Sunday, October 7, 2007

Where do I belong?

I have been meaning to write for a long time. But homeschool, housework, visiting and quality spiritual time take almost all my day. I have learned to balance all these fairly satisfactorily, but I have very little left for writing. Also, I alternate between feeling burdened by expectations and misunderstandings and feeling that we are making progress. So choosing what to write about is difficult.

On the one hand, we have offended all of church members at one time or another, that has been hard to swallow. But thankfully now they have all forgiven us, which feels very good. Starting a Pathfinder group is one of our goals. But having a plan to get a regular group to attend and develop leadership are issues that have kept us from getting started. It is hard having a church expecting you to lead them when you don't know where they want to go and they don't know how to tell you.

On the other hand, I feel so much better about how our family life is going. I am feeling more prepared for an afternoon of visitors. When we returned from our vacation I really appreciated how much a couple of friends had missed me. Vacation Bible School, led by a group from New York, went well and about sixty attended, including teenagers. Warren has been making more friends (including especially one promising contact) and we are getting to know more people.

I am so grateful for the things that I have been learning these past few months. Homeschool is becoming a joy daily. I am learning to hear my girls better. I am becoming a better wife. I still have all the same struggles, but I hear what I sound like to others better than I used to. Spending more time on the things of God is gradually changing me, but I have a long way to go. As I get closer to God, I see more of all the things I lack. Today I again allowed myself to descend into tangents that had little to do with my family or our mission here. Yet God has brought me back to the tasks I needed to do in time to save the day. A good day requires the same concentration on Jesus for me as walking on water did for Peter. And it is just as exciting when is happens.

Whatever I may feel, I do need to be here for our family and for this village. Choosing to live more simply, we have more time for eternal pursuits. As I look out the window, I am encouraged by the beauty I am surrounded with. The river is calm, even though it is evening, the boats having been pulled up since freeze-up has begun. I am encouraged by the historic church yesterday (for us anyway.) We had a boy and a girl come to our Cradle Roll class just before church, the boy brought by his grandmother. We have never had any other children come, so it was just an impromptu affair we were conducting for Miriam's benefit which has been hit or miss. Praise God, we were ready this week. Now I have a plan and am prepared. Following that very pleasant surprise, we had a full church service, missing one previous member, but adding the boy's grandmother who is becoming regular in attendance.

I may not have miraculous events to remember when I am discouraged. I may wonder if God is blessing our efforts. But I can know if I am following him right now and if I am growing closer to him each day. That is all I need. If I have that, then I am right where I belong.