Friday, October 3, 2008

i'm younger than that now.

i apologize that it’s been over a month since i last wrote a blog. days are crazy and they pass more quickly than i thought imaginable. every time i think about how it’s already October, i am absolutely floored. i can’t believe i’ve been in Uganda since February. at times it feels like 2 months, other times it feels like 2 years. i’m just thankful that i’m still here.

the past weeks have been a really crazy time for me. everything seems to have piled up on top of one another and has just resulted in a big heap of ridiculous. it hasn’t been one specific thing that has gotten to me…it’s a little bit of this and a little bit of that. as my bank account is slowly draining, my sanity seems to be slipping as well. i’ve seen God provide countless times and i know that this nutty season is no different. he’s still the same Provider i’ve always known and trusted. i guess i’ve just had a hard time planting myself in the calmness of His raging storm.

the past two weeks have been a good refresher for my body, mind and soul. [don’t mind the cliché] i spent last week in eastern Uganda. there are some beautiful mountains and a nice big waterfall [see my facebook pictures] there and it was a breath of fresh air. [literally – no car exhaust] a few hikes. lots of sitting. a bit of reading. a bit of writing. a bunch of relaxation. it was good to leave jinja for a few days. i found it gave me a few days to think about things. to contemplate what’s going on. to process all that’s been going on. i enjoyed the quietness of both my physical surroundings and the quietness of my heart.

though Suubi has been one of the main reasons for my stress…i can’t complain too much. i would never want to. this is a beautiful life i’m leading and i’m so thankful i have these women to be with. these women are absolute characters and whether in their homes or at our meetings, it brings a lot of joy to my heart to see their smiling faces. in light of these womens lives, i feel like i may never understand what hard work and perseverance and sacrifice really mean. nothing against hard working men and women in the States but…you don’t have to fetch your water – clean, running water is in at least 2 rooms in your home. you don’t have to do your entire families laundry by hand – those machines in your designated laundry room do all the work for you. it’s funny how when a load of laundry is done in the dryer, i would sometimes find myself complaining that i had to fold the clothes. really, Julie? all you have to do is fold the clothes.

the farther out of cities you go, the more work you find women doing. if they are farming, they carry loads that are at least their weight. as we were walking down to the base of the waterfall last week, we passed a women who was at least 60 years old who had a load on her back that looked like it was twice her weight. as we passed her, it was all i could do to look at josh and tell him that i will never know what hard work looks like. it was a truly humbling moment for me. it’s the same humbling feeling when i see a 3 year old girl carrying a jerry can of water on her head.

there is a song bob Dylan sings…
“i was so much older then, i’m younger than that now.”

we think we have all the answers. we think that we know what’s going on. we think that we understand what’s best for ourselves and others. we think that we are without the need of other humans. but it’s in those moments when your heart is most humbled that we learn that all of those things…all of those things that we thought we knew…we know nothing about. we learn that it’s not about having all the answers or knowing all the right things. it’s about being in a place where others are higher than yourself. it’s about realizing that though we thought we had it all together and we know what’s going on…we don’t. it’s not until we have the humility of a child that we learn some of the most important things in life.

“i was so much older then,
i’m younger than that now.”