We tried to go to Taiwan last year. By tried I mean we prayed, we sent lots of emails, we researched. It ended up to be a big, disappointing no-go. I haven't given up on that one yet, but for now, it's not going to happen.
Reason number 1 on the no-fly zone? I have two kids. No one had a problem with me having kids, they just don't have anyone available to watch them while I work. I needed a "support person" to come with me and help me out with them.
Ok, well, do you know anyone who is willing to step out of their lives for, say, a year, and come across the planet to babysit? For free? Oh, and did I mention that this person would have to pay their own way? Yeah, I didn't either. Plan shelved.
So then I had the experience that I've referred to as "The Big Bang," and the issue has been raised again. Could I possibly have such a thing as a nanny about? Well, as a matter of fact, yes. This time I did. Go God.
Let me just say that I have some really great friends. For most of my life, I've had friends for seasons- wonderful people who came into my life and have since moved on. In many cases, if I run into them at a store, or if I'm on facebook at just the right time, I can pick up with them as if we'd never been apart. I love them. They are significant, irreplacable. The friends I have in my life right now and for the past two or three years since I began this crazy life of makingallthingsnew are extraordinary. They are quite the group of intellectual, free-spirited, dusty footed, rag-tag, people loving, God adoring freaks. I heart them.
I gave one of them a little journal for Christmas this past year, because I am convinced that her ideas will change the world, and I wasn't about to let a thing like forgetfulness rob her (and us) of what her mind can do. She is a force like a hurricane. I walked alongside another as we carried our malaria-stricken children to the hospital. We were both so far out of our element, wondering what our obedience was really going to cost us. In the middle of that great chaos, she reminded me that I could be a mother, work the Great Work, and participate in all the silly things that are required of us for being human and still find joy in a really good book, a cup of tea, and a quiet conversation. She walks in beauty.
I don't have time to write about all of them, and there are many more, like the one who always has an hour or three to listen to me rant on the phone about oh, just about anything- it started on facebook chat one night when I was scared to death about my health. . .or the one who showed me than having a kid with autism was cool in an I'll-beat-your-butt-if-you-mess-with-my-kid kind of way. But I did meet this one in Haiti. With dirt in our hair that smeared in the sweat that dripped out onto our foreheads, blackened fingernails and feet that would never know cleanliness again, we learned about happiness. If you've never been to Haiti, you need to find yourself a group that is going to go do something really great to help them out. Then go, and see how insignificant your contribution really is, and in return see just how much those people can give you. It is a crazy, manic joy that I can't describe to you at all, you have to do it yourself. So over a plate of rice and beans one afternoon this friend shares with me her heart for God, her willingness to serve. I'll never forget hearing her say, "I am ruined. I am ruined." Nothing will ever be the same for her. And I knew it because I saw myself about four years ago saying identical things, hearing that old hymn in my head, "No turning back, no turning back." She's gonna start working the Work.
I finally got up the guts to ask her to go with us to London. I told her what I needed her to do, and she started laughing. Of course she would go. She'd just been asking God how she could serve long term, and how she could specifically serve in London.
Cricket loves her because she throws paper wads at him when he eats. Rooster likes how she's going to be a nanny, like that show. He regularly stops and yells, "Ms. Fine!" just like Mr. Sheffield did on the show. We're all singing the theme song around the house and laughing, because, who would have thought? A nanny! For us! Unbelievable.
That's how she became The Nannyyyyyy!