There are a lot of things that make me different from Papua New Guinea women.
Many things I just can't change...for example, the way I look and the color of my skin makes me stand out. In fact, it usually makes people stare.
As much as I think I know the language, the way I talk will probably never be quite the same as a Papua New Guinean. I often find myself stumbling over words because my mouth can't always produce the Pidgin as quickly as my brain thinks. And even if I do get the language down perfectly, I'll still always have a strange accent.
I'm not always able to view issues though the cultural lenses of people here. My way of thinking is not always the same as theirs.
I get hung up on these things sometimes. It's too much. I can never make a real connection. There are too many hurdles. Too many obstacles. Too many differences. For me....
...but (and hallelujah for this "but") I serve a HUGE God...who can do ANY-THING! Who is so much bigger than these differences! AND Who makes ways for us to be more "the same."
At church last Sunday, I was embarrassed by how much I had to wrestle with Miles when he had no desire to sit down. In a little bush church, sitting on the grass covered floor, we were a huge distraction. Miles wanted to poke every baby in the eye, hit every little kid on the head, and throw dried grass on everyone else. It was a disaster. Eventually I had to take him out of the church.
I recalled the horror of the service to my friend, Gail. Gail smiled and kindly said, "Yes, but those people probably saw you as just another mom." Those words have stuck with me. Hopefully, for a few moments at that church, it didn't matter I was white, or spoke English as my first language, or had more education, or didn't live in a grass hut. For a few moments, I was just another mom wrestling with her toddler. I was just another mom.
I'm thankful to be a mother for many reasons...one of those reasons is the connection it provides with other Papua New Guinea mamas. It's a blessing and an opportunity that I don't want to waste or take for granted.
May God use every part of my life...even the struggles and embarrassments that come with being a mother...for His glory!
Monday, April 21, 2014
Easter morning we attended a church, just across the river, with some of the Radcliffe family.
Thought we could walk to church...
...but decided to ride instead.
It was a blessing to be able to celebrate Jesus' resurrection and worship with the people of Misa Church.
Although, church has become a different experience for us now with a squirmy toddler. :)
Sitting next to Lydia was a huge help when it came to wrestling with Miles!
Josiah sharing his amazing guitar talents!