Pre-School on the Other Side of the Planet: A Mama’s Desperate Act

I’m over at Women Behind the Scenes today talking about my decision to put my 4 year old in pre-school in Nepal during their Back-to-School themed week! Make sure to check out the other posts this week for some insights on how God leads and provides in schooling ministry children over-seas.

Every morning around 9, I hear two long beeps from the end of the road. Even the baby has learned what this means by now, and he runs to get his shoes from the closet so he can accompany his sister to the yellow van we call “bus.” Many days, he tries to hop on with her, and the driver and helper on board laugh like it’s the first time.

Usually, my four year old pre-school student is eager to climb on and slide over next to one of her little friends whose names we are all still learning to pronounce. Some days, she asks to stay home with me and “have fun.” I tell her about all the laundry I have to do, and she decides craft time doesn’t sound so bad.

After moving to the other side of the world, and living through a natural disaster and subsequent shortages, we had watched our bright butterfly stow away and become more and more withdrawn. We thought, with time, she would re-emerge with a smile as bright as before.

But that day never came.

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Continue Reading at Women Behind the Scenes…

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Linking up with:

Coffee for Your Heart
#RaRaLinkUp

Five Minute Friday: The Wound that Never Heals

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I fractured my tail-bone four years ago during the hours of labor that led to the arrival of one of my greatest joys, a spunky girl who’s always singing but who was, at that time, just a sunny-side up miracle.

As my daughter grew, the pain in my back-side lessened, and I imagined that things back there were healing properly. However, strapped to a stretcher a little over a year later, the pain was back and more intense than ever. I had hurt that tender spot again.

One still-birth and one live-birth later, I’m in a mess of pain most days. We bump along the poorly-made and poorly-cared for streets of Kathmandu, and I wince and bite back the complaints on the tip of my tongue.

I often think, this wound will never heal, as it is constantly chipped at again and again.

As we bumped along on the way back to a hotel today to say good-bye to grandparents headed back to America after a sweet but short visit, my focus was more on the pain in my heart than on the bone that bounced upon the back-seat.

The wound there was big and gaping when we left for Nepal last March. Over-time, it began to heal and was bandaged by Face-time chats and care packages. But with each visit and each goodbye, cracks I thought were long-ago sealed re-emerge.

The TLC delivered is so needed and is medicine for motivation. My heart is certainly more helped than hurt, yet I am left with the somber presence of this thought, “I guess this wound will never heal.”

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And certainly it won’t for the Grandma and Grandpa with 6 grandbabies on 3 continents. I covet your prayers for these heroes of mine and the heavy hearts they are lugging back to America today.

Five Minute Friday: When the Path I’m Called to Walk is Lonely

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I memorized The Road Not Taken as a senior in high-school, and though I can’t recall each line, the theme rattles in my head from time to time…

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Long ago, I pondered whether I would follow the path lovingly set by the Lord before me, or forge my own way, knowing which choice was the more popular of the two. Considering the sacrifice made by the One who went before me and made a way to meet God on my trail of self-seeking, the idea of following my own feet just wouldn’t settle in my soul.

Confident in the Lord who directed my steps, I set off on the less-traveled path. I delighted in the beginnings of my journey, as I knew I should. But when the path grew hard and lonely, darkened by death and disappointment, I wanted to back track.

This road would not diverge away from these obstacles, and turning back was an impossibility. I had to keep walking, knowing who walked with me, though I was not always aware of His presence.

There weren’t many who could have or would have walked with me on those paths. Though there are certainly ditches and trenches on every route, these circumstances were unique to my own, and I mainly maneuvered them alone. The dips and valleys many and fellow-walkers few, loneliness abounded, but just as at the time of my salvation from sin, grace did much more abound. The longer I follow Jesus, the happier I am on this path.

Not sure this is what Frost had in mind when he penned these words…

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
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 I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope. For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore (Psalm 16:8-11).

With Lifted Eyes and Lifted Hands: A Prayer for Harvest

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Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest (John 4:35).

I’m lifting up my eyes, I’m seeing the fields.

But I don’t see a lot of said white. Lord, give me your eyes.

Because what I see…

I see Hindus bowing to golden idols created by skilled craftsman.

I see Muslims faithfully answering the call to prayer.

I see Buddhists running fast fingers along brown beads, lisping secret prayers.

I see broken people torn apart by the sins of their own hands, and, some by the hands of others.

I don’t see hope. I don’t see harvest.

Give me your eyes. Let me see it.

I’ve gone. I’m here. I’m ready to harvest. The reaping day seems afar off, but I trust it’s here as You have said it is.

I’m lifting my eyes. Lord, make them like yours.

I’m lifting my hands, Oh, God, put them to work. Let me harvest something, anything, for You and I’ll be sure to give you all the praise for letting me see the ripe fruit, gather it, and give it back to You.”

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And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together (John 4:36).

Rejoice with me!
Tell me about the harvest on the horizon or the harvest at hand in the comment section below!

Hidden In My Heart

This post is part of Five Minute Friday link up hosted by Kate Motaung. I am enjoying being a part of this writing community and putting together these little posts and getting to know these wonderful people!

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When the car crashed.

When my son died inside.

When the visa was denied.

When an earthquake broke my home and shattered my security.

When the toddler suffered a 10-foot-fall.

There it was. Hidden in my heart.

Too shocked to seek.

Too broken to pray.

Too lost to ask for direction.

Homeless. Heartbroken.

Stuck in traffic en-route to the hospital. Trying desperately to keep her awake.

There it was. Hidden in  my heart.

Whispers of Holy words reminisced from Sunday school classrooms and quiet times with the Savior I had slowly gotten to know. I didn’t intentionally plant seeds of scriptural significance in anticipation of moments like these.

And, yet, they bloomed at just the right time.

Thank God, they were hidden in my heart.

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Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. Blessed art thou, O Lord: teach me thy statutes. With my lips have I declared all the judgments of thy mouth. I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies, as much as in all riches.I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways. I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word…..Make me to understand the way of thy precepts: so shall I talk of thy wondrous worksMy soul melteth for heaviness: strengthen thou me according unto thy word (Psalm 119:11-16,27-28).