Since that time, I have tried my best to celebrate the Sabbath. "It's not a polite suggestion," Marva reminded us. "It's a biblical mandate, and something Jesus took seriously" (though not in the strict Jewish way, necessarily). She explained to us that a Sabbath rest isn't something you work toward, but rather that we can serve out of the rest we have had.
Knowing that I have another very full week of class ahead, I chose to lay low today, to rest, spend time with God, go for a walk, and finally, to meet a friend. Idelette is a South African whom I had gotten to know in Taiwan. She got married to a Canadian nine years ago, and I hadn't seen her since. This afternoon, she drove down from Vancouver, Canada, to visit for a few hours.
(Above: Idelette's 3-year-old, Tayla, with some flowers a little boy brought her... He seemed quite taken by her and brought flowers twice. It was the cutest thing to watch!)
It's a bit bizarre when you had last seen a friend as a single and next as a mother of three. I had a wonderful time with them! The kids were darling.
We ran to Trader Joe's to do some shopping for Idelette, bought Thai food to go at a nearby restaurant, and went to a park to visit, let the 2 oldest ones play, and have our dinner. Some of my favorite quotes from the 5-year-old Gabrielle were, "Mom, can we please get an orphan?" and, "Mom! My poop's coming out!!" (Sorry for the graphic narrative. I just think it's hilarious when a well-mannered, beautifully-dressed little princess blurts out something so real!)
It was refreshing to spend time with an old friend. As I did on Friday night. Phebe Shen, a former roommate and colleague from my ORTV days is from this area, and we met up for Taiwanese food and a delightful visit.
Yesterday, albeit Saturday, our class met for the most hands-on journey through church history. We traveled to our prof's home near Mt. Baker where we embarked on a 2,000-foot mission trail. The trail represents the 2,000 years since Jesus sent his disciples to carry the Gospel to the ends of the earth.
Along with trees that have significant meanings (the Reformation Tree, the Trinity Tree, and the Epiphany Tree) as well as monuments to significant family events, Ray took us to the 20 markers on his trail. At each marker, he'd stop and teach in his narrative manner on the significance of the specific person. History had never been so alive to me!
Not only was it a truly hands-on learning experience, it was also a delightful time in nature. The Bakkes' farm is beautiful, and it had just stopped raining prior to us embarking on the walk. The forest was alive with raindrops dangling from moss-covered tree trunks...
Today's chance to rest, reflect, and visit with God about what I'm learning was the perfect end to a mentally challenging week, and the perfect beginning to the next 5 days of learning. I feel like I can think again after taking time out to be alone.
Click on the picture above to see photos from this past week.