Sunday, March 25, 2012

On being a working mom, missions and umbrellas...

I'm thinking that I should rename my blog "Tales of a Working Mom" and the lack of posts would pretty much say it all. No, my life isn't empty. My life is full, so full that I haven't even given much thought to this blog.

And then I remember that my blog is not a place for me to unwind or fill empty time. I can do that easily enough in front of an episode of Glee or MTV's "The Challenge: Battle of the Exes." (Please don't judge me.) This is a place for me to document our lives as a family so that I can revisit them later.

The moral of the story is: I need to do a better job of blogging. My old posts take me back to a special time that I wanted to be able to remember years down the road.

Catch up game time! Here goes:

1. It's been over year that I have been a full time working mom and Jason has been a stay at home dad/seminary student. This works great for us, since he can work on homework while he spends time with the girls. He travels back to Kansas City for his classes, which is a 2 hour drive. He claims it only takes him an hour and forty five minutes, but whatever. That's his way of bragging. ("Hey, by the way I'm six foot." and "Did you know once I almost made a three pointer in a game?" are also his way of bragging. I love him.)

I do, of course, miss being home with my girls all the time. I hate knowing I am missing cute things they say or being able to love up on them whenever I want. Thankfully, I get my own fix of "stay at home" mom time on my day off when Jason is in Kansas City all day. And when I'm at work, I am very busy, the time flies. I am currently an assistant manager at three mobile home communities in town. Lots of work to do, always.

Just to prove my love, I am featuring a picture of my
fantastic husband, who may or may not be sitting on
top of one of our children.
2. Jason and I have become involved with international ministries here in Manhattan. Mostly Jason, but I tag along and help out as well. Jason is teaching an introductory Bible class to international students on Sunday nights, playing ping pong and other games with a group of Chinese students Monday nights, and teaching Conversational English to other international students on Wednesday nights.

(Tuesday and Thursday nights he is Kansas City, so needless to say, but I will anyways, I am missing him lots this semester.)

I have been going to the international Bible Study as well. It has been such a blessing for us as well, because I feel that God is working in our lives to teach us we can be involved in missions, without even going anywhere. More on that later.

We mostly have Chinese students who come on Sunday nights. And when I say "students", I mean mostly PhD students and visiting scholars, highly intelligent people. A great number of them have never studied the Bible and it is so refreshing to see how eager they are to learn. Along with a slight language barrier, this does cause some interesting conversations and perspectives as we delve into the Bible. It also makes it difficult for me to share too much, as depending on what region they are from, or if they hold a government job, I do not want to reveal names or pictures and we can just leave it at that. Some are believers, some are seekers, some are just curious, some might even just come for the free food and fellowship, it's quite a mix. We even have one Chinese "student" who comes whose parents run a church in China. How cool is that?

The girls playing a very intense game of battleship at the
donut shop where Jason weekly plays games with
a group of Chinese friends.

And just to be fair, here is a picture where the girls are playing
a game where they actually know the rules and that hasn't
been staged in any way.

(Ok, I admit I staged the battleship one, but in my defense
they were having lots of fun playing with the boats and pegs.)
3. This past year, Jason and I realized that we simply had to much debt to be employed by the IMB (International Mission Board, which is Southern Baptist.) After our interviews, we were told that was the only thing holding us back and we would make excellent candidates if we could eliminate almost all of it. After moving in with my parents to save money to pay off large chunks of student loans, we finally did the math we had been dreading. Long story short, it wasn't happening. Tears were cried and prayers were said, but we finally had to give it all up to God. Honestly, it is kind of good for us me, because we I can be kind of control freaks. So now I know that if it happens, it was God's plan all along. God can still make it happen, but I that's mainly why working with international students here in the United States has been a blessing, we are learning that being missionaries does not mean we have to travel the globe, we can be servants no matter where we are. Seems obvious, no? I still have a longing to travel the world and plant churches, but I do not feel guilty for not being there already. God is in control.

Speaking of  missions, one of my very best childhood friends contacted me recently. She, like me, was a missionary kid growing up in the same town in France. Our parents planted a church together. She is back in the United States and planning her trip right now to return to France. Her ultimate goal is to return to Cherbourg. Her town, My town, the last town to ever see the Titanic above sea, the town from the umbrella musical, a very secular town that is very dear to both our hearts. This is not my ministry, but like I said very dear to me, so if anyone feels compelled to pray for her or give to her ministry, please let me know!

I knew you were probably trying to figure out
what musical I was talking about, so here you go.
And here it the English version for all you non-Frenchies.

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