Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A Week and a Half

Remember the one word I repeated a week ago that threw my husband into a tailspin?

It was a simple, "huh? Can you slow down?" type of repeating. He was explaining something at high speed which he had thought out well, but had not yet communicated with me, and he was going too fast for my busy brain to catch up.

But he was sure that I repeated the word to totally mock him.

I explained right then what I meant, apologized if he felt hurt, and explained. But he is convinced and he is angry.

I let it go, hoping it would simmer down. It didn't. It's been a week and a half.

Yesterday, we had our weekly meeting with the pastor (last week was off), and we were asked how things were going. I brought this topic up. Explained what happened, that he thought that, and was understandably upset, and that I explained this what I was thinking... I just hadn't caught up yet...

The pastor tried to discuss it, but he wouldn't. He's convinced that am lying, that he is right, and he is angry.

And now I even told the pastor, so he is more angry. And he is punishing me for it.

It is now a week and a half, and getting worse, not better.

Pray for strength. I'm tired. I'm tired of facing this type of treatment. It's been a tiring week, and I've tried to stay above it and stay peaceful and calm, but now he is even more angry because I told the pastor. And now he has switched from silent anger to revengeful anger and he is trying to hurt me.

I'm tired of it. And I really don't know what to do here.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Please, please....

I just went to my kids school for chapel. We had a missionary speaker. I will not say who or which group. I will not say any defining characteristics. I appreciate this man and what he does. It is valuable, and he is definitely serving God and to be honored for that.

But... please, please... we've grown past the age of the two and a half hour missionary slide show!!! You know, the one where you get the comments such as, "well, see that man who is only half in the picture? His brother, who is not here, ........"

And just because you put your slides in a computer and use power-point does not make it NOT a slide show!

Now, to all of you who will say, "but it was those that made me want to be a missionary.." I agree. I know. I am here too, after living through countless missionary presentations of slides and talk. But, technology has arrived, there are stories that can be told with expression, and less is more sometimes! I mean, we looked at no less than ten slides of butterflies...

Sorry - just venting here.. :-)

The kids were well-behaved, and I was proud of them.

Only During Service - The Saints??!!

My daughter has been so good in church recently. She is really a delight. If I'd known girls were so good, I might have had a few of them first! (Don't write me and tell me I have rosy glasses - I know... allow me this one minute of pure joy in a delightful six-year-old.)

She is still a beginning reader, so during singing, I put her up on my hip, like I did with my sons, and we sing together. She tries to read the words, but even before she could read them, she would just listen to my voice. She rests her cheek against mine and sings what I sing, just slightly behind the speed. I know - I'll raise a kid who can neither sing on tune nor with the rest... But to hear her little voice copying mine is delightful.

My parents decided to teach me to sing by humiliation. They repetitively told me that I could not sing on tune, and would have us sing all alone in front of the family if we were off, and scolded us for not doing better. I once almost got a spanking over the fact that I did not recognize the tune to "Jesus loves the little children" on a tape. My dad was sure I was simply being stubborn. In reality, I don't sing all that well. Later on, I figured out part of the problem. It was played on the piano, and growing up on the mission field, I had not heard many pianos. We sung with guitars. Yet, years of ridicule over my singing abilities took a toll and from the time I was 16 until 30, I only mouthed the words to songs. I had always laughingly told God that if I had a girl, then I would begin to sing. So with the birth of my daughter, I opened my mouth and began to sing in church and even in front of the Sunday School kids. I'm not the greatest singer, but no one has run screaming yet!

My kids may not be good singers, but I can make sure they love to sing. Their first memories of singing in church are going to be of being held, loved, singing cheek to cheek with mommy. Being smiled at.

Now that my daughter can read some and she knows many songs, she sings out loudly on what she knows. If she doesn't know a word, she will whisper in my ear a question about it. So not only do I teach her to sing, I also teach her the meanings of the songs she sings. She is a bit of a thinker, too.

Yesterday, in church, at the end we sang a new song. It was an older one with some of those old-fashioned vocabulary that she is not familiar with, so she turned her face to me. Quickly, I defined "supremacy" and "matchless" and went on to tell her that "saints" is another word for Christians.

Here her face wrinkled in confusion, and she grabbed my head to whisper in my ear. "Mommy, I thought saints were those people they worship on Halloween."

Ah, yes, them....

No wonder the thought of all the saints rejoicing was confusing to her!

