Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Of books, deep thinking, family, and packing wonders!

My days at home are numbered!

Yesterday, I received my final packages from Amazon of the books that I ordered for Ellerslie. It's unbelievably exciting to open up a box of fresh books that are pleading to be read! On top of the four books I needed to buy for Ellerslie, I bought several other books this past week. The book shelves on my wall are pretty much full, so I was forced to transition several of those books to my upright book shelves. My room is filling up!! Although, not quite up to par with my sister's room, yet.

To think that I shall be on the Ellerslie campus this day next week is....really strange. haha! I haven't been away from home and family for more than 3.5 days - what will it feel like to be away for 10 weeks, with limited phone use and no internet? My greatest fear: that I will grow so accustomed to Ellerslie-life that I won't want to return home (not that I won't want to be back with my family, though!). Haha...okay, so one of my most prominent flaws is that I idealize people and places that meet my expectations/dreams/wishes. All that Ellerslie and the people there encompass is very much where my heart has been for several years now. I am blessed beyond measure to be given the chance to live amongst such God-fearing, Christ-exalting brothers and sisters. My biggest prayer is that my life at Ellerslie will extend far past this summer. By that, I mean that everything I learn there, the changes that take place in me there, the Lord's purifying of my heart, the people I know there and their impact on my life will abundantly overflow into my life here in AZ with my family. Everyone falls into a rut. Everyone grows complacent and tired. But no matter the fleshly temptations, I don't want to! By God's grace, I don't want to!! I feel as if I've come to this place of limitations and being stuck over the past years. Now, this is not to deny the Lord's gracious providence and workings in my life. What I mean is that I feel stuck in this fleshly rut - the way I treat/regard my family, the things I say, the things I do, the way I react, how I spend my money and time, etc etc - all entrenched in a very self-based kind of living. I've been inclined to assign all my fleshly ways to "that's just my personality type" or "that's the Pajak-family way." No. No. No. I tell myself, enough of that tomfoolery! But again and again I end everyday having done/said things that I'm very ashamed of. How do I even begin to apologize for all my mess-ups? They're overwhelming when I think about them! I can't even get over my ugly, prideful self to actually apologize.

It's easy for me to be more loving, patient, and giving to people who are not my immediate family members. It's easy to be more selfless to friends. But family? You see each other at your worst every single day and, sooner or later, you just stop bringing each other the best that you have to give. Your habits, your thoughts, your inclinations, etc all become irritating as some point in your relationship. I'll just be blatantly honest and say that when I went through a relationship last year, all these things (the way I treat my family, the way I regard them, etc) scared me so much that I was daily burdened by fears and doubts about the way I'd treat my future husband/family if that young man (who I ignorantly looked up to and idealized at the time) was the "One." After that relationship ended and after the time of grief that followed it, I found so much relief and freedom in being single. I actually found myself completely at peace with the prospect of remaining single my entire life that I was glad. Although I am still at peace with remaining single, one thing I have learned since that time is that family is a beautiful, God-ordained unit. It should be sought for, prepared for, and protected. Now, I have new desires for my future husband and family, but I'm not anxious about them because I know that the Lord has so much for me to do and learn now. And oh, how I long to learn! I've never been this insatiable about learning before. I want to know everything and be everywhere! I want to learn more about my Lord, the Gospel, His Word! At home, I want to learn everything about homemaking - from housekeeping, baking and cooking, meal planning, nutrition, natural health, sewing, gardening, knitting. I want to continue learning music - guitar, songwriting, mandolin, ukulele, world music styles, music theory, recording arts, mixing. And more! I want to get out and meet people in all these fields who I can learn from. I feel as if life is so full and overflowing right now!

But the thing about learning is that it requires much humility. Acquiring skills and knowledge doesn't happen in a day and, at times, that frustrates me when I desire to be so accomplished in those things. I can be quite obstinate and impatient during the learning process, wanting to do things all by myself and "my way" (You want to know horror stories about that, ask my mother, who had to homeschool me for 12 years). It's on those days that I refocus my efforts and look to the Cross. I realize that this life on earth is not about what I would make of it, but what He would make of it for His glory and kingdom. It's about His molding of me into His image, which means that, most of the time, it's not about what I'm getting out of this life, but what I'm giving - mainly, to my family. And this brings me back to what I was saying in the beginning of this ramble. If all I do in this life is stay at home, be a faithful daughter and sister, care for my family, treat them and love them as Jesus has done to me, then I pray that when I enter in to the prescence of my King that I might hear Him say, "Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master."

I don't feel very good or faithful at the moment. Good thing my feelings aren't Divine Truth, nor do they rule my life. Thank you, my Lord.

My sister would complain that these photos are awful and must be photoshopped. I say, who cares! Real life isn't photoshopped. ;-P
And here you shall see my packing skills! Can you believe there's an ironing board at the bottom of that? And there's a blanket, towels, and bed sheets in there, too! Still a few more things that need to go in there, but it will be a tighty and comfy fit! It may not look like much, but it's enough clothing and practical items to last the summer. Thank you, Father!

‘All the paths of the Lord are lovingkindness.’ I found that in RV lately (Psalm 25:10) and have found it feeds. All does not mean "all but these paths we are in now" or ‘nearly all, but perhaps not just this specially difficult and painful one.’ All must mean all. So your path with its unexplained sorrow, and mine with its unexplained sharp flints and briers, and both with there unexplained perplexity of guidance, their sheer mystery, are just lovingkindness, nothing less. I am resting my heart on that word. It bears one up on eagle’s wings; it gives courage and song and sweetness too, that sweetness of spirit which it is death to lose even for one half hour.
God bless you and utterly satisfy your heart with Himself. I remember in old days almost desperately repeating to myself these lines from Tersteegen:
Am I not enough, Mine own?
Enough Mine own for thee?
…Am I not enough Mine own?
I for ever and alone,
I, needing thee?
It was a long time before I could say honestly ‘Yes’ to that question. I remember the turmoil of soul as it were yesterday, but at least, oh the rest, ‘for in acceptance lieth peace.’
~ Amy Carmichael

Think of yourself as belonging first to your Lord and then to all, Servant of all. In serving any one of the ‘all’ you are serving Him who is your Lord. Life is never lonely or empty if we keep Him where He must always be, in the first place.
~ Amy Carmichael


Beloved of the King said...

How so encouraging your blog is Erika! I have the same feeling about leaving for Ellerslie as I haven't been away from my family more than 3 days before lol and then I have this fear as well I will love it so much that I'll want to stay (but hey they'd probably love to live in Colorado too ;)). Your words of honesty are so encouraging and I found through them we have a lot in common. :) Thank you so much for sharing and I can't wait to meet you in almost 5 days now!
Blessings my dear Ellerslie sister!