Friday, November 22, 2013

Patiently Waiting

As part of a recent project, I wrote the following short story... Hope you enjoy!

 "Patiently Waiting"

     The chilly December air nipped her nose as Anna peeped out from under her quilt. The steady buzz of her cellphone continued. She reached over to check the text. “Ctrx stronger. Excited 4 bby. Will call ltr.” A glance at her clock showed it was quarter till 4. “Its gonna be a long day” she thought sleepily as she pulled the quilt back over her head.
      At 5:30 a beeping awoke Anna. She crawled out from under her quilt and checked her blackberry. No missed calls or messages. Pulling on a pair of knitted wool socks, she braced herself for another crisp day. She wished she could crawl back into bed, but not today! Would baby come today? She hoped baby would be coming. Maggie was pregnant with her 1st baby. Anna knew how excited Tom and Maggie were, but also knew that she had been called multiple times in the past week with “false alarms”. Maybe today it would be real labor... “one way to tell”... Anna thought to herself... “patience.”
      Anna stumbled to the kitchen and stoked the wood stove. She then placed a kettle on to boil. Beau, her border collie, danced around her feet, anxious to start the day. She opened the door and he bolted out for his morning sprint. “If only I had all that energy when I first woke up.” Anna gazed out at the frozen field, barren of snow... the radio had said a storm was on its way... Anna wondered if babies always decided to come at the most inconvenient times for midwives on purpose... She laughed to herself...At least it made life a constant adventure.
      The kettle whistled. Anna returned to the stove and poured herself a cup of hot tea, then settled down for her devotions. While reading in Hebrews she looked closely at chapter 12 verse 1. “Let us run with patience the race that is set before us,” She smiled... how often this verse came to mind when she was up all night laboring with a mother. Patience was never her strong suit, but she was learning. God was growing her. As she meditated on this Scripture her phone buzzed again. “R U up?” Anna smiled as she dialed the number... sounded like Maggie needed some encouragement through this marathon she was running.
      About 30 minutes later, a satisfied Anna placed her phone on the table as she pulled on her running shoes. “Better get that run in before I get called again” she said out loud. She pulled on her wool sweater, threw on a scarf and bolted out the door, then dashed back... “some days I wish we weren't attached at the hip” she thought as she grabbed her phone and shoved it in her pocket. Beau came up beside her and they headed down the lane as the sun started to peak out above the frosty tree tops.
      After her run, Anna went about completing the rest of her morning routine. Feeding Beau and Tara, her cuddly Maine Coon cat, showering, breakfast all interrupted with frequent checks of her blackberry. Anna decided that if a storm was coming, she had better bring in some more wood to fill her little stove. She bundled up again and headed to the wood pile. When that task was completed, Anna decided to recheck her supplies. She looked through her birth bag and decided to throw in an extra pair of socks and thermal under ware... just in case!
      Anna checked her truck and made sure the extra gas can was in the back. All prepared... just waiting... Her mind returned to her passage in devotions... Patience... She was patient... ish... she knew that babies came in God's timing... but she often wished she knew when that time would be...
      Anna's phone rang. Was this it? False alarm... it was her sister... No, she couldn't babysit tonight... yes, she could come for lunch... a few minutes later she placed her birth supplies in the truck and called for Beau who readily hopped into the passenger's seat. Anna drove the short ride to Margie's house. She loved spending time with her little nieces and nephews! And boy, did they love her dog Beau.
       During a delicious lunch of creamy potato stew and fresh biscuits, Anna's phone buzzed. No, not yet Maggie. It was her friend Christy wanting to know if she would be coming to the Ladies Bible study tomorrow night. Anna replied “will try”. Anna was thankful for her friends and family. They understood that what she did was a special calling. They understood if she couldn't make it to events or make commitments in advance. This was the life she chose and she loved it... but it was hard to be patient at times.
      Anna decided to text Maggie and see how she was doing. A few minutes later Tom texted back that Maggie was laboring well. Contractions were still regular but they would call when they wanted Anna to come. She was proud of this couple. If they decided they were all right, she would trust their instincts.
Anna and Margie spent the afternoon chatting away. They enjoyed piecing together a new quilt for Margie's little one who was due in the spring. The children went outside to play with Beau... good. He would sleep well tonight, Anna thought.
        Her phone buzzed. She set down the square of fabric she was holding... Maybe, she silently hoped... “Ctrx more frequent.” As she composed a reply, her phone rang. She heard a frantic Tom on the other end “gush... fluid... need you”. Anna sprang to her feet and tried to find better reception... “Okay Tom, heading over... On my way.” As she pulled on her boots she asked Margie... “can Beau stay?” “of course sis! Be safe!” Anna headed out and opened the door to her truck... She looked up at the sky as a few flakes started to fall. Right on time... she thought... right on time.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Learning to laugh....

