Saturday, February 7, 2009

Living on the Edge of Chaos

Randy and I have been “wandering” with our suitcases and backpacks since 13 October. We have “camped” out in Senegal and Mali, several homes in the States, a home and a room in South Africa, and two rooms in Zambia. The only stability is my husband and my coffee plunger! While wandering, rather intentionally, I have attempted at least to maintain a routine of having a morning cup of coffee with my Bible and prayer.

In a blog I’ve been following, called Cross-Cultural Moments (, Elizabeth Abbot wrote, “Living on the edge of chaos is a ‘paradoxical state of unresolvable contradictory forces’ and the tension between these forces ‘elicits creativity and innovation.’” Well, I’ve been living on the edge of chaos for quite some months and have found myself scrambling to establish some form of normalcy so I can think rationally!

However, Elizabeth’s thoughts give me pause. God certainly allowed our present state of affairs, if not actually launching this nomadic journey. So He must have something in mind other than just teaching me how to bring some order into our lives. I wonder what creativity and innovation God would like to produce in the midst of this rather disordered life style? And if I haven’t seen it yet, I can expect some marvelous outcomes in and through our lives.

So, here I am. I’m looking for the precious surprises God has in mind. I want to see him take what has been an emotional drain and transform it into his creative purposes for his glory. Yes, I still want my morning cup of coffee and prayer – but I welcome whatever else he has around the corner.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Symphony of Bird Songs

One of the things I have so enjoyed about staying in the home where we are house sitting is hearing the symphony of birds in the early hours of morning before the first light actually drifts through the curtains. These birds are just so cheerful! What a lovely wake up sound! It reminds me of a song we learned years ago on outreach in El Salvador: In the morning the birds are singing the praises of Jesus Christ our living Lord, and you my friend, why are you not singing the praises of Jesus Christ our Savior?

So, these pleasant bird songs remind me to be just as cheerful for those that awake to my sounds! I wonder? Am I filled with praises every morning? Surely I have more to sing about than them! I have a wonderful husband who loves me and carefully attends to the details of our present nomadic life. I have a wealth of friends who write encouraging notes to accompany us on our path of service in Africa. I have a wonderful son who honors and respects us as parents and a delightful daughter-in-law and granddaughter who have brought special joy to us. I work with leaders who have not only been friends, but have been consistent in showing appreciation and care as we slog away with some rather difficult issues. We work alongside some amazing missionaries who continue to sacrifice their careers and comforts on a daily basis to ensure that people hear and see the Good News. And most of all, God continues to ensure that his mercies are new every morning and consistently demonstrates that in such sweet personal ways that still surprise and delight me!

So, yes, I have more reason to sing each morning than the birds do, and I pray that I may as consistently delight others as they waken to the first glimpses of morning light and rouse themselves to face another day.