When You Walk by the Way (Part 1)

A New Year has come. Resolutions have been made and remade once again. We have so many things we are thankful for and look forward to this year. Yet I find myself in quite a grumpy funk only a few days in and my resolutions to love and serve well not going so well. I cannot explain exactly why I am having such a difficult time finding my way out of this funk though it may have something to do with the following (for which I need prayer for patience and endurance and a whole slew of other fruits of the Spirit):

  • Noisy neighbors that play incredibly loud music in English that I understand most of but neighbors understand only a few select of the filthiest words which they shout even louder than the blaring music. Oh and then when my kids start singing the same songs around the house.
  • The fact that said music is played by neighbors only during the hours we have city electricity which are also the only hours I have to get things accomplished that requires a phone or computer which usually also requires some portion of my brain…which doesn’t function well with filth words being shouted at me from the rooftops!
  • The city gave almost zero electricity for the entirety of the holidays.
  • When we did get electricity again our inverter and batteries decided to stop working. I don’t understand the full explanation of why they are not functioning but definitely feel the complications of their dysfunction. We now do not have any electricity except when the city decides to give it (which is never ever between the hours of 5-11pm).
  • Our computers have been so damaged by the pitiful city electrical current that they no longer hold charge and only function when we happen to get city electricity.
  • I have cooked dinner in the dark for the past 8 months.
  • I have woken up to not only the needs of my family but also Genise who cannot understand that I am incapable of comprehending Creole before coffee and that if I get up earlier it is to catch some privacy and not to discuss that teething babies sometimes don’t want to eat what they ate the day before and the fact that we are out of dish soap, laundry detergent, gas for cooking, drinking water, and running water sometimes all at the same time and all before 7am.
  • The house is constantly being cleaned and yet never seems to get clean because of all the Haiti dust and bugs and the 9 people that live here. My clothes and undergarments almost all hang a few sizes too big (due to hand washing stretching Haitian style, not due to any inches lost on my part). Other clothes that haven’t been through Haitian stretch washing are way too small due to way too much Haitian cuisine and not working out last year. Basically, I don’t feel or look my best and that is hard for me.
  • The kitchen sink still has buckets under it to catch the water and my bathroom sink still has no water. Bucket flushing toilets (and toilets that leak).
  • Cold showers in winter (and bucket showering).
  • Winter in Haiti (not bad weather but weird feeling).
  • Tons of bugs.
  • Not having screens.
  • Hearing “you give me one dollar” every time we walk down the street or go anywhere.
  • Being blown kisses and called names by nasty men almost anytime I go anywhere.
  • Trying to love and teach my children to love when rocks are thrown at both dogs and kids and that this is normal expected behavior where we live and there is little to no justice where we live.
  • Being called a “stealer” or “pig” when you are simply passing by and answering with “good afternoon” only to be laughed at because it is assumed you didn’t know that those you chose to respond to with kindness were really being ugly to you for absolutely no reason than your skin color.
  • Neighbors that build a bench in front of your house so they can all sit all day long and sometimes all night long and chat and laugh super loud and eat sugar cane and spit its remains outside your door.
  • Neighbors that complain that laundry soap has leaked from your backyard toward the drainage hole under the bench they built (outside your house) and decide to plug up the drainage hole on your wall with concrete so you have a bigger problem than sugar cane spit. When you complain about their trash contribution they install a trash can on the outside wall of your house but it remains empty and the ground isn’t.
  • Parenting children and living with those who once parented them (two of their former nannies) who have lived all their lives in this culture that does all of the above.Dare I go on? This is definitely not an exhausted list but these are just a few (yes…I said “few” cause there are SO many more) things that may be contributing to my grumpy funk as of late. I can typically jive with these things pretty well but lately I just seem to be on overload and need a lot of grace and prayer. Other lists do exist with things I dearly love and will greatly miss when I get a break from Haiti (which I am SO looking forward to). But even as I wrote each of the above I am reminded of positives that have come from each frustration. So this post is not meant to be negative but real. I have no doubt I’m exactly where I am supposed to be and the Lord gives me an extra dose of grace every day. I just need a lot of prayer and so does my family who has had to endure this funk with me.

I so want this resolve to be true of my life this year…

“…to fear the Lord your God,
to walk in all His ways and to love Him,
to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul…”
Deuteronomy 10:12

…even when I am in a grumpy funk.

Please teach me to fear You and walk in Your ways. Help me to always remember that my Savior has lived in this exhaustion (and much more) and yet always still loved and served with all His heart and soul well. Teach me and give me strength to be more like Him and content and joyful in all circumstances giving thanks in everything. Please forgive me and help others to forgive me when I fall short. Please continue to bestow grace when I do not deserve it as you did yesterday. Thank you for yesterday. I am excited to share about yesterday. The above frustrations only serve to remind me how much I need your grace yet again today.

To be continued…

P.S. I probably should have titled this post “grumpy funk” but instead decided to break off the rest into a separate post that actually does go along with this one minus so much funk.