Once we decided to pursue moving to Tajikistan (back in 2007 or 2008 or something), I started a blog: http://www.bettingerfam.blogspot.com. If you ever followed it, you know that I have been a sporadic poster at best. It’s still there and provides a bit of background and a few insights into us Westerners living in an Eastern country.
We have now lived in Tajikistan for going on 7 years (in October) and I have not blogged as often as I originally intended to – isn’t that the story of soooo many things in life? But I actually do enjoy blogging and it is a great way to share a bit of what’s happening in our little area of the world and we are ridiculously blessed enough to have people who are actually interested to check in on us.
Rees and I celebrated our 15th anniversary last week and we tried to come up with three words to describe our 15 years together. The words we came up with are: oli janob (in English: “fantastic, unequaled”), joy and grace. The poignant thing to us is how much we have learned about joy & grace and how it still seems that we’ve only scratched the surface. I thought I understood grace & joy when I decided to follow Jesus, in fact, it was suddenly understanding what grace is that turned the lights on for me in realizing what it actually means to follow him. I remember being 16 and sitting in the big alpine meadow at Buck Creek camp, off highway 410 on the way to Sunrise at Mt. Rainier, and having our leadership training director Brian James Williams, get all fired up and shout to us eight ” teenagers, “Don’t you get it? Jesus was thinking of YOU on the cross!” “It was all HIM” “He’s got angels watching over you!” and various other things that I heard at some point or another growing up in church. But something seeped into my heart that day and I realized that I would never deserve or be able to earn his favor or approval. Instead, he gave it to me and drew me into relationship with him based on who He is, not on who I am or what I do. Grace.
Since then, I’ve still tried to be worthy of his favor. It’s like my internal programming. Don’t be lazy. Be responsible, dependable. Do my best. Do better than I thought my best was. Don’t cause any problems or troubles that will cause other people more work. It’s the voice of His slave, not His child. I’m more naturally works-oriented, not grace oriented. But I keep coming back to grace. And slowly, slowly, slowly – in the course of going to nursing school, getting married, starting my first job that was actually a career, moving, buying a home, becoming a parent and moving overseas – grace has seeped in deeper and deeper and has started to color life. But I’ve discovered it in so much mundane everyday stuff and even that is grace.
So I started a new blog thinking that I need to record more of the grace that I find in the everyday moments. To remind myself, to help me intentionally keep my eyes open for it, to write it down for my kids to read someday and hopefully to forge a way for them to be able to give and receive grace and let it color their lives.