10 things I have learned while in Massachusetts:
1. I am not good at time travel
It took me 24 hours to adjust to the time difference here.
I don't know how My Man does it.
He just has to get up and go to work whether he feels like it or not.
He is my hero!
2. Scorpions are not my worst enemy after all
I was bitten by a deer tick! I had an allergic reaction, thank goodness. If I had not had a reaction I would not have known that I had been bitten. My arm felt like it was on fire, which according to the Urgent Care I went to, is unusual. Most people don't know they were bitten for some time.
Again My Man came to the rescue. He found it, dug it out of my arm and took care of me. According to the Urgent Care, they see this every day. They, the ticks, are everywhere this year due to the unusually mild winter. Of course my mind goes directly to Lyme disease. But I was able to get antibiotics right away and will get a blood test in 4 weeks to make sure I don't have it.
I have had a hate relationship with Scorpions from the first moment I met one in my bathroom back home. Since then they have been on the top of my fear/hate list. But as of now the tiny deer tick is number 1. They won the distinction because of their stealth and for the disease they leave behind. The scorpion, although it's sting delivers a neurotoxin that has its dangers, can be hunted and squashed before it does any damage. The deer tick is small and can only be detected after the fact.
3. There are no FM Christian radio stations here
I thought maybe I just could not find them on the dial. It seems there is one or two on the AM. I was shocked. This is such a huge area with tons of people.
4. I miss Christian radio
I did not know what I missed until I could not readily have it. I have taken it for granted, that any time that I would travel in the USA that I could get into a rental car and find the local Christian radio station. I know that there is Internet radio and satellite. But the fact that such a large metropolitan area can not support a Christian radio station says a lot about the community. I feel deeply for the believers that live here and plan to add them to my prayers.
5. Creation screams of who God is, but no one is listening
Over this past weekend, My Man and I went treasure hunting and to observe part of God's creation that we had never seen before. We were not disappointed. We saw history, nature and people. The power of the waves crashing on the rocks, the lighthouses to lead men to safety, the forests that grow without fertilizer or extra water like back home, etc.. We walked for miles, saw many people. We observed that smiles don't come easy and that some are actually shocked at the offer of a kindness. Everyone scurrying around to take advantage of the sun being out, fighting for parking places. Where are the affirmations of God?
They are like a whisper. I have to listen hard.
6. There are a lot of lonely people
I have been spending the bulk of my days at our hotel, writing, reading, working with my hands and praying for My Man. It has given me time to observe outside my window all the people as they come and go here. Many of them appear to be on a work trip like My Man is.
It is a lonely life and between what I have seen here and what I saw at the airport it seems to be multiplying. There are many who don't work where the "home office" is located. They just travel all the time. It does have its advantages, but there are disadvantages as well. Too much time in a hotel room instead of with those that love you, can cause distance emotionally. It takes hard work to keep things together.
No one talks to each other when they are out and about.
They just stay in their little hotel room, use their little rental car to get back and forth and pick up take out for meals.
No place for community so they get out of practice, I guess.
7. Room 308 is sad
A couple of nights ago, in the middle of the night, My Man and I heard loud and long sobbing coming from the room next door. It was the sound of a woman in anguish, crying in the dark probably unaware that anyone could hear her.
It broke my heart. Why was she crying?
Is there no one to call? What was I to do?
Neither My Man or I knew the other was listening.
I prayed for her. In the morning we prayed for her together.
We never saw a face, but it did not matter.
8. I don't need 2000 square feet to live in
I have found it quite nice to have this small room with a queen bed, couch & Chair, TV and kitchenette to call home for a while. It is enough and it reminds me that I have more than enough at home.
9. My Man needs me
My Man has a difficult job.
He travels and it can get lonely when the work is hard.
So, when he asks me to travel with him, I know he needs me. It is not a vacation, it is part of my call.
He is my husband and I am to be his helper and companion. I can not take that lightly.
This is not about me and my needs.
I have to set all that aside for the bigger thing.
I am his help-meet.
I am so thankful that he needs me and desires my company.
10. Christ is what makes my life matter, not what I do or where I am
One night this past week, My Man and I had dinner with one of his old co-workers and his wife.
As we visited they wanted to know what I did.
I found myself scrabbling for words to define my life.
I told them that I was a nurse, but that I was not practicing right now.
I told them that I was finishing raising our children.
Both of these are lame answers and I am embarrassed that it is the best I could come up with.
It was like I was ashamed to tell them that I served at my church and mentor women,
showing them who Christ is.
Is it because they were not Christians?
Was I afraid of what they would think or that they would not understand?
What is wrong with me?!
In the season of life that I am in, I can easily get wrapped around the question:
What is my purpose?
I admit that it has woke me up at night. There are days that it takes effort to capture my thoughts and remember
my identity is something that Christ defines, not this world.
My purpose is to do as my Father in Heaven asks.
I have a long way to go...I need to bravely speak Christ to anyone who asks.
This is one of the hardest lessons I am learning right now.
Not just while I am here in Massachusetts, but anywhere I am.
Some of the things I have learned this past week have been about the human condition and their relationship or lack of relationship with the Most High God.
The harder lessons have been
I must keep digging and willingly struggle
until I have learned the lesson Christ has set in front of me.
It is really the only way to grow strong and worthy to be used.
What are you learning right now?