Having Breakfast at 3:30PM

Yesterday I decided to follow up on a conversation I had with a neighbor the other week. She had initially stopped me to ask if I knew anyone who was looking for a room to rent, but then went on to say she lived alone and if I ever wanted to come over for a cup of coffee I was welcome. I felt a little awkward going over without being able to contact her first to see if it was a good time, but I really felt like I should try. We have just had two weeks of rainy and dreary weather so I did not really have an opportunity before now. I walked just out of my courtyard and rang her doorbell and she was actually home. She said she had to run some errands, but invited me to just hop in the car with her and when we got back we would have coffee since she had not had breakfast yet. This was at 1PM, about an hour after I had eaten lunch.

Our errands included trying to drop off some information at our community’s office because she is very against having more schools in the neighborhood and is trying to prevent more from moving in. This felt a little awkward since Lincoln is obviously in our neighborhood (though it has been there a really long time and she is friends with some of the administration so I do not think she is specifically against Lincoln). Next, she had to give something to the cleaning lady who was working at a rental house she had just a little bit outside of Las Fuentes. The renters, three Indian men, were making food when we arrived so I had a funny conversation with them while waiting for her to finish talking to the cleaning lady. I was invited to come back and have Indian food sometime, which I am actually really tempted to do. We then went to a couple little stores and finally back to her house.

I thought she would just put on water for tea or coffee. Nope. She made this really good soup, put together an amazing salad with spinach, mango, pomegranate, apple, and balsamic vinaigrette. She toasted rye French bread and put out some really tasty spreads for it and squeezed some fresh limeade. All the time she was cooking, we got to talk. Well, she did most of the talking, but that was okay. =) We finally sat down to eat at 3:30pm, for her breakfast. It was so nice to be able to talk with her and also to enjoy her food. I know that she really enjoyed it too because she said she really like cooking and that is always better when there is a guest to enjoy it (or comensal, which means a person who is eating with others). She told me about an old song that translates to something like, “In my house, there is a church, which is called the dinner table.” I liked that idea that meal time, either with family or with guests, is somewhat sacred. It reminded me of the teaching in the Bible on the Lord’s Supper and how that is a sacrament, but can happen in the context of a meal because we all are to remember Him together and enjoy each other’s fellowship and communion as we commune with God.

So I enjoyed my adventure and am excited to see what taking advantage of this opportunity will lead to.

Photo is my own of part of the view from our second story patio.

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When Life Gives You Boredom, God Gives You Purpose

This afternoon, I sat down to write a blog post about the online course I just finished up. I quickly got distracted by the Fred Astaire music I was listening to (You’re Easy to Dance With), which led to looking up Fred Astaire movies on the internet, which led to looking up other stuff on the internet, which led to generally wasting time and unhealthy thinking habits. I finally snapped out of it and refused to click on “just one more” link. I was not sure what to do next so I took a walk to get out of the house. When I got back and started making dinner, I realized what I should be writing a blog post about.

I tend to work really hard and stay busy. Sometimes I can lose balance and take on an unhealthy amount of stress. But I have learned that, generally, it really is good for me to be busy. I get bored quite easily and then I feel bad about myself for wasting time on worthless junk on the internet or for letting my thoughts turn to self-pity, jealousy, or covetousness. That is actually why I took the online course in the first place. It is also one of the biggest reasons why I am going to start getting tutoring in Spanish and why I am taking on more English tutoring students. On my walk, I resolved not to go back to the boredom tonight, but I did not know exactly what I was going to do to fill the evening. My landlady came into the kitchen to talk to me. She was very sweet as usual, making sure I knew I could use anything in the house that I wanted. She even offered to lend me her car. I have been afraid to drive here, but have been thinking about it more recently, realizing how helpful it could be. Please pray that I would make a good decision there. It might be a really good thing for me to drive because it would probably open up more opportunities to interact with my church, and I could actually be a real help to my landlady, who still cannot drive because of her broken arm. On the other hand, I am a cautious driver, even by U.S. standards, so I am not sure if I could really survive out there. While we were talking, I had the opportunity to ask her to the Bible study I go to on Friday nights. It is hosted by missionaries and is really open to both Christians and people who are curious about Christianity. I think it would be a great place for her to get to know some Mexican believers whom she can probably identify with better than she can with me. She could also ask all of her questions to Spanish speakers. She sounded interested, though sometimes it is a cultural thing not to refuse an invitation outright, so pray that she actually comes!

I also was reminded of the opportunity I had during tutoring earlier today. I was meeting with a student whom I usually Skype with, but was able to talk to in person this morning because he was back in Guadalajara for the weekend. It started with me mentioning that church is the place where I practice Spanish the most, and led to a discussion about church. He observed that I was very committed to and involved in my church, whereas he sees church as more of a way to teach his children good morals. I was able to explain that I was “so committed” because I really believe the Bible and our actions show what we believe. I clarified that the Bible was really my standard for living. He said they had gone to a catholic church in Guadalajara (one with “positive” teaching) and that he wanted to find another church in Monterrey (again for his children). Please pray that this conversation will have stirred him and he will read the Bible for himself. Also pray that he would find a church that teaches the truth (positive and negative) and that this would change his whole family, not just make his children “better people”.

I am excited for what God has in store for me here. I do not always take all the opportunities that I should have, but I am so excited to see people slowly opening up as I patiently wait for the Spirit’s awakening in their hearts.

Photo is my own, of the glorieta (round-about) in our neighborhood.