Saturday, March 21, 2009


I know I said I was getting tired of writing...

but I wasn't sure I really wanted to get involved with another construction project. There was no choice, though. Our house sprung a leak. We fixed one, and were working on finishing the walls when there it was - more water on the floor...

So we fixed another... therefore blowing our budget for the room right out of the water.... and then finished the walls and ceilings.

Missing, missing being "over there" where at least labor to fix things was cheap. (Of course quality and speed of work was cheap, too.)

Hoping today to finish. My son, whose room it is, has chosen to go with blue, dark blue, and orange as a color scheme with diagonal lines and swirls. So lots of painting today, after I turn white from sanding!

Hoping, though, at the end, to have a warm, dry, basement room with real insulation and a real floor so it does not feel like an ice-box down there.

Friday, March 20, 2009


I had insisted that whoever working with my husband months ago would require him to get a medical check up. There were things I was concerned about. I had to insist on this because I was dealing with people who did not really believe me. That sort of behavior really makes any counseling situation very difficult.

But, finally, he was asked to go to the doctor. I did not go with him. He was sent to a sleep lab since he has been having sleep issues for years. Really, it was since we first got married, that I noticed he would stop breathing in his sleep for a few seconds. Sleep apnea. He laughed that I was concerned, but it continued to bother me.

The sleep lab's report went to the doctor yesterday. The doctor phoned my husband. His sleep and wake patterns are so disrupted that they are deeply concerned. So concerned even that they have taken away his driver's license. He is too dangerous to drop off to sleep at any second and his reflexes are down.

For years, I have been nervous driving with him, and I stay alert and watch his eyes and talk to him. So nervous in the last year or two that he is upset and thinks something is wrong with me. But, his eyes half shut for long sessions and he is groggy. But he is a man. Men do not sleep and can drive.

At the same time, we all rely on driving. To not be able to is stunning. How do we deal with daily life? Who will pick up the kids when I work? How do we drive while we are home for the summer and have some long distance driving to do?

But, I'm proud of him. He took the news well and did not fight it.

But pray. It is a big, big change in out family routine, and we need to figure it out.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Weather Report

Today's weather... not quite so stormy as yesterday, but a settled low pressure, dreary cloud base with scattered showers..

He's off the stinging accusations and nasty words, but the skies are not clear yet. He's at the stage where he says to himself, "this is hopeless, so why try?" Hoping he moves through this stage quickly. Thankful that we are working on a building project at home - fixing up after a leak. Physical labor is good for people - and for men especially, I think.

Yet, he's paused at this stage for months before, turning into a settled depression. I'm hoping he won't, but I'm nervous.

Hoping for clearing soon, for the sun to shine again.

But he's lost a lot of his credits, a lot of his trust. It will be some time before I relax around him so easily.

Monday, March 16, 2009


I wish I could write a nice post and say how wonderful my life is and how well I am doing.

I can't.

Problems again. My husband has slipped back to his previous way. He misunderstood one thing, one word, that I said today when he was rapidly explaining something. I was just repeating one word, trying to catch up with him, and he blew. He thought I was mocking him, and he blew. He wouldn't, still won't, and refuses to listen to any other possibility than what he has in his head.

So, I have faced a day of anger, name-calling, silence, anger.

I'm hurting. My heart is ripped open on freshly healing scars. I don't get it. I only repeated one word because I was a bit bewildered.

But there is no room to make a mistake, and no room to go anywhere. Facing a stone wall. And anger.

Help. I need prayer. Prayer for the situation to change, for wisdom, for comfort.

He wants me to admit that I was mocking him, and on purpose, and will promise never to do it again, but only smile and instantly be excited when he speaks. Should I admit a lie to calm him down? I don't know. I've tried that route before. So far it doesn't work, but it destroys me. I've tried, as calmly as I can, to continue to state what I was thinking, and at the same time agree that I do understand his hurt reaction - it would hurt if you thought that.

But adults deal with misunderstandings. We deal with it and go on.

Any ideas to deal with this? I feel worthless and hopeless and unloved today. He jumps to think the absolutely worst of me and clings to that stubbornly to it.

No, my life is not good, and I am not a perfect missionary. I'm failing, drowning in things I can not change. Feeling like I am not wanted, that I am only wanted to be a smiling, silent, mannequin.

Pray. Pick me up and hold me in prayer today. I'm going to need it.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

If I Could Cut Out Some Tongues....

