Sunday, December 1, 2013

A Sip of Humility

As I sit here unwinding from my day, I have in hand a warm cup tea accompanied with an amazing apple pie cookie. (Yes a cookie that taste like apple pie! Recipe to be posted soon!) Life is good! 

** Insert feed baby, feed husband, clean kitchen (for the 91st time today), sweep up mess made by Jacob, start dishwasher (praise the Lord for the dishwasher!) change another dirty diaper, train Jacob on the word "no", get Jacob ready for bed, realize his clothes need washed, throw laundry in the wash, take out clean clothes, hang clean clothes up to dry (dryer still broken), put away dry clothes that are hanging, sit down and get back in the writing zone! **

Okay now as I sit here and unwind from my day, I have an iced coffee in hand and am ready to relax! It's been a full and great day! We had a wonderful service today, and had the teens/kids stay over after service for tea and cookies. Then I went for a run, and visited our neighbor Babavara. Allow me to introduce you to Babavara.
This picture couldn't be more perfect because as you can see Jacob has candy! She just loves spoiling him! And I allow it since we don't normally give him a whole piece of chocolate (let alone 3!). I do have to cut him off after two pieces. Babavara, Grandma Barbara, is our beautiful next door neighbor. She has been widowed now for a little over two years ( I believe). I do my best to go over and visit her at least twice a week. It's a great way for me to learn a few new words each time I go. 

Before my sweet friend, DeeDee Sterling, left me all alone here in Siberia, we visited Babavara. As we entered her house, she welcomed us with her shiny smile and put some tea on. She began pulling things out of the fridge and insisted we eat up! Fruit, bread, chocolate…anything she could find. 

This act of kindness always humbles me. 

  It's customary here in Russia to offer your guests tea and something to eat when they come for a visit. I love this! Not just because I love to eat but because it's a good reminder to not be too busy to stop and take time for people. There have been several times we go to visit people, and it doesn't matter what time of day it is, what they are doing, they stop everything to make you feel welcomed into their home. They offer you tea and whatever they have to be a blessing. A sip of humility!

  I believe it would be pretty safe to say in America, we are a very schedule oriented people. If I were to pop in on a friend unexpectedly, I would probably be offered something to drink while my friend either ran around the house trying to tidy up or continued what she was doing while talking to me. And I would probably be guilty of the same thing. At times, I get so wrapped up in trying to make the house clean, and play hostess that I don't take time to stop and enjoy my company. Sure we have conversations, but as I'm doing the dishes and putting leftovers away, then getting out dessert and making coffee, then the vicious cycle repeats. This reminds me of a little story in the Bible…Mary and Martha. 
Martha & Mary Summed Up: 
Jesus came to Martha's house. Martha welcomed him into her home and immediately began preparing food and playing hostess, like any good woman! Her sister Mary simply sat at the feet of Jesus listening to him. (Lazy Mary!) So Martha got super stressed out and had had enough of doing all the work alone! So she came and whined to Jesus, asking him to make Mary come help her in the kitchen. Jesus calmly said, Silly Martha, Relax! Okay what he really said was, 
"Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:
But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her." Luke 10:41,42
Poor Martha! Martha gets a lot of bad PR (public relations). But Martha was being a good hostess. She was making her guest feel welcomed. If you were a hungry guest at Mary's house, you would still be a hungry guest when you left. So let's be honest, who would you want to host you? I don't know about you but I would want Martha! 
There needs to be a balance! 
But let's not miss the point here. Jesus said one thing is needful, and Mary hath chosen that good part. She realized what was most important and that was spending time with Jesus. 
First and foremost.
May we not be too busy in the ministry and doing things that we miss the most important part, spending time with Jesus. Satan uses busyness to distract us from our relationship with Christ. If Satan can distract us from spending time with Christ, then we go about doing our ministry in our own strength. And then Satan has won!
Second.
If it wasn't for people, we wouldn't have a ministry! How silly is it to be cumbered about many things, that we miss ministering the love of Christ to people?! Take time to enjoy your friends and family. Life is too short to be too busy!