Friday, November 07, 2008

Pick up Lamb

Today, my To Do list includes, "Pick up lamb." This does NOT mean that there will be a fuzzy little creature bouncing around my yard. What it means is that there will be little white packages in my freezer.

When we first came back from China, we lived with Garry's sister, and there were sheep in the pasture right outside our bedroom window. They were so cute! I liked hearing them rustle around and call out to one another.

Garry spent most of last weekend helping his nephew slaughter the sheep. I am just too sensitive about these things. How could I have survived if I'd been born a hundred years or more earlier? Surely there were women like me back then, who cringed every time a lamb was slaughtered.

I'm not a vegetarian. I like to have meat with our evening meals. And during our years in China, I grew to really like lamb, too. It was cheap, and came in these funny packages, thinly sliced and rolled into tubes and frozen. It was easy to take those tubes and chop them into something that could go into spaghetti sauce. Nicole hated it when I used lamb in the spaghetti sauce. The nicest thing about it was that I only had to walk to the corner store to get some, so if I hadn't planned dinner for that day or didn't want to brave the meat market, I could get this plastic-wrapped meat that didn't resemble any animal. That's how I came to think of lamb.

But today, I'm going to pick up lamb. There is something Old Testament and priestly and bloody about knowing it was slaughtered just for my family.

I'm thankful for the blood of Jesus that paid my way so I don't have to endure those sacrifices every time I sin.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

I don't live in China anymore

This morning it struck me yet again: I don't live in China anymore.

We've been home for the summer before, but for the last four summers it was always with the knowledge that we were going back. This time it's wierd. We're settling in, changing our address, and not going back. Not going back to the friendships and shopping in the open markets. Not going back to the Mandarin roar constantly flowing around us. Not going back to the persistent honking and voices and city sounds. Not going back.

China is starting to seem very surreal, since life here is so vastly different. In past summers, knowing we were going back kept it at the forefront, plus people were always asking us questions about it. Now the questions are almost all about our future, not our past, so the whole experience is starting to fade. I don't like that.

Garry is fully ensconsed in his job and loving it, and Amanda and I are left job and house-hunting. The housing market here is bulging at the seams but we haven't found just the right place yet. The job market is completely depressed, and finding even a WalMart or McDonalds job is next to impossible, much less a nice receptionist or librarian job. So, we wait for Father's timing in all things.

I am reminded (yet again) that life is full of hard things about every phase you are in, no matter what continent you live on. I guess that's part of what keeps us focused on our true future.