Sometimes I think it would be better if Christians had no tongues. Better permanently silent than the things they say! Why do we flay up our own and roast them on the fire of our gossip?

This is not about what people are saying about me. I've come to a place where I have a few moments of peace about that, a very few, randomly, occasionally... but...

This is about friend. It is long story, one I haven't got time to throw up on my blog yet. And wondering when I will get that time, and how long a post that would be. Suffice it to say we have living with us a young girl. For awhile. We took her in when she was asked to leave the house. Now, her mother's side is that she was not, she left voluntarily. Either way, she was leaving, and I invited her to come here. She needed people then. I've know her for four years, since highschool. She worked with me, and she would share her life and later on, her problems with me. We often talked, and I heard things that an adult out of the family circle would hear, and I was able to talk into her life. She trusts me to a point, and she came to me for advice and an ear.

She's not perfect. (Haven't found a perfect person yet, though.) She's made mistakes. We've talked about some of them. But, she's trying. I know that about her, both that she's made mistakes and that she is trying to follow God.

But, the accusations now going around at her old church - one we know well and have some association with - are beyond belief. They have a slight basis in truth and are carried to the wild extreme of horrendous, attacking her character, her life, her very value as a human being. I'm still shaking with anger at that. Christians dare to do this - to accuse so strongly with no proof, just hear-say?!

Better we cut our tongues out and are silent. They've destroyed this girl, any chances she has to enter that church again, to be a part of those families. Yes, she has made mistakes. I know that. But not those. And the entire family is dysfunctional. There is not a child in it who is going the right way. And yet the parent is "perfect, a sweet Christian". I'm sorry, but a sweet Christian does not start nor allow such rumors about her child. They don't. God does not do that to us. It is not His way.

And now we are being accused because we dared to associate with someone so horrible as she is.

It hurts. I am already facing quite a bit of accusations of my own. Now I get this added in. But, if I am going to err, I will do it on the side of grace. I will show grace, love, mercy, and compassion. And I see a totally different person than the rumor mill. I see the same person I have for four years - a young girl raised in a home with issues (like most homes - don't we all have issues?) who started off rocky, but has steadily over the last four years walked closer and closer to God and is seeking to follow Him. I hurt for her. The rejection, the accusation, the pain.

All I can do is love. I can love her, welcome her in, laugh with her, and tell her that I like her. Not only do I love her and believe her, I like her. I would love a daughter like her. I can show her that Christians fail and they repent, are forgiven, and are valued and loved. They get back up, their shame taken away, and they go on running their race with their eyes on the goal.

And amazingly, in this home, in my home, we can show her a marriage. Not a perfect one, but a healing one, a strong one. She's been there in my life for four years, so she has been aware there was serious problems, and yet now she can see some serious healing. She's never seen a marriage, never lived in a house with one. That still amazes me. God heals. He heals and He turn around and uses His healing, scarred people to heal others, to show His work.

But pray. I have a feeling the storm is going to break over this girl and all the issues in the church and community, and even in our own team who think we should throw her out and believe the evil being spoken about her. The storm is coming, and we need prayer. Pray for her. Pray for a solution for her and for healing in her heart. It is one thing when the world attacks you and you can take refuge in the church, but when the church attacks you, where do you go?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

I'm Finished!!!!!

I did it! A month late, but done!

Ok, my computer ate three that I had to rewrite, so that slowed me down. Then I had to rewrite sections of eight of them to put in a new idea someone had. (I'm not complaining. The new idea makes my life much easier!). Then I got delayed for a week while I rewrote our annual report for our team leader... yeah, that one... but I did it cheerfully anyway.

And now I finished the first ten! Yay! I feel like doing a happy dance.

True, there are 52 that need to be written, so 42 left to go, but let's celebrate the first ten. I'm starting to get into the feel of it. Writing drama is like being a split personality. I have to think of different people's reactions at once.

Then I have 34 other dramas I have to write in another series. I think I will switch over and do those now for a break.

But for now, let's celebrate the first ten done!

And pray, because the person I had to hand them in to to be edited is our team leader, the one who thinks I have a psychological disorder. Yeah, that makes for an awkward situation. I just find it very unusual and odd that someone with little to no training in that area would try to diagnose me and pass that diagnosis on to others. And mostly because he believes one of two things, or both, but at different times: one, that I am lying about my past and making it up for attention, or two, that I am permanently damaged because of my past (yeah, the past I made up, remember?) My logic wants to tell him to chose one of the two options and stick with it.

