One woman's journey to wellness through a well-adjusted heart, well-watered soul, well-educated mind, and well-tuned body. "Love the Lord your God with all your HEART, and with all your SOUL, and with all your MIND, and with all your STRENGTH" (Mark 12:30-31). "What makes the desert beautiful is that
somewhere it hides a well."
(Antoine de Saint-Exupéry)
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What I'm Learning From Bangka/Belitung and Back Again
Here is what I journaled yesterday:
To Bangka and
Back Again - July 23, 2011 (3:28 am – 12:28 PM, July 22 in the States)
was to buy a little journal when I got here, but I forgot to do so when we went
out shopping yesterday. So, I am journaling on my computer. I journaled for about
15 minutes this morning when the computer shut down to install updates, but I
don’t have a wireless connection. So, who knows what that was all about! It
rebooted and what I had already written was not auto-saved.
I got up at about 2:30 am. It would be like as
if I were sleeping late in the States (11:30 am). I love the early mornings
that I have in Southeast Asia because of the time change.
God spoke to me from 1 Corinthians 12 about using my gifts to help George with
the logistics of getting to Bangka. George was so open to that, but I think I
overstepped it by interfering with the booking of the plane flights through Shi-Ane’s
travel agent, Eunice. Eunice said her fee would be $50 Sing Dollars per person,
but we might want to go to Lion Air and book directly. George was going to
press the button to send all the stuff to Eunice anyway because that was the
sure thing, and I said, “Stop!” I hate
spending extra money. It seemed wiser to go to Lion Air and skip the travel
short, Shi-Ane and Moses brought us to Lion Air downtown. She had to pay for
parking (wouldn’t let us reimburse her), and we had to wait a long time in line
to see an agent, and it was MORE and no travel agent fee! Then, we called
Eunice back, and her price had gone up by about $80 Sing Dollars per person
from morning to afternoon! UGH! So, we
ended up paying more, and it was all my fault. J As a result, we had to send Eunice
all the stuff by finding a wireless spot downtown making us late for the start
of our anniversary celebration. We also had to cancel with Prakash because we
were still working out the details on the phone with Eunice. I feel bad because
we inconvenienced our friends and exhausted ourselves when we could have saved
money and time by just pressing the button from the wireless at Shi-Ane’s house
in the morning and gone directly to the hotel. UGH!
disappointed in myself when God woke me up with these verses:
LORD, should mark iniquities,
who could stand?
is forgiveness with You,
may be feared.
I wait for
the LORD, my soul does wait,
And in His
word do I hope
waits for the Lord
the watchmen for the morning,
more than the watchmen for the morning. (Psalm 130:3-6)
As I recline
in bed so early this morning, waiting like a watchwoman for the sun to rise on
the bustling city of Singapore, my sweet, forgiving husband slumbers next to
me, and I am humbled to see that after 21 years of marriage, I am still
learning and growing to be the right helpmate for him. How do I use my gifting
and strengths to fill in where he is weak without “overflowing”?
What do I mean by
“overflowing”? In Genesis 3:16, when God
is handing out his curse for Eve’s disobedience, He says, “And your desire will
be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” I had never really understood what that word
“desire” meant until I did a Hebrew word study, the word teshûqâh
comes from a root word, shûq,
that means “to run after or over, that is, overflow: - overflow,
water.” I need to compliment George rather than run over him.
To add insult to injury to my stupidity yesterday, when
we finally got to our hotel room (remember it was two hours later than we
wanted because of me), he presented me with an anniversary card that read:
My dearest Carol, what a wonderful adventure these 21
years have been. You are my love, my friend, my companion, the one who fills in the areas where I am weak, and
cheers me on in the areas where I am strong.”
I want to learn to “fill”
to just the right amount rather than to “overflow” and crush George’s spirit
and mess up God’s plan! I think when God spoke to me yesterday in 1 Corinthians
12, He was leading me to be a helpmate to George in my spiritual gifting of encouragement rather than my ability to organize and plan. I want to grow to be more of a cheerleader
than a questioner of George’s every move.
It is funny but every time
I prayed in preparation for this trip, I felt God was telling me this. The
uncertainty unnerved me, and He was gently reminding me that supporting George
is His purpose for me here. When there
is uncertainty, especially in travel, I tend to panic and pick at George. I
need to learn to enjoy the adventure. The many word phrases expressed in the
artwork on my anniversary card from George say it well:
of your gratitude
in the moonlight
yourself and do the thing you didn’t think you could
I thought it was sort of a funny card for an
anniversary, but all those sayings so pertain to my situation on this trip. The
goal-oriented, planner in me needs to just take a back seat and enjoy the ride
and cheer on the driver.
You would think, after 21
years of marriage, I would have this down pat, but I don’t. In the process of my time with God this
morning, He also spoke to me through 1 Corinthians 13, “love is patient, love
is kind.” These are all God’s words for
me this morning.
By the way, in the process
of writing this, George woke up too, and I asked for his forgiveness, and he
freely gave it. He is back asleep again
unphased by my ways. How do I deserve such a gem?
Now on to more uncertainty as we navigate a trip from Singapore to Bangka/Belitung
and back again and I try “to do the thing I didn’t think I could” by stopping
Did you reach your reading goal or did you decide to just meander about and follow rabbit trails and end up getting lost in the enjoyment of reading?
YES, I met my goal. I am an Enneagram Two with a THREE (achiever) wing. So I love achieving my goal every year!
Where did your armchair travels take you? Which countries and time periods did you journey through? To Christ's birthplace, Ignatius of Loyola's Spain, Southern US after the Civil War, 1970s Alaska, Idaho, an Iranian community in Southern California, WWII France, Germany, and Holland; Russia, Barricades of Paris, Chile and California during the Gold Rush, London during the Cholera epidemic in the 1800s, Today's France, Bedford Falls.
Which books stayed with you the longest? Did you set any aside to read again at some point and savor the story all over again?
In keeping with my prayer emphasis for 2014, here is another gem of a book on prayer written by the same person who wrote The Game with Minutes that I reviewed in January, Frank Laubach.
It was such a challenge to caste my prayer for world leaders (which was one of my applications from the Prayer Challenge that I am doing from Super Bowl Sunday to Easter). I had a half day in prayer last Friday; and because of this book's reminders, I prayed for the president of Ukraine to step down. Within hours, he fled the country. Now I have to really get on my knees for Putin because he might mess the whole thing up by sending military there. Oh my.
Instead of reinventing the wheel, I am cutting and pasting one person's reflections and quotes from the book:
One of Laubach's most important suggestions in this terrific little book is that we pray during the "chinks" that happen in all of our schedules: while stuck in traffic, doing mindless chores, standing in lines, and so on. …
I will write for fifteen. Do not have any agenda here, but I am just typing without a break. Yesterday was nice. I got up, eager to pray the Spiritual Exercises, and I was not disappointed. I did a "savoring of the graces" received from the previous prophecies leading up to Jesus' birth. Of course, that included listening to the Messiah and dancing all over my living room in the wee hours of the morning.
I was out the door by 8:45am to go to Marlys Memorial. I listened to News of the World. It is our April 18 book. What can I say? I am a Helper Type Two with an Achiever Three Wing! I liked it. It was sweet and an easy read. It would not be a book I would have chosen to read off of a shelf, but that is what I like about the Book Babes. Most of the books are not books I would choose to read, but I usually thinking they are OK. I have few so far this year that I have been wowed by except Uneducated: A Memoir - WOW. I am shocked that Unoffendable got a NINE average score whe…