Yesterday was not a good day, folks. You know it’s bad when I’m sneaking to the kitchen for spoonful’s of marshmallow fluff sent recently from abroad. On my third cup of coffee (mixed with hot cocoa packets and more marshmallow fluff) I was trying desperately to view interior décor websites off my husband’s cell phone hotspot in order to imagine I lived somewhere else. No power, so no heat or internet or coffee grinder (the clincher!), it was below freezing outside and inside, and I was wearing my winter clothes PLUS a robe over top. After a great morning with friends, I had hit my low.
We’ve been on this winter mountain for nine weeks straight. That may not sound long, but when the temps are low, most of the population has been out of town (even my favorite shop to buy groceries is closed down!), everyone hunkers down and it feels like a ghost town.
But this morning I finally got intentional. When my toddler stood at my bed at 6am, I placed him back in his bed telling him breakfast wasn’t till 7, and took that as my wake-up call for some quiet time. I snuck out of our bedroom, came outside down the fire-escape-style staircase (have I mentioned we reside in two separate apartments? What were we thinking?!) and let myself into our kitchen below for some quiet.
And so, here I am with the little space heater glowing at my feet, robe and scarf wrapped tight, cup of coffee in hand, watching the pink and purple sky light up the hills.
And all is well.
I was not looking forward to this winter, but God knew what our family needed, and He has taken this time to force us to face ourselves. Most days I have actually loved the months of hibernation with the few dear souls in this 8000-foot-high-town.
Each Saturday a friend and I have hosted several ladies and their kids for lunch. They speak no English and come from a remote, hard-to-reach tundra city further north. Their families decided to leave home for two months (since their world is literally frozen over right now), and come stay in humble housing and learn about devotion to Jesus . One man is in the military and another is a taxi driver. And their wives are so much fun!
I can’t express the joy of watching these ladies and kids sitting in my living room eating and laughing. And when we share what God is speaking to us, it is obviously the first time they’ve ever done this. They each have this innocent, stunned look, and then talk of their first experience ever fasting this week. And then one talks about her frustration that her husband can sit and listen and learn all day, but her little ones keep vying for her attention.
And suddenly I realize that this woman who could not be more juxtaposed to me, (culturally, linguistically, geographically), is struggling with the exact same things that I am!
As God has been showing me that these days-with-littles are equally important to the times that I’m out-there and visible, this revelation is also what my new friend would need to hear too. She and I… we are the same!
And in that moment over rice and curry, I was suddenly thankful to be a “normal” wife and mom, struggling with the exact same things as every other woman on planet earth. From that place of honesty and normal struggle a friendship has been born.
And so, if only for the ladies that I have learned to laugh with, to share honestly with (in another language!), I am thankful for a winter of hibernation. I’m thankful for time to incubate and watch my soul grow deeper in Jesus, to get stronger from routine and better sleep, and to watch the sun rise over the Himalayas each morning.
Now, onto a new day with my littles… Again I request grace, to grow in patience, consistency, and fun.