One time, I told a mom I know, “Wow, you’re really patient!” She laughed, rolled her eyes, and said, “I wish! You must only see me on my good days!”
Another time, I told a friend, “You play guitar really well! You’ve definitely got a gift.” He responded, “Yeah, well, you should see the guys who really know how to play. I try my best, though…”
Someone told me once, “I really like your artwork. You’re really talented.” I immediately responded, “Well, I like doing it, but I still have a hard time getting the proportions right, and on this one, this part is all wrong, and this part didn’t turn out how I wanted…”
Because I have some natural talent in art, I see all my failures when I make a piece of art. I see the shapes are wrong, the colors are ugly, the piece is expressionless and without emotion… I see these failures because I have a talent here. If I had no talent in art, I would not see my failures. I would have no idea of how far I was from where I could be, should be.
Posted in Bucharest
Tagged change, discipleship, failure, gifts, growing, growth, holiness, life, proverbs, stress, success
Decent pants are expensive in Romania. I have a few pairs of blue jeans in various conditions, but I don’t have many pants I can wear for work at the school (i.e. not jeans). Two days ago, I found two of my pairs of pants got these big blue ink stains on them somehow. I quickly grabbed some soap and started scrubbing, but there was absolutely no change; the stain didn’t even smear.
Finally, I “prayed” something like, “Well, God, this sucks. I don’t have any money to buy more pants. I’ll get over it; they’re only pants, but still… You made the Israelites’ clothes last for 40 yeras, so you can make my clothes last, too. And they weren’t even trying to be faithful to you; I haven’t been perfect, but at least I’m headed in the right direction.”
And then I stuck them in a bucket of water, no soap, and thought to myself, “Maybe they just need to soak for a while… Maybe God will do something. And if not, I guess I’ll just have a couple pairs of shorts.”
Posted in Bucharest
Tagged clean, cleaning, daily life, jesus, life, miracle, prayer, purity, sinless, stain, testimony
And… that’s all I have to say about that.
Okay, a bit more.
We’re busily working to build the church here, and lately we’ve seen less exciting testimonies, so I really haven’t felt like posting. I like posting when we have exciting stories.
Plus, with things getting super busy at the school where I teach English, and with starting our first semester of Scoala Biblica Piatra Vie… I’ve been on the busy side…
But I’m not dead… in case you were wondering.
I’m just boring.
In America, I could walk up to a line of cash registers, take a quick glance, and within seconds have picked out the fastest line. I wasn’t right all the time, but more often than not, I would end up with a winner and walk out of there faster than the rest.
Not so in Romania.
Here, I seem to have a nack for picking the slowest line possible.
This “gift” has rarely ever failed me.
While standing in line in America is a fairly routine, boring thing to do–you simply follow along behind the person directly in front of you–waiting in line in Romania is a bit more adventurous. Let me explain.
There seem to be four basic categories into which Romanian lines fall: (1) the Jumbled Mass, (2) the Knotted String, (3) the Secret List, and (4) the Mysterious Complication.
(Before continuing, please note that I love Romania and this is all written in good humor and, while representing my experience, may not be completely factual. In fact, there’s a good chance it’s all completely made up.)
Say “hello” to my new home, the pink one on the right. Despite being pink (inside and out) and small (every time I bump my head on the hanging light, I think of J.R.R. Tolkien’s famous beginning to “The Hobbit”: “In a hole in the ground, there lived a hobbit.”), it’s actually a nice place to live.
It’s definitely a small place, just a bedroom/living room, a very small kitchen, and a bathroom. There’s an old ceramic furnace that burns wood for heat; it’s called a soba in case you were curious. There’s no internet access but what I can manage to get on my phone. There’s no dishwasher, but I haven’t used one of those since cooking for Campus Life kids in my house two years ago. There’s no oven, but I do have a double-burner electric stove thing that works great for what I need. There’s no fridge, but I’ve been discovering just how little I need one. There’s no washing machine or dryer, but my neighbors have kindly offered to let me use their washing machine, and three laundry lines in front of the house get my clothes dry enough. It does have electricity, though, and plenty of hot water. And a few cockroaches I can’t seem to get rid of completely… 😦