|The sunny view outside Julie's apartment window...|
And second - Why I Love Julie!
Well - why I love Zach and Julie!
So this LEAF program that they're going through is going to be hard. Its going to be pretty gut wrenching and soul bearing hard.
They'll have to dig deep and share and bear their soul to a counsellor who can decipher the lies that they've believed about themselves and ones that they have allowed to govern themselves and make their decisions.
Some of their friends were just over who have gone through that program and were just saying they are really praying for them and that they should have their tissues handy and be ready to just go through a lot of emotions.
And thats why I love Zach and Julie. That they're willing to do this. That they're open to doing this. That they're wanting to do this. Its just so indicative of a God-heart. One that is open to seeing where there are problems that are keeping them from being as close to God as possible and from showing others as much of God as possible.
I so admire them for telling me how God has been bringing them to this place where they've been seeing their need for changing so many habits and life decisions that have become ingrained in them and kept them from being all that God wants them to be.
I couldn't ask for better friends or for better God-life models than Zach and Julie.
So if you happen to think about them - please pray for them as they go through this week. I'm here muddling through classes that I'm not sure of and kids that aren't used to me being their sole source of care and I'll cope and be fine - but Zach and Julie are there intentionally putting themselves through emotional suicide with the confidence that God will make something great from their weakness. Thats faith and thats taking a leap and that needs prayer so - please pray for them.
And a little side note... as Zach and Julie pull out and I stand at their flat window watching the boys give them hugs and send them off for their week of emotion, I go to settle in with "The Best Yes" book I'm reading and I grab a cup of coffee and a handful of chips (bad Alison :) from a bag that Julie and I just bought yesterday.
Its a British chip that we got from this store called "Jennys" - this amazing store for foreigners opened by a Chinese woman who was just resourceful enough to start meeting the food and other such demands of the many foreigners who live in China. All over the world stuff from India to America. And this bag of British chips has this hilarious picture on the front that just amused me enough that I stood there for a second to laugh. And then it kind of hit me - hmm, it looks like a familiar picture to me....
There I am calmly and delicately sipping my cup of tea and seated right next to me is my amazing friend bravely stuffing flaming swords down her throat!...
Ok - its metaphorical, but, all the same.... Julie, my friends in Thailand, my friends in India, Africa, Israel, Romania - so many other places where I go and bring my tea and my blissful little moments and the whole time they're living their lives bravely doing things that most sane people wouldn't do. But its amazing what they do and so - I'm not quite sure who the sane one is in this picture?...
Me with my teacup going about life in such a humdrum normal way that it doesn't illicit any great movement or changes -
or my friend who trusts in the Master's plan so much that she's out there with her family living life on the edge and leaving a mark on people to where they say "do you remember ___ - I definitely couldn't live like her!"
But its said with that tinge of admiration and respect - and honestly, awe.
And me with my teacup - I may have little moments of exciting, but at the end of the day, my life is just a teacup life.
So - I just have to say to my sword swallowing friends! Do you know how much I envy your brave lives - and I know they're not YOUR brave lives, because I'm sure you're not living them in and of yourselves but through God. But you're still living amazing lives that inspire me and my fellow tea-drinking friends!
Prayers and kudos for even taking the risk of swallowing that sword!
And so I go back to my cup of coffee and I pick up the lesson plan I have to do for tomorrow's classes and I try to anticipate a little, maybe scalding, tea sipping week (thats my measure of danger :) that will let Zach and Julie bulk up to swallow even more flaming swords in years to come because - if you cant swallow swords - you might as well help your sword swallowing friends light their swords on fire! :)
And did I say - I get to stay here with their amazing mini sword-swallowing kids! :) I'm so excited to get Jasper and Eli ALL to myself for the next five days!