Today I am enjoying a leisurely day off. I've been feeling exhausted emotionally and dying for some down time, but I didn't feel like I worked hard enough last week to deserve a day off. Much to my delight, my devotional reading last night was about resting and Sabbath rest. I took it as a message from the Lord that whether I "deserved" it or not, He was giving me today to rest. What a gift!
It's been hard for me to let go of the idea of Sunday being a day of rest. Our weekly worship meetings are now on Sunday nights, so it's really not possible to "recover" on Sundays. In addition, people here work (when they can) 6 days a week, so Sunday is the best day to find and spend time with people. Yesterday was full to the brim. Here's what I did:
- 7 am- My alarm goes off. I turn it off and fall back asleep.
- 8 am- Sierra knocks on the door and wakes me up. Glad to have her around!
- 8:15 - We show up a little late for "church." The Cubases, Sierra, Kyle and we meet together in Cesar's office to watch church on the internet. It's actually not bad.
- 9:30- We leave and immediately go to meet with a group of neighborhood people Cesar has motivated to clean the streets on Sunday mornings (for town pride and emerging tourism industry). We pick up trash and sweep dirt to the sides of the road. I'm all about trash pick-up, but sweeping dirt in the desert doesn't seem to be a great strategy. Nonetheless, on this particular morning my ministry is my presence more than my ideas. I stick around but wish I had a better attitude about it.
- 11:30- We come home and crash on the couch for a moment. I'm feeling sort of sick (I think from the fresh cheese at breakfast maybe) and Tim volunteers to make lunch.
- 1 pm- Sierra, Tim and I eat omelets and oven fries for lunch and leave the dishes for our housekeeper to wash the next morning (yay!).
- 2 pm- Sierra and I go out to visit people and deliver invitations to the Alpha Course, which begins this Friday at our house. I'll be very interested to see who comes. We've invited about 25 people and told them they can bring friends. Could be 8 people. Could be 40.
- 4:15- We return home and I for one am completely wiped out.
- 5- We leave with our instruments and all our sound equipment to go set up for the worship service and practice the songs.
- 6:20- Worship service begins. Tim shares some intruiguing words about the Lord's Prayer, we sing some songs, and for the first time yet here the sermon is member of the congregation sharing what he's learned recently about fasting. I'm delighted and encouraged.
- 7:30- Worship service ends, and various people follow us back to our house. I'm a little miffed because all I want to do is stare at the wall. Instead there are people sitting on my couch who want love and attention (and children fighting over toys on the floor).
- 8- The people go home, much to my relief. I think about how I really want to spend some intentional time with them sometime soon, because recently all my time with this family has been them dropping in on me at a time I don't want them to and me being fairly cool with them in an attempt to convince them I'm not that fun to be around and they really ought to go home. Surely that's not the heart of Jesus.
- 8:30 Tim and I eat a Twix bar and play a new card game we just learned called Casinos.
- 9:30 We call it a night. Boy am I looking forward to taking Monday off.
So far today has been everything I dreamed it would be. The housekeeper kept the house, and I've been doing everything relaxing I can think of. I listened to a sermon this morning, took the dogs to the beach, hung out with Grace and Sierra, cooked broiled eggplant with thai sauce and curried couscous pilaf (we're back to our gourmet vegetarian kitchen), washed my feet with a fancy scrub in a bin of warm water. And now I get to write, which I also find sublimely relaxing and useful for digesting this crazy life we're living.
On a completely unrelated note, today our handyman guy started painting the front of the house. We picked purple. When else in my life would I be able to paint my house purple and have it be completely normal? Plus (and this was a serious consideration) I wanted the house to be distinctive enough that I could tell people I live in "the purple house on Calle Arequipa" and they would know which one I was referring to. Here it is (work in progress).