I Choose My Family

I have feared the deterioration and  loss of long-distance relationships. Maintaining these can be difficult and draining. Throw in a 10:45 minute time difference (weird, right?), and it seems next to impossible. God has given me the greatest friends all over the world. it is so much easier to work on maintaining these relationships than in times past. However, I can’t ignore what’s right in front of me, and God has given me the amazing gift of a family in its formative years! I can pine for my lost friendships or I can pleasure in the family I share my home with.

I don’t want my kids to remember mom as the lady who just talked to her bestie on FaceTime or watched cartoons with them iPhone ever ready while not out of the house studying language or doing ministry. My time with them is little and precious.

Sometimes, I need the encouragement that only a girlfriend in the Lord can give me. For this reason, I am so grateful for those that have made efforts to invest in our friendships. I just want to be careful to not invest in these at the expense of my family. My babies are growing so quickly. If I don’t teach them to love and serve the Lord, who will? If I don’t work hard to keep my marriage strong in the Lord, how can we ever have a fruitful ministry?

My long distance friends encourage me, and help quell the first-term loneliness while urging me to focus on the Lord. But I can’t be dependent on them to fill the emptiness. After all, they are asleep for the majority of my waking hours!

I can’t feed my family’s spiritual and emotional needs without filling myself first. Thankfully I have a Friend who doesn’t sleep (Not you, Natasha)! He speaks to me through His word and through the Holy Spirit night and day! When I am full of Him, I can better care for my family. I can see needs that only the Holy Spirit can make me aware of. If I distract myself by stretching to maintain relationships with people that are just as busy as I am, neglecting my time with the Lord and the needs in my home, I am doing a disservice to myself and the people I love most.

Some days I might use messenger all day if I didn’t have two kids climbing on my head and shoulders. Maybe I should take that as a hint. One day, I pray, Christ will fill all their emptiness, but right now they need mom spilling the love He has given her over into their tiny, precious lives.

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Have you faced the struggle between maintaining friendships and caring for your family?
I would love to hear your experiences in the comment section below!

Will I Ever Learn This Language?

I have feared that I will NEVER learn this language. 6 months into my language studies, I can carry on simple conversations, order at shops and restaurants, and ask questions to help me find my way along. I am no longer rehearsing every little phrase in my head before saying it and becoming more comfortable every day. But the more I learn, the more I realize I don’t know, and surprisingly, the more discouraged I can become. It is hard to see the progress from day to day, but as I look back further, I can see how far I have truly progressed with the Lord’s help.

But I still fear that I will never grasp this language in a way that is conducive to gospel conversations. The first time I attempted to witness to my neighbor in Nepali, she asked me if we worship 3 gods (God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit). I have a hard enough time explaining the doctrine of the Trinity in my native language, let alone a language I am just beginning to grasp the basics of!

It is hard to wrap my mind around the idea being able to answer questions like this in a culture that has no concept of Christianity and of the one true, living God in my second language. I must continue to keep “plugging away.” Even when I feel like I’m at a standstill, I know the wheels are turning somewhere undetectable. When I feel my brain is fried, God is greater than my frailty and will plant roots of knowledge despite my scattered state. It is only my responsibility to put the time and the work in, to push back the thoughts that are sent by the enemy to thwart my study and future ministry. I can’t make it all sink in. I must only trust that the Lord will enable me to soak up the countless hours of study, to give me opportunities to rest when I need it, and most importantly, to give me chances to share the gospel in this new and strange tongue.

I’ve always believed that the Holy Spirit could speak through me. Why would I think that He would be limited by the Nepali language? Surely the author of all tribes and tongues can help me hurdle the ever daunting language barrier to accomplish His ultimate plan for gospel growth in this needy land.

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Have you overcome a seemingly insurmountable challenge for the sake of the gospel?
I would love to hear your experiences in the comment section below!

Trusting My Mate in Uncertainty

I have failed often to willingly submit to my husband’s leadership in times of crisis. Trusting his judgment is pretty easy when the questions are, “Do we want to rent the big house or the bigger house?” or “What color should we paint the walls?” But when the questions are, “Should we move to Nepal in two weeks?” or “Should we sleep in the house we were just told is unsafe to live in?” it becomes a little more difficult to submit with a smile.

Truth doesn’t change because my circumstances do.

Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.

IN EVERY THING. In a field change? In earthquakes? In good shortages? IN. EVERY. THING.

