My Struggle with Honesty

I have failed to find the balance between honestly sharing my heart and being just a little too real.

Do my friends really want to know the answer to the question, “How are you?” and “How’s it going?” Do they want to know that we had the 201st earthquake in a few short months? Do they want to know that the blockade continues and the grocery stores are out of milk?

Or does it just sound like I am complaining?

Would inquiring minds rather hear that we are healthy, fine, and happy and everything is great? That the mission field is everything we dreamed it would be…

We are healthy, fine, and happy which is an amazing testimony of His abundant grace in our lives.

But should I only share about the date nights, baptism services, language victories, and funny things my children do?

Surely my faithful friends can handle me sharing even the less than perfect parts of my life. But who are they again? It is no one’s particular fault that the challenge of schedules and time differences has shaken the foundations of even the strongest relationships.

Even if they can handle it, are they interested? Can they relate or understand in any way? If I try to tell the truth but point out God’s graces in my life will I seem like a phony trying too hard to seem super spiritual? These are the questions that keep me from opening up. From trusting trustworthy friends with the feelings I don’t always understand myself.

I’m thankful for my husband who always has a listening ear and tries to empathize. He does a pretty good job, but there’s One who does better. I never have to worry about what God thinks of my thoughts and fears. If I don’t tell Him, He knows them anyway!

I confess to Him, cry to Him, confide in Him. He is completely trustworthy, faithful, and kind. He brought me to this place with all these problems, knowing we would face what we have, prepared to give me just what I need.

I’m not sure I ever valued the friendship I have with the Lord until I longed so for a friend that always understood and always loved. One with whom I have a concrete contract..He will NEVER leave me. Never forsake me.

And when the enemy tries to get me to believe that no one cares or understands, He sends some imploring soul my way to minister to my heart who asks questions and wants real answers. Who takes my concerns to the Lord on my behalf. These people are tangible reminders of His constant providence and presence in my life. Friends in the flesh. And I feel silly for ever fearing these things at all. Thank you to so many of you that have ministered His grace to me in this way.

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Has fear kept you from confiding in your close friends?
I would love to hear your experiences in the comment section below!

 

 

 

 

Humility in Language Learning and What it Teaches Me About Christ

I have found language learning to be the most humbling experience of my life.

How does language learning humble me? Let me count the ways…

  1. It once dawned on me that I only understood what people were saying to my 4 month old son.
  2. We are now speaking fairly well, but a lady in our neighborhood consistently says “Here comes the people who don’t speak Nepali” (in Nepali) when we walk by. We understand, and we don’t say otherwise. Many others in the neighborhood compliment us on how well we have done in a short amount of time, but her comments are the ones that hang around!
  3. Many people will answer me in English despite me only speaking Nepali and repeatedly asking them to do the same. It feels like I am making a fool of myself for no reason.
  4. I know how to express some seemingly complex thoughts but will go to express something that seems so basic in English and I haven’t the first clue how to form the sentence in a sensible manner.
  5. One person will teach me to say something one way, and I will speak to another person who looks at me like I have two heads and teaches me another way. Not only do I feel pretty silly, but I am also confused and can’t remember either way to say it.
  6. When I don’t understand cultural things that are happening around me, I can’t always ask the questions I need to gain the information I need to act appropriately.
  7. There were many times I didn’t understand what the 5 and 6 year olds at church were trying to communicate with me.
  8. I say things I would never say in English. For instance, “I eat coffee. I do mistakes. I do rest. I do thought,” etc. I try to wrap my mind around the fact that “I used to have to…” and “I should have…” are used interchangeably. After several exhausting exchanges, I accepted that I never will. There are many examples of these discrepancies.

Through this process, I am blown away by God’s goodness in humbling himself and coming to earth as a man. The author of all languages had to “goo-goo” and “ga-ga” just like everyone else. His mother had to correct him when He said “me” instead of “I” like I do daily with my daughter. He had to point at things HE CREATED and ask what they were! As I am humbled by this experience for the sake of the gospel, I am gaining such a beautiful appreciation of what Christ did for me…and all He had at the end of that road was DEATH!

It is only reasonable that I can humble myself to language learning in order to proclaim this truth to those that have never heard. Because of what He did for me at the end of my road is eternal life and casting the crowns He allowed me to glean at the feet that were nailed to the cross so I could.

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Have you experienced something that made you greater value the humility of Christ?
I would love to hear your experiences in the comment section below!

Missionary Parents Help In Life & Ministry

I have found that the love and support of our parents is an essential part of our life and ministry here.

We aren’t able to talk every day. We might get to see them once a year. They don’t get to be our on-call baby-sitters and sanity savers. They don’t get to hug and hold their grand babies often.

Milestones are hit. Memories are made. And they are miles away. But they cheer on from afar, loving us and our babies in any way they can. They get creative with their Facetime calls, send videos and pictures, and blow kisses that float across oceans to my children’s rosy cheeks.

My mom sends text reminders to take my vitamins. She enlists her co-workers and friends to rally around me in prayer. She shops yard-sales and clearance racks year-round for clothes and toys for my kids. She rejoices with me in victories and cries with me in my in defeats.

