Thursday, March 31, 2011

Last shipment to America

Last shipment to America! Tim and Sasha just left with the last containers to ship back to the states. With this shipment it means we have about 10 boxes of things in America (these are things we didn't bring here), six boxes somewhere on a ship between Ukraine and America and seven boxes preparing for the journey ahead. We'll have 3 suitcases and a sewing machine when we leave here in 25 days. Leaves me with a lot of thoughts.

First .... things. I'm not overly attached to "things" in general. I've had to leave things behind that I love. I am giving away or selling necessities or things that I'll miss. I don't think things have a hold on me, but I get frustrated getting rid of things I'll have to replace (most likely at a higher price). There are days I wish I could just pack a quick bag and walk out the door. But, life isn't like that for most of us. Most of us create homes and we use things to make our home feel like a welcoming place. We need things to do basic necessities like cooking and cleaning. (Not taking any of these things back). God doesn't call all of us to live a nomadic life so we all have to deal with things. Question should be .... Is there anything we can't give up? If so, that thing has a hold on us that it shouldn't!

Second ... dust! I can finally clean the apartment and dust where boxes and containers have been. Living with the windows open all the time (even in winter), we have a lot of dust from the road outside. Now with the boxes gone, I can really clean. Same with my heart. When I hold on to things (box feelings in), my heart collects "dust". Layers and layers of dust that keep me from seeing my heart exactly as it is. We need to give our hearts a proper "dusting" daily!

Third ... differences! Tim and I have very different feelings about this packing and moving process. I really could have packed about 3 bags, 1 sewing machine and headed back to the states. Tim, however, was more logical or practical. He figured how much it costs for us to ship things back (by the pound/kilogram) and then estimated how much it would cost to replace the things. So, we shipped what would cost too much to replace. No doubt, Tim and I have different ideas about this whole move. It's been a real struggle to maintain some sense of peace in our lives during this time of transition (or could I say turmoil). We've found that leaving the apartment and heading to McDonald's for breakfast creates a time for us to talk without the distraction all around us. We don't have a lot of breakfast out choices, so we're grateful for McD's (especially the latte). Difference are real. We all have to deal with differences. I read this morning in Daniel 11 words that reminded me God has given us "a book of truth". That book and the wisdom contained in it are the only things that can keep peace among two people with so many differences during a time of transition like this.

Lastly, 25 days. 25 DAYS! I'll travel out west for 2 more ladies' meetings next week. I'll say one good-bye after another to our Ukrainian friends. And, I'll try to look ahead with more resolve, more excitement and less frustration. I've already started the "mental shift" from life in the former USSR to life in America. But, I'm praying I don't miss one minute the Lord has planned for me here.

Life on the move ....... so many thoughts!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Summing My Life Up

Summing up my life at the moment could be interesting. Without getting too deep here, some of the phrases that would describe my life right now could be:
  • Finishing up
  • Packing up
  • Moving on
  • Boxed up (except for my bare essentials to last the next 45 days)
And yet, at the same time, as we prepare for a volunteer team and 3 women's meetings, you could describe it as:
  • preparing for guests
  • finalizing a schedule
  • planning a menu
  • covering details for a conference
  • getting notes together for a teaching
  • Planning for a trip to western Ukraine
Perhaps those two lists seem in contradiction to each other when you read them. They certainly do to me! But, it is my life at the moment. I've thought several times this week about how I would change it. Would I have changed the schedule if I could have? Am I concerned about the rush of the last month we'll be in Ukraine? Are we overdoing it? After much thought and prayer, I'm sure I wouldn't change one thing!

It's so easy to get focused on the "next thing" if we don't have something to keep us focused on the "moment before us". When I made my leaving the church and the school public, I was faced with the same thing. I would have to literally ask the Lord everyday to keep me focused on Him alone so I could stay focused on what He wanted from me and for me that day! The move and the necessities of our future demand some time and attention. I think the Lord honors that and He includes it in His plans for us. Understanding that everything He puts in our schedule is part of a bigger plan ... Doing what He puts before us, whether it relates to today or to the future, brings glory to God.

So what does today hold for me. Well here it is:
  • Life among the "boxes"
  • Giving away more of what I possess
  • House cleaning in an apartment that no longer has the little touches that made it seem like home (those things are in the boxes or given away)
  • A root canal (grateful that I can have it done)
  • A look at information relating to the next phase of our journey
I hope at the end of it all if you ask someone what summed up Marsha's life, you'll say HIM! I hope that others see Christ in all I am and all I do. My prayer is that people won't focus on specific times in my life, specific places or specific events because I don't want those things to be talked about more than the one I've done them for. And my deepest prayer is that I've been genuine and relevant enough to impact people who don't know Him or only see Him in Biblical language and terms.

So, how would I sum my life up today or any day? In Him, that's how! Even though it's currently "On the Move"!