Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I have only been back for 3 days, and already I am itching to do something unplanned and out of the ordinary. Life in American is very calculated, planned, and directed: these adjectives have been out of my life for the last 5 months. Yes I know to everything there is a balance, but I think those words are going to have to pry themselves back into my life.
Before I left for Bangladesh much of my life was ruled by these adjectives, Bangladesh swung to the other extreme and now I must work my life back into a balance. I have learned that being calculated, planned, and directed can be very dull: unless God is your calculator, planner and director. Im learning with God life is never dull and God thrives on creativity, spontaneity and Joy just as much as Bangladesh does.

..."Let Joy and bubble up from within me..." Psalms 51:8

No need for more.

Ra-june. One of my favorite days in Bangladesh.

(Ra-June. Wearing my orna I gave him as a blanket)

Ra-june is a street boy. He lives on the streets and begs for his family. Ryan and I met him one evening around 11:00pm. He was begging for money. We instead took him to get some food. He was inspiring. When told to get whatever he wanted all he would pick out was one roll. Upon prompting I was able to convince him to get a few other things, but always he insisted on the smallest amount. When we finished we started walking away with him, only to find out that he would not be eating this food. It was for his little brother and mom. I quickly returned to the store and bought him some food for himself. He was so grateful, offering me his food. This is a boy who had nothing. Not even a place to sleep, for I saw the hard pavement that his lightly clothed body would be laying on that night. He had no blanket and it was cold. Even I a foreigner would sleep with two blankets that night. But still he took no more or asked for anything. Ryan and I were so impressed with this boy, his tattered clothes, bare feet and wholesome heart, broke, inspired, and pulled at my inner most soul. This boy was something I never expected to find on the streets, he was more then I think I could ever have been if I was in his shoes.

(Ra-June and I right before his bath!)
The next day we met up with Ra-june and this day was my most memorable day in Bangladesh. Ryan and I took him with us for the day. We took him out shopping, let him pick out (with LOTS of prodding) new clothes, shoes, toiletries, we went to lunch together, got him a bath. It was the most amazing day ever. This boy was inspiring. Never once did he ask for more, never once did he complain. During this day his eyes changed from pools of nothingness to flickers of joy. He gave me Joy. We met his mother on the street and his brother.

(Ra-June and Ryan after Ra-June's bath and his new clothes!)

Ra-june was the most remarkable person I have met in a long time. Life had given him nothing, yet when given the opportunity to get anything and everything, he was not greedy. He was not entitled. He was happy. He was content. He was Inspiring. That day Ra-june challenged me to look at every principle and stance I have built my life on. That day he inspired me to be a better person. To be content and not always looking for more. That day Ra-june gave me Joy again. A joy that was not found from getting but from loving. A Joy is not based on your position or location in life, it is based on a choice. It is based on something bigger then me. It is based on God. Ra-June's attitude is something I aspire to.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

back in the USA.

(Ruth: My Girl at Bangla Hope, I love her.)

So today is my second day back in America. SO many emotions are flooding my soul and confusing my heart.
I arrived home Sunday at 1:00pm. After 20 hours of traveling I was quite tired, emotionally drained and in need of a nice shower. I was greeted at the airport by my family and friends. I walked down the hall way towards baggage claim and I saw them. Instantly my heart overflowed with Joy. Around 20 of my amazing family and friends were huddled at the gate awaiting my return. They had signs and the warmest hugs. I finally drove for the first time in 5 months. I drove home in my dads convertible with my favorite sister in the passengers seat and Brock and his friend in the back. We cranked some tunes and sang our hearts out. At home there was a party waiting for me, all my favorite foods and many of my favorite people.
Being home is so bitter sweet. I miss Bangladesh, Argentina, My kids. But I am excited to apply all that I have experienced to my life and relationships here. I have come up with a new motto. I want to:
Continue being PRESENT: Not dwelling on or missing the past, instead being thankful I was fortunate enough to be blessed with the opportunity to experience all that I have. Not worrying about the future, but placing my future in Gods hands and living the best I can each moment. My God is So big, so life filled, loving and Joyous: That is what I want to bask in each day.