I don’t often have time to sit down at any screen for any length of time. My emails pile up, facebook drains me in about 2 minutes and I don’t watch any TV. I posses a geriatric phone that takes a good five minutes to compose a text and blogging well, I feel with my book out and all our travels meeting with so many people I have become quiet and rather guarded here. We are all loud all the time in our efforts to connect and express. We call it communication. But does communication equal relationship? I question if our volume amounts to any real soul transformation and if our quest to be influencers and image-makers through our small screens is as powerful and affirming as we like to think.
So most times in the land of screens I am hushed and resistant because it is not where I live and move and have my being. I do not call that strange new land home. Home? Let me open up the screen door wide here and invite you into where I truly dwell…
Today is Thursday and Thursdays are when I take a deep breath and slow down the hurried pace of the previous days and their commitments. I took Lars to his yearly check up today. No surprise he is tall for his age and slender. Just like his daddy (now if you know us you are smirking). His elbow was infected from the 3rd fall from this past month. The boy is a walking scar. Last month his brother slammed his arm in the van door and fractured his wrist bone. He and I talked all the way there about his history reading and the wonders of the ancient world. All the way back we talked about what he wants to say this week in church when he has opportunity to speak in the services for youth Sunday. “If you are doing this out of obedience to the Spirit’s beckoning, then you’ll have words and they will be good and true. The Jesus in us always has a word, ” I told him. He looked out the window for many blocks, pondering. I love to watch my children ponder when they don’t know that I can see.
And then back at home there was the rush of lunch and chores. Opps! Kiersta knocked over the bird cage on the lanai again. Another pile of bird pee mixed with seed and water to clean up. And Mama, did you know I’d like to ride an elephant and that the reason the cloud moved for the Irealites to follow is because there were huge batteries inside? She squeals all of this in seriousness. My word the child never stops talking and moving.
Anders is making paper airplanes when he should be doing phonics. Then he disappears to shoot squirrels and lizards with his slingshot. So I sit next to him and we work for a good two hours while keeping the little lady’s hands busy with projects and the tall boy engaged with his math and writing through the occasional holler to the other side of the house. Then on to read about animals and plants, Elisha and the the disappearing cities in India.
Hamburgers and veggies to grill for dinner, the little garden to weed and water, a short explanation about Presidential debates, bathrooms to clean, showers and baths to be had and more stories to be read. No room for much screens except to look up the famines of the last 100 years and the history of the China dynasties. The princess is in bed after we sing songs together and pray about her “naughty dreams of buffaloes with the shiny eyes.” The husband steals away to his favorite IKEA chair in our room to get on the phone again and connect with people in faith, raising the rest of our monthly support. Our goal is to have this raised by Thanksgiving. After that there are one time costs to consider as well as all the logistics of moving a family to another country.
I squeeze in some time to read a bit about current world events and this delicious memoir of how a young woman came to Jesus (or rather how He came to here) while studying at Harvard. I sometimes envy people who get to study at such places and have such lofty personal experiences. I think this again as my boy streaks by in his underwear and towel cape on the way to the shower, his grin reminding me I’d rather have him than experiences that were never ordained for me. I throw a pillow at him across the living room and it smacks him on the back of the head. He thinks I throw good for a girl. I do.
Later the boys and I lay on the rug out in the lanai and listen to the night sounds while we lift our hands in prayer. Our missionaries in China! Our neighbor who had surgery today! The four children the boys are longing for their names to be written in the Lamb’s book of Life who live across the street! The elections! The cousins in California! The people in Mexico we are going to live among! Our present team of supporters and their lives! Larsen and Mom’s Tuesday Spanish classes at the local state college! Mom’s art classes! Dad’s hard work to raise the rest of the support, train and work on all the myriad of details! Kiersta’s need to obey all the way, right away and with a happy heart! Our daily provision! The boys schooling and all their growth! More revelation!
So much to pray about. We go on and on. We did it again, staying up too late, urgh! But in those time together sometimes I almost feel the fluttering edges of that curtain that was torn in two so we might go boldly into the Holy of Holies and talk to the One who made us and I cannot help but take full advantage.
“Hey,” the husband pokes his head out the side door at us, “great conversation with Tom in Mexico!” And he details all that is happening with a church plant, the dental clinic and the water projects. Our excitement to get there is growing but like Lars said we are happy, excited, nervous, eager and sad all in the same moment about it all. It is normal we say. But God is a forward-moving God and we are swept up in the movement.
This is just one of the days of my life and not even all of it. Simple, full, good and yes a little crazy and unconventional. And I hope well-planned but not so planned it cannot be interrupted by a better one. The house is a mess but my soul is at rest. It has been a grueling journey all these many years learning to lean back in trust and obedience, but I’m finding my soul fits there nicely in Who He Is. There is much we are preparing for, but it is one day at a time. One conversation. One prayer. One ah-hah moment. One story. One lesson. One painting. One class. One attempt to roll an R. One firm correction. One kiss. One face-to-face conversation. One seed to drop. One phone call. One more “yes”. One more page to read.
One more. It all adds up and has a way of shaping who we are and who we’ll become. He is good to make us in this way I think now as I see the moonlight cracking through the blur of clouds. There is nothing better than knowing He is more committed to me than I will ever be capable of being to Him. Yes, He is my home. Where I live and move and have my being.
He is jealous for me. And you. So close the screen now and go Home.