I love practicing Bangla with Aunty and Uncle.
Last night, we were all gathered in the living room, Uncle stretched out on the floor, Aunty on the couch, Sheila and I on two tiny wicker stools. Sheila was having trouble remembering a phrase Uncle had taught her, and he shook his head in mock disgust. "After you get a husband, then you will be remembering." Aunty and Uncle are pretty convinced Sheila and I need to find good husbands. :) Time for a classic language mistake. "Amar shamo kothay?" I pipe up with a puzzled and pained expression, which I thought meant, "Where is my husband?" Umm. Turns out shamo means samosa, a tasty little fried snack. Uh, husband would actually be shami. But I love practicing, and I even love making mistakes, because my goof-ups make Aunty and Uncle laugh so hard, and then Sheila and I laugh really hard, and the whole experience becomes one more of those beautiful moments that make me stop and give thanks for life, for adventure, for India, for following Jesus into places of both sorrow and joy.
I love realizing that what I'm doing right now matches so many of my dreams.
A few summers back, I read John and Stacy Eldridge's book, Captivating. I know there are some who find too much emotion and not enough meat in the Eldridges' books, but I did take away something meaningful from that book. Stacy wrote in one chapter about the deep places of a woman's heart, the things we treasure and hope for almost too much to verbalize. She suggested making a list of those things. So I did. I still have that list at home, and I remember almost everything that's on it, and last night, as I was journaling, I realized that so many of the deepest dreams I scribbed on that paper are here. Now. Children. Women. Freedom. Hope. Redemption. It was such a sweet "aha" moment. Remembering so many prayers and hopes. Not that they are now fulfilled once and for all, but I am starting to see the edges of those dreams. My heart is thankful.
I love wandering with Hannah.
Hannah is meeting me at this Internet cafe in a few minutes, and we're going to go gorte, gorte. Wandering, wandering. Hannah is my Kolkata wander-buddy. Maybe we will buy some fresh fruits and vegetables from the street vendors. Maybe we will find a special cafe tucked away on a tiny side street, and we'll have amazing food, maybe even the best food we've had so far. Maybe we'll meet a new friend. Or two or three. Maybe... Oh the possibilities!
In closing, may I just say "Happy Birthday" to my amazing Mom. If you live close enough to my mother to give her a hug today, do. Then give her another one. For me. I can't cry in the Internet cafe (that would be embarassing!), but I want to cry when I think of how many times she died in one way or another in order to give life to her family. She is selfless, hard-working, beautiful, strong, and gentle. My mom taught me how to pray, because when I was a little girl, I would get up in the morning, tip-toe into the living room, and find her kneeling by the couch. That was what I saw morning after morning. I love you, Mom. I miss you a lot.
And finally, a verse that cheered my heart yesterday:
"You have made known to me the path of life;
You will fill me with joy in Your presence."
Ok. A small p.s. I was looking around Facebook because Hannah came and was checking her email, so I had a few extra minutes, and all that introduction to say, I found the cutest picture ever on my sister's Facebook page, and it made me so happy that I just want to show everyone. Sadly, the only person I know even remotely close to me right now is Hannah. So I showed her. And now I want to show you, my blog family. Check out this link for the world's best picture of my dad and my precious niece, Abigail. I love this picture. I love them. My day is so happy right now.