Friday, November 5, 2010

A day of silver and gold

I can tell God is doing a new thing in my heart today, and I am praising him for it. This is a very overcast day, the sky rolling in varying shades of grey. The yard is full of fallen leaves, with a few brownish-yellowish bits clinging to nearly-bare branches above. The Connie of earlier this week... or from pretty much any earlier day like this would have been down and negative, classifying it as "gloomy" and "dead." But today as I look out my window, I see silver and gold - a beauty that is found in stillness and surrender. Learning about that beauty and growing through it this week.

As I ponder life, my deep thoughts are lightened by a busy squirrel, digging through the three-inch pile of leaves, surely wondering, "Where did I put that confounded acorn?!" I laugh at him and smile at the peace and joy I feel right now, for no other reason than that I am certain of God's love for me in this moment.

And then something catches my eye... a feather? No, too little to be a feather... wait, there's more! Bits of white, floating down, thicker now! It's snowing! Not much, just some flurries, but definitely snow and my first sighting in Indiana! It's rather exciting for a southern girl like me. :)

As I write this, the flurries are fading, and I wonder how many other people in this town got the glimpse of it that I did. The squirrel has moved on to another part of the yard, hoping to recover his lost treasure. And I am still here, still feeling peace and joy beyond understanding. Still praising the Lord.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Facebook vs. Fellowship

Last week after youth night, I was talking to Jayne about my ideals. It went something like this:

"Wouldn't it be great if our teenagers just wanted to be with us? We use computer time to do Facebook as a reward and incintive, because it seems to be their highest motivator... but I'd love it if we could say: 'When you get finished with your homework we all get to hang out and tell stories and goof off together!' and then have them rush through their homework to get to this amazing opportunity. I know it's unrealistic and naive to think that would ever happen... but it's cool to think about."

Deep in my heart, I believe that everyone longs for authentic relationship and quality fellowship. And I think it is a great need, especially in the lives of our teenagers. But I wonder if the world's messages of high-tech junk and social networking has dulled kids' realization of this longing and need. Can we get back to that? And how do we do it? I have no idea, so I just prayed a lot this week.

Fast forward to this Wednesday night... There's a Scrabble game going on between three volunteers and four students, and an Uno game between four volunteers and four students. I look out the window and two guys are dancing on the blacktop to music blasting from an ipod. There's even a penmanship contest going on! Is this what I think it is? Is it students engaging with volunteers - kids just wanting to hang out with us for fun??

I love that God works outside of our realm of possibilities. And I love when he shows that off in situations like this. Pray for our volunteers, and pray for our kids... God's doing a really cool thing on Wednesday nights.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Burmese Cinderella

Today Thang Ngaih made my day. She came down stairs with her hands behind her back, looking sweet as usual. "Oh hello," she said, as though she was surprised to see me. "Are you ok?"

Well, truthfully, I wasn't ok. I'd just had a difficult conversation that ended awkwardly and I was a bit shaken because I hate conflict, no matter how controlled it is. But that was not a really good time to discuss it with Thang Ngaih so I just gave a weak smile and said yes, and started to go to my room.

As I passed her, she said, "I have something for you!" and she followed me into my room. From behind her back, she brought out the most elegant shoes - black velvety material covered in silver sequence. "I bought for you!" she exclaimed with a big smile. My mouth dropped open and I was genuinely speechless. But she continued, "They are from Burma... for you! Want to try?" Still speechless and even more so, with tears welling up, I nodded. Thang Ngaih knelt down and very carefully took off my shoes, and then slipped on these new ones... which - amazingly, for my feet - fit perfectly! My first words of recovery were, "I feel like Cinderella!" And then the thank yous and praises and admiration poured forth.

When I went out to the kitchen, Jo Lien ran by me and stopped in his tracks, pointed at my feet, and with big eyes said, "Ooooo!"  They are so soft and comfortable, and so so lovely. They remind me a little bit of Cinderella's slippers in the movie Ever After:

Very elegant! I feel like such a princess - and apparently a Burmese princess at that! Thank you, dear dear Thang Ngaih for such a special and precious gift!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Wheelchair Update

Well after going to an O'Reiley Auto Part store and three different Radio Shacks, Pam and I managed to get a switch for my chair that... sort of works. Her engineer friend, Chris (same one who built the state-of-the-art ramps), had a lot of fun for three hours in his garage Saturday night taking apart and reassembling my control box.

There was saudering involved, and a sparkler show with a dremel, and of course electrical tape. And in the end, we had a working contol switch and no major injuries! It was fascinating and entertaining to watch him work, and I'm pretty sure he enjoyed every minute of it. 

Since he is the handiest man I know in Fort Wayne... actually, in the whole state of Indiana... I decided to create a certificate of honor for him - the HARE Award: Handicap Access and Repair Extraordinaire. My chair is very happy now, and so am I. Thanks, Chris!