poverty sometimes comes easier than the ability to extend grace to those clutching self-made images and idols. (Mirror, Mirror on the wall, who's throwing stones around in a glass hall?) This is a different sort of field from the ones found in post-Communist Eastern Europe or in Honduras. One that can be disdained or utterly overlooked in its seeming ordinariness. Pleasant Suburb is nothing less than our home mission field.

The mister and I considered the field. We chose to buy it. The Title Co. sent the paperwork. The paperwork arrived at the wrong house. The recipient (a stranger to us) phoned rather than simply dropping the packet off on our doorstep. What followed was, improbably, a conversation/infomercial on missions. Caller had never been on a mission trip, and in the course of the conversation she asked about being scared. Hee. Sharing my own experience from the other night, I addressed Caller's concern about fear as my own was addressed. On the heels of explanation followed suggestions of local missions in our neighborhood and greater community that Caller might consider.

Friday, March 5, 2010


There was no crackling loud speaker to announce, "All rational thought now departing." The words, "You didn't sign up for the travel insurance...", came and went with the ability to coherently process information. Our trip leader did not initially seem to understand the impact of those words. She continued on about an alternate, perhaps somewhat less comprehensive, but still available inexpensive insurance for things like medical treatment and emergency medical evacuation should such be needed during the week in Honduras.
Having awakened this past Monday morning with a raging sinus, ear, and respiratory infection (that hit like a semi truck smashing a compact car, and with about as much warning), the idea of no or possibly insufficient coverage for medical care as available and evacuation in case a medical emergency should occur was beyond unwelcome. It was panic-inducing. So, panic is exactly what I did.
Suddenly, every eensy detail that has produced even a momentary, "What?!" response through the planning and preparation for the trip come crashing down in tsunami form. Sucked into the deepest sea of doubt, even Leader's voice speaking in her usual cheerful manner failed to genuinely penetrate at those depths. Further discussion with the mister did little to keep me from sinking further. Awash in fear and doubt, a text to Walker and e-mail to Leader brought hope of someone throwing the twin life preservers of calm and prayer out long enough to determine the depth of the waters.
Ever see someone thrashing about in the water only to discover their feet can touch the bottom? Yeah, this may well be just that sort of foolishness. In the thrashing about, I was unable to quiet my thoughts to genuinely pray. That's where the mister, Middle Child, Leader, and Walker came in, and by this morning I was ready to more calmly address whether Middle Child and I may be in over our heads. Or if I am the fool thrashing about in the shallows.
The mister's morning devotional shed some light on the topic. He brought it to me to share first thing. From Paul's farewell to Ephesus in Acts 20:22-24, "And now, behold, bound in spirit, I am on my way to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there, 23 except that the Holy Spirit solemnly testifies to me in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions await me. 24 "But I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, so that I may finish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly for the gospel and the grace of God." Who am I to panic at a week in a place where love is needed, at the opportunity to walk with our friends as they prepare to remain where I will only tread lightly--- and out of fear?!
Paul had gifts to show God's provision which he sought to take to Jerusalem before Pentecost, and I, too, have gifts to offer Reach Out Honduras; although, I am less certain of the nature of those gifts than Paul was of his. My soul cries out to be part of the ministry in Puerta Lempira, to be more intimately prepared to offer prayer for those who are in need there. It is my mind and courage that falter and flail about today.
In fact, there is often a greater personal identification with Gideon than Paul. I hope for God to grant a litmus test as He did for Gideon (another one given to doubt). The boon asked? Three guesses, Gentle Reader. I simply wish to know that the travel insurance will be in place for Katie and I before we depart. Oh, I am a she of little faith today.
*10:51 a.m.: Printing out the flight information in order to call and put the travel insurance in place. Leader already has the paperwork for the secondary insurance. Soon to be doubly insured, I stand in the shallows thankful for God's provision in raising awareness that I had failed to sign up for the originally offered travel insurance, and feeling very foolish.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Two By Two

Sitting on the bench in the entry hall looking out the back doors, and they began to come two by two. Two dogs, claws clicking across the hard floors, came to see why the Lady was sitting in this location. They each chose a spot on the floor to rest their bones. Across the expanse of floor between my perch and the windows padded the smaller of two cats. Slow and low behind her stalked the bigger. Fortunately the hunter caught her furry prey after they left my line of vision leaving it visually unmarred, and the 2X2 count at precisely two.
The hunt's result was perhaps not seen, but it was heard. The yowling of the hunted was punctuated by something that probably belonged to her being repeatedly thumped by the hunter. The cat fight brought daughters two by two. Determined to ignore the rumpus which had drawn in dogs and daughters, I attempted to return to the reverie that accompanied peacefully looking out on the back yard and the drainage ditch creek. Tried and failed because the scrabbling of paws, claws, and feet on the floor, yowling, hissing, and, "Oh, poor baby... ow! She scratched me! Stupid cat!" were somewhat detracting from the peacefulness of the moment. It also brought on humming and intermittent singing of the Sunday School song about Noah's loading everything two by two into the ark.
This morning I am not expecting a peaceful moment. The daughters are off to school two by two. The dogs will be crated two by two. The cats will be doing whatever it is cats will do when the masters are away two by two. The mister and I will be off getting inspections done two by two. New House will be inspected this morning, and hopefully my Mommobile will be getting its state safety inspection at the same time. (This was not intentional. The realtor scheduled the house, and we tried to get the car checked yesterday only to be told to come back today.) Then we can swing by the storage facility to pick up the suitcases and supplies for packing two by two. I'll surely spend the day humming the little song about Noah.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


Yesterday, I went to the pharmacy where two sets of antimalarial drugs and antibiotics had been prepared for Katie and I in advance of our March 13th departure for Honduras. These images are a siren song calling us toward whatever lies in store for the days in country. Yearning for this adventure to swallow us up for the days we have been allotted, we wait.
We were also waiting for the appraiser, and he decided to come today with an hour's notice. A cleaning flurry was capped off by his 30 minute tour of our home, but now we are free to begin packing the decorative items that were needed to contribute to the overall appearance of the house. (We want it to appraise well for the buyer, and so there's no uh-oh with her loan.)
So. We will be packing for Honduras. We will also be packing for our move. Simultaneous packing. Maybe even synchronized packing. Shelley-in-Poland suggests we exercise caution to avoid having our passports end up in a box and our kitchen stuff in a suitcase. Good plan.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Out and Out

Over the weekend a fabulous case of laryngitis stole my voice. This made worship yesterday a wholly different sort of experience. (Usually there is at least a measure of concern for the people in proximity who are likely not tone deaf.) Since there was not much sound coming out, there was a general failure to modulate the air going in and out during participation with total abandon in the final songs of the service. (It's okay to sing way too loud when it's not going to affect anyone else.) This was great! Right up to the point that dizziness and encroaching blackness sounded the alarm that insufficient air was going in compared to what was going out. Uh-oh. Threatened with unconsciousness for the lack of self-consciousness, I sat down and thereafter refrained from quite such all-out worship. Full-out for Jesus should probably not include actually passing out.