One of the prayer requests listed on our prayer calendar for this month goes like this, “Pray for us as we work to keep up the various modes of communication/contact with our supporters. As means of communication change, we are trying to incorporate these into our routines so that we can effectively speak to and hear from those who make this ministry possible; it’s sometimes hard to keep things up to date.”
Combined with the fact that the last date listed for a post on this blog is nine months ago, it’s maybe not that hard to see what I was thinking when I put that out for prayer!
In my prayer time this morning I thought of that and realized that I have some time and energy, and I thought I’d jump on the opportunity to write while the impetus is there and the creative juices are flowing. So many things came to mind, especially after having let so many months go by. Then it occurred to me that it might just be ok to go back and talk about what I didn’t talk about all those months, what’s been going on in our lives here.
So here goes at an attempt to do that, desiring to catch you up on what’s been going on with us, and to honor the Lord in the process. Oh, and a note here is in order: Although this is our family blog, I’m sure it’s evident to most of you who read it that I, Donna, write most of the posts here. Read nothing sinister into that, please. Mark actually started this blog way back, but we both recognize that we are able to contribute to it differently, at different times, and that, most of the time, my voice will be the one you’ll hear, even though what I may bring up will definitely reflect something we’ve both been talking about or thinking about.
That said, I’ll go back to January, since that’s the last time that I posted anything here. Looking at what I did post there, I want to insert another note: Both Mark and I had hoped that this blog would be not only a newsletter of sorts, telling you about what’s going on in our lives here, but also a place where we could put up articles of interest, talk about things we’ve been reading, etc. In reading back over that post, I am still awed at the thought of doing something like Mr. Sugihara did. But I’m getting distracted…
In January, it felt to me like we sort of stumbled into a new year. I think I wrote it in a letter to my father but it captured well what we sometimes feel, that is, the feeling that the cycle of holidays here makes us feel a little out of synch with the rest of humanity (a definite generalization on my part).
Our American sensitivities are still fully tuned (it’s hard to turn off, really) to the idea that ‘The Holidays’ starts with Thanksgiving back in November, and sort of officially comes to a quiet little close with the anti-climax of New Year’s. Some folks get into New Year’s in a big way, others don’t, but we all know and feel that the holidays are officially over when you wake up in the morning on January 2nd, even if there’s still a bit of school vacation left.
Here, ‘The Holidays’ are just getting cranking about December 28th, where all of the big anticipation and excitement is focused on December 31st. New Year’s here has all of the bling and fervor of Christmas, with fun, presents, parties, a tree, guests and family, decorations, and lots of food. Christmas proper is celebrated on January 7th, in a certainly more muted tone, but nonetheless a holiday of note. Then, in theory, school starts again, but no one really feels like we’ve gotten back down to business until Old New Year has passed on January 13th [being called Old New Year due to the difference in calendars that were in use in earlier times].
By this time, everyone allows the last little lingering glow of the holidays to fade as the reality of winter in its ongoing-ness walks up and shakes your hand and says he’s here to visit for a good while.
For us, Mark and I had planned [read that, ‘needed to’] to attend a required conference in Denver at the end of the month, so with school back in swing and the holidays finally over, Mark had a two-week Greek class and then off we went! This was going to be a first for us, in a couple of ways. For one, we were going to leave school-aged children on one continent while we spent a planned, extended amount of time on another. We were also going to visit the U.S. without visiting any family, and we were going to do it in a dash, meaning that we left here on a Saturday and left there the following Saturday.
As this is getting a little long for a blog post, I’ll bring it to a close, but I’ll continue the story in our next post. Happy October 25th! [Oh, and I’ll change the header photo at some point – the snowy bench photo was taken in the first days of last December – but who knows, by the time I’m done, maybe it’ll look like that outside and it’ll suit!]