I remember the television images of 9/11, the household events of that day, and the eventual call by then President Bush to service( not just those in the military, but everyday Americans). That day was a pivotal day as I sat on a comfortable couch, recalled our year in Pakistan, and realized that, after returning from overseas in 1991, we had accumulated material possessions, dug in roots( a wonderful thing)in the beautiful Southeast, and lived a comfortable American lifestyle.
I began praying that God would use me, a homeschooling mom, a nurse, a woman in some way to redeem human suffering in the world. He answered. I explained to my children, as best I could, what was happening many miles away, and we had a fundraiser for the Red Cross on our driveway, and thought we had helped, a little.
We became foster parents and loved on infants whose mothers gave them life as they awaited their permanent placements. Our family served together, and learned to love unconditionally, deeply, and sometimes wept as those we loved went to less than optimal situations.
We then adopted, and grew our family in a marvelous way, and taught our children that God made us all in His image. But we still lived the American dream, moved to a bigger house, and dug those roots in deeper.
God knew what He was doing. He was using our everyday lives to prepare us for what lay ahead. Graduate school and homeschooling while taking 24 hour call? Surely not at this time in my life….you guessed it. It was part of the plan, and I was blessed to welcome 43 new babies into the world, to empower women in one of the most intimate experiences in their life, and to personalize each one with a pink or blue birthday cake. But not being able to fully communicate with all of my clients in the same way was frustrating, and left me a little disappointed. Was it possible to cross those language and cultural barriers?
And now, as I sit in a foreign country, having faced those first days wondering if I would ever be able to greet someone correctly in another language would be possible, I realize yes, it is. It is not about perfection, it is able stepping forth and using what God has entrusted to me today. Using my time, my gifting, my life intentionally today. Sure, days happen when I lose that intentionality, and try to do too many things, without focus, and purpose. Monday was one of those days. Try putting a beautiful electric tea kettle with a molded plastic bottom on the glowing eye of an electric stove while making different breakfasts for each member of your household. You get billows of acrid smoke and a reminder to live life with intentionality.