Women are silenced in many cultures because if they tell they've been abused, they will be valueless, despised, considered damaged. I know that. I just am continually surprised to see it here, deep inside the leadership of a mission team. Why are we preaching what Christ can do if we don't believe He can make things new, restore, heal, and make beautiful? This puzzles me. Let's either believe or not, but none of this, well... "poor thing, she will forever be damaged".

I'm not. I am more whole today than I ever was before I was hurt. Because I have been healed, and I know the worth of that. I have met the Healer and seen His work. What I say now to other women is not happy words of hope disguising pity and a vague sense of hopelessness, but real, honest faith. I know who I have believed, and I know what He can do.

But pray. There is still little that irritates as easily as someone smiling to your face and telling other members of your team and leadership that you have a psychological disorder!

One day. One day. One day. One day, heaven. Hang in with me. One day no tongue will ever dare to accuse us again.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Her Story - When God Answered

I look at this title and wonder at it. "When God Answered" Part of me rebels against it.

"No, He didn't! I begged to have my baby back! I wanted to hold her. I begged to see her, to twist a strand of fine baby hair around my finger, to say goodbye."

But when is it ok to say good bye to your child? I think there would never be a time a mother's heart would not rip in two.

Time went on. The doctor had said at the last appointment that he could schedule an appointment for a d&c, but the thought of it made my stomach heave. To go in there and cut my child up in pieces and suck her out?! NO. I wrapped my arms protectively around my little bump. No. He said that we could also just wait, and nature would care for it.

I have no excuse. I was a nurse. I should have known what would happen, but my brain had no ability to absorb, access, or process information, and when it happened, it took me by surprise. Besides, my world had come to a sudden pause with those three words, and I still was staring out at life with a detached numbness.

But God was not numb. He was gentle in this time. He had His plans to soften the blow and carry me through it.

Home from our trip, we slowly began to go out of the house again, although only with people we knew well. A picture company had come to the military base and had offered family photos for $10. We had signed up weeks ago since it was a good deal. I didn't want to keep the appointment, but my husband encouraged me to go. He bought me a new dress for the photo - the only dress he has ever bought me. We dressed up, and smiled for our family picture - a picture I still treasure. It is the only one we have with my baby in it, even though she is well hidden by her brother on my lap.

We went out for pizza after the picture session with our friends from the Bible study. It was a young soldier playing with my son who informed us, "He has his first tooth!"

No. He doesn't have teeth.

But he did. In all the sadness of the last two and a half weeks, we had missed that. There it was, all white and shiny. I informed him that he had better not use that tooth for biting or there would be serious consequences! We began to smile, just slow, awkward smiles, as if stretching a muscle out of shape. Then we drove home. I had a tummy ache from too much pizza and just wanted silence and my bed.

It was about a half an hour drive through winding, dark country roads home to our house. Exhausted, I leaned my head against the back of the seat and stared out the window. Guilt from the few minutes of smiling came.

How can you smile when your baby is dead?

I turned once again to God with my familiar cry, "It hurts. I know You do only what is good. But, I wanted to hold her just once, to see her, to know what she looked like... just once..." Quiet tears again slid down my face. And then God answered. Very clearly, His answer came into my head.

Your precious daughter went directly from the safety of your womb into the safety of My arms. She never suffered pain and never was touched by sin. She is free from these things with Me.

The thought comforted me. To not know this pain we live with....

But, I just wanted to see her once, to fix her hair, to dress her in something pretty. I just wanted to see her!

What happened next I have a hard time explaining, and because I do, I rarely talk about it. But it happened.

In the dark of that ride through the woods, a picture came into my head. I was standing in a walled garden with flowers and vines. There was a gate through the wall with a stone archway over it, and the gate was open. Outside was a grassy hill leading up and the sun was rising. Light spilled in through the open gate into the dewy dimness of the garden. On the hill, facing away from me was a little girl, toddling with those little brand-new walking steps up the hill as fast as she could. I stood silent, unable to move, my voice quiet while my being screamed out inside me. And yet, the toddling baby must have heard, because at the last minute before she rounded the top of the hill and disappeared, she turned sideways, and looked back. For a fleeting second I saw her little cheeks and nose. Then, with a tiny baby giggle, she turned again, and her black curls bounced against her white dress, and she disappeared.

