We haven't seen Matt for more than 2 seconds in 3 days. The girls are exhausted from testing and mom and dad running all over the place. There are some lovely and gracious and happy visitors. And.
The variety of tasks from the last days range from teaching to bath time, cooking to setting tables for 40, runs to town for souvenirs, taking membership payments, airport runs to pick up waiting visitors...only to find that they are waiting at the airport in Port-au-Prince, 6 hours away...buying more drinks, buying more bread, turning 20's into Haitian coins, making copies upon copies for presentations, carrying in snacks and drinks, carrying out snacks and drinks, translating, de-escalating, helping our staff with requests and challenges, reading stories to our 5 current little ones, arranging more and more and more transportation...
And while I have memorized thirty very cross-cultural names, everyone keeps calling me Tracey.
I mean, we knew it was going to be a lot. We just had no idea. If we had, I would have blogged a month ago asking at least 8 of you to come help us do this conference. Sharon, Carol, Aunt Lisa...
This morning, when it was still inky night and the alarm had been off twice and girls to get braided and off to school, I couldn't do it. My feet and ankles are swollen and sore, my legs hurt, my back hurts. I haven't walked this much in dress shoes, like, EVER.
Just didn't think I could do today. No amount of coffee. No amount of bandaids. No amount of Tylenol.
AND none of my dress skirts fit anymore. I even broke a zipper on my best black pencil skirt. Good for the self-esteem.
Yes, I recognize a complaining old woman is writing this blog. It gets better. HE is better.
I barely got the sweet girls braided and out the door and just wanted to get back in bed and cry. And wear slippers. And have someone bring me ice cream.
Then I remembered that I had to go get our first year class, because at 8 am they were leading the worship time for the CETA consultation.
Somehow, I got my pathetic self together and my only skirt re-ironed, took a last sip of coffee and limped up to the office right by 8. CETA people were mingling into the library, and first year was ABUZZ. All decked out. All warmed up, all nervous, all ready to go.
I love our students.
After this week, just the refreshing presence of their love for Jesus and for each other, their contented natures, their desire to do their best, their humility. I'm proud to be their sister.
So I got everybody lined up and we headed through the sunshine into the library. Rose-Altha, their leader, was so nervous she was shaking. A group of 30 doctors in theology, presidents of seminaries all across the Caribbean IS intimidating.
Matt introduced the class, and shared with everyone in English and Creole how every morning, at 8 am, God washes away his worries for the day to the sound of first year starting their day, singing their hearts out before the Lord.
He always does the same for me, too.
Without a word, Rose started them out, and that was it.
Renewed mine. Washed mine. Met mine. Created in me a new one.
A soul unconcerned with the wounds on my feet or the tasks of the day or the requests or the carpool.
A soul unconcerned with Tracey.
A soul, instead, wanting nothing more than to bless the Lord. With my blisters, with my back, with my children, with my copies, with my heart, my mind, my speech, my attitude, my fatigue, my moments, my morning.
Everyone should get to start their mornings like I did today.
With girlies. With braids. With service, with sore feet. With worship.
Let us be poured out, unto Him. With joy.
And let me be singing when the evening comes.
Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my would
I'll worship Your holy name
The sun comes up,
it's a new day dawning
It's time to sing Your song again
Whatever may pass
And whatever lies before me
Let me be singing when the evening comes.