I expect my husband to humble himself and follow the leadership of the Lord in these uncertain times, but I think it is acceptable to question his judgment? What a double standard I can have! The Lord is no less mighty in the middle of chaos, and my God-given life mate is no less worthy of respect.

At times, I have had to bite my tongue as he has made decisions for our family, thinking maybe mother’s intuition trumps all. I have been always amazed, however, to see that despite how wrong I thought he was, how right everything turned out!

Yet if it hadn’t, I would be no less required to follow him when my next opportunity came. I must only pray that the Lord will direct Him and that my man will submit himself to Christ as I do so to him. Sometimes that means grinning and bearing it, ever so sweetly saying, “Ok, honey.” To do that I must remember that the God who knew we would face this trial ordained this man to walk my family through it and, more practically, SAY NO TO THE NAG.

When everything is out of my control, this is easier said than done! For this reason, I myself must surrender my thoughts and my words to Christ, trusting Him to control what we can’t and direct my husband to lead our family on the path laid out for us, no matter how bumpy it may be.

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Have you faced this challenge in submission?
I would love to hear your experiences in the comment section below!

Service: Saving Me From Myself

I have found that no matter what is going on in my life or in the world around me, my family still needs me.

My son doesn’t decide not to wake up in the night because mommy is exhausted from waking up to countless aftershocks.
My daughter doesn’t forget her lengthy bedtime rituals because I feel desperately that I need to talk with my own mom .
My husband doesn’t stop needing dinner because his wife would rather cry than cook .
They all don’t stop needing my love and encouragement when I don’t feel much like giving it.

Moms don’t get sick days or sad days, or “I’d rather sit and feel sorry for myself than serve you” days which is actually kind of great! Many times my family, as needy as they can be, have pulled me out of my self-pity schlump and into service that has brought out the better in me.

God gave me this man and these little people to love. Only I can be wife and mom to these wonderful people. Just as God ordained my husband to walk our family through these trying times, He has ordained me to love it through them. The trials are great, and the needs are endless, but, thankfully God’s grace in my life is unmatched! Only through his power can I pay the grace he has given me forward, showing favor to my family, serving as a humble steward of His matchless grace.

As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God (1 Peter 4:10).

Being forced to focus outward is a gift I can’t give myself and one that saves me from myself. Though in the moment I don’t feel like giving thanks for this gift, I truly do find that I am grateful! And I hope that my family, which is so precious to me, treasures the gift I give of myself, especially during these times in which it can be difficult to graciously give.

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Have you found it difficult but rewarding to serve your family at times?
I would love to hear your experiences in the comment section below!

The Time I Feared for the Lives of My Children

I have feared for the lives of my children. I can’t decide which of the two major earthquakes was more traumatizing to my mommy heart. During the initial earthquake, I watched as the crowd of Nepali women surrounding my son dissipated as my husband ran to find my daughter who was being trampled by dozens of panic stricken Nepalis down a flight of stairs. In the safety of the street, tears in my eyes, I squeezed my new friend who had scooped up the helpless babe I couldn’t rescue, repeating one of the few Nepali words I knew to express my gratitude.

When we were shook strongly again, I was separated from my children. My husband had dialed the nanny before the ground stood still. No answer. My heart sank thinking of the possible plight of my babies. Did it wake them from their nap? Were they scared? Were they left alone inside the house? Did anything fall on them? The worries came quicker than than the frightened foreigners fleeing into the streets of tourist Thamel. We called our neighbor/missionary friend who promised to check on our littles. After a presumable eternity, she called back, assuring that our children were safe, though grumpy from being woken from their afternoon naps.

Car in the shop from a post-earthquake-traffic car accident, we hailed a taxi out of the chaos. After promising to pay several times the standard rate, we realized our fee didn’t buy us the luxury of running everyone down in our path to the children. Hopping out of the car, we started on foot in my not-so-sensible but ever-so-trendy footwear, in the hopes that we could find a taxi closer to the house. This hope was never realized as we trekked the 6 miles home. With one mile to go, we were tempted by a milk tea break with a police officer friend of ours but declined the invitation. We were on a mission!

We arrived home to our sweeties, sunburnt and sore, but extremely happy to be safe and sound with our tiny tots. How truly comforting it is that our great God who stills and subdues the earth holds our most precious gifts in His impenetrable hand!

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Tell me about a time in your life you’ve had to trust God with the lives of your children.
I would love to hear your experiences in the comment section below!