Friday, November 18, 2011

Siestas and Tapas

The summer before my senior year in college, I was privileged to spend eight weeks in Spain. It was a Spanish 4 class trip. I am surprised they let me go. When I told my Spanish 3 teacher that I was going, she said, "Good. You need the practice." Ha.

I can't speak Spanish- and I never really could. I have many stories of the stupid American girl trying to make her way through Granada. But I got a B in the class!

I have a secret. I didn't really go for the class.

Oh, it was worth whatever it took to get there. The food, the wine, the flowers, the cobblestone street I walked on to have a high carb breakfast and coffee, it was divine. I learned much more than what the class taught me.

I noticed that overall they didn't have as much as I was used to. Most families lived in apartments, they walked or took the bus- but didn't drive a car, and had no air conditioning. And they were okay with that. I don't remember grumbling (unless it was about stupid Americans).  People were friendly, relaxed, and content.

All of the shops closed from 2-6 for "siesta time" which included a large lunch that would last over an hour because of lively talk and a few glasses of wine. Next, there was time for a siesta (a nap), and then refreshed and back to work they go.

Often times, our evening meals were tapas: small meals that went well with a drink or two. There was dancing, sometimes in the town plaza, random guitar players, and wonderful music.

I have wondered if the reason why, in a country where most meals include bread dipped in olive oil and wine as their water, the people are so much thinner and healthier? Could it be due to their attitudes and priorities? Siestas and tapas?

I have heard it said several times in one way or another that God is not so interested in our goals, but in the process. Do we value the process? Are we wishing for the goal so that our lives will be better, or are we interested in having a better life as is- right now?

What would that look like here? Siestas really are not an option- but chillin' with my kiddos next to dozens of reminders of what needs to be done provides some rest. What about a coming together at a meal to talk, engage in people, laugh? Is it possible in our culture? I think so, but it may seem a little weird to people around us. But I'm already weird, so who cares?!

We work so hard so that we can relax. Please, don't get me wrong. I value hard work. But maybe our hard work is for the wrong reasons. Maybe there is a better way. Maybe we need to enjoy the process, see God at work in every day little things. Value people more than money. Learn to put up our feet when work is staring you in the face. Stay healthy and happy. Hear from God - and tell Him what we think. Thank Him for what we see now that we've actually looked. Rest in His promises.

Summer and I have agreed that Tuesdays are her night to say up a little later with me. She insists that it is with me, and I'm glad that she does.

This week we played Angry Animals, cuddled, and made this picture together:

I said, "Summer, you look like a princess singing next to the river."
And she said, "Well, yes but I'm a princess eating a hamburger."

I'd much rather be looking at a princess singing by the river eating a hamburger.

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