Sunday, June 28, 2009

Let the little children come to me...

This morning I had the most beautiful interaction with a little boy that I had taught during the previous week at VBS. It was such a pleasure to teach these kids about God’s story inside of them, about India and about the special places and people that God has prepared for them to tell that story to. It was also really fun. I’m sure many of you remember from VBS days, but kids really latch onto their teachers during that week.

This morning, a little boy of about 4 saw me from across the room and came over to give me a hug. I thought the interaction would end there. Instead, he proceeded to hold my hand. Then he touched the fabric on my dress and told me it was beautiful. While he talked to me and told me about how his mother was getting coffee, he reached up to touch my face while I talked back to him. It was one of the most tender and innocent moments I have ever experienced. He had seen me from a distance all week and was finally able to interact with me face to face.

It makes me ache for Christ; to hug him, to hold his hand, to touch his garment and to hold his face while he talks sweetly to me.

Let us all, like little children, come...

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Some highlights...

1. We walked into our temporary apartment on the Wheaton campus 2 weeks ago. It was late on Sunday night and we were anxious to unpack. We enter to find an apartment with a nice size living room, kitchen, 2 bedrooms--we were pleasantly surprised. That is, until we realized that bunk-beds was the only sleeping option.

2. We are going to an Indian church on Sunday nights while we are in Wheaton. Last Sunday, we were told to come hungry because they were having a potluck. We were so excited that we were going to have a smorgasbord of authentic, homemade Indian food. When we got there, we found out they had catered in Italian. Welcome to America!

3. I'm taught at VBS this week and on Monday I asked a group of second graders if they knew any Indians (since we are moving there). One little boy shouted, "I have family in Cleveland!"


Sunday, June 21, 2009

Saturday in the park

Saturday, Neil and I took the day to "do Chicago". We knew that if we waited too long, our schedule would get full and we'd end up never doing it. For those that don't know: we are living on Wheaton's campus for 3 weeks while Neil takes a course in phonology to aid in our accent-reduction work in India. Here are some of the highlights..

We started the day in Millennium park, with 2 hours to have 'retreat time' off by ourselves, just us and God (and the million other people, mainly Puerto Rican's and Cubs fans, who we shared Chicago with that day).

It ended up being 'Puerto Rico Day', complete with a parade going down Lakeshore Dr. I loved it. I learned there are many creative ways to wear the Puerto Rican flag. 

I also learned that gospel tracks can make their way into just about any event around the world; including Puerto Rico day in Chicago.

At the end of my retreat time, I walked through the gardens in M. Park. I believe with all of my heart that Heaven will be a city with the aroma of a field of wildflowers (not smog). I love the two pictures below, because they fill me with hope. The scent was so beautiful and I half thought that the pictures might capture the smell. You'll just have to trust me; it smelled like Heaven.

After our retreats, we made our way north to Portillo's. If you've never been, all I can say is "GO". I had the Italian beef, Neil had the jumbo hotdog and we finished off the meal the only logical way to finish off a meal at Portillo's, with a Chocolate Cake Shake. Although, Neil and I have renamed it the 'Better than 'Better than sex cake' Shake'. Not a commentary on our marriage, simply how good this shake really is. mmm...

After dinner, we headed to Sports Authority and got some new workout clothes (70% off, baby!). When we left, we had 20 minutes before our train left and a generous 35-40 minute walk ahead of us. So, we ran. We started out speed walking, but ended up realizing that if we had any hope of making the train, we were going to have to get our Kenyan on. So, we ran; just like all the cool tourists. We stepped onto the train and no less than 30 seconds later, the bell went off and the doors closed. The perfect ending to a day in Chicago.

Our sweaty-selves on the Metra after our impromptu workout. 


Friday, June 19, 2009

Safari Steve

This morning I was looking through recent pictures we've downloaded and ran across some from when Neil's parents came to visit us a few weekends ago in Sellersburg. We took a day trip to the Louisville zoo (yes, people can visit the zoo without little kids and still be cool. I think..). Anyway, it was a lot of fun and my favorite picture is of a man I like to call 'Safari Steve'. At one point, when we were standing in the bird area, a little girl looked up at him and asked him a question about one of the birds. I was trying to convince him to start a dialogue and see who gathered around to listen.

Maybe we should be going to Kenya...

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Tonight I had a dream come true: I got to participate in an actual yoga class! I bought a 'how to' guide for practicing yoga about 5 months ago and got a mat for Christmas. I had this strong urge to learn yoga and feel comfortable with it before we got to India. I'm a 'flavor of the month' type person when it comes to exercise. Jan-Feb: running, Feb-Apr: yoga, May: biking...I like to switch it up, it keeps things interesting and my muscles always waiting in anticipation of what's around the corner. But there is something different about yoga, something lasting. I'm not sure if it's the slow, steady movements that force me to realize that I am a captive to my body, or the controlled breathing that reminds me that each breath is a gift from the Breath-giver, or maybe it's just the fact that you can soak in some amazing music and let yourself retreat for an hour while you burn a few cals... Either way, I've been able to enjoy many benefits of practicing yoga on my own, but tonight I was blessed to share it with a group of 25 that covered a wide range of abilities. I absolutely loved the entire experience and the dream was reinforced that someday I might lead others in yoga. 

Tonight, our leader said something profound in her prayer to end the session, she said, "God, in yoga we learn that we cannot force ourselves into a pose, we must release our urge to force and just allow our muscles to stop where they stop and grow from there. Help us to practice this submission in our daily lives."      Amen, sister.