This weekend was Cama-i weekend. I had a couple friends from the village come into town for some socializing and festivities. We spent a long Friday and Saturday at the dance festival, followed by a lazy Sunday at home. Avery and I both volunteered at the festival, Avery selling ice cream for the cross country team (he plans to join next year) and me doing crowd control. Most of the time, we just spent enjoying the dancing. I love the festival. It draws lots of people in from out of town. The school is packed with people and there is so much going on. It's about as exciting as things get here in Bethel...and a nice break from the routine. I also enjoy seeing the native dances of many different eskimo peoples coming together on one stage. Seeing all of those people come together like family, as a community, reminded me of why I moved here in the first place...because I wanted to live in a place where the word COMMUNITY still means something. I am going to try more actively to learn more about native heritage and culture. I would like to become more of a part of that strong native community...and I would really like to learn how to Yuraq (native dance).
I shared with the church congregation today that our prayers for Adrian were answered...and not just once. Not only did Adrian's surgery go well, but she is recovering nicely AND the tumor is not cancer. The congregation has been praying for Adrian, along with all of you out there, and were so happy to hear that our prayers have been answered. I felt such a strong sense of fellowship with the people in that room today, I feel like I have grown so much as a Christian since I started attending there almost three years ago. It is the first time that I have ever gone to a church that I feel comfortable in. In this church, I feel as though I am part of something with purpose, something meaningful, something bigger than my own little bubble. I feel a sense of peace. I also feel as though my faith has grown so much stronger. One of the things I like the best is the pastor. I never feel as though I am being preached at, but rather, that the word is being shared with each and everyone of us with the challenge that we take that knowledge figure out how the Lord's message fits into our life. I feel as though I am finally an active participant in my journey of faith rather than a bystander.
Additionally in church today, the pastor opened with an analogy to travel. He spoke of how frequently we travel here in our region by plane. For the most part, if you want to go anywhere you have to catch a plane. As he said this, I thought about how many friends I have that live in the Lower 48 who have never flown on a plane. Who have not had the opportunity to go places beyond where the roads will take them, and I realized how lucky I am that I have the opportunity to experience so much in such a short time. That I am lucky that I am living in such a wonderful and unique place. That I am living my dream!
After writing that post about how parents can send messages to their children both blatantly and subtly, I did some reflecting on my own parenting as of late. I realized that I have been focusing too much on the things that Avery wasnt doing right and not spending enough time praising him for all the great things he does. I think this is a common human mistake, parents do it to their children, spouses to each other, and even coworkers. Sometimes, it is easier to notice the negative because we just expect the positive and this can turn any relationship sour. It seems so easy to get into a negative feedback loop. I realized that because of my frustration with him (his typical teenage behavior) lately, I was probably inadvertently sending him messages that I wasnt intending to send. I had a long talk with Avery today in which I pointed out my role in our negative loop as of late, then I apologized to him and made a commitment to him to do my part to turn our negative loop into a positive one. (Maybe I could use some of those prayers now :)