Let me just start by saying that I love what I do! I love helping these women and sharing with them the love of Christ! However, there are some things that I do not love experiencing.... but memories must be made!
Many of you may know that I have not always been one to laugh when I make an utter fool of myself... and I often am hard on myself.... but I am learning to laugh and let things that don't matter go.... learning being the key word.... Still a work in progress!
This afternoon my friends Laura, Claire, and I went on an outreach where we serve women and girls providing prenatal care and education. The specific outreach I work with mostly helps girls who come to a day center. These girls are "street girls" and come from a variety of situations. Some are educated, others are not. I love talking with these girls and learning what I can about them, though they are often shy and scared to share to much information. Did I mention that I LOVE what God has enabled me to do?
We meet in a little room in this day center. We carry a scale with us and we have them lay on a mat on the floor when we check their baby. It is a fairly small and cramped space, but we love it! Why? Because the Lord gave this opportunity to us to minister to these young women! And as an additional blessing, they just had a fan installed which makes the room much cooler than it was all last year!
Anyway, today we decided to tag team as usual. Laura would check the vitals and the baby while I charted and did paperwork. We are a great team and LOVE our special ministry! Due to the small space, there are only a few chairs. This means I often sit on the floor in the corner, observing, asking questions and charting as needed. Today was no different. I sat with my legs bent, partially extending under the table next to me.
After a while I felt something tickling my foot... just a mosquito I told my self as I tried to brush it away and focus on my charting. Then I felt it crawling and rubbing my leg (remember, under the table beside me)... "just a cockroach... think cockroach" I told myself as I started to shake my leg as inconspicuously as I could... but I knew.... as I felt it start to run up my skirt the flailing increased as I tried not to distract the others in the small room.... Finally after what seemed like forever, but was probably only about 30 seconds my little friend who was becoming much to friendly scampered away to his hole in the wall.... yes, a "little tiny" mouse!
Laura sweetly looked over during my flailing and asked if I were alright...all the girls stared at me.... I managed an "I'm ok" while trying to compose myself and not attract any "shame" to the situation.... After the girls had all left though, I shared with Laura and Claire the events that transpired... we shared a good laugh over it!
I am so thankful for the opportunity I have here, to learn, grow and share.... and if the occasional local critter decides to become a little to personal, well, another story to add to the books.....
I think back to a few years ago and see how much God has grown and changed me.... And I am so very thankful that He did!
 Someone once said "If you can't laugh at yourself, who then can you laugh at".....
Just a quick thought... I am learning to laugh at myself!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Skill #10

I just realized that I never posted my skill for the month of October! Oops! Well, This skill is one that I have been working on the past few months or so and am having a lot of fun doing... I figured that it would be considered a skill so I will post it here!

Oil Pastel Drawing :D

I really enjoy learning to use new mediums as a creative output and different ways to express creativity... Here are a few of the oil pastels I have done.... Enjoy!

Happy Birthday Melissa :)

Gabriela's lavender bundle

Collie

Chickadee

Sunrise Tree

Caught

Always Alert

Icelandic sheep (NOT a goat... the wool is shorn in the photo I took this from... This one turned out with kinda creepy eyes though... Oops!

Well, that is my skill for October.... now for November.... hmmmm we shall see! Maybe another recipe... Is that cheating to make another original recipe as a skill since I did that a few months back? You decide! Let me know! Only 2 months left to this challenge! What should November's skill be?

Friday, November 1, 2013

Confession....

I feel I need to be open and honest...
Do not mistake me... I love what I do and know I am right where God would have for me to be.... However....

There are times...
when I wish I were home....
when I wish I had my Glock and a shooting range....
when I wish I could hide in the hay and cry....

There are times....
When I wish I could run to my quiet place in the woods,
When I wish I could be alone there to cry and pour my heart out to God.....
When I wish I could be in my special place, and not in the city...

There are times...
When my faith waivers...
When I know God has a reason, but I just can't see it now...
When I don't want to wait, when trusting hurts...

There are times...
When I want to give up...
When I want to go home...
When I just want to hold my family close....

Thankfully....
These days don't come often...
Most days I can be strong....
But I am learning that I don't always have to be strong....

ITS OK....

I am LEARNING....
It is ok to cry in front of others...

I am LEARNING....
It is ok to share my pain....

I am LEARNING....
It is ok to be human....

I am learning... it is a long process... Dealing with grief and sadness has always been very difficult for me... Why? Because I am strong and do not like others to see me when I am vulnerable... when I see myself as weak....

These days come, and it is hard to accept that they are a part of life... a part of life as a missionary... I am not the first that has dealt with this and will surely not be the last... I am right where God has called for me to be and I can rely on His strength to help me through. He has given me friends here that are so supportive. He has given me a family, a church, and friends back home who love and support me all the time... And for that I am grateful. God truly is good to me.... even though life can be hard and at times seems unfair. He never gives up on me and when I am having a bad day, He is still extends His grace and shows me His love.
But if you think of me, please say a prayer... not only for me, but for my family... and especially my Grandmother.... we could really use them... Thank you friends for your understanding and prayers!