We are fast sliding down the last month before we launch to America for 2 months, and there aren't enough spaces in the day for everything I want to do. Today we made nan (bread) down the street, and I videoed and carried trays of dough and ran errands and tasted hot crunchy nan straight from the tonur (oven)... and my children played and watched and ate nan and spoke a little Russian... and we fit here, in this community. We are part.
And I have dreams piling up a-plenty, all hinging on our future in this place, which daily becomes more and more uncertain... and I have children arriving at my gate still, with eyes full of hope, eager for the English key that will unlock a maybe-better-future, and half my heart is frustrated and torn to do my things with my hours, and the other half yearns to gather them all in and teach them about Jesus with my English words-- teach them real Life-giving, Unlocking words that are the Key to their Whole Lives Eternal.
The conflicting, stretching, tugging continues-- hours fleeting, menu-planning non-existent, scrambling at 5:00 to put something on the table, bemoaning not focusing on my boys (especially when the price is unresponsive disobedience), and yet the trade-off is spending time with these faces/hearts/hands/homes we love here on this street, in this place. And I am stretching for balance. Balancing on the edge of stretched-ness, fitting just barely into my days, relinquishing naps to do special secret projects, relinquishing my tight-clenched hold on "our" house, "our" fall leaves falling from trees, "our" walnuts, "our" friendships, "our" town...
I am numbering my days.
And counting gifts.
Because what is now will never come again. I cannot relive this moment. Or this one. I cannot go back and choose differently, to get down on Ben's level and grab his eyes with mine and enter his grin, to crash cars with Will, to read that book again and again, enjoying Will's learning... to drink tea with that friend, eat the pickled cabbage and strawberry jam with fresh nan, letting Ben and Will drink caffeinated tea and ruin their dinners for the sake of being around that table, with those ladies, on this fall, nan-making day.
178. the just-right temperature of today's breeze
180. the smell of baking bread
181. the heat billowing out of the tonur, wiggling the crisp fall air
182. Will's outstretched hands, asking for bread
183. our Bread of Life
184. Ben's little mouth accepting bread bits like a baby bird
185. the teenage son of my friend pushing Ben in his stroller
186. the sight of golden, fresh-baked flatbread stretched on tables
187. the ability to capture all this on camera
188. these last few fleeting days of this season, one by one
189. the ability to trust the God who gives one day at a time, to give the next season in its time
190. sweet friends, who don't speak my language
191. the ability to speak theirs
192. my son gamely attempting to speak their language, one word at a time
193. the knowledge that so many of the sweetest things in life can never be taken away from us
194. the challenge to live simply, stay in gratitude, one moment at a time
195. and how that discipline keeps me stable, keeps my emotions running in their banks, keeps me focused on loving and living right in now
196. our neighbor (whose bounty we have been sharing all day) showing up after dark at our gate with two warm wedges of baked pumpkin
197. winter pumpkin baked in bread-fire ashes until charred and creamy, eaten with a spoon
199. the memory of my son today, in the midst of tea-drinking, looking around at all his hadas (aunties), and saying matter-of-factly, "Mommy, we need to tell them about Jesus."
200. the aching longing that drives me searching, pleading for heart-doors to open into that reality
201. the push of knowing I might only have 33 more days