When Time is Running Out

I'm living in a state of counting down the days and adding up a lot of joys here.  (Also of not sleeping a lot, despite my best efforts -- I think there is way too much going on in my mind and heart.)  There are so many people who I want to spend time with, and yet -- I'm surprisingly less sad than I thought I would be.  I think that having a year to process and to prepare to leave has been incredibly helpful for me.  It wouldn't be for everyone, I know, but it's been a blessing to me.

family photo!
There's still some packing and paper writing and random other jobs to take care of.

Mostly, though, there's this little bit of time left.

Tyler's duties include stealing my camera to take pictures.
My duties include making ridiculous faces in every picture possible.
Anastasia's involve being pretty excited to get my books.  ^_^
Parts of my heart resonate with Jon Foreman's words in Before Our Time  --

January, February, March
The days are marching forward
April, May, June, and July
They fly like a hummingbird...

Time is illusion
Time is a curse
Time is all these things and worse
But our time is now...
Let us sing before our time runs out

-- but at that same time, I know that I'm a finite being, grounded in the time/space continuum and I cannot say that time is an illusion or a curse.  It's complex.  I'm okay with that.

God has yet to bless anyone except where they actually are,
and if we faithlessly discard situation after situation,
moment after moment, 
as not being "right,"
we will simply have no place to receive his kingdom into our life.
For those situations and moments are our life.
[Dallas Willard]

so this kid's a ham...
and this girl's my official pen pal!
This is not to say that joy is a compensation for loss, 
but that each of them, joy and loss,
exists in its own right and must be recognized for what it is.
Sorrow is very real, and loss feels very final to us.
Life on earth is difficult and grave, and marvelous.
Our experience is fragmentary.
Its parts don't add up.
They don't even belong in the same calculation.
Sometimes it is hard to believe they are all parts of one thing.
Nothing makes sense until we understand
that experience does not accumulate like money, or memory, 
or like years and frailties.
Instead, it is presented to us
by a God who is not under any obligation to the past
except in His eternal, freely given constancy.
[Marilynne Robinson]

This morning brought a last chance to hang out with a customer-turned-friend.  He's from Saudi Arabia and brought me some sweet gifts and some reading material.  The translation of the Qur'an, for anyone wondering... Tim Keller's was for study group tonight.  ;)
I've been blessed and loved on beyond what I could have dreamed by friends in a variety of ways -- giving homes to my stuff, hanging out, throwing TWO parties, loads of laughter and conversation.  (For more pictures and stories, check out Katherine's lovely blog post.)  Thanks to everyone who has been praying for me.

Let us sing before our time runs out.


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