Saturday, December 27, 2014

Why I Dread January 9, 2015

" 'tis the Season to be jolly, fala lala la lala la la...."

My whole family was home for Christmas. That makes me happy. 

Last year it wasn't so. Our youngest daughter was in South America, and to be honest we all were kind of schlepping through the day. This Christmas Day all were home and all was right. 

My December calendar this year consisted of volunteer work in church, 

shower for our son's fiancèe, cleaning, lots of cooking and baking, Christmas programs, Christmas Eve service, hosting family Christmas, gathering with relatives...

It still consists of preparing for a wedding and for my dear big sister to come for a visit.
Everything joyous or for joyous occasions. All should be just perfect with the world.

January, however, is approaching with the speed of light.
January 1 my sister arrives. A much anticipated day.
Jan. 1 also Olliebollen with wonderful friends, dress rehearsal for our son's wedding and more preparations. Weddings are a joyous occasion. Yet part of my heart is still sad.

January 2 is the big day. Our son is getting married! There will be a big celebration, a big party, a dance...

I'm sure there will be a lot of joy and laughter and we will all celebrate with him.

But Jan. 2 he will not be coming home for the night anymore. I know, he is old enough and we've had him home longer than one usually does. But we grew accustomed to it. It's just the way it is. Or was...

Jan. 6 unfortunately my big sister will leave again to go back home to her family. What a blessing that she can come and be here with us for this big day. But there will be goodbyes.

Jan. 6 will also be a Farewell family dinner. A last dinner together as whole family before our youngest daughter leaves for Australia for 6 months. It is a wonderful and great thing that she is able to go to YWAM. It is God's way for her and we all support her in that.

But come Jan. 8, there will be more goodbyes. She will leave on her very own adventure with God, and there will be tears of sadness to let her go that far all on her own. We will miss her terribly.

Why I dread Jan. 9 coming around the corner -

Empty nest. Complete and total empty nest in less than a week.
Aren't I too young for an empty nest?
I thought I was ready for this. Or did I? Maybe not. I don't know anymore. I've been too busy. So busy for a whole month and then Jan. 9 - nothing. I can sleep in, I can do my daily chores, I can chat with friends far away, I can do whatever I please.

Haven't I been looking forward to that? I've come to realize that - no, I haven't. I have not been anticipating doing what I please. Well, there is work, too. But I want all my family around me all the time. I'm in trouble. I am not prepared. 

I realize I need Jesus more than anything now, to prepare me and to guide me and to help me in this new chapter in life.

We all need Jesus all the time. But I have a feeling I will need to grab hold of Him a bit tighter than usual. 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Through the Eyes of a Third World Girl - Part 1

     “I'm a third world girl living in a first world nation...” is blasting in the car. Never has a song seemed more fitting for me than that one, and I have never even been to Jamaica yet and I definitely didn't grow up with Reggae music.

     How can one person have an instant connection with someone they have never met?

I have asked myself that question more times than I can remember.

     How come we had that instant connection with a Kenyan married to a Canadian? How did they become instant family to us? Why do we feel most comfortable when we're around them? We've never even been to Kenya.

     Why do we connect instantly with South Africans, and how come they can understand part of our Plautdietsch and we often know what they're saying in Afrikaans? You guessed it – no, we've never been to South Africa either.

     How come some of my very best friends are Dutch? Okay, I do have ancestors who originally came from Holland, but I certainly have never been there.

     A lot of us believe in spiritual DNA, our divinely embedded design for spiritual identity and function. But have you ever given any thought to cultural DNA, or maybe even Third World or First World DNA? (It's a thought.)

     I'm a third world girl from a half desert region with long droughts, heavy rains piled up in a short time period, two seasons a year and too much dust (sand), living in a first world nation with a lot of rain, cold winters with snow, and FOUR seasons.

     When others look forward to a couple of months of summer, hot sun, and less rain, I dread the feeling of the hot sun on my skin, on my windows...although I do love the ocean in the summer. I am thankful for air conditioning, which I didn't have growing up. When temperatures went close to 50 degrees Celsius, we had fans and prayed for a little bit of cooling wind.

     When others dread fall coming too soon, I get overly excited for colorful trees, crunchy leaves and cold brisk air. I prepare more for fall than any other season. I only met fall in 1990, I fell in love and never looked back. I take most of my pictures of fall and we've been on many long wonderful walks together.

     I am not partial to fall, though. I love winter, too. (Fall doesn't mind.) Snow and I only met in 1990 as well. And boy, did we hit it off. I will never forget my first snow angel, my first very crooked snowman, the first snowfall when I couldn't help but stay outside and let it all fall on me. I love the cold, but not when I can't sleep because of it. I am thankful for heating, for hot chocolate and lots of coffee, for walks in the crisp cold air, for hot soups and a family who loves soup just as much as I do.

     I like spring, because all the flowers remind me of my Mother who used to work so very hard to keep plants and flowers growing at home. She was a desert Mrs. Greenthumbs. Every spring when the flowers bloom I show them to her (in my mind), I take pictures of them, I hear her admire them and in my head we talk flowers. I remember the time she came to visit and we took her to Butchart Gardens, how she could've stayed there “forever”, in awe of the vast amount of colors and sizes and kinds, because she as well was a third world girl in a first world nation, and we needn't say a word in order to understand each other in that grand sea of colors.

     My heart rejoices every time it rains in wet BC, because my heart remembers the feeling of the sand hitting my legs and my face on the way back from school. I don't have to close my eyes to feel the sand in them, in my ears, between my teeth, and everywhere else.

     My heart also jumps joyfully with every thunder I hear. I remember that thunder usually means rain, and rain at the right time means a good harvest. When you pray for rain for months on end, you run out at the first drops and you dance in the rain (provided the lightning and thunder isn't too close). I do like thunder and lightning. It's an exciting display of nature.

     And this is all mostly just the weather. There is so much more...

“Don't forget where you're from. Never forget where you're from....”

Avion Blackman - Third World Girl