My dad sends me “Just because I love you” texts and videos singing “The Cow Kicked Nelly” just to make my daughter laugh. He uses conversations about his daughter’s family and mission to share the gospel with anyone who will listen. That means so much to us.

My mother-in-law sends boxes full of fruit snacks for the biggest sweet-tooth toddler I know and makes regular video chat appointments. She wrangles the dog for the kids to see just because they love it. She inquires regularly about our and the kids’ needs and does everything she can to meet them.

My father-in-law hangs his grandkids’ pictures in his office and prays fervently for all of us. He takes every opportunity to talk about his far away family and looks for ways to improve our life and ministry here.

They all wake up to late-night texts and phone calls and never complain of the inconvenience. They pray for us, keep up with us, and always encourage us. They pinch pennies to visit us here and never mention the things they sacrifice to do so. And when they get here, they deal with all the craziness spending time with us entails and do so with a smile.

This Thanksgiving and Christmas will be different for our parents. Fewer gifts under the tree. A less populated and quiet holiday home. No squishy baby toes crammed into red and green footy pajamas scrambling down the steps with unbridled anticipation for breakfast pie and gifts we know didn’t come from Santa.

Thankfully, my in-laws will be visiting just a few days post-Christmas. We will extend our festivities a little while longer. Certainly, this celebration will be different for them as they navigate the many challenges of this country and its’ unique trials. I don’t think they truly understand what a necessary blessing and encouragement this will be to us.

I’m thankful to God for our parents who love the Lord and taught their children to do the same. Who encouraged us to serve Him no matter the cost and make the sacrifices needed to help us carry out our mission. No doubt it’s hard and it hurts. They feel the pain of loss and sacrifice just as much as we do. I pray and trust that God will give them the joy that we feel too.

Even if we can’t be there, we know they will always “be there” for us just as they’ve always been.

Thank you!
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Do your parents support your calling despite its effect on them?
I would love to hear your experiences in the comment section below!

How I’ve Found Freedom in My Loss of Independence

I have found that a loss of independence can lead to new freedoms.

I can’t drive here. Well, I guess I could if I took the time to learn how to drive a stick-shift. We have practiced around our neighborhood, but I haven’t worked up the nerve to brave the busy streets of Kathmandu where traffic laws cease to exist.

My husband refuses to allow me to drive a scooter. Though I selfishly fight him on this, he clings to his premise that he would like the mother of his children to live to see them grow up. Seems like a reasonable plea.

Though I have grieved it, I am realizing that my loss of independence provides freedoms in many ways.

I am free from the pressure of perfect meal-planning and execution. Paul does our grocery runs out of necessity, and if we don’t have it I just have to work with what we’ve got. I don’t often serve up something pinworthy, that’s for certain. At least once I week I find myself uttering, “Well, looks like fried rice again.” Thankfully, we are all fans.

Since, I am rarely able to shop, I am free from worrying about what I wear. If it’s clean and somewhat fashionable, I wear it. No shopping around for the perfect outfit-completing accessory or that sweater that fits me like a glove. If I like it I better get it now because it will be 6 weeks before I find myself near a decent clothing store again. Now that I think about it, I better get out and get a coat soon before winter is over.

I am free from the pressure of entertaining my children outside of the home. We don’t have the luxuries of a library or a park. Playdates are a thing of the past. We find our fun at home. My kids don’t seem to mind.

I am free from feeling like I have to find this or that around the city. Many people get meat one place, produce at another, bread somewhere else, and so on. I can’t do this. It is not an option. It’s a one stop shop for us. No running around for me, and I really should be happy about that. More time with these cute little squishies I call my children.

I am free from all kinds of things pulling me in every which direction. I can say “no” to a lot of things because I’m really not lying when I say I can’t do it.

My loss of independence has forced me to lighten up…and let me tell you, freedom feels good.

Have you had a loss of independence that led to newfound freedoms?
I would love to hear your experiences in the comment section below!

 

All Good Things

I have found that anything that pushes me to lean on Christ is a good thing.

Including this cold I’ve had for the last 3 weeks. Insecurities in parenting. Field-brought fears. Insufficient funds. Insufficient goods. Loss and deterioration of friendships.

I’ve shared many of these difficult scenarios, attempting to point out the good, but the best thing in all: they force me into dependence on Christ.

Those “I’m done” moments give Him the opportunity to work without the obstruction of my hands on the reins.

“I can’t do it anymore” allows me to accept His will as he completes it in my life.

The times I just can’t face the day, I can fall in His arms as He breathes life into my weakened bones propelling me on in service to Him.

And the days I want to hide in the comforting cloak of quiet, He shines His Light in the darkest corners of my heart. He speaks to me in that still small voice that somehow drowns out the lies in my head demanding I give them a home. He provides the peace I can’t find in my most desperate search in a calm and quiet heart.

And when I feel as though I’ve totally failed Him, I know He is pleased with me because I am washed with the spill of sacrifice supplied on a blood stained hill.

I am free of guilt and pressure to perform. I am free from fear and doubt. I am free to rest and trust fully in Him. The fires that fuel me to this realization are all good things. Seeing my need for him, in any form it comes, is a blessing.

For every burden, I have a Buffer who is the giver of all good things.

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me (2 Cor. 12:9).

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Have you been forced into dependence on Him through trials?
I would love to hear your experiences in the comment section below!