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Finding Time

If you are a regular visitor to my blog, you know I've been reading Ann Voskamp's book, One Thousand Gifts.  In the chapter I'm in now, she talks a lot about how we are always in a hurry.  She says, "In a world addicted to speed, I blur the moments into one unholy smear."  I can identify with that!  How about you?  To summarize the chapter, the way to slow down time is to learn to give thanks in each moment, to have time for God, to worship in the every day ordinariness of life.

Here are some of my slow-down-time worship moments of the week.

Monday:  Sometimes during the dry season the sky is really dusty and hazy.  But other days it is brilliant blue.  When I walk down our drive to our gate I see this tree across the street.  I love its brilliant green leaves against the azure sky.  The colors God creates take my breath away!

"I don't really want more time; I just want enough time.  Time to breathe deep and time to see real and time to laugh, time to give You glory and rest deep and sing joy and just enough time in a day not to feel hounded, pressed, driven, or wild to get it all done--yesterday.... who actually knows how to take time and live with soul and body and God all in sync?"  Ann Voskamp

Tuesday:  It's fresh veggie season!  John grew the cilantro himself in a pot in an herb garden he made for me.  The tomatoes are locally grown.  I'm thankful for home-made tacos and salsa!  And again...the colors...the red and green is so beautiful together.

"When I'm present, I meet I AM, the very presence of a present God.  In His embrace, time loses all sense of speed and stress and space and stands so still and...holy."  Ann Voskamp

Wednesday:  This picture hangs on my office wall.  I don't know who it originally belonged to, but I inherited it when I took on this job.  It's quite the conversation piece...shepherds and their flocks, a common sight in Niger.  I'm thankful for a nice office.

Thursday:  The amount of work John has to do for his doctorate is overwhelming at times, to say the least.  I'm thankful that I've been able to stay home one morning a week to help him.  My current job is cutting up interviews and pasting them on cards for indexing and easy referral as he writes his thesis.

 Friday:  I babysat my grandbaby! :)  OK, well, if you want to call placing a baby in front of a screen and letting Grandma babble at her while mommy took a shower babysitting.  I think both Tera and I had fun and I'm thankful for the few moments I got with her.  I'm also VERY thankful for Skype, something we didn't have when our kids were growing up far away from their grandparents.

Saturday:  As I said, it's fresh fruit and veggie season.  Every Saturday I'm working on putting up some veggies in our freezer for the time of year when nothing is available.  This week it was carrots and tomatoes.  I got the equivalent of nine cans of tomatoes for the price of about two cans of tomatoes.  So I'm thankful to save money and to be able to eat vegetables without any preservatives.

Sunday:  Today we visited a church in a town outside of Niamey.  It's not too far away, but far enough that we get out of the big city.  We get to feel the wind in our hair, the sand in our teeth, the flies in our eyes.... No, seriously, it's just a good feeling to leave the city behind and get out into the wide open spaces (and yes, there was a lot of harmattan today, so there was definitely that feel of sand in our teeth).  I'm thankful too for the little group of believers in this town.

"I redeem time from neglect and apathy and inattentiveness when I swell with thanks and weigh the moment down and it's giving thanks to God for this moment that multiplies the moments, time made enough."  Ann Voskamp


Good morning, how are you?

My name is Emilio, I am a Spanish boy and I live in a town near to Madrid. I am a very interested person in knowing things so different as the culture, the way of life of the inhabitants of our planet, the fauna, the flora, and the landscapes of all the countries of the world etc. in summary, I am a person that enjoys travelling, learning and respecting people's diversity from all over the world.

I would love to travel and meet in person all the aspects above mentioned, but unfortunately as this is very expensive and my purchasing power is quite small, so I devised a way to travel with the imagination in every corner of our planet. A few years ago I started a collection of used stamps because trough them, you can see pictures about fauna, flora, monuments, landscapes etc. from all the countries. As every day is more and more difficult to get stamps, some years ago I started a new collection in order to get traditional letters addressed to me in which my goal was to get at least 1 letter from each country in the world. This modest goal is feasible to reach in the most part of countries, but unfortunately, it is impossible to achieve in other various territories for several reasons, either because they are very small countries with very few population, either because they are countries at war, either because they are countries with extreme poverty or because for whatever reason the postal system is not functioning properly.

For all this, I would ask you one small favour:
Would you be so kind as to send me a letter by traditional mail from Niger? I understand perfectly that you think that your blog is not the appropriate place to ask this, and even, is very probably that you ignore my letter, but I would call your attention to the difficulty involved in getting a letter from that country, and also I don’t know anyone neither where to write in Niger in order to increase my collection. a letter for me is like a little souvenir, like if I have had visited that territory with my imagination and at same time, the arrival of the letters from a country is a sign of peace and normality and an original way to promote a country in the world. My postal address is the following one:

Emilio Fernandez Esteban
Avenida Juan de la Cierva, 44
28902 Getafe (Madrid)

If you wish, you can visit my blog where you can see the pictures of all the letters that I have received from whole World.

Finally, I would like to thank the attention given to this letter, and whether you can help me or not, I send my best wishes for peace, health and happiness for you, your family and all your dear beings.

Yours Sincerely

Emilio Fernandez

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