Thursday, February 28, 2019

Black History Month

I haven't officially done anything for Black history month, but I didn't want to let it pass without saying some things, and having some resources available. Especially as my Jamaican, American, Brazilian girls grow up. They may feel connected to Black history or not: but I sure want them to be involved in the discussion.

1. Netflix: I am excited about this new resource for discussion:
2. Blackish: our family enjoys this show, and the conversation it brings:

3. Book: Little Leaders--so excited this book is mine:)

4. Instagram: whitegirllearning read and posted about a book (with quotes!) written by a POC (Person of Color) each day for the month. I appreciate the time and energy she put into it, and her Instagram account in general, but one quote she posted left me undone. And all month, I have returned to this one post: 
"Between the Christianity of this land, and the Christianity of Christ, I recognized the widest possible difference--so wide, that to receive the one as good, pure, and holy, is of necessity to be the enemy of the other. I love the pure, peaceable, and impartial Christianity of Christ: I therefore hate the corrupt, slaveholding, women-whipping, cradle-plundering, partial and hypocritical Christianity of this land. Indeed, I can see no reason, but the most deceitful one, for calling the religion of this land Christianity." Fredrick Douglass, in his book "Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave" 

My first thought was "well of course he thought that, because SLAVERY! Thank God we don't have that today..." But honestly, the evil in the world is the same, and the distance between cultural Christianity and Christ's Christianity, even without the ugly blatant slavery, is still the same. It is an important perspective to hold--as a Christian--that I do not hold to the "Christianity" of this land. For me, it is I think easier for me to see in Brazil, where I am a bit more removed from the culture, and can see clearer the differences between culture and Jesus-following. 

I read many history books growing up that gave me the idea (perhaps just the impression I got on my own?) that America was somehow better because of our Christian heritage (except SLAVERY, which seemed to be skimmed over pretty quickly). Now that slavery is a part of my story, it doesn't go away so quickly, and history doesn't seem so simple.

Now I tell my girls about how we don't know.We don't know how we have the name "Ferguson," and how it traveled from Ireland to Jamaica, and if it was just given to us from a slave owner, or how that happened. We don't know more about great-grandpa Ferguson, because he had to run away after he got a white woman pregnant: we don't know anything more about their story, except thank goodness for Grandma Hudson (the white woman's grandma), who raised Grandpa Ferguson. 

Maybe that is the problem with Black history month: we just don't know. We don't know what to do (or not do) about it as white people. We (all) don't know what to tell our children. And I can only imagine the feeling of loss over all that we don't know that my black friends are experiencing.  

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

The Sacred Enneagram

I finally bit the bullet that everyone was shooting and took an online test or two to find out my enneagram. It is a pretty popular subject right now, but really, this is what got my attention:
But "The Sacred Enneagram" by Christopher L. Heuertz helped me dive deeper into it, after I made my Pinterest board. He has all kinds of good tidbits in it, like "Identity answers the question, "Who am I?" while dignity answers the question, "What am I worth?" and three basic human lies: I am what I have, I am what I do, and I am what other people say or think about me. Also that "Sabbath is for rests, retreats are for reflection, vacations are for recreation, and sabbatical is for renewal."

1. There are nine "Types" and you fall into one more strongly than the others, with a "wing" (one of the numbers next to your main one), and a "strength/virtue" (one you lean towards when you are growing and healthy, which is one of the lines out from your type) and a "stressor/vice" (one you lean towards when you are stressed and unhealthy, which is one of the lines out from your type). The nine are summarized in Heuertz's book as:

Type 1 strives for principled excellence as  moral duty
Type 2 strives for lavish love through self-sacrifice
Type 3 strives for appreciative recognition through curated success
Type 4 strives for the discovery of identity for faithful authenticity
Type 5 strives for decisive clarity through thoughtful conclusions
Type 6 strives for steady consistency through confident loyalty
Type 7 strives for imaginative freedom for inspirational independence
Type 8 strives for impassioned intensity for unfettered autonomy
Type 9 strives for harmonious peace as congruent repose

2. Each Enneagram type also falls into a section and a triad. 8,9,1 is gut/body/instinctive prone to anger, 2,3,4 is the heart/feeling prone to shame, and 5,6,7 is the head/thinking section prone to fear. 8,2,5 are relationists, 9,3,6 are pragmatists, and 1, 4,7 are idealists.
Heuertz's book then goes on to say that those in the Gut/body section need to face the lie that they are what they do. They need to surrender power and control to God, and to be still in prayer to best hear from God. Those in the heart/emotion section need to face the lie that they are what others think or say about them, surrender affection and esteem, and have solitude in prayer to best hear from God. Lastly, those in the head/mind section need to face the lie that they are what they have, surrender security and survival, and be silent in prayer to hear from God.
In the Idealist triad, REST is very important to connect to God. In the Relationist triad, CONSENT is very important to connect to God, and in the Pragmatic triad, ENGAGEMENT is very important in connecting to God

3. I found this very practical for myself (although I still find myself wondering if maybe I am a different one?) especially for knowing my weaknesses and what to work on. I also really loved it in talking to other people: "What's your type? Oh! you are Elastagirl for Disney Enneagram!" It creates a common ground when you've both learn specific vocabulary. And lastly, I really liked this application:
I made sure to copy it down for my husband's enneagram type :). We also recently did the test on which identifies ways we have been wounded in the past, and how it affects how we love each other. It was also, like the enneagram, a good tool for communication and healing.

