Sunday, January 13, 2008

Sundays are the hardest days

Instead of waking me up in a way that will get her in trouble, Pila just bounces on the bed - scratches herself, lays down, gets up, turns a few times, tries to lay down again, licks her paws, etc. for about 45 minutes before I finally can take no more and get up and get her some breakfast. Rachel made pancakes and eggs this morning and they were fantastic. We are both getting quite adept in the kitchen and learning time-saving tricks. I made pancakes yesterday and put the remainder of the batter in the fridge so today she made breakfast in the less than 10 minutes I was outside reading: I just started "The Pursuit of Holiness" by Jerry Bridges. I am going to try to read a chapter a day for the next two weeks. I am not sure I will agree with all of his interpretations, but he does discuss several questions I have about what holiness (as seperateness) entails and the feasiblity of it in our Christian walk.

Rachel just left for church. I am staying in. I need to do laundry (which did not get completed yesterday for various and assundry reasons) and organize some things...but mostly I need to have some quiet time and mourn the fact that I am away from my church home and community for almost 6 months. Sundays are the hardest days because I know that my friends are all together at church, hearing the same messages, sharing lunch and laughs and conversing about the things they are learning in and out of church. Sunday was my favorite day when I was stateside. Here it holds the least encouragement or joy of any day of the week. When I do attend services here I cannot understand the message. The hymns (when they are familiar) are nice, but largely they are not familiar. I don't go to lunch and fellowship with others. Stores here are only open Sunday morning instead of sunday afternoon, so if you do need something you have to go during the protestant church services. All in all Sunday is just my least favorite day.

I was chatting with Steph this morning before church and she asked how she could pray for me today. Truly, there are so many things that I feel I need help with that I don't know where to start, but the number one thing is that I just need to be able to put aside myself and focus on the Father. But, myself seems the most tangible and familiar thing here sometimes, and it is hard to set that comfort (no matter how vain) aside and accept that there is a reason that God has me here and not there. I know it is for my own good. I know that He is faithful - I know that every good and perfect gift comes from the Father who does not change like shifting shadows...I know this, but here, it feels...forgotten.

Soon I will burry myself in work, in grading papers and doing lesson plans. In cooking and housework. Walking. The things I do to keep me from remembering how far I am from home, and all this will start to seem familiar and normal again instead of foreign and unnatural. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday & Friday will pass in whirlwinds of Medieval history, WWII and the geography of Africa. I will see friends on Saturdays. Occassionally go to Santiago or to a waterfall or some other distraction. But on Sundays - Sundays I will always remember that my body is somewhere in the Caribbean, but my heart is at home with my community even when they don't remember it is there. And I will sigh whistfully and pray for sundown when my day of rest is over and God doesn't seem so far away and busy other places.

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