Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Mosquito Net Lesson 2 : Velcro Feet


They say the guy who invented Velcro observed a dog with a burr on it.  He obviously had never lived in Nigeria in dry season or he’d only have to look down at his feet! Honestly, who needs to bend down and pick up the stray baby clothes lying on the floor?  One only has to walk across the room, and you’ve collected articles of clothing as you go!  I affectionately call them my Velcro feet.

After I tuck the mosquito net, I pull my legs into the bed for a nights rest, only to realize that the mosquito net has attached itself to my feet.  I kick both my feet, trying to get them to help each other, but more and more net become entangled around my Velcro feet.  I get annoyed, re-tuck, and pull those feet in before the net has a chance. 

 

Prayer house on Zach's recent retreat.







What lesson can one possibly learn from Velcro feet?  “Beautiful are the feet of him who brings good news…” (Is. 52:7). I know this is poetic because messengers running over rough terrain in that time certainly had rough feet.  However, the meaning of it touches me deeply. If the “word of Christ dwells in us richly,” (Col. 3:16) it overflows into our lives, making our presence sweet to those around us who God has prepared to hear this good news.  We are ambassadors for Christ (2 Cor 5:20), bringing that good news, and therefore, we have beautiful feet! 

 



 

However, I think the dryness of this season, which causes the cracked, calloused, dry Velcro feet is a good reminder. When we let our soul well run dry, the negative attitudes, defensiveness, and unkind speech that is scattered around our lives will surely attach themselves to us.  Our feet are only beautiful if they bear GOOD NEWS!

 

My prayer in this mosquito net lesson is that in every season, no matter how parched the situation threatening my soul is, that I will be a bearer of good, sweet, constructive words and attitudes.  That the good news of Christ WILL dwell in me richly, making my feet truly beautiful. 

Monday, March 15, 2021

Mosquito Net Lesson 1

"Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed." Ecc. 4:9 Auntie Jumai and Auntie Abigail (sisters) really do need each other in succeeding to keep our house tidy!
 

We each grabbed a corner of the net and slowly spread it over the sleeping babies on our king-size bed.  We looked at each other surprised and Zach spoke for both of us, “Wow, that was a lot easier that doing it by myself.” 

I don’t know why we were so surprised, but when two people are as different as most husbands and wives are, sometimes we start thinking that it is just easier if we do tasks by ourselves, reducing the need to communicate expectations or methods.  Not that spreading a mosquito net is that complicated, but I think this applies to other tasks in life too. We forget that even in the communicating how we will accomplish something, we build into each other's lives and feed our hearts in fellowship of working together.

 My prayer I bring from this mosquito net lesson is that I can look for and be open to ways we can serve our family together, and truly make the job easier. I pray that I can give Zach the joy of working alongside me with all of his creativity and fun when he IS home, forgetting myself, bringing joy to everyone...and making the job easier.  


These girls are certainly more effective is causing chaos with the two of them. Mission accomplished!  But they're so cute as they go about their work that we can't hold it against them. 

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Fat and Simple

 


Here’s the fat and simple truth: Culture learning is as simple as joyfully and graciously accepting the words, “You are fat!”  and “You are so simple.” What? Does that sound strange?  Well, after 14 years in Africa, those words still make my mind do a cultural calculation.

 

Step 1. You are “fat”  most likely means “You are pretty, you look healthy or you look good!” When told, “You are looking good,” it may mean, “You are fat!” In other words, it’s a compliment, and should be taken as such!

Step 2. Being “simple” means I’m uncomplicated, friendly, easy to get to know.

Step 3. You are fat + You are simple = You are blessed and a blessing

 

Culture learning is a bending of the mind, a receiving and rejoicing in the diversity of God’s world, and often laying aside my own culture to embrace another. The longer I live outside of my home culture, the more I realize how much I don't know and understand (I think that's true of life with God and people in general.)

That's the fat and simple truth of culture learning.

Mosquito Net Lesson 2 : Velcro Feet

They say the guy who invented Velcro observed a dog with a burr on it.   He obviously had never lived in Nigeria in dry season or he’d only ...