Sunday, August 29, 2010


if my life were a EKG or lie detector test, there would be wicked leaps and drops, nothing really steady and certainly few things that remained in constant.

i'm wanting to add some rhythm, some constancy to my life, where i can. many of the things that make it so topsy-turvy are completely out of my hands, but i have a tiny bit of control over some things and am really needing to find a rhythm in all of it.

some efforts i've tried so far: daily bible reading, daily prayer with my husband, preparing my lunch to take everyday to school, writing to my husband weekly, afternoon rest moments, looking at the positive side of things. and now i want to add weekly blogging. (i have to admit i am really bad at getting this rhythm down, so forgive me ahead of time.)

so often i have a lot i'd like to write, but i don't for one of the following reasons: it's too harsh, it's too messy, it's too personal. but as i've been teaching my advanced kids about story, and how it is important to tell a story, one you believe in, one that makes you feel positive and reaches others, i've realized i need to tell these stories. not all of them will be world-shaking or even very interesting. but there is something in telling that allows us to recognize new sides of the thing we are experiencing.

so in the midst of all the things from this weekend: no city water, constant rain, blackouts, my nephew's dad in jail for an accident, debts they will have to pay, a continually flooding school, allergies, weariness, irresponsibility, and the sticky stain of corruption on this country, i want to tell you a story.

a good story. i hope.

it was friday afternoon, and all were anxiously awaiting the news that the new pump had finally been installed and we would have water again. i had just woken up from a fabulous nap under the watchful eye of the brewing storm, the applause among the plantain trees the perfect lullaby. my husband and i went to check the water situation only to find out it would be another 2 weeks before the water would be back. like many things here, the new pump did not work and they would have to wait to buy another.

so we got to thinking. and planning. and shoving. not each other that is, but old pvc piping. alongside my husband, nephews, brother-in-law,and church members on the soaked ground, we came up with a device to catch rainwater and direct it into our water tank. it made me smile to see us all there, muddy and wet but laughing as we wrestled with various pipes and glue to make this contraption that stretched 8 feet from the roof to the opening of the tank. there was this triumph evident in their eyes, excited that they found a way to beat our circumstances.

since it had rained pretty hard, i had a full barrel of water and i could finally wash some clothes. my nephew started hauling water from one tank to where i was washing clothes, one after the other. my husband bounced around from one project(a soccer ball stuck in the gutters causing a flood) to another (fixing the piping we didn't use). as i scrubbed out the week's dirt and let my thoughts swirl around in the lather, i felt grateful. in the midst of not very fun circumstances, i had seen how we had come together, how each one gave what they could to make it work, to live. there is so much need here. so much that we don't have. and without this kind of unity and support, we drown. we dry up and get beaten down. and it was refreshing to see it work, to find that it just came together. with the sun peeking out apologetically, i hung those clothes up with satisfaction. who cares if it's not fixed? we have what it takes to make it through...and i see this apply to hunger, poverty, corruption, fear, betrayal, lack, emptiness.

maybe we can't 'fix' nicaragua. but we can be the best versions of ourselves, together, without letting our surroundings weigh us down.*

(*this is often so very hard to do. case in point: brother-in-law in jail for an accident in which neither has insurance and the kids on the motorcycle were injured, lots of debt from that, waiting around in the dim police station trying to negotiate and all of a sudden, a thief has gotten into a bus in the police station parking lot and stolen the radio. and they send the youngest girl member of the force to run after him, slipping and sliding in the mud.obviously she didn't catch him.

it makes me want to scream...inexplicably difficult for me to be the best version of myself or for us to overcome with unity. pressed down. but not crushed.)


Jenna said...

The stories from your heart stirs a lot in my heart, sister.

You should tell your stories, even the messy ones, because

Life. Is. A. Mess.

And a beatiful and redeemed one at that.

Sara said...

Love you friend. I love the imagery. I can just see you slipping and sliding and getting mad and falling down and laughing laughing laughing at this crazy world.

What a story you are telling.

Keep em comin. :)