It was just a second, that picture. It takes longer to describe it than it took to see, but when the darkness closed in again, more tears fell, but quieter tears. God had come to answer my pain. Again I had that very real sense that He was sitting with me through that drive home, comforting me in a very real way. Later, I knew why, but at that minute, I was only driving home from a pizza night with a tummy ache very, very tired.

Her Story - if I could do this again....

My husband decided that we should not tell his family. We had not yet told them that I was expecting, and he thought we could simply spare them the sadness. Besides, they had planned a huge party to welcome my son into the world and celebrate the first grandson born into the family. Over two hundred people would show up, and he didn't want to ruin the party. So I was silent. This is a decision I regret even now. A week from the date we heard those three small words which changed our lives, we dressed up in our fine clothes, pasted smiles on our faces, and went to a party.

I didn't feel like celebrating. I felt like hiding and crying.

I tried really hard. I sucked in my belly, put on a nice dress which sort of hid the bulge, and attempted to smile. But the family could tell I was not happy. In the absence of any other information, they assumed I just did not like them and was not happy with their customs of celebrating. For years, that early opinion they formed of me held and colored their view of me. It was not until six years later, when I had my second daughter, that I told them that one had died, and died only a week before the party. That my husband had not wanted to tell them so they would not be sad during a celebration. By that time, it was too late. First impressions had already been formed. Now we understand each other far better, but I always wish I had just told them the truth and let them deal with the pain with us.

But the morning of the party, we had another visit with the doctor. There was no change. By this time, I was more prepared to hear it again, knowing full well that she had died. My husband heard it for the first time. This time it sunk in for him. That timing difference was difficult for us. But men grieve differently. There were times I felt his grief, and times I felt very alone in this whole process.

After the party, the whole family made a trip to a nearby country to welcome some relatives who had just moved closer. I went along, but as the week progressed, I felt weaker and weaker. The stress, the built up sadness, the stress of pasting a smile on every morning when all I wanted to do was pull the covers over my head and shut out the world was difficult. My heart was sore, limping, and I was asked to be normal.

If I could do it over again, I would share the grief. It might have ruined the party, but it may have deepened our relationships.

Years later, I lost another child, very, very early on in a pregnancy. I actually lost that baby before I had even taken a pregnancy test, so the awareness of a new child had barely begun to register before he was gone. In that time, I was more quiet. I did not tell everyone, but I had learned my lesson, and I did tell some people. I needed my support system around me. I needed people to understand why I was hurting.

It is true that not everyone will react appropriately to grief, but I learned that not sharing can be as painful as the stupid things people say when they are lost for words.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Getting Closer....

I just finished #9, and have #10 sketched out! Yay! I had a set back, but it was also a huge blessing and help, when one of the ladies on our team gave me a wonderful idea for the setting of these drama lessons. What a blessing! It took the awkwardness and unbelievableness of it out and gave it a natural feel. But, of course, that meant lots of editing to get what was done to fit the new setting.

Now, I am done nine, and hope, hope, hope to whip out #10 tomorrow, and hand off this set.

Then I can switch over to another set of writing which is much simpler and easier for a change of pace. I also have a request in to write/edit a chapter for someone which I need to get done, but felt like I needed to fulfill my first obligation without getting sidetracked.

I have a fairly short attention span, I think. I prefer writing when I can switch back and forth in tasks when I get bored.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

What Is Going on Here

I feel like I'm neglecting my blog, not entirely of my own free will, but still neglecting it. Oh, there are things I'd love to write, for sure, but finding time is a problem. If I have time, I'm usually sick of writing. I've been back over my lessons a thousand times and spent hours on the computer and don't want to write anymore. Or, I've used my quantity of emotions for the day and am wrung out.

But I miss writing.

There will likely be no thoughtful posts for another few days, at least, though. We have team meetings right now.

So this week...

besides doing post birth care for one remarkably healthy newborn - oh, he's cute, too!

I am at team meetings, still teaching, still being mom, and fighting a migraine. Yuck! Spring is coming, and I have severe allergies, so that is beginning to drain me slowly.

Then, our team leader is here.... yeah... well.... All those lies he has been told, all those lies he has believed, all those lies he has spread about me over the last years.... they hit me full in the face when I have to see him.

Pray that I stay strong and don't respond to them. Pray that this nagging headache goes away. Pray for energy.

And pray for some down time for me. I am a do-er, but also a reflective person, and my time for reflection and thought is being robbed, and I miss it. I miss time in silence. Having a guest in the house this long is also tiring for me after awhile. I need some quietness, and I miss that.

