Thursday, May 1, 2008


This week I've been asking for a spirit of "interruptability" (I know it's not a word, but I would like to petition for its entrance into the dictionary). With 130 midterms to grade, lessons to plan, and grad work collecting dust, it is very easy for me to get caught up in my schedule of efficiency. Consequently, I tend to get very annoyed at interruptions. However, I realize that it is often in the interruptions that the Father is working, so I asked for a willing and welcoming attitude toward those interruptions. Our Father is one who responds to requests and he has given me a few such interruptions this week.

The first interruption occurred Monday morning as I was eating my morning snack of dried pineapple. All of a sudden, I bit down on something hard. I immediately spit it out and discovered that it was my glue from one side of my permanent retainer. I let out a groan and an "oh shoot...", as I realized I had no clue how to solve this simple-to-fix-in-America problem. I get reminders every now and then that I really don't have this "living in China" thing down pat. Luckily, one of my language tutors is a Siping native, so she knew where to take me. In fact, it's quite obvious. I needed to go to the mouth hospital. Yes, there's one hospital to take care of all mouth problems. My tutors went with me and after visiting a few offices, I was sat down in a chair and presented with a variety of glues. Never before have I gotten to choose the glue for my retainer. I was presented with a 76, 84, and 104 RMB glue. I asked for the difference and the dentist told me the first two were from China and the latter was from abroad. That settled it...104 RMB it would be. The dentist went ahead and made the fix and all seemed to be well. Until two days later. When all the glue had broken off again. So this morning I made another trip to the mouth hospital with my very kind tutor (willing to go on her vacation day!). They reglued it for free; I only had to pay 2 RMB for the electricity used for the equipment. However, I was also informed that the glue they were using isn't really for this purpose. Hmmm... Regardless, I can go back anytime in the next three months and have it fixed, so I'm looking to get my full 104 RMB worth of work done! I'm not sure exactly what I learned from this interruption other than the Chinese word for "spit".

The other interruption came yesterday afternoon as the sky darkened and thunder started to rumble in the distance. Thunderstorms are rather rare here and I really felt led to put away the mile long to do list and just be still. I lit some candles, made a cup of hot chocolate and sat down to watch the storm outside my window. I had an awesome time of just being with my Father. This was a very sweet interruption, and a good reminder to me that sometimes it's more important to just sit and watch the rain come down than pursue worldly efficiency.

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