And since I am incapable of being truly wordless: this is me at Iguassu Falls in August 2007 (Argentina side of the Falls).
I had no idea I was getting ready to go through six months of infertility that would make me slightly insane. I had no idea by the next August I would be 7 months pregnant, either!
I spent the day in tears and song over God’s amazing work in nature.
I had no idea the language barrier that seemed to small in person would inhibit truly keeping contact with those I met.
I had no idea I would know so much sadness this year, especially when it comes to children, in the year when I am carrying my own child.
I love this picture, even for the shadows.
Our Sunday School lesson this morning was on the 23rd psalm–same old, same old, right? Well, I was actually quite struck as I sat there listening to Howard’s “sermon.”
“He leads me beside quiet waters/ he renews my life.” Psalm 23:2-3, HCSB
In the past two years, I’ve had the privilege of traveling to some awesome waters. In March 2006, I sat by the Andaman Sea in Thailand. It was so calm, despite having produced such massive destruction through the 2004 tsunami. I felt so peaceful and yet so filled with pain for the people of Khao Lak. I vividly remember walking along a beach filled with giant rocks, the kind you couldn’t possibly move, that had been washed ashore by that huge wave. All of the tree were leafless and cut off at the same height. It was haunting.
This past August, I went to Foz de Iguacu, Brazil, which is home to one of the world’s largest waterfalls. The cataratas
are amazing, just breathtaking and immense in a way completely indescribable.
I was filled with such reverence on this day that I have a picture of, trekking around the Argentina side of the falls (in that sweater that I miss so dearly. I was wearing it when I was in my car accident and I bled all over it. Man, I liked that sweater! Ooops, sorry!). I actually cried a little, and sang “How Great Thou Art” while walking around.
In my spiritual life, there are still waters and rushing waters. There have to be both to mature me. If we only had to walk beside the still waters, we might be bored, even a little melancholy. The rushing waters may be the valley of the shadow of death, but they are the times that cause us to rely on God, to know Him better, to cry at His greatness.
Even when I feel like I’m going through a valley kind of time…I know that if I keep my sight straight ahead on my Shepherd, I will learn, I will grow, and I will be better for it.
So there’s my Sunday sermon for you.
Even though I’ve known about blogging for a few years, and have sporadically read a few (friends from college Sam and Jen), it’s only recently that I’ve actually started reading blogs of people I don’t even know just because they’re interesting. I just like to see what the lives of others are like, maybe to see if everyone else is living in fascinating existence, or just to see what my life might be like a few years down the road when we’ll *hopefully* have some kiddos to chase after and I won’t have to sit behind my desk for 8 hours a day.
Mostly I’ve been reading blogs of SAHMs (that’s stay at home moms for those of you not obsessed with becoming one), some who homeschool/”unschool”/do various other methods of teaching. Not that I intend to do those, but it just fascinates me to see people who can do that. The whole unschooling, let kids be kids and learn naturally thing really appeals to me, but I don’t think I could ever do it. Mr. V and I tend to be antisocial introverts, so if our kids take after us it could just cause them to never learn to relate to other humans!
Some blogs I read pretty regularly:
Because I Said So
The Road Less Traveled
I am looking forward to getting home tonight, as the last two nights it’s been at least 9 before I saw the house again. I don’t do very well with these crazy days. And tomorrow night is the GA lock-in at church. I won’t stay the night, but will probably be there until midnight, which is way past my bedtime. Tonight I have to figure out what I am going to present to the girls about Brazil. What we did in Brazil was such unconventional, relational work that I am not sure they will quite understand it. But I have pictures! Of waterfalls! And food!
Igaussu Falls, Brazil
I am a completely spastic blogger, but I’m really OK with that. I write when and what I want. And since I just got back from Brazil, I have a lot to write!!
It’s wild how much your perspective can change in just a short time. I guess when you are removed from your “real life” it’s inevitable that things will flip flop around in your mind. I have had a difficult time being home. And I don’t want to release the discomfort I have with my life.
I think it’s a good thing to be uncomfortable because I have so much and yet complain about having not enough. YES, it is true that compared to many people we know, Mr. V and I don’t have a lot–we have old cars, don’t go on vacation, struggle from time to time. But really, from a global perspective, it’s just ridiculous. What percent of people outside American and Europe do you think know what “vacation” is?
Also, a day or two after I got back, I was looking through Better Homes and Gardens (it was a free subscription…) and just kind of felt disgusted at myself for wanting my house to look perfect and decorated. The most divine time I had in Brazil was visiting the home of a man from Morocco and his Brazilian wife and their two kids. They had just moved into a home that was all cement, it was freezing because it wasn’t closed in, and they were THE most hospitable people I had ever met. The wife went on and on about how much God had blessed them with the home and they were going to be able to put a wall around the house so the kids wouldn’t run into the street. The family was precious and adored each other. Shouldn’t that be my real goal for my life?
I hope I’ll never look at my life the same again. I pray that these images will keep me from becoming self-centered and so very American. My life is to praise God, to bring glory to Him, not to acquire stuff and live in comfort.
Really funny exchange that just took place in my office.
D: Isn’t this the most boring this ever?
Me: What, the implementation guide? YES.
D: I just hate it.
Me: Wait. I thought you were supposed to be gung-ho about FAITH?
D: I’m supposed to be. But Sharon isn’t here, so I don’t have to lie.
I guess you might have to know “D,” who is a very dry person with little to no sense of humor.
I have no desire to work today. I got three vaccines at lunch for my trip to Brazil, so now my arm feels like it’s going to fall off and I feel weird and yucky. Plus my car has an almost-flat tire so on the way home I have to go put air in it and then take it to the shop near our house. Hopefully Mr. V loves me enough to come get me from there. Stupid car.
I told Sarah, who is living with us, that I was going to buy a horse-and-buggy instead. She wasn’t sure the neighbors would care for the smell. As much as I love the neighbors…maybe the horse would poop on their nice SUV.