Unconfuse Me!

“Please dear Father, unconfuse me!”

That prayer makes me laugh so hard. Especially since it is my own prayer, from September 1980!

Meanwhile, my hubby Peter is mocking me, saying I am probably more confused now than I was back then. He may be right.

The vastness of what I don’t know is more apparent than ever to me. It’s like the ocean: the further in I walk, the deeper it gets, and the more there is for me to explore… It’s an intriguing journey, and I have been blessed to keep track of it in my journals.

I probably have close to 40 journals, dating all the way back to 1980!  They live in a couple of pretty boxes in our room. If there were ever a fire, I’d make sure the kids were alright, then save my journals next…

“Please dear Father, unconfuse me!” is from one of those notebooks.

Do you keep a journal? If you don’t, why not begin one? They are an uplifting way of chronicling your heartaches and victories… and often a timely reminder of how God has stepped into your life.

Oh, and occasionally they make for a good laugh!

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Mr. Canister

I did something so dumb when we first moved to Florida.

In the States the banks have drive thru lanes, with a chute and a canister system. You put your deposit slips and checks in the canister, push a button, and it shoots up and over to the bank teller.

One Saturday morning the bank was teeming, the parking lot full and long lines inside. I was running errands, so I pulled up to the drive-thru. I distractedly filled out my forms, sent them on their short journey to the busy teller, got the canister back with my slip, and drove away.

Drove away with the canister, that is. But, that is not the dumb thing I did.

A few miles later, I realized the canister was my unwilling companion. There he was, Mr. Canister, sitting in the passenger seat, staring at me. Yikes!

I suddenly had a panicked picture of cars backed up at the drive-thru, frustrated customers, irritated at the lack of a canister to do business with. I imagined the teller, thinking, “Oh no, someone stole my canister!”

Immediately turning my car around, I rushed back – skillfully dodging other traffic – determined to save the day for the customers and come clean with the teller!

I pulled up, parked abruptly, grabbed Mr. Canister and briskly entered the bank.

The scene that greeted me?

Serenity. Everything peaceful, flowing like clockwork… I handed it to a banker, who received it (and my apology) in a tranquil, amiable, detached manner…

Yup, of course they hadn’t even missed Mr. Canister. Of course they keep a stock of them. And of course, it was not about me.

It never is. I got back in my car, and chuckled sheepishly with God – “I get it. Of course it’s not about me. Sorry.”

And I pulled out, with my empty passenger seat, still smiling. Actually, I’m smiling now. God deliver us from ourselves. How often we react as if we are the center of the universe…

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Amazon

Two weeks ago we led a team to Peru. Our time there included hanging  with some wonderful girls in a children’s home, working in some shanty towns, and going to visit and encourage a tribe in the Amazon.

Making new friends

We left our hostel at 3:30 a.m. on Wednesday to fly to Iquitos.

We flew to Iquitos. Then we circled above Iquitos for half an hour, only to hear that the airport was closed. They turned our flight around, and we headed back to Lima… The funny part was that some of our team had fallen asleep upon takeoff… and woke up upon landing, only to find they were basically still in Lima!  We proceeded to have several more adventures that day, including two team members leaving their passports on the airplane, Peter getting physically assaulted (in a minor way) by an angry fellow passenger… and more! We made it back to our Lima lodgings, several hours later.

Thursday morning we took that early a.m. flight to Iquitos again. This time we were able to land. We then headed out to the “campamento” (camp) the local pastor runs, to get ready to head out to the Amazon. It is naturally rudimentary, set in a forested area, very beautiful.

Ben and Faith roamed free and explored the compound. We told them not to go into the forest. Or pick up snakes (with them, you have to make that clear!). They had a blast and got filthy. Met the chickens and the rabbits. And then Faith experienced something few others have experienced.

I was walking back up from a side path when I heard the commotion.

This is the dog in question... what breed is he really?

“The pit bull peed on her!”

“Whaat?!”

“The dog peed on Faith! It just walked up to her, put its leg up, and peed on her!”

Yup, the male pitbull (I’m not really sure what the breed is) Faithy’s new friend, relieved himself on her.
She was unfazed, got cleaned up and continued to enjoy the day. Of the dog, she says, “He’s a nice dog. He has a lot of ticks, I picked them off and flicked them and made sure they were gone.”

A short time later we piled into our colorful bus and headed off to board our Amazon boat. A boat which, by the way, immediately had an engine failure. More on that later…

Today, I remembered the “pit bull peed on Faith” story (and the aborted landing, and failing engine, stories) as I sat in our staff meeting.

Our leader spoke about how real life, in the real world, isn’t fair. He is so right.

I wish I always reacted to unfairness as Faithy did – just pick off the ticks, and enjoy the day. But I don’t. How do you react?