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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Downtown fun with Ryan & Yamid!

After last night I was thinking that I had better post something. Because I don't too often just post stories. One, because I am not a creative story teller, and two, because funny stories don't happen to me too often.  This will be short and sweet, hopefully with some smiles in between.

Last night, Friday, Yamid, Ryan and I decide to head downtown to the market which we go to usually every Friday or Saturday night.  A ritual has developed since the recent opening of the new Xi'an Subway system.  That ritual being this; when Yamid and I take the subway and we have to swipe our cards to get through the little gate, instead of just swiping it where we know every other person with a brain swipes it, we pull out our license or a business card and try to swipe it in really odd places.   When the workers, who are there to help helpless people like us, come over to help us we start talking in a fake Russian language. Yamid actually speaks spanish, I speak in Russian. We swipe our cards in the end like smart people would, not until we have created a reputation of being the dumbest foreigners to pass through the subway.  Please don't judge me, it is just a little comedic relief.

Once we got to the market, we headed to our friends booth to sit and chat a bit.  So we all sit down in this little  hallway of a store.  We all are sitting on stools that are for toddlers, so we all look like giants, as out of place as we could get, but we love it!  One of our friends' five year old son, who is the cutest little boy, was going around making sure everyone had a little stool.  All I am thinking is I hope my son is that polite.  I am pretty sure I tried something like this as a child, but compared to him I failed miserably.  Hospitality is a very important thing in China, and the Chinese are very good at it.  So after we have talked for awhile they offer us each a moon cake. Which are from the moon festival, that ended one month ago. During that time I didn't eat one moon cake, because I had heard that they have really strange things in them, and they do. I have a weaker stomach than a newborn baby, not really, but it is a good analogy.  So we take the cakes with gracious smiles and thank you's, none of us intending to eat them.  So we all set them strategically by our stools, hopefully out of site out of mind.  One major gag scene was avoided, but I wasn't off the hook yet.

Ten minutes later our little friend brings out little tomato looking things.  I really don't eat tomato's, I know I am pretty pathetic.  All of our Chinese friends were saying, oh they are so good to eat, in Chinese of course.  I have lived here enough to know when someone tells me it's delicious, it's not true.  I have been tricked many a time. I wasn't going to be fooled this time, haha.  Ryan and Yamid are true men, and they ate them with no complaint.  In the meantime they were all still trying to get me to eat my mystery fruit/vegetable, with no avail.   Finally I said to them using Chinese, I am not accustomed to eating them, that usually does the trick.  They let me set it aside, close call.  It wasn't over yet.  The grandpa, the father of the whole family got up and grabbed the thing and gave it to me again, and said, try try try it is very good.  This time I didn't have a choice.  My good friend Ryan was telling me, don't eat it man, you can't handle it.  While Yamid was saying, just eat it!  I was torn, but I had to do it.  I started to peel it, it started to bleed.  I was scared.  My stomach was already turning the wrong way.  I thought I better just lick the juicy cream it had produced, before I take a bite.  Oh man, I licked that stuff, instant gag reflex. No joke, I almost threw up.  Ryan said told you, Yamid just laughed.  In the end I got off the hook.

When we were leaving Yamid put his moon cake in his djembe case in a sly kind of way. The little boy saw him and called him out, saying to Yamid, hey don't you want to eat it?  All the boy knew was the moon cakes were delicious. Yamid just patted him on the head with a big smile, trying to say with his smile, I will save it for later.   Ryan whispers to me, "why didn't he just hide it away". I said to Ryan, "why didn't you hide yours", the cake was at his feet.  Ryan said, "that's not mine, mine is in my pocket". So he picked the one up off the floor.  Big mistake Ryan, the lady then gave Ryan that one too, when Ryan just wanted to point out it wasn't his, haha, it's yours now, sucker.  I made it out unscathed from the exotic foods of China, but was blessed with some awesome time talking with my friends. Practicing my poor Chinese.  Thanks for reading.  Until next time!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Kingdom Logic

Hello everyone, I hope your week has been going well. I am sure some of you have had a bad week, maybe a bad month. Just remember, He works out everything for the good of those who love Him.  I have been doing well recently. I have been on vacation this week, because of the Chinese National Day.  I have just been relaxing a lot, when the fire works war isn't going on right outside my window at twelve at night. I have studied a little. I know I am a terrible student, this is why I didn't choose to go to college.  I have felt really good with my Chinese lately. I have been able to go out on the street and have conversations using Chinese, it has been really good. We say something in Chinese, man man lai, it means it takes time.  I try to live by that. It has been really good living with Ryan and Yamid. Thay are both really awesome roommates.  Don't you love how detailed I am, it is a gift of mine, ;)  Here are some pictures for your entertainment. Enjoy!
This is a friend who Yamid and I usually see once a week. She writes using calligraphy .

This is on a street after a billion black cats were set off. Pretty intense! 
This is Yamid in the new Xi'an Subway. 

Living in a foreign country will test you and make you grow.  Going through things that frustrate you and test your patience everyday is not fun, but it builds on the foundation that you hopefully already had.  So for me this process has been good, I have seen change in my life. I don't see it clearly but I know it has happened.  So I will give you a little personal background of who I am.  Some see life through relationship, some see it through adventure and challenge, some see it through education and knowledge, and many other ways. I on the other hand, see a lot of life through numbers. I constantly think of the time, and how much time it would take to do something, or if I have enough time to do a specific thing with the time I have. I am late maybe once a year. I also do the same with money.  I am careful with money, a gift I received from my father.  I always look at what the outcome might be, which stops me from doing a lot things.  A gift? maybe, a curse? maybe.

So recently I have been tested in the area of giving and trusting. Because I am living on just enough to eat and live, nothing else.  So I need to be extra careful right? I can't afford to give to anything to anyone, because I barely have enough for myself.  I am afraid I have missed something huge in how we are called to live.  I can't be used as a blessing to others if I live with a death grip on the little I have.  I believe if we open our hands and trust Him with the rest, He will do more than we could ever imagine.  If we would live in the promise of His provision, He could do such amazing things through us. I believe we have been brought up in a society that teaches us to live using logic, and if it isn't logical don't do it.  I believe logic is for this world, not for Kingdom living. If I used logic for all my decisions I sure wouldn't be where I am today. I believe logic cripples what He wants to do through us. It is our big security net, one of them at least. Don't get me wrong, I am not talking about being financially irresponsible.  I am talking about living in a way that shows that what we have is not ours, but His. Living a life of out pouring, more than just what we logically can, but pouring out what hurts so that others may live. When we choose to live with open hands, I believe that He will do amazing things through us. Not because of logic, but because of love. This is something that I have been growing in, I am a failure in this area. With His grace hopefully someday I can live fully abandoned to this world and the stuff that doesn't really matter. Thank you for reading. I challenge you to set logic aside and live with open hands. Live using kingdom logic.