So I’m actually writing this on 12/30 but a song I heard yesterday inspired this post so I have to do my five things from that date (no cheating Jess). It’s okay though, because yesterday was very much a good day and worth writing about. I will actually put the events, or things, in the order of how they happened. In this case it means I must start at midnight. I got home from the States on the 27th. Usually I would fly into the airport in the capital of Albania, Tirana, and take an airport shuttle to the bus station to take a bus home, but thankfully some good friends picked me up. It was a family I know here in Albania that I actually only met about 3 months ago, but it feels like 3 years. They’re amazing. The wife/mother is a British missionary, who I initially met at the church I attend here in Albania, and her husband is an Albanian man with Romani heritage. They have three lovely girls that I have become extremely fond of, three girls that my life would be hard to imagine without. The whole family adds a spark of light to my life that has the power to ignite my whole mood if I am ever feeling down. So they picked me up and we spent some time at the beach to eat lunch and then we made our way back home (to their home). I stayed there that night with plans to go home the next day, but after a little begging from the youngest child, age 6, I decided to stay for one more night which was the night of the 28th. That night we threw a sleepover in the room that I usually sleep in when I am there. We even made a fort that consisted of a sheet hanging from a wardrobe against a wall to the end of the bed. The girls laid the mattresses from their beds on the floor under the makeshift tent and that was where we watched a film called Dolphin Tale.
- I dedicate my first thing to the time spent with the girls. At midnight it ended up just being me and the older girls, who are twins. We had just shared a precious moment and decided to try and drift off to sleep. Well sleep wasn’t coming so easily and then we heard this beeping noise. It started off with beeps about 5 seconds apart: beep…..beep….beeeeeep. We were discussing what it might be and then the beeping sped up: beep…beep…beeeeep. I jokingly mentioned that it sounded like a bomb, a ridiculous conclusion to jump to because…Albania (I don’t think bombs are easily accessible/nor would anyone take the time to make one). But then it sped up again and we snuggled close together, kind of anxious. Finally, one of the girls decided to go ask their mom what it was. Let’s just say we let our imaginations get the best of us. It wasn’t a bomb, of course. It was just some kind of alarm that goes off once a month that has to do with measuring temperature or something along those lines. We laughed a little at how fearful we were beginning to feel and then really tried at a serious attempt to go to sleep. It took some time but it happened. That time spent with the girls was very special to me and a night I will never forget.
2. Wake up call?
This was the same morning that we heard the alarm. I slept pretty well, but not super well. It was all worth it though. I’m not proud of my sleeping habits. I mean in the sense of how late I am able to sleep in sometimes, but after all of my traveling and running around while in the States, I thought I deserved just a little sleeping in time. It is Christmas break after all. But not this particular morning. On this particular morning the girls and I were awakened by loud and beautiful Albanian folk music (yay, smile). Don’t get me wrong, I love Albanian folk music and all but not when it interferes with my beauty sleep (another smile). I knew it was early because never do I get to see my friend, the girls’ mother, in her pajamas. She wakes up early, as a mother of 3 that are all under the age of 18 should, I’m sure. But I’m not a mother of 3, so I don’t bother. But I see the benefits of it. The smallest one was standing in the doorway at one point when I looked up and after a “good morning” exchange, she was in the bed with me and the girls. The girls got up soon after and next thing you know I’m a koala playing a game of hide and seek. Yep. Never a dull moment with that little girl.
3. Skype Tutorials
I’m sure you’re wondering what “Skype Tutorials” are. That was just my title for the next sequence of events. Why do I love the family, that is easily becoming the star, and rightly so, of this blog post? Well they have obviously been so kind to me, have taken me in as their own, they love me so well, they’re so gracious, and so humble. There is something so innocent about them. For example, they just got WiFi, wireless internet, installed at their house two weeks ago. Up until then, it wasn’t a necessity for them. They just enjoyed eachother’s company, worked with their hands, and did useful things with their time, unlike the rest of us in this technology driven world. I admire them so much for forsaking the status quo and doing their own thing. My friend’s sister is about to have a baby, who the family would like to see and interact with through video chat, which is why they went ahead and had the internet installed. They also bought a webcam to help with the process of using Skype. They asked for my help installing the webcam so I went ahead and helped them open a new skype account. As Skype was going through the steps to make sure everything worked we all sat in front of the computer trying to get the webcam just right. It was one of those things that just makes you happy. It definitely made me happy and I’m so excited for them to be able to greet their new little loved one some time soon.
4. Little gifts
Maybe you’ve experienced this with small children. They get a hold of Christmas present wrap or any plain old piece of paper and start wrapping everything up, old and new. Not only that, but they give it to you as a gift. Before I headed home yesterday, that was the case with my friend’s little girl. She wrapped up what looked like an antique item of her dad’s and tried to give it to me before I left. I opened it in front of her dad.
“That’s mine baba,” he told her.
I laughed a bit and told her that it was nice that she wanted to give me things, but she couldn’t just go around gifting other peoples’ things. So she ran back upstairs. My friend and I were preparing to leave, but the little one yelled for us to wait from upstairs. She pleaded with us so I stood near the door and waited. She ran back down with another gift wrapped item. I smiled and kissed her goodbye. A sneak peak of the little gift revealed a gold bracelet. Life’s little gifts truly are made of gold.
5. This love will ruin every fear
My fifth thing is where that line came from. It’s called “This Love” by Housefires (ft. Pat Barrett). A friend of mine posted it to her Facebook page yesterday evening and I decided to give it a listen. And I am sure glad that I did. It is labeled as spontaneous on the title of the video and it makes me think of the beauty that just flows out when worshipping the Lord. It just comes and then others are blessed by it. There is not much I can say but listen to it for yourself.
“This love is not like anything you’ve ever known…Oh, this love makes it so you can finally be free.”
No truer words spoken. Thank you, Jesus, that I’m finally free. Thank you.
“There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear”-1 John 4:18