Friday, April 18, 2014

the joy of the struggle (and how dog farts help me to not take ugly comments seriously)

once upon a time i lived in uganda. i did things like teach sunday school lessons, fed 150 village kids every saturday and sunday, wrote newsletters to supporters of this village ministry, and one time i had "the" talk (aka for those who don't know of what 'the' in :quotes: translates to = sex) with about 50 young was pretty awkward. since most my life had been spent hanging out with and teaching 3 year olds, i had to remind myself that "wee-wee" and "little girl area" were not the terms i needed to use with 9-15 year old girls (although i once had a 4 year old who somehow learned to call her little girl area her "kitty"--seriously "mom", you couldn't think of another 4 year old appropriate euphemism than "kitty" for her little girl area?)
moving on farts (seriously, it's coming, just keep reading, and it's all related to adoption, i promise).

anyhow, upon my return, i was visiting family, and i found myself in conversation with a jerk. a prideful jerk--though, that's kind of a redundant description because i have never met a humble jerk (the adoption part really is coming). we were talking about why i've done what i've done over my life: teach older students with severe emotional/behavioral disorders, travel to afghanistan about a year after 9/11 to teach in newly gender-intergrated classrooms, humanitarian work in ethiopia and burma, and recently a short trip to rwanda and a 5 month stay in uganda. i was talking about how "from whom much is given, much is expected" and i felt that my soul could have easily been born in a body in an impoverished country or under the rule of a faction that gives no value to women, but since my soul was blessed to have been born in a body ("you don't have soul, you are a soul, you have a body"--c.s. lewis) in america, my body should take itself to other lands to help those souls in those bodies. at the end of our conversation, he asked me (not out of curiosity, but out of indignant hateful judgement): "in all you've done, haven't you found that there are some people that are not worth saving". :jaw hits the floor and fist clinch: (i kind of wanted to retort back, "yeah, you" but Jesus hovered over me and put His hand over my mouth, He's cool like that).

here's the thing: some people don't understand love. there are three types of love:
storge: what you have for your family
eros: love you have for, well, your lover
philia: brotherly love, as in what christians have toward each other
agape: the highest form of love, the love Christ showed toward us, and commands us to show toward all (agape is sacrificial, open, non-judging, know, just look at the fruits of the spirit, agape produces those).

i've been asked by people:
* "why are you adopting?" (judgmentally, not really wanting to know our story)
* "why's you not adopting from 'murica? kidz heres need a's family too!" (crushes can on head) (kidding, but i like to tell stories in hyperbole) (and yes, absolutely! children in the foster system need families too! and we will do that, later :))
* "why are you adopting a child with special needs, why do you want to punish yourself for the rest of your life? you'll never be able to go to the beach and have fun again, you'll never...." (yes, that is the most important part of life, having fun at the beach...)
* on

there's also trolls:

except the ones i'm talking about probably don't look like that....though i'd like to imagine they have really crazy hair and big eyes, because it makes what they write more humorous (when you can decipher it, often it's filled with really poor grammar...)
"trolls" like to send what they deem as nasty messages to you through your blog or leave comments (i moderate comments so i don't publish them....i refuse to publish comments with poor grammar).  they seem to have an issue with families fundraising (i think that's what they are trying to say...).  i did once, as a child, bury $30,000 in a tin can with my brother's micro machine car and my friend's favorite hello kitty neckalce-but i seem to have forgotten where i buried the $30,000, otherwise we'd totally dig it up right now and use it to fund our adoption.

see, here's the thing about all these fundraisers you all see--the joy is in the giving, the joy is in the story, the joy is in the faith that He will provide through His body, because we have AGAPE love for each other. oh, ye of little faith that need it to be easy! i LOVE learning to trust in HIM. i love seeing Him provide through my brothers and sisters in Christ, it's our way of telling each other, "hey! we're all family! bloodlines mean nothing! WE ARE ALL IN HIS BLOODLINE!" if all these families already had $30,000 + for their adoptions, then when other areas of life got rough, they'd be starting out so weak, and have to learn to trust from that point--but if in this process, we see Him provide through the silliest of ways, and the most humble of our brothers and sisters in Christ, then how much more do we learn to trust in HIS WAYS! how much more can we feel that He is there with us, with our other adoptive community. i don't understand what all the "use your money" stuff is about's not "our money" and your money isn't even "your money"'s His money, He has entrusted us to steward it! the hubs and i continue to support our kids through gospel for asia, we continue to support a mission family in uganda, we continue to support other adoptive families...because we know it's not our money. we receive so much joy from giving to others, and others who give, receive joy as well.

so, (here comes the dog fart part from earlier) when jerks say ugly things about missions and humanitarian work, and trolls with colorful pink hair that sticks straight up and with big eyes say unkind things (i think it was supposed to be unkind...) i don't sweat it, and you please don't sweat it either, you have the joy! they are missing the joy. besides, i have more important things to worry about, like why my dog's farts stink so bad. seriously, this guy can clear a room, wake you up from a dead sleep...he's actually had such bad smelling gas before that he's looked around to see "who did it" and then left the room. this is my pressing concern right farts. :)

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