Tuesday, May 18, 2010

What's in a name?

I've been thinking a lot about names recently- partly because my grandson Cole was dedicated today, and I wanted to present him with a gift which gave both the meaning and a scripture-prayer for his life.

The other reason, is that I received divorce papers this week.

When I got married 33 yrs ago, I took my husband's family name as a vow of "your people shall be my people". Ruth 1:16 Now, as I come to grips with his rejection of my vow, with his decision to re-marry and with the absolute void of any relationship with his family, I have been re-visiting the name question.

I've come to the conclusion that lineage and heritage is precisely what a name is about. That's kind of ironic, because I've always bristled at the so-called "Mennonite game" where your lineage is traced as soon as someone finds out your last name! I'd rather focus on the legacy that this lineage represents- and that I can happily embrace!

So, over the next few months, I'll be doing the incredibly time-consuming legwork of changing my name back to the family from whence I came, and to the family which continues to walk with me, pray for me and embrace me as one of their own. Don't worry, I'll still be the same person, because the godly heritage I was shaped by is my solid choice. My hope is that as I follow somewhat in the footsteps of Naomi, who acknowledged the difficult turns in her life by asking people to call her a different name, I will also see God's abundant blessing and redemption for the generations who will follow me, no matter what our last names are! 

Monday, May 10, 2010

I'm not Julia Childs!

Today I watched M, an Ethiopian man, teach L, the teenager, how to cook for her and her younger brother.

The generous families at Kitchener MB had given each refugee some groceries, including a package of frozen chicken, so first we talked about expiry dates and freezers- just in time to save the chicken from being thrown out!  Then they gathered round as he showed her how to cut the chicken and most importantly, how to use "a little of this, a little of that" and lots of taste-testing to come up with a sauce to bake the chicken in.  After everyone concurred that it was perfect, L popped the chicken in the oven.  Wow, did the whole house EVER smell good!
As I was about to leave for home, I commended L on her cooking skills and asked what she was going to do with two pans full of chicken.  I meant, "How will you store all this delicious food so you don't have to cook again this entire week?"  but she surprised me by saying, "I've made it for everyone here and now I will invite them to share it with me."   Who says generousity doesn't breed generousity?