Wednesday, June 2, 2010

What's In Your Cart?

One of my pet peeves about prayer letters is when people moan and groan about their needs and then fail to mention God’s abundant provision later. Therefore, I think it’s time for an update of sorts about different gripes I have blogged about.

First of all, I am now the proud holder of a California driver’s license. Woo-woo! Yes, I passed the written test on the very first try, and was not required to start over with the learner’s permit and driving exams. Thank you, Lord! Now I am not such a burden on my college kids who were my willing chauffeurs the first few days after my arrival.

Secondly, I think this intestinal infection is finally clearing up. Most of the 40 or so people who were infected seem to be recovering now. That was one crazy powerful bug. I honestly wondered if I would ever feel normal again. Isaiah 41 has come to have new meaning for me: “He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength.” I’m actually out walking again, and not completely exhausted afterward. That’s high on my thankfulness list these days.

With that said, can I admit something (confidentially, between friends, right?) that I seldom mention to our supporters? I miss my affordable household help! Since the three youngest kids were babies, I have had a part-time housekeeper to keep me caught up on chores and meals while I home school. Living in the U.S. always takes a bit of adjustment as I plan, execute, serve, and clean up after every meal, plus do some of the shopping. (Methuselah* does most of it in Mexico since he’s in the city more often than I am.)

One of my other (pardon me for boasting) accomplishments last week was learning how to navigate the self-check-out lanes in the stores. That was thrilling, to be so independent.

Spiritually, it’s just the opposite. It is so nice to feast on live sermons in English and books galore after years of having to hunt for "food" in the self-service aisle. In fact, I am auditing a summer class with my daughter at Eternity Bible College. That’s an amazing provision in itself.

After a season of extreme weariness and pain, I am being rehydrated spiritually, getting some counseling, and gaining eternal perspective on my troubles. And though I am not soaring with the eagles (yet), I am enjoying this time of rest, unhindered by a cloud of oppression. If I had to summarize in one word, I’d say I am coasting. The encouraging part is that I don’t have to do the steering. I like that.

It’s a refreshing change, nourishment I don’t have to shop and prepare for myself.

IRL* Life still isn’t necessarily “fun” but it sure is good.


  1. Such a good post! Love the "self check out" comparison...that is SO HARD when living outside the home country, isnt' it? Probably the hardest thing for me. Bible study in a 2nd language is just so much work! And trying to find "self serve" sources in English, sometimes just as hard or harder!

    Glad you are finding refreshment and not having to steer! I look forward to that myself in a few weeks!

  2. So glad you are getting some refreshment!

    I smiled when I read about you missing your household help. We are going through some major transitions in my clinic right now. So I'm even more dependent than ever on my housekeeper. Unfortunately she has taken ill and may be looking at surgery next week. I don't think I've ever been as thankful for her before as I have in this week without her!

  3. Reader, I pray that you receive wonderful nourishment this summer. Does this mean you will be in the U.S. in a few weeks?

    Michelle, it's good to hear that others are likewise dependent on outside help. I cringe to admit such things fearing the envy it might stir up among others less fortunate. Believe me, I know well how difficult it is to find good help.

  4. This week has brought a few discouraging things our way - thank you for your honesty. Valerie Grace and I fly back to FL in just a few weeks. It will be the shortest trip we have taken back (2 weeks), but I am looking forward to the refreshment as well. We cut our house help down to 3 days a week (and the house shows it). She has definitely been a blessing here and she became my closest friend. No frozen foods, no dishwash, people at the gate throughout the stuff just takes more time in a third world area, doesn't it?

  5. So true. Here in the U.S. I have to recognize that I have household help, but it's in the way of convenience foods and vacuum sweepers and things like that. Living takes much less time up here. We've chosen to not use the dish washer just to give the kids more to do!

    I pray you find refreshment and encouragement for Valerie Grace and yourself, and that the rest of the family does well in your absence.
    I'm still praying for a miracle for your daughter.

  6. Our God is so awesome in how He cares about even the smallest details of our lives. He never gives us more than He can handle. I am glad things are going better for you. The rest of us have 'househelp' usually in the form of older children. Problem is that they leave us about the time they are Really competent. Alas, then we have to keep on training the younger ones.

  7. Jaime, welcome to California. I am here, too, and still haven't quite figured out the self-serve check outs, but I've only gone to one or two stores that have them. I tend to stick to smaller stores, anyhow. I don't know if that is a description of who I was before or who I have become, but I appreciate local, smaller stores far more than I used to.

    Thanks for your reminder to recount my blessings as I think about writing a letter to pray-ers tonight.


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