November 8, 2004

Baby, It's Cold Outside....Kinda

Well, I’m doing a fairly good job ignoring the issue I stumbled upon last time I wrote. I know I’m in denial so that I can cope with it. But I don’t know what else to do about it. I’m just ignoring the nagging feeling that is in the pit of my stomach. For now, I’m just plowing ahead on the course I’ve already set. There must be a reason why I am here in Guatemala, so I don’t know what else to do beyond what I’m doing. I’m praying for guidance and some answers, but I’m also trying to keep my heart and my mind open to whatever answer God gives. It may end up being nothing, but I know for sure that stressing out about it is only going to give me an ulcer and ruin the time I have here. So, I'm trying to leave it in God's hands, despite the temptation to snatch it back out and worry the heck out of it.

So,I'm already in bed and have been since about 8:30. It’s not because I am exhausted, but because I am cold! I didn’t think it was ever going to get cold here, but it has been rather chilly the past couple of days. This wind started up on Friday and it brought with it some rain and this cold spell. The wind has been pretty constant since then, which is a fact I love. There may not be enough trees in this city for my taste, but at least you can still hear the wind in the few trees that are here. It’s really not cold in relative terms, considering it is November, but it hasn’t gotten into the 70s since this weekend. It’s a nice change. People tell me that this is cold as it gets, but that’s ok with me. I’ll enjoy winter the weeks I am home for Christmas.

The gimnasio where I stay is cold because of all the windows and the wooden floor. I’m going to have to do laundry tomorrow so that I’ll have some more socks to wear. I just wasn’t thinking about needing winter socks, so I’m almost out of clean athletic socks. I’m sure there are some buried in my sheets, like always. Some habits die hard. My poor husband is going to have to get used to my constantly ice cold feet and my ability to lose one or both socks during the course of the night.

It’s very hard for me to believe that in less than 2 days, I will be turning 23. I’m purposefully keeping quiet about my birthday here because I can’t bring myself to just casually bring it up in conversation. It’s like asking for attention and I don’t want to do that. I’ll be happy if I get some mail from home and some emails from friends. I’m not much of a birthday cake kind of girl anyway.

Tonight God blessed me. My friend with the sick baby has been on my brain more than normal in the past couple of days. I tried to call her this weekend, but I just got voicemail. I haven’t been able to get in touch with her since I arrived in Guatemala, except through email. I’ve tried to content myself with this because I know her life is still turned upside down right now and who am I to demand attention when she is dealing with so much. But still, I think about her and worry about her a lot. So, anyway, today, I just couldn’t get it out of my mind that I needed to try and call her again. I only had 30 minutes of phone time left and I was debating on whether or not to wait until I had more minutes so we could have a long chat. But, I just couldn’t shake the feeling that I needed to call today. So, I did. I fully expected to get voicemail, and after the 4th ring, I was preparing to say or do something silly. And then, she picked up. I couldn’t believe it. But I got to talk to her for 29 minutes. My phone card has 1 quetzales left on it…which is like 30 seconds worth of phone time.

She’d had a particularly rough day and you can’t imagine how good it felt to share that burden with her. I know that in the grand scheme of things, calling tonight didn’t do her much good, but oddly enough, it did me a great deal of good. I miss her so much and I think about her all the time. And the timing had to be God because they’ve been having some better days with their son, but today was a low point and today was the day that God wouldn’t let my let go of my desire to talk to her. Knowing that I could talk to her about my day and hear about hers…I just can’t explain it. It just made my night.

God has been placing this idea of living in community in my path lately. It’s shown up in two books that I’ve read recently, and it’s also been something we talked about in a lesson with the kids. I haven’t read enough to fully understand how living in community fits into the scheme of Christian living, so I don’t really know what I think about the idea theologically...but practically, emotionally speaking--it appeals to me on this gut level. Living with and being surrounded by people who inspire me and challenge me sounds like a good idea to me. And when I get high off phone calls like I did tonight, there is part of me that wishes I was done with all this wandering so that I could go and settle down with these friends. I know it’s not that simple, but it’s something I think about. My problem is, of course, that Wisconsin is just so far away from the South and sometimes, I’m just tired of sticking out. I could get used to it though, if there really were some way to permanently intertwine my lives to theirs. I only get to see them for a few days out of the year and it’s just not enough.

She asked me if I’d found my John Smith yet (which is an inside joke referring to the nickname I earned because of my Pocahontas braided hair at that summer), or if I’d found Juan Gonzalez. I had to laugh and tell her no...but, I did get to talk to a very cute German guy who is in my Spanish class today. I’ll let you know if I feel a sudden urge to explore that area of the world next. J



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