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when not-normal becomes normal

Due to outstanding approval and per the request of people like Shelley L. and Amanda Y. (people who have taught me a lot about seeing humor) I have decided to continue "quirks and joys" on a weekly basis. Here they are, the latest 5 "quirks and joys":

1. We have heard it said that the Mongolian women wear high heels because they think that their ovaries will freeze and if they freeze, they won't be able to have children. I, for one, hope that isn't true because I'm not going to wear heels.

2. Every restaurant/bar/cafe/place where people gather, closes at 9 pm due to the fear of H1N1. Did you know that the swine flu comes alive at 9 pm? I sure didn't.

3. On Saturday when we went to see Harry Potter at the movie theater, we had assigned seats. Thankfully we picked seats that were literally right next to ours.

4. On Sunday, we had a delicacy, milk tea. The Mongolians love it. I describe it like this: liquid grits...

5. In an effort not to shiver all night long and to actually get some sleep,
Erin and I decided to pull her mattress into the living room (the warmest room) and pile all of our blankets on top of us. I think we had about 4 layers of blanket covering us. We got some sleep and you better believe we will be doing that again.

I hope that you enjoy those little moments from our week. I think they are fun and are somewhat beginning to feel normal. I was reminded last night that it only takes a little while and what wasn't normal slowly becomes normal. The culture shock is ending and seeing cows grazing outside of the department store is becoming less and less of an oddity.

On Thursday we had a test that consisted of us getting a taxi, directing it to the market and then buying something, all in Mongolian. We passed I suppose because we finished our "Survivor Course" the next day. I am thankful for class to be over but I don't feel knowledgeable about the Mongolian language at all. I can hold an introductory conversation but that is about the extent. We will be relying on people a lot. Which I believe is a necessary and joyful part of life anyway, so it works for me. I believe we are made to need each other.

Just as we need each other, I am becoming deeply aware of our need for our creator. For a while I was struggling with all that it meant for me to be here, living in Mongolia. I stumbled upon this quote and have been slowly coming into an understanding of what it means and how it relates to my need for our creator:

"...Our vocation consists in belonging to Jesus. The work is nothing but a means to express our love for him. That is why the work in itself is not important. What is important is for you to belong to Jesus. And he is the one who offers you the means to express that belonging." -MT (my personal nickname for Mother Teresa)

My vocation is belonging to Jesus. I don't understand much more than that and that's probably how it is supposed to be. If I understood it all I would not be concerned about belonging to anyone, much less Jesus.

This week we will be introduced to the ministries that are going on at the church. On Wednesday we will get to participate in a meeting that will be helping to discern in what capacity we will be working in those different ministries. I have been anxious for this time and am ready to start getting my hands a little dirty.

I know that the most important thing for me to do now is to surrender. Surrender to how we will be working and serving here. Surrender to being cold. Surrender to life in Mongolia and making it home. Surrender to the ways God is changing me. Surrender to Him in every way.

I want to make sure that I remember what the quote was talking about. I belong to Jesus and the work is just an expression. It is an expression of love and surrender to Him. It is a pure joy to get to express it at all.

A good friend of mine, Joe D., posted something recently that really resonated with me. It has become my prayer and I want to share it with you:

Lord, "Oh, happy are those who become like sheep following their shepherd, who can be shown more and more works of God because every work of God becomes a light for them. Every work of God shows them the part of their own nature and of their own strength, which has to be given up!... In tears, let us surrender ourselves to God and seek to become sheep through whom God's kingdom can be revealed in Christ. Nothing else is worthy before God."
-Christoph Blumhardt

I have so many things that need to be given up. My surrender requires a constant consciousness of Jesus and my belonging to Him.

Even if it is through tears, may we all surrender to our creator.


  1. Don't worry. If your ovaries are frozen then the rest of you will be too. And that would just be bad. Unless of course you are cryogenically frozen, and that would be cool.


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