Monday, July 13, 2009

What I'm thinking about today...

If anyone can talk about joy amidst suffering, it is Mother Teresa. A women of remarkable grace and love, she cared for the world's orphans and destitute by giving of her time and heart. I have recently started reading this daily inspiration book and deeply appreciate the opportunity it provides me to think beyond myself. N and I both have copies.

We often say that Ethiopia is the perfect place to make decisions. For us, that has included the decision to get married (2002), the decision to pursue careers in Ethiopia (2005) and the decision to adopt a child (2008). We find a kind of clarity, apart from the distractions of our often insanely busy North American lives, that we don't find in other places and have been able to spend time thinking about what is important to us. We value friendships, family, having a strong relationship together and do find joy in serving others. But we often forget about what we love . and what we value gets pushed to the side as we focus on career, school or other things that really don't seem important when we are surrounded by life and death issues in Ethiopia.

For five weeks N will be working with the Missionaries of Charity in Addis. He will spend his days playing with kids who are pretty sick. They may not always look sick, or act sick. Sometimes he will forget they are sick. But then in the quiet of his room, he will think about the unfairness of the sickness that they do have and will question how such sweet faces should have to life with bodies that are so frail. He will eat simply (although will enjoy plenty of delicious coffee, I know) and will wash his clothing by hand.

I remain here in Chicago. I will continue to work with refugee kids, but these kids have families. They have endured war, famine, illness, death, separation and so much loss. But they are now in a safer place. We will play all day in the sun and enjoy the wealth of free activities that this city has to offer. At the end of the day I will return to our home, and most likely eat a delicious meal, because I don't like the undelicious kind.

We will both be reading this book daily and writing down our thoughts and feelings about the words of MT and how it applies to our present situation.

I am eager to reflect back with him on how our present situations and surrounding impact our thought process. I wonder what decisions he will be making while away this time and how we will join our thoughts together upon his return. I feel ready to make some changes in life. Not sure what those changes will be or when they will happen, but I am starting to think about what they might be and that can be exciting!

6 comments:

Jen said...

R, I loved Sweetness in the Belly. I am now reading There is no Me without You (I know, I know, I should have read this one a year ago). I look at so many things differently, after these two books...(I love it when a book does that). I will find the Mt book. Mt has always been special to my family after the four years we lived in India.

Good luck to the two of you in the next few weeks.

Rebecca said...

Thank you for giving me inspiration. I am adding this book to my list. I feel like I really need something like this in my life right now. My mind is not quite at rest and I need some centering. Thanks for sharing!

the bradleys said...

I love that feeling: that feeling like change is in the air.
I think I'll add this book to the amazon cart.

contrarycanary said...

Nice post, Richelle. Sounds like Andrew and I need a place like Ethiopia for clarity in our own lives. I am also excited to see what new decisions you and Nate make!

Robbin Hopkins said...

Hey Richelle... didn't know you blogged!!! I am praying for your little one and your husband.

Jen said...

saw your post on the gladney site...just wanted to let you know that i pray for you and your little one daily. so glad there is movement. i will continue to keep you in our prayers.