Friday, December 7, 2012

Euskara and the Basque flag

In Basque everyone can speak Spanish and is willing to (phew).  Though their native tongue is Euskara.  The boys will be doing school 1/3 English, 1/3 Spanish, and 1/3 Euskara.  That is if we get in the government subsidised private school, the one with the two year waiting list.  Written Basque is as strange-looking as the language is strange-sounding, featuring an extraordinary number of x's and an apparent disregard for vowels. The Basques refer to themselves as Euskaldunak, or ``speakers of the Euskara''.   Language is incredibly important to their identity.   We will be learning Euskara along with Spanish.   The picture below is the Basque flag.  Hope you are enjoying learning a little Basque history.  Next time I will share about the three American couples we met during our February exploratory trip.  They encouraged us in many ways and let me ask any question I wanted.  Those who know me understand why I hold them in high regard for that! 

Fears relieved

"Our doubts are traitors,
And make us lose the good we oft might win
By fearing to attempt."
-William Shakespeare

      "I don't want to look back and regret that we missed being a part of something way bigger than ourselves.  That we played it safe, and that was okay, but missed out because of fear."  We circled back to this over and over.  Jeff repeats with gentle truth his stand.  Should we leave home, our support system, our family and friends to be part of starting Young Life in Basque Country, Spain?  When it came down to it, the marrow of it all, I was afraid.  I saw the doors open as clearly as Jeff, but we had just cracked a window to get fresh air, I did not expect the front door to swing wide. 

Fear has been my friend you see.  The thin, hard, fragile egg shell that makes me think I am protected because I am separated from it all.  Fear, the reality I believed for so long, a reality that has no room for God.  For His tender mercies, or abiding love.  It makes no place for grace and joy and peace.  Fear makes you believe that scars are shameful and trophies are wanted by Him. 

The opposite is true when I read scripture, His word living.  When I read about the men and women who trembled and stepped out in faith in scripture He promises He is with them, with me.  And they fell... some fell and evidence of healed wounds stayed.  Scars of misstep and sin all woven in His forgiveness to tell a story bigger than themselves.  So we said yes, knowing skinned knees are coming, that there will be no bronze plaque that is given at the end.  But we will get to take a leap of faith like many before us and see God present in a story that is not written in fear. 

Praying you get to crack open a window today.  That you will let God write this chapter and not fear.  Can you imagine the new things you would see and be a part of?  What cobwebs would be cleaned out with new light brought in? 

Therefore, since we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.  Hebrews 12:1

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Life overflowing

"Materialists mistake that which limits life
for life itself."
-Leo Tolstoy

"I am grateful, I just..."  this is the mantra of my struggle.  I am happy, I am grateful, I love my life of  dirt rimmed sinks and tender husband.  But I still want, I still feel the lack of something.  And my wants are silly ones mixed with deep.  A coat I pick out and not one given secondhand, the living room carpet clean and fresh, a book I purchase and read because I want to.  None of these are bad things, but I put importance where it was never meant to rest.  And surely there are so many others who have more, and who are much more ungrateful than I am.  This is the smoke screen I justify my want with. He has taught me time and time again that what I have is enough, that I live a life overflowing, and that He has so much more to give I just don't see it.  I know I don't see it clearly, as if I am waking up trying to focus on something with tired eyes. I even feel it when someone I love is given something beautiful.  I rejoice and laugh wonderment with them.  But then it comes.  The small voice that wants to know why it was not given to me also.  Maybe something not quiet as beautiful, even ordinary would do, but something.  Can I know the Giver but still question His giving.  When my vision is tired from want, the gifts given to others will seem too generous and mine too meager.  But if I look at the Giver's heart, the heart that knit me together in my mother's womb, that calls me by name, who loves me more than I am able to comprehend,  my vision is focused sharp.  I see that His will is perfect.  And if His will is perfect then so are His gifts.  Even the ones I didn't ask for.   And all of these little gifts I desire, the silly ones, would bring me great joy, but the joy would begin to disappear as soon as the coat frayed, the carpet stained, or the book had been read.  So, I pray that in this season of gifts you can focus on His heart and not His hand.  That we will be able to live in His love, His sacrifice, and the ultimate gift ever given.  And that we will thank Him for a life overflowing.
              "And my God will meet all of your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus." 
                                                               Phillippians 4:19