Friday, June 20, 2014

A Cup of Blessings

Today’s coffee: Rwanda

I feel like I spend a lot of time writing (and otherwise griping) about how tired I am… and how little I feel that I have to show for it. On Tuesday, I thought I should have been more awake, having just had a day off on Monday. Then I thought back over the weekend, and what my “working hours” looked like… although to be fair, it’s a little hard to define “work” in our context. Thursday: 8:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. Friday: 8:00-9:00 p.m. Saturday: 8:00 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Sunday: 7:30 a.m.-10:00 p.m. There were some breaks, but Friday we actually forgot to eat dinner. After thought about it that way, I was able to forgive myself for taking things a bit slowly on Tuesday.

Also, I took some time to think about how to do my work efficiently and be prepared for times when lots of work has to be done at once. This sort of schedule isn’t normal, but it isn’t exactly abnormal either. I prayed about what to do (and what not to do), and the conclusion I came to is that I should pray more. By “pray more” I’m not talking about reading through lists of prayer requests, although I may sometimes do that. I’m talking about spending time with God, meditating, listening, and talking to God about whatever comes to mind. If I’m going to constantly bug the kids in the youth group to take resting and daily devotions seriously, then I need to be a good example—someone whose life is rooted in prayer and God’s word.

And yet, my mind wanders when I try to pray for a long period of time; I find that moving my body helps focus my mind. This week, I experimented a bit with incorporating tea ceremony into my prayer time. This time, there was no guest except God. I prepared my guest’s tea and set it out for him. He didn’t drink it, so I received it back like a gift—of course, it was his to begin with—and drank it myself. I used my favorite chawan (matcha tea cup), which has the character 福 (fuku—blessing) written in the bottom of the cup, so you see it when you finish drinking.
“Rooted in prayer and God’s word”—In addition to spending dedicated periods of time to prayer, I hope I can continue to find lots of reminders to be quiet and listen, even if just for a moment.

Farm update: we’ve had about 2 weeks of rain, but it seems that the tomatoes, nappa, broccoli, and radishes love the cool weather. We harvested our first cucumber, lettuce, cilantro, and lots of radishes! I also thinned (and ate) the turnips—I blanched the greens, tiny turnip still attached and topped with ponzu sauce.

p.s. I used to hate pulling weeds, but now I don’t mind it so much… somehow it’s nice to see progress in a tangible way. :)

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