Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Looking Back

[what's brewing: last year's grind...]

As I've confessed before, I am a saver – a treasure keeper, that is. Two of the many things that I keep every year are my wall calendar and my daily planner. I keep them as a record of what filled my days in a particular year – the milestones, the events, the insignificant details that come to be fond memories over time. To my credit, I am not the only one who does this; it runs in the family. My brother-in-law has asked the same questions of my sister that Jason asks me each time I direct these items into the treasure box rather than the trash can: “Why? You’ve just copied all the significant dates into your calendar for next year – what do you need this for?” But the battle is lost for the men in our family; the calendars stay and that’s all there is too it.

Having recently copied dates into my new daily planner (it runs on the academic year, not the calendar year; I don’t think I’ll ever stop thinking in terms of semesters!) I was reflecting back on the events of the last year and the many milestones that we passed. It got me wondering what I was thinking about and writing about at this time last year so I clicked back to September 2008 on Coffeegirl Confessions and found this post. Rereading your words and comments in response to the previous post, What are we made of?, warmed me through like a soothing cup of coffee in the early morning. I just loved reading your comments and reflecting on who we see ourselves to be.

I thought of the many experiences I’ve personally had since then and was struck by the depth and complexity of the events, emotions and experiences that we have collectively endured over the past year. I reconsidered the question, “What are missionary women made of?” and reflected on the different answers I might give today than I would have a year ago, which I assume may be true for some of you as well.

Because of this, and thinking of the many of you who have joined us since that post last year, I’m re-posting the following question to you all from last year’s post:

I would like to hear from YOU about the components you think should be included in the following poem. It doesn’t have to be clever or even rhyme – my goal is to hear more about you all and how you describe yourselves. If you’ve never commented before, this is your time!! Let your voices be heard!!

What are missionary women made of, made of?
What are missionary women made of?

How would you answer this today? Has your answer today changed from what it would have been last year?

I personally see now that I’m made of a far deeper dependency on others than I knew before –transparent relationships with other people are essential for me. I’m more adaptable than I ever thought I could be – what I used to see as laborious routines in everyday life are now familiar (dare I say comforting?) norms that structure my lifestyle. And I have to say I’m also made of a lot more resistance to foul odors than I ever thought possible!

How about you?


junglewife said...

I would say - Missionary women are made of flexibility, a great sense of humor, and reliance upon God and others. I've realized more and more who I really am, and how much I really need to rely on God. I just can't do this on my own! Also, I'm reminded over and over that I'm nothing special (not that I'm not special to God, but that I'm not any more important/spiritual/special than the average person "back home") - so much so that sometimes I wonder what in the world I'm even doing here1

Josh and Kelly said...

I haven't yet been to the field on my official first term, but spent a year there after college. Currently during this first homeland assignment, I'm made of prayer, of dependence, of Light that's not my own, of creativity, of diligence, and of the community of faith!

Melissa said...

I would have to say that missionary women are made of perseverance to keep on going (when things are easy or tough) & dependence totally on our God.

brook said...

we are made of love and courage, hope and prayer, faith and patience, laughter and tears, strength in weakness, loneliness and godliness, We have a clear purpose and yet difficult, unclear paths to get there. We have language barriers to leap over, and cultural barriers to learn. We have families in 2 parts of the world. We have 2 homes, 2 traditions, 2 diets, 2 churches (or more), 2 groups of friends, 2 sets of clothes, 2 of so many important parts of our lives. But thankfully we serve 1 God, Who is everywhere and unchanging.

Libby said...

Missionary women are made of a huge need to have Christ be our everything, to lean totally on Him to accomplish anything.

Tim and Susan said...

What beautiful answers from my sister here.

As a missionary woman,
I am made of
hands that cling to God and His Word,
a heart that aches for those dying without Christ around me who will probably never hear,
beatiful feet as I struggle to share in a tongue not my own of God's grace and hope,
legs and arms that seek to serve my family and live out my realationship with God in a way others know He is real.

Ellie said...

I think we are made of whatever can fit into a suitcase!

I find I leave a lot behind in my life because there simply isn't room for it. I can't afford to have a favorite this or a habit of that, to prefer one thing over another. Simplicity and a willingness to let go of things.

(not calendars, though. I'm with you on that! We do need a storage place where we can keep memories.)

Grammy said...

lots of tears

Stephanie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stephanie said...

We are made of flesh and blood... real people with real struggles, real pain, real frustrations... and real joys! We are nothing more special, nothing more note worthy, nothing more unique than any woman created by God. We are just a "hand" or a "foot" in the body of Christ. I love the comments above speaking of real surrender and reliance! Yes and Amen! Real people who need a really reliable God!

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