On the other news side, Kayla has mastered borrowing and subtraction, and we are on to multiplication with a good speed! Hoping to get through the third grade curriculum in a month or two.

And, I am still staring a writing deadline in the face... I need to finish it. Of course, that will only mean another one will be staring me in the face.

But, I will one day be back. I will begin to write again. I miss it.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Shadows in Sunlight

Why am I so surprised on bright sunny, happy days to find shadows? Isn't it that there are always more shadows in the sun?

They still take me by surprise at times.

This week was one of those. I was happily going about my business - normal, routine life - and I got a phone call. I knew it would come sometime, but sometime is a broad range.

"The baby is coming."

One of my varied jobs here is acting as a birth coach or companion to some of our immigrant friends, team members, and anyone else who needs it. With a nursing background, five of my own deliveries, and years of nursing babies, I'm good at helping births and breastfeeding.

I was excited. I had on casual clothes, money in my pocket, a good night's sleep behind me, and I was ready to go. The day went by slowly as we walked the halls trying to get things moving. Later on in the evening, things got moving, and after a few hours of hard work, the little boy made his appearance 11 minutes before midnight.

A few minutes after midnight, when a sleeping baby was resting on his mother's chest, a new dad was on the phone to relatives around the world, and a tired mom's eyes were closing, I stepped out in the hall, leaned up against the wall and cried.

What were the chances? Eleven years ago, I was in a hospital delivering my daughter. She was born only fifteen minutes after this baby. What were the chances that this night, this very night, I would be in the hospital with another baby? The emotions got a bit too much last night as I watched a very alive, very pink baby nursing, and I remembered eleven years ago when they carried my daughter away from me. I walked out in the hall with my quiet tears, took few minutes, and then shook myself, found a smile, and walked in to minster to this new family. It is their day. They didn't know that it was also my day.

Today, I'm tired. Tired from only two hours sleep in thirty-two. Tired from the quiet sadness. I miss my daughter today.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

March is Too Cold!

When I used to live in "that other place", March was the good month of the year. The miserable cold, like when it got down to 70 degrees and we all huddled by our heaters in our cold stone houses, had passed. The weather was warming up, but had not yet got to that "kill you if you step outside" heat. March was nice.

My brain is trying to tell me, "March, nice, winter must be almost over; spring will come." But March is one of those months. February warmed up a little at the end and gave us hope; March came in with a vengeance and stole that hope. Even my kids who love sledding and building ice forts are tired of the cold. Their gloves and boots begin to smell like a old, wet dog with bowel issues. The snow and ice that is left is a dreary brown from frozen mud mixed in, and we are tired of winter!

And now my furnace is dying... every morning, I wake up to a freezing house and have to go relight the stupid thing. My morning commune with the spiderwebs and old rusty giant in the basement. It isn't worth doing much to it right now, but wait until summer when we might get a deal on one. It just makes it that much harder to crawl out of bed in the morning!

Life is going on here, but I feel like we are in a holding pattern waiting for spring. It's been a long wait.

This weekend, life will get busy here. We have team meetings, planning meetings, and work with our extended team all gathered here. This will bring me face to face with our team leader. You know, my husband's best friend. You know, the man who thinks I have a psychological problem. The man who has believed everyone of my husband's angry lies over the last few years.

It is so easy to want to defend myself. I could do it so quickly. I was not jokingly called, "lawyer without books" for nothing as a child. But it would not be the best approach. I feel that the best approach here is the same as in 1 Peter - to be gentle and quiet in spirit and to win without words. But I have another picture in my head. I think about the scene in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe where someone dared to accuse one to Aslan. The witch tried to accuse, and the Lion roared, and the witch went running. Another time, one of their own tried to accuse on of Aslan's followers, and they never tried that again. I try to remember that. And my prayer is, "Father, do You see what this man is saying about Your daughter?" Let God deal with it.

If only it were so easy to make a decision and stick with it without wavering. Ah, no..

So pray that I stick to that. It is so easy to want to defend myself, to accuse, to open up his eyes. Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to force someone to open their eyes. So pray I stick to keeping a gentle and quiet spirit, and let God deal with His own.

I think, also, one day there will have to be some accounting. One day, the person responsible for telling the team leader all these lies will have to rectify the situation. But that day is probably not now, not yet. All in good time, in God's time.