Saturday, July 26, 2008

New cats

Did I mention we have two new cats at our house? A friend of ours is on sabbatical for a few months, so we're keeping her cats, Dorian and Joey, while she's gone. We've had them for three weeks now and we're still in the introduction phase. It takes a while for cats to get used to each other, so we have them in three separate parts of the house and are gradually introducing them to each other. We're at the point where we're feeding Marshall and Joey together, then separating them again. I think they're pretty close to being able to be out in the house together without being aggressive toward each other. Maybe another week or two.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Tough Day

Today was a really hard day. The community garden that I've been helping coordinate was pretty much destroyed by a well-meaning volunteer group. So much of what we've been working for in terms of community building through the garden was destroyed, along with all the promise of a good harvest. I'm really sick about it. I don't even want to eat, and I'm not usually like that. I'm sad, frustrated and angry. We were going to pull up a few plants and replace them with raised beds because of some issues with lead in the soil. When I arrived at the garden this morning, whoever was getting tools and materials out had pulled out EVERY SINGLE THING in the garden and even disassembled and thrown away the raised beds we'd already built. I was too shocked to even know how to respond. I'm too much of an appeaser and I didn't want the volunteers to feel bad that everything had been ruined, so I tried to play it off and ended up letting them go ahead with things that I really wasn't comfortable with because I didn't know how to say no. They kind of came in and took over. I know that nothing can bring back what we had, but I still feel like we need to discuss with the leaders of the group and let them know that it was not acceptable to come in and pull up our whole garden without having someone on site to give them the go ahead. It makes me just want to quit and give up on this garden. I feel like the vision we had for the garden has been destroyed and, in a lot of practical ways, cannot be recovered. Please pray for me for grace and peace, for wisdom to know how to respond to this, and that God would do something amazing out of this broken situation. Thanks.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Update on our neighbor

Sorry to leave you all hanging. Thanks for your prayers. I think everything is okay. He stayed at our house that night and has been home with his dad ever since. I think knowing that he always has our house as a safe place down the street helps him to feel more secure and confident. I don’t think he’s in any real danger; he just has a dad who doesn’t know how to love him very well. His dad never had a father to show him how to be a dad. I also think that his dad is doing a little better knowing that we love them and are supporting them. He was at the point where he didn’t know what else to do with the kid and they both needed a break. I think he’s been able to take a breath and is therefore more ready for continue with the tough parenting challenges he’s facing.

The biggest thing for me now is having spiritual discernment to know how to respond to the kid. Several times I’ve responded in an appropriate way with my parenting skills and instincts, but what he really needed emotionally and psychologically was something different, which I didn’t understand in the moment. I have an amazingly insightful and wise neighbor who understands a lot just by observing him and has given me some really good insight and tips. There are several people I work with at CDC who have been praying for us and have given me some very wise counsel on how to approach relationships with children and parents in the neighborhood and how to approach difficult family situations. I’ve also been reading several blogs of adoptive families since friends of ours adopted their kids in Ukraine, and these have given me a different perspective on a number of relevant parenting issues and helped me understand some things about where this child is coming from.

As difficult as this can be sometimes, I’m really glad to be here: to be available to love on people, to walk alongside them, to suffer and rejoice with them, to feed them and to teach them. I know full well that I’m just scratching the surface; This family situation is nothing compared to what many of the young people in our neighborhood are facing. But I want my heart to break with the things that break the heart of God and I want to be a part of his work to make people whole, to bring healing, peace and justice to this community, and to help lift the burdens of poverty and injustice.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

fully immersed into urban ministry

Life in the city is always interesting. We have a major situation tonight and our neighbor kid is sleeping at our house right now. Please pray for wisdom for us to know how to handle this and pray for peace for him to be able to relax and sleep tonight. Dave goes to work at 6:00 am tomorrow and works until Thursday, so I will be on my own and will definitely need your prayers. Thanks

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Home again, home again

We were in Chicago last weekend for a wedding, then I left Monday morning for camp with the CDC kids. We had a great time and just got home this afternoon. The cat is very happy to have some company. More later...