Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Moving Forward: The Wedding Dress Project

The missionaries went to Rwanda this summer. They delivered our dresses. They came back - with more to do. I know their trip was deeply meaningful. You could see it on their faces, and feel it in their lack of words. But now, the dust has settled, and there is more - more to do.

Cookie brought back several projects that need her attention, and so, I am taking over the wedding dress project. It's exciting to think that brides have already worn some of our dresses; that some other women have also said, "I do," in the very same clothes that we wore when we uttered those same words.

I smile to think of them growing in love with their spouse as I have had the privilege of doing with mine. I pray for them and wonder about them often.

Here are some photos from the original delivery of the dresses. They are pictured in a room at the local Anglican Church. A shop was being rented in town as our missionaries left to come home, and as I stated before, the business is operating.

Since this business is an ongoing project, we are continuing to collect all sorts of items:

wedding dresses
bridesmaid dresses
flower girl dresses
pieces of lace, head dress, notions
monetary donations
PRAYER - lots and lots of prayer

Thanks and blessings!

Friday, August 27, 2010


I had a revelation while I watched the children (especially the boys) in my two's class where I work. Picture the scene with me. One child has a toy, a pair of yellow plastic glasses from a Mr. Potato Head set, and the glasses themselves are bent and worn. The child puts the glasses on his face, and dances around in front of the mirror with the way too small toy shoved just so on his face. He is so, so happy. And so, he shows his new found happiness to his friend - who promptly grabs the old, bent yellow frames off the child's face. Because the friend suddenly wants what another has. And the friend wants that used, beat up toy, more than anything. And out of an uncontrollable urge, the friend takes them, no matter who gets hurt. And the first child cries.

And as a teacher, I intervene. We talk about sharing and asking politely and accepting "no" as an answer. Sometimes one person just isn't quite ready to share. Maybe the item in question is new, or it is newly rediscovered, or it is just an all time favorite. But for whatever reason the child can't share - just yet. And the other child has to accept this disappointing fact and find another toy. Soon, both children are happy again. Friends again. Until another toy becomes envied; and the cycle continues.

As a parent, I tend to scold and act as though I just can't imagine what has gotten into my boy. He's not usually like that. Except that we are really all like that. We all envy what others have. We all want something new, or rediscovered, or familiar, as long as it is more than we have right now. It is in our human nature. It seems against our nature to just be genuinely happy for another in their good fortune. So often the envy is there, somewhere, even if we've grown to hide it well. And so, for me, that would be where Jesus comes in. Where the Spirit within me rises up. Where God becomes needed. Because when I am centered around God, with Jesus holding my hand, rather than God centered around me, and Jesus doing my bidding, I find that I can go against nature. I can find joy in others' good fortune. I can think outside of myself. And I can dwell in the Spirit, content despite my circumstances. Aware that actually, my circumstances are quite good. And for that I can only say, "Praise God."

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Third grade: First day

I just took my oldest to his first day of third grade and I am weepy this morning. I used to teach third grade. Now I am home, unshowered, getting ready to play Wii Sports with my four year old, and I have one more year before there is a shift. There are probably going to be other shifts in preparation for the big shift, but I really would be fine if they all went away for a bit longer. Third grade is a wonderful year in school. It's a biggie. Kids grow up, become independent in many, many ways, grow deeper in friendships, and move from still little and needy to no longer kissing their mommas in public and fixing their own breakfast toast. They also tackle cursive, multiplication tables, and writing pages of thought. Space gets introduced in science because third graders are getting mature enough to comprehend outside what they can see. Good stuff. But if I could, I'd pause right here for just awhile. I am okay with him kissing me in public, and I am okay with him believing me for better lack of understanding. I am okay with second grade. I am okay with standing still - no shifting - for just a little bit. I am aware it is inevitable, and I am excited about future experiences, but just for today I am ignoring that summer is over.

He's having a great time as I write this, by the way. His two best friends are in his class, and the teacher naively put them all at the same table. Luckily he's still young enough, for a awhile longer, that he tells me everything, and I can't wait to hear all about it!