Thursday, September 30, 2010

This Thing Called Parenting

HE never told us it'd be easy. HE never told us we'd get enough sleep or never cry. HE also never told us we'd do it alone. PHEW! Such a good reassurance that when raising children, it's by the grace of the almighty God. Every day is an adventure in our house. Sometimes it's a roller coaster of emotions with the kids, sometimes it's care free and kicked back. We are in the midst of raising a 5 yr. old and a 3 yr. I love my kids. They make me laugh till my belly hurts and I'm on the floor. They say the craziest things, sing the best songs, and dance to any tune they hear. I love to climb into their beds at night and re-tuck them in and give them one last kiss. I love their innocence and faith when they ask questions about God and how He lives in our hearts (or to Judah, our belly buttons). I'm so blessed that they are ours and that God has entrusted them to us. That aside, it's not all the fun that zaps most of my energy, but the training and consistency that does. Our 3 year old Judah is ALL boy. He loves soccer anytime he can get his hands on it, superheroes and bad guys, jumping in the mud, launching cars off of anything, and just being rough (which most of the time includes Ella). He's the most tender hearted boy whose teachers always would tell us how compassionate and caring he was for others. He loves hugs and kisses and just loving on people. Saying all of this, you'd wonder why this same boy, at times, makes me want to pull my hair out! I choose to say that I have been blessed with the opportunities to fall back, time and time again, into the gracious arms of Christ. I know that God gave this precious little boy to me, and for a mom, I'm what he's got! I also have priceless things to teach him and love to give. I know it's in the moment of a tantrum when my head could begin to spin and I don't think so clearly, that God reminds me of his amazing love for us, for Judah. How privileged we are to have children, and raise them in the ways of the Lord. How powerful is our prayer when we've run into a wall and don't know what else to do. That is where I keep finding myself. Everything I need is in me to raise these children. At times I feel lacking, but it's because I've forgotten where my source comes from, and to tap in. We've been living lives of amazing transition here and can't expect our children to always "go with the flow". With not as many resources around, friends and family to help out, we've got to get creative. They've done remarkably well considering. It's on days when crankiness begins at 6am and doesn't end till 8pm that I'm learning it's not about me, it never will be, and the sun will go down and come up again : ) Ahhhh, lean on Him.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Life after teams...

Wow! How did it get to be september? I'll give you a rundown of what has happened in the last few months.Since July and the robbery, we had classes as usual in the shop. Thanks to some great supporters of SI and our team personally we had enough money to buy new tools. Because of our hiccup with the robbery, and the time we had without tools, we also expanded a little bit into playing soccer which is a blast!! The kids love to do whatever they can with the students and me which is a great sign for me. I now know that they're not in it just for the projects or to learn woodworking, they're in it to make friends=) (check out the new slideshow on the right side of the blog to see all of the pictures from this summer in the shop)In July We had the Janzen/Frederick clan down for two weeks to visit... Wow!! While it was a great time, 11 people in a 3 bedroom house is pretty tight! We made the best of our time here and, while I still had to work during the week, we were able to share some of the sights here in Costa Rica. They went zip lining, white water rafting, to the beach, and to La Paz waterfall gardens. It was really a blessing to have our family here after being away for so long.
August was full of milestones for al of us here with SI Costa Rica. On August 2nd we officially welcomed our first "Tico Staff," Luis Diego and Cindy. Diego has been a draftsman for several years but has left his job to serve the communities that we work in. He is currently on the community board and is opening a sports site in several different places that we work.
Later in August we added our first Nicaraguan staff member Maria. She and Cindy will be working together in micro finance with some of the ladies in our communities. (sorry no picture of Maria yet=()
August 8th completed our first full summer with teams from the states. Oh man! It's busy with so many people around. Over all it was a great success. (To all of you who are reading this, the kids talk about you all of the time. They say to tell you all that they want you to come back next year!! They continually read the names on the wall, and look at the armpit picture[Nathan Pace] And talk about you all) We'll incorporate some new things next year like a hike into the coffee fields to look for wild fruit as well as some new types of classes=) August 8th was also the day we left for Panama to renew our visas... Some would call this a vacation... But it's not! Think stress times two and that's what these short trips are... We made the best of it and saw a little bit more of the world while sweating profusely and getting eaten by fleas or bed bugs =/ This picture is when Erin lost her flip-flop in the water and then had to fish it out form the back porch.
On August 20th we completed two years of living here in Costa Rica! Hard to believe it's been that long. Needles to say, we're NOT fluent in spanish yet but we are getting acclimated to life here... It's not nearly as scary as it once was to live or just to be in certain places. We are finally getting into a groove and figuring out what we need to do to make life work here. One "life" thing to pray about is for a better living situation. Erin, being at home a lot with the kids, is realizing that without any space for the kids to play they really have a hard time. Plus our master bath is leaking through the celling and has created a huge mold spot in the garage, the celling of our back patio collapsed from the huge leak in the roof, the water goes out daily which is hard to work with because we can't do laundry or dishes when it's out. Also when the water is out we have to pump the water from the tank to the house which is very expensive!... So, while we don't want to move again, we are currently asking God to drop the perfect situation in our lap! A decent sized house with a yard to either rent or buy SUPER SUPER cheap=) How's that for a request!?
Well September has brought us more life... We shut the shop for 3 weeks for improvements. We'll start with classes again on tuesday. Ella danced in the independence day parade on the 15th and is about to lose her first tooth. Judah is continuing to learn more spanish and is super funny with all of his language questions. We had my mother-in-law here for 2 weeks, which was wonderful, especially for the kids, and now... life continues!
Again thank you all for your support! Thanks for reading! I'll leave you with this... God has called us to be happy! To be joyful! Not stressed. I have found that it's my own pressures... My own lists that rob me of my joy... Live each day without being worried about the next. Jesus said it in Matt 6 and I think he means it. Don't worry about tomorrow!! Do you remember that Jesus said,"I only do whet I see the father doing."? Well I don't think we have to be any different. I think that if; 1 we saw what he was doing and 2 we did ONLY that we would have a lot more joy and a lot less stress! He says, "come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."
May Jesus, himself, give you the spirit of wisdom and revelation so you may KNOW HIM BETTER!