Wednesday, we had our third party for one of Jacob's classes. This time I made a Chinese substituted version of my friend, Verla's pasta fagioli soup with breadsticks and no-bakes. Despite the appearances in the picture, I made more food this time than ever before, and there was barely a crumb left at the end of the night. I had two pots of soup, 5 bowls of breadsticks, and a double batch of cookies. They were a hungry crew! I had been putting off buying fruit this week, since I figured they would bring us some like the last two groups. One should never make assumptions. They arrived with all kinds of gifts, and we were quite shocked. They put a lot of effort into it, and were so proud. Among the gifts were hats for Jacob and the kids, lovely aromatic flowers for me, and some yummy sweet coated hawthorne fruit that I thoroughly enjoyed.
It reminds me of a cross between a strawberry and a very tart apple. Upon arriving, a few of the girls joined me in the kitchen, and finished making the breadsticks. As in most places, appearance is very important, and one girl's breadstick was quite deformed. The other girls were laughing, so I told them it doesn't matter how it looks because it will taste good anyway. There was a group of about 5 girls that I spent most of the night chatting with. The other two groups had left by 8:30, and this one stayed till 9:40! We were glad they didn't leave any earlier, though, because we were having such meaningful conversation. One girl, K, loved Xavier! He was grumpy, and did not want to be held by anyone else that night. That did not deter her, though. She kept pursuing him, and, by the end of the night, he was happy in her arms.
Ephraim faithfully entertained a group with games again, and Eden wrote a book about fishermen with some of the girls. They remarked on how surprised they were that our children listened to us the first time about things. I'm sure I must have made some sarcastic remark about them not always listening, because one of them piped up, and stated that children here never listen that quickly. I'm sure that's not always the case, by the way. Eventually I wound up on the floor in Eden's room in a small circle of girls. Our conversation started off by them asking about the kids' education, and wound up with their's. We were talking about goals and dreams. They kept asking questions like: when my goals started, how I achieved them, etc. I was thankful to tell them the reason for my goals. At one point, R stated that they don't have time for goals and beliefs because their only goal is to get into college, and they spend 18 hour days at school during high school.
One of them said it was "misleading" because then when they get into college, they aren't sure what to do because getting in has been their only goal. At this point, they had very serious and some sad expressions on their faces. Their lives are often very hard. One girl stated she was becoming a teacher because that is what her mother has wanted her to be for so long. I was able to share that my Mom always taught me to become whatever He wants me to be. I told them that I am trying to teach that to my children. Sometimes, Eden would say, "Mom, I want to be a nurse when I grow up like you." I would tell her that was fine, as long as that's what He wants her to be, etc.
(Right now she wants to run a lemonade stand when she grows up.) Ephraim is so good about listening to this because he now goes around and says what he wants to be, and how he's going to be with his wife and children, as long as He wants him to. It's precious. One girl, M, was very outspoken and inquisitive about the words written around our home and our lifestyle. She has had wonderful people in her family speaking into her heart and is very close. I was putting Xavier to bed when they started leaving, so I missed the opportunity to catch M's number, but I hope to get it soon. She and several of the other girls were very kind and easy to connect with. At the end of these nights my heart is conflicted: bursting with purpose, gratefulness to meet these amazing people, yet heavy for their hearts.
Showers of Blessing:
Kind inquisitive M, who seems so close,
thanks to seeds planted by others
Ephraim's already sensitive heart to His calling
Fresh flowers in winter
Finding a good meal that everyone liked