Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Birthday Sunday Funday

Our weekly vlog:
This Sunday Funday (August 26) I turned 36, so that was fun:). Last week we celebrated Jessie's 8 month-a-versary and had some friends arrive from the USA to help us celebrate 25 years of World Renewal Brazil. There was an amazing conference, and lovely fellowship as we looked back at all God has (and will) done/do. Birthday and conference videos to come! Thank you to everyone who took time to wish me a happy birthday--it was definitely happy with these munchkins:).

 Reads from the Interwebs:
1. Advice I am taking from myself: Just buy the peanut butter:)
2. The midlife Unraveling: Brene Brown fans rejoice
3. If you ever hurt my daughter...
4. Pesky Propositions: the English teacher me loves this!
5. Can we talk about the anti-drug traffiking industry? In my guess-timation, I would say that 80% of the incredible, over the top, goosebump stories that you hear from NGOs are either very rare occurrences, a little embellished, or not the whole story. Ministry and helping people in general is slow, hard, and un-glamorous (most of my day is doing the dishes, cleaning, and organizing/planning). Thank God for the beautiful miracle moments--but we need to be careful with our stories--and definitely not exaggerate them for money. Beware the superhero ministry

Monday, August 20, 2018

Sunday Funday August

Our Weekly vlog:

Last week, the first half was trying not to kill my two little darling girls who decided to both have sleep problems (no joke--one time I went back and forth THREE times between the two of them as they woke up, cried, went back to sleep, and woke up the other one). The second half of the week I had some health problems. But now I think we are back on track! Things are going well at the International school and Living Stones programs, and I feel like things are just flying from one event to another until the end of the year.

Reads from the Interwebs:
1. Yarn and Pins: my little nostalgic trip as I realize I've served in Brazil for 15 years now.
2. Write me Down: because I won't remember anything otherwise, as I try to figure out what I want for my birthday and LIFE these days
3. You're doing it wrong: a funny look at sometimes not so funny missionary things
4. Before the Kids leave home: 40 things beautifully written by Ann Voskamp...tears falling...(If only the would let me sleep more!)

Write Me Down

It is almost my birthday. I am turning 36 and I have a 3 year old and an 8 month old. I am in THAT phase of life. The one consumed by little people that you grew and popped out of your own body. It is pretty darn amazing and pretty sleep deprived. And I need to stop and write something about it because otherwise I will forget it completely.

My husband asked what I would like to do for my birthday. Unfortunately, I have no idea. Because in this phase of life, it is really easy to forget everything, especially who you are- let alone what would make you happy for your birthday. And it is just so much work to plan anything special! So I have a couple of tips for myself, to help figure it out:

1. Take a shower. It never happens enough, it doesn’t take a lot of time or money, and you always love it and wonder why you didn’t do sooner.
2. Being sick (or anyone in your family being sick) means stay-cation. Your only goal is to make it through the day in a healthy manner for each member of your family. No guilt about skipping the to-do lists allowed.
3. Naps are friends, and valid presents.
4. Your body is amazing and deserves kindness and grace for functioning. It does not need to look/work the same as it did before creating and delivering a human. It does need special time and resources to build up health after giving it all away.
5. It is okay to forget who you are as you give yourself away to others. Just don’t stay that way. Re-figure it out little by little (and write it down).
6. Read what you wrote about yourself while you were super introspective and single. You don’t have to be that same person, but it will remind you of some things about yourself (good and bad).
7. It is okay to ask for help. You weren’t meant to do it all yourself.
8. It is okay to cry. It is okay to sleep. It is okay to lock yourself in the bathroom for a bit until you can come out a nice, kind mommy again. And try not to grit your teeth when they don’t go to sleep- it is a bad habit.
9. Find ways to stop and enjoy this current phase of life. Find ways to document it so you will remember it later. YouTube videos, Instagram pictures, and Snapchat works for me.
10. This too shall pass.

Finally--just copy and paste what you wrote you wanted in life last year--it still works with minimal edits:
I want to teach, write, plan, create, and organize. This is what I like to do. I like to accomplish things from start to finish.

As a wife, I want our relationship to grow and flourish
I want to know how to support caid in leading our family better
I want to maintain our healthy sex life and get better
I want to not place unspoken expectations on him

As a mom, I want healthy happy children, and to do all I can to promote health for our family
I want to maintain a clean and organized home
I want to provide healthy and nourishing food
I want Ana to be potty trained and both girls on a good sleep schedule

As a woman, I want to get my body healthy and fit
I want to have energy to give my all each day
I want to value my body and invest in it so I can give others my best
I want to be ever closer to God and full of wonder of Him to share with others
I want to grow my skills in writing, presenting, and creating for myself, my family, and ministry
I want to give beauty and refreshment to others, not just my family
I want to have time to bless others, not just get through
I want to have the creativity to do things different, and better as I grow
I want to be able to appreciate the down time and value it for the rest and reset that it is
I want to live in the now but never forget the joy and hope that is God “making all things new” in the end
I want to share all good things with those I love, and to constantly be learning how to love more people and invite them into my family

