“The greatest thing is to give thanks for everything. He who has learned this knows what it means to live….” – Albert Schweitzer, Reverence for Life
“You were not designed to sit around and look at your belly button. You were designed to be interested and compelled by something outside yourself. This is why the feeling of love is so pleasant, because it finally frees us from thinking about ourselves all the time.”
-Donald Miller, Storyline
Ever since we let our little puppy, Míka, into our hearts and home we’ve come up against a challenge: house training. For some of you that brings up memories of pee on your favorite sweater, chewing up that expensive shoe or sentimental leather journal or the worst: the foul smell of puppy poo. To keep most of these things from happening and to train her well she stays in her kennel through the night. Then, every two and a half hours we take turns, groggy-eyed, taking her outside to do her puppy business. This severely messed up our sleeping patterns at first, but now we’ve kind of gotten used to it.
Normally after my shift I find it hard to fall back to sleep right away, so I’ll get on my smart phone and surf Pinterest or see what the latest photos are on Instagram until my eyes hurt so bad from the contrast of the dark room and back-lit screen I can’t help but shut them and fall back to sleep. Recently though, I decided I would fill my mind with more than recipes, DIY’s, and photos of other people’s food. I moved all my social media apps to the last page, and moved all the blogs of friends who were doing missions to my front page. Two nights ago I couldn’t fall asleep for the first time since I made this decision. And we’ll see how this worked out…
“…I’m mad because a village here encourages their daughters to save their virginity in order to sell it to a foreigner. When they do, they go for $2000 USD and the village throws a celebration that honors the parents using the money. I’m disgusted that I’m mad at them more than I am the perverted foreigners….I’m really the most angry because there are internet blogs that rate the red light districts right next to me. They rate the women with explicit details and give creative ideas on how to trick them into lowering their prices. They gave maps with detailed instructions. I filtered through this and made a map of where all the trafficked women are, which street corner, which doorway, what times. From Russian to African to whatever you’re looking for. And the blog writers know they are trafficked. I’m so mad that I read those things and made that map because now I’m sitting up at night looking at the clock knowing exactly where the Russian girls stand and where the Russian embassy is and I’m still completely useless. I’m so mad at how easy it was to find out those things. I don’t know where to go from here. I talk to God and I am awestruck at how faithful His love is. He loves the women, their parents, the men, the ladyboys, the men who beat up the ladyboys, and He moves and He rescues and He recklessly pursues all of them. But right now all I can feel is boiling furious rage. I don’t want to go home yet, but I would right now- I want to go to a place where I can speak the language and scream and tell people where this is happening and what time they should go pick these women and men up and help them get home. But even then, would that change anything?…”
As the days get somewhat colder here in Nashville I’m reminded of our recent trip to Iceland. By somewhat I mean 40 degrees here which isn’t much compared to Reykjavik’s “feels like 15 degrees” weather. But still, the cold reminds me of time spent there. Shivering to the bone as I would walk to meet a friend at a coffeehouse. You have to dress in layers though because as soon as you walk into any shop or home it’s about 80 degrees or warmer with the fireplaces going and sipping on heitt sukkulaði (hot chocolate).
This was especially true on this last trip we took at the end of October. It was during Iceland Airwaves–we didn’t get tickets, but we planned on attending many off-venue shows. Which meant we’d walk to a venue a few blocks away, wait to get in, freeze, then be in the venue pressed up to someone you don’t know as your craning your head around to see the artist and be burning up in your winter parka. It’s a blast, really!
I’ve yet to post about this adventure, it was so beautiful to be back where Tyler and I met. Back in the crisp air, remembering the first days we felt sparks, wondering if the other was thinking the same. Not to mention reuniting with old friends we hadn’t seen in a year or so. God spoke so clearly and favorably over us and we came home feeling completely refreshed.
Please enjoy some of the photos I took while listening to Ólafur Arnalds , an Icelandic artist I saw three times. Yeah, I kinda like him…
The Reykjavik Harbour.
Spending time with good friends.
Olafur performing at The Rex
This year has been one for the books. Looking forward to 2013. Hope you had a merry christmas and have a happy new year!!