Monday, February 18, 2013

Video Blog 2.18.12

At the beginning I say we are in America.  We are not, obviously.  Maybe that was wishful thinking?

video

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Finding rest

Finding rest can be a tricky thing.  There are all sorts of ways to find rest, but it's not always physical rest that we need.  This past week we were in the Dominican Republic.  It was quite eventful getting there with delayed flights, running through the airport, not being able to