Learning from Behind

written on March 16, 2017   

A few minutes ago I told myself that I feel like the biggest failure.  I’m not keeping up with anything.  And no, that is not a perfectionist being hard on herself.  That is an honest assessment of the current situation.  Shall we take a look?

  • House – kitchen and visiting area aren’t bad, but the bedroom and bathroom are a disorganized mess.
  • Clothes – I haven’t washed clothes for five days, and they are piling up, which isn’t good when you wash them by hand. If I don’t do laundry soon, it will end up being an all-day project.
  • Writing – If I don’t write at least twice a week, there is no way I’ll be able to send out prayer letters and post on the blog while in the city.
  • Archiving language notes and photos – despite trying to keep up, these pile up fast, and my organization system needs to be improved somehow.
  • Bible study – Right now, I have a few items on the go in this category – reading Exodus, memorizing Ephesians, studying and practicing prayer, studying Job, and a study of revival. Some of these are actually occurring on a daily basis, while others are hit-and-miss, and others are on hold.  It would be easy to spend half of the seven hours devoted to ACL in Bible study instead, and still feel the need to learn more.

All the above categories are important, and shouldn’t be neglected.  But there are times, like today, when the heat saps my energy or a migraine makes movement and thought challenging.  So instead of cleaning or organizing or writing or studying, I end up lying on the cool floor and thinking about the above list instead of working on it.  Followed by the subsequent admission that I truly am not keeping up with all of these things, the question comes to mind, “But are you learning?”  And the answer is yes!  Every week, phrases are rolling off my tongue with a bit less stumble, even increasing ever-so-slightly in their length and grammatical complexity.  Words by the dozen are being added to my memory.  Sometimes the tones even come out right!  In more and more situations, I am learning how to act and respond, and feeling very at home with my Neno friends.

Another diagnostic question – is your love for the Neno people growing?  Yes!  Both in affection for them as individuals, and as an increasing desire for them to truly know God and have His Word in their language.

And perhaps the most important question of all – Do they see Jesus love in you?

Based on the laughter we share, their continued willingness to teach me, the older lady who invites me to swim in the creek with her, children eating crackers, dancing, and playing Uno in my kitchen, I dare to hope that the answer to that is yes.

And the fact is, I’m not here to be a good housekeeper.  If that were my ambition, I should have stayed back in Lewis County where there more conveniences for housekeepers, such as refrigerators, washing machines, dryers, vacuum cleaners, and Wal-Marts.  And where mold doesn’t grow in unexpected places in about five minutes.

So, while I’m certainly going to keep trying to organize my time and house and life better, perhaps, all things considered, it’s not the end of the world to stay behind.

One thought on “Learning from Behind

  1. Heidi Honey

    You are learning the value of wisdom; do not let yourself put yourself down, that just defeats you. Practice and remember that God is on your side and HE will give you strength for the things He wants you to accomplish each day. Here’s a ‘Quote from Heaven’ from Kat Kerr: Father, I ask for and receive Grace for this day, Amen! “Each morning before you get out of bed, ask God for Grace for abundant life and He will pour into you fuel from Heaven for anything you will face that day.” I leave you in Christ’s love and the peace of God which transcends understanding!


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