It's been a bit crazy, but good around here.
Since last Thursday we have had a house guest, a college student from the Congo. She's been very nice and today I had Congolese food for the first time. It was very good! I have also gotten to practice my French a little.
Today I woke up and got on Facebook and was saddened to see news that a girl I went to high school with had died. I didn't know her well, but definitely knew her. She was a very present Facebook friend as well, I had read a post of hers just yesterday so I was shocked. This made my morning go slower as I did my ordinary tasks, but found them harder as I was gripped with emotions. She leaves behind two children as well as other family members who I am sure could use prayers.
I had a pretty ordinary day though filled with trivial difficulties. Genevieve managed to pee on the floor twice. We had ants get into some food, the store was closed when I walked there; then when I tried to order from an online store I had multiple difficulties in ordering. When it came a few items were missing so I was unable to make the cookies I had planned to make this evening. Oh, and my sandal broke. Nothing major, but just enough to have me run to God all day to try to keep the stress in check. (I didn't always succeed.) We've also had both my laundry lines just snap this week. I have a drying rack so I have done some laundry this week, but I have not gotten to buy line and looking at the weather by the time I do I will likely have another stretch of rainy days where I can only use the drying rack. I also had two, or was it three, water bottles break. We fill up bottles with drinking water from our reverse osmosis filter since we can't drink tap water. Plus since our water tanks are stored on the roof the temperature of the water is not very cool, so we put the bottles in the fridge. But we're very low on bottles now, with now four people using them. So another minor hassle. And I tore my shirt, not once but twice in different places so it's ruined.
Then this evening I found out my kindergarten teacher died as well. Apparently she passed a few days ago. Kind of strange and sad to hear of two deaths in the same day. She lived a long life and truthfully I hadn't heard of her in years and didn't know for sure she was still alive. But it is still very sad and very somber bookends on the day.
Still, I feel the Lord with me. I have been praying the Daily Office, the ancient canonical hours used by nuns, monks and many others like myself for two weeks now. I had been filled with spiritual anxiety about not feeling as connected to God since moving to India. A prompting within me reminded me of how I had looked into being some form of lay associate with Anglican nuns in college but had gotten a "not yet". There was a coal burning in my spirit to look into that line of seeking again. I did but wasn't sure what to do or who to contact but put out some feelers. In my research though the Daily Office kept coming up and I thought let me start that to begin with. Within three days Ryan said he could see a change in me. By day four I realized anew my vocation: I am called to pray.
Excited I called up a dear sister, a spiritual companion, and said that last sentence to her and she said she knew that. That she'd tried to tell me that before. And now suddenly I could replay many Christians telling me this, even saying, "when I think of Pamela, I think of prayer." Heck if I made a list of the top times I have felt the most strongly in the Lord, the most at peace, the most guided, 100% are when I was praying. And yet, in our world so obsessed with doing, so obsessed with tangible markers of achievement, I just hadn't really heard it. I have been told by God before to pray, like "this is what I have for you to do"... and still totally missed it in that I took it as " for now" or "until I tell you the real plan." I am laughing at myself now. No, my true vocation is prayer and whatever else God wants me to do shall be added to that, but that is primary. And I feel so at peace since accepting that. I haven't felt this spiritually alive in years.
The Daily Office makes special sense too because I know that I don't have a structured mind. I am very freeform and boundariless in most modes of thinking, which is why I am so atypical. But I also need external structure applied to me when I really want to accomplish something. If I try to provide the structure myself I tend to freak out, truthfully. But the Daily Office is providing me a needed structure I have no need to form myself, enabling me to more fully participate in it. This also leaves room for freeform prayer around these markers of morning, noon, evening and compline (bedtime) prayers, as of course we are to learn to pray ceaselessly. But these provide me a structure for my prayer life, a skeletal support to flesh out my day with the Lord upon.
Being in the Lord this way helped me laugh at Genevieve's pee and the ant incident. It made me stop everything to pray when I realized that I was getting frazzled. It let me shrug off the shirt; everything here on earth doesn't last.
And I just made banana bread instead of cookies.
Genevieve is asleep now and I paused by writing to say compliment so I will wrap this up. Love to you all.
(I took a picture of my bananas instead of the banana bread because it was baking when I started writing this.)