Monday, February 25, 2019

Last February Sunday Funday

Our weekly vlog:

We had such a lovely time in Illinois last week, and it was extra special that a good friend, my sister, and nephew were able to come as well. Once we got back, we moved once more, hopefully for the last time. We are now staying three houses down from the my parents, with friends I've known since I was little. We are very excited as this gives us lots of extra time at grandma and grandpa's house.

Reads from the Interwebs:
1. Our new home in Brazil!
2. How to Pray for your Children: I own and LOVE the first two books by this guy, and hope to have this book as well
3. No matter How Small
4. A Brother's Letter

Saturday, February 23, 2019

We are Moving!

Not here, and not now, but when we return to Brazil in May, we will be moving two houses down. We have really enjoyed living in Pastor Assuerio's house, while he and his family are serving in Africa, but our girls are getting bigger, and we really wanted to have a guest room for friends and family to come visit!
Our very good friends (family) Jeff and Lindsay Turner, have returned to the USA after serving over 12 years in Brazil. We will miss them terribly, and will be renting their home, as it has three rooms, and Pastor Assuerio and his family are coming home on furlough in June.
Us Fergies have served in Brazil as a family for almost 5 years (including preparation time), but have only actually purchased a bed and a washing machine. Furnishing a house is very expensive in Brazil, as things are very highly taxed, and there are no used stores to buy things. We have been very blessed with previous missionary and friends items that make up our home, but some of the furnishing are ready to be retired. We are buying some of our needed items from the Turners, for them to leave in their house. If you would like to help us with moving costs, please let me know!
folding table/chairs and microwave for us to continue hosting Taco Tuesdays: $100
Bike for Ana Sofia: $15
Wardrobes for us and the girls (ours will remain at Pastor Assuerio's home): $120
Beds for the girls and guest room: $145
Kitchen cabinets (never had these before!): $120
Screen and sound bar (projector already purchased!): $230
New stove: $270

Friday, February 22, 2019

Friday Sunday Funday

Our weekly vlog:

Valentine's day and the last week of staying with my sister: I never realized what a gift it could be to be in need. When we realized that it wouldn't work to stay at my parent's home this home assignment, I was very lost and confused as to how things would work. But it has been really great to stay some places that we wouldn't have otherwise (like my amazing sister's home!). Sometimes change pushes you some really great places, and we are grateful.

Reads from the Interwebs:
1. A Prayer of Repentance: to the girls and women from New Tribes Mission
2. How to get into Missions in a Month: my kind of list:)
3. Interceding: I loved this visual

Monday, February 11, 2019

Sunday Funday February

Our weekly vlog: (guys, I am actually caught up!)

I am so grateful for a couple of Starbucks gift cards I received around the holidays. My sister doesn't have internet in her home, but she does have a Starbucks across the street. So I am armed with my steamed milk and ready to get some work done. I am surrounded by people my age doing the same thing and it is strangely surreal. My life is all over a couple of different states and two countries, but it is easy to slip into what "normal" is wherever I currently am (well, easy when Caid is taking care of the girls).
You can see from the video that we are enjoying time with family and friends and getting training (awesome If: Gathering conference at Shelbyville Community church!). Caid has jumped into "Traveling Haircuts" where he will come visit, cut hair, and share about us and Brazil. It is perfect for his personality, and makes sure that get to see a growing list of people in the next couple of months. He also does a really good job cutting hair (message him on Facebook if you are interested).
(Sofia got to go to preschool with Auntie Anna)

Reads from the Interwebs:
1. Sometimes you choose to feed the kittens: perfectly describing a familiar feeling
2. Loving our kids through transition: this is my first home assignment where I have a speaking, questioning, and feeling (STRONGLY feeling) daughter with me. Guys. We started in October, talking about how we would go on the airplane and see lots of family and friends. But we would also have to say goodbye to school and toys and our house and friends. Some days she wanted to go NOW. Some days she didn't want to leave at all. Some days the real reason she was fine with transition was because I had marshmallows with me. We have had a lot of breakdowns where we end up sending a message to Heloise (Pastor Flavio's daughter) on Whatapp ("I miss you. I want to play with you. You are my friend"). She feels it. This is her life journey too, not just ours.
3. I hope you will be treated unfairly
4. The Faithful who Stay: So powerful and true. And sometimes it means sitting and listening to family that doesn't really get it. And letting it break your heart again.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

February Sunday Funday

Our weekly vlog:

We spent the cold week getting settled in and snuggling in at my sister's home. We have really been appreciating our friends at the Gathering Place, where we can get great exercise and have child care provided: it has been the first time I've been able to play basketball since having kids! But unfortunately, this round of sickness hit me pretty hard. I think we are mostly on the upswing now. Our next goal is focusing on child training, especially Jessica sleeping through the night: she is not excited or pleased or happy about this. Caid is jumping into different ministry and training opportunities, as am I.

Reads from the Interwebs:
1. New York, you made my heart sink last week
2. Let's drop the Cliche
3. Watching the world grapple with a virgin Bachelor
4. When your child grieves: a list of books
5. Guiltitude: definitely the read I needed!