Yarn and Pins

I grew up with a missionary map at our church. With yarn and pins marking places around the world where we supported people. Yarn and pins made a huge impact on me. I am celebrating 15 years (since 2004) serving in Brazil with World Renewal. Yarns and Pins and a whole lot more.
My parents started going to Community Church of Greenwood when they announced they were planting a church near us: Southport. I don’t remember much about our first meeting places except for the steel factory that echoed and had horses next to it. I was horse crazy at age five. I remember my dad working on Saturdays to build our church on Stop 11 Road. I think I got to help hand out coffee because I was too little to build anything, not even a board with yarn and pins.
On Sundays, I got to be a greeter at the door. I lost my first tooth in one of the kids rooms, playing dodgeball. The grade school classrooms were behind the pulpit area, and back there I found my best friend and the love of my life, but he didn't agree. I wrote him an anonymous love note, but I couldn’t reach his family's "mailbox" to put it in. Those mailboxes are genius- just too tall for a short 4th grader. The mailboxes were right next to the missionary board with yarn and pins.
Mr. Headly in 5th grade gave us this huge hard test- but if we passed (and I think we all magically did) we got to go to Kings Island. I studied so hard, and that was the hardest test of my young life. At eight I was baptized. I could barely see over the rail, and pastor Tom had to put the mic down for me to say “yes.” I forget what the question was exactly- giving my life to Jesus or believing He was the way, truth and life- but I remember the answer was yes. 
I remember when the rosebud on the pulpit was for my sister. I remember the watching the choir- and then finally being old enough to sing in a Christmas cantata. In 6th grade, I was a big kid and got to go upstairs (for Jr. and Sr. High). Phil Jaskson sat me down and listened when I said, “but my testimony just isn’t interesting enough to tell” and told me it would get a lot more interesting as I lived life with Jesus.
I went to camp Hunt and so many other outings and events. We had missions conferences and special speakers and I became friends with some missionary kids my own age. I helped out at an inner city VBS and knew that was something I wanted to do more of in my life. But from the beginning there was this board with yarn and pins. These were our missionaries. They were real life heroes. I got to go to Laurel mission. I got to go to Wheeler mission. And then when I was 16, I got to go to Brazil with a missionary named Tele Moraes.
Now I’ve served in Brazil for 15 years- the last 5 years with my husband and now my two daughters. But it started with yarn and pins. It started with stories and pictures and a whole lot of people investing in me. Thank you.

Monday, August 13, 2018

August Sunday Funday

Our weekly vlog: 

This past week we had school and Living Stones and home-fixing projects, as well as a recuperating Jessie who still is having issues with night sleeping. Sunday was Father's day in Brazil, and so we had a lovely weekend celebrating that!

Reads from the Interwebs:
1. A missions conference just for kids: I would love to do this sometime!
2. When we Disadvantage ourselves: “The only way to reach the disadvantaged is to disadvantage ourselves which turns out to be to our advantage.”
3. Drowning in a pit of Do-Do: "At the end of a day, end of a season, end of a term of service… there’s no DONE in serving.  If our identity and sense of value are intertwined with our to-do list, we will drown in a pit of do-do."
4. Fictitious Billy and God's highest calling: "As Billy got older the language changed. God’s “best” job became God’s “highest calling” and Billy fervently prayed that he would respond to that highest calling. On home assignments, Billy was popular. He was smart, good-looking, and fun to be around. You couldn’t not love Fictitious Billy, double negative and all. He was just that kind of kid. His youth pastor took him under his wing, and everyone knew that Billy was Chosen – with a capital ‘C’."
5. Mid-life and an 40-something birthday: So I am getting ready for my 36th birthday...
6. Is Missions a Joke? A MUST READ this week!

Monday, August 6, 2018

Caught up Sunday Funday

Our weekly vlog was about moving:
And I also made a quick update video about our friends at PPC and the awesome work they are doing at the trash dump community:

Finally, I put together our make-your-own tapioca adventures from when Shelbyville was here:

Caid was in Sao Paulo last week for a biblical counseling seminar, and Jessica promptly got sick for most of the week. By Friday I took her to the doctor because she'd had a fever for a couple days, and it turns out she had an ear and throat infection. By that time, most of it had run its course, so we just made sure to stay low-key for the weekend. 

Reads from the Interwebs:
1. When relaxing seems elusive: So it turns out that it is really, really hard for Caid to relax in the heat. And we live 7 degrees from the equator. And it turns out that it is really, really hard for me to relax when Caid is not relaxed. We we have been working, A LOT, this past year on ways to intentionally relax. It is hard work.
2. Beating the drum for missionary care: My aunt and uncle gave me this book (twice, I think), and I have given it a good read, but need to dig it out again when I get back to the states...
3. The story of McDonald's Monopoly: WOW! I had no clue! A super interesting real life crazy story. When is the movie coming out?
4. Devastating secrets of Living Abroad: Hard-hitting article. I get half-way through some of these and think "What am I doing being a missionary?" And then (on the balanced articles) I keep reading and am reminded that we are not called to a comfortable life: and no ones life is easy: NO ONE.