Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Sleep Training and School Fees

A peek at Carson in the baby monitor
    This week I'm feeling pretty exhausted - not just physically but emotionally too. The culprit: our teething 14 month old who we've been trying to sleep train for the past week. Between teething, sickness and travel over the last few months, we began some bad sleep habits and now are trying to get back to where we were before - Carson sleeping through the night in his own room, in his own bed. As many of you mamas know, sleep training is hard no matter what method or plan you decide to follow.
     Even without sleep training, life has been very full. The big boys and I have been working really hard to finish our school year in the next few weeks before Isaac finishes his term at Rift Valley Academy. We want to be on the same schedule as him so that we can take breaks when he comes home. Eli has also had a lot on his plate but it's been all good stuff: teaching a class at a local Bible school (which he loves!), recording the Women's Group at our church singing Arabic hymns to share with churches all over South Sudan so they can add to the songs they sing in church, continuing the Theological classes by extension and then of course the things we need him for around the house like: fixing our gutters to collect maximum amount of rain water, helping Evan with his mechanics project, and taking Carson on afternoon walks to see the cows (to give Mom a break.)
     The other day I was sitting in Carson's room feeding him his bottle before bed and thinking about life. I started doing the math in my head of how many hours I spend trying to get Carson to sleep or the hours (part time job that it is) to teach my boys 5th and 7th grade...and it hit me.
I'm tempted to look at my life and think, "wow, the days are passing so quickly and what am I doing? I'm spending half my day teaching math and grammar lessons and the other half keeping my eye on a very active toddler." But oh, how precious it is! 
    I sat there in my chair, reveling in the thought of how cherished these days are and how much I will miss them not far in the future. All I can say is: Thank you Lord for giving me eyes to see how important, how valuable these days are.
    Another thing God allowed me to see this week as I sat in the baby's room was that even though I so often feel like I'm not doing enough outside of the home (SUCH A LIE BY THE WAY!) God is using the windows of time I do get with people. I often belittle what God is doing around us and through us. But you guys, it's big!
     Several things that were such a joy to me this week were:
1. Helping my friend Joyce with $4 so she could take her 1 year old to the clinic because he was sick. Now he's got medicine and is getting better.
2. Paying school fees for a sweet neighbor boy.

If we didn't live here, I wouldn't have been able to do these 2 things. They are simple but you know what? Especially paying a kid's school fees can change his life. I'm not sharing this to pat myself on the back. But I'm sharing it because it was through these simple things this week: sleep training and paying school fees, that the Lord gently reminded me of how important these things we do are. 
We tell ourselves our lives aren't making an impact.
We let ourselves get tired of the day to day. But -


Carson and Godfrey, the boy we're helping through school.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Thanking the Lord for 12 years on the mission field!

The face of determination 
I remember this moment so freshly in my mind. I had just stepped off the little plane with my two babies to our new home in Sudan and boy was I in for quite the journey that first year!
We were only 26!

The boys helped unload our stuff from the plane

This was our home

Isaac was a month shy of turning 3 when we arrived and made friends right away with our little teammate.

A little boy's paradise

So thankful that one of our teammates was a nurse. Eli wasn't so thrilled!

All this work to make peanut butter!
 I was a young, new missionary, ready to do whatever needed to be done!

We had to learn to watch out for all the critters

One of my favorite memories that first year: Eli made a paint brush out of hair from our pet donkey's tail.
Our donkey Teddy was used to haul water from the river to our compound.

This was their usual wardrobe

A church built on the top of a huge rock

My first Sudanese friend, Halima
She owned a tea shop in the market

Creative solutions for the hot days

Our shower - yes it was outside and roofless

My first garden: I was very proud of it.

Our team in 2007

All I can say is thank you Jesus for protecting us and blessing us from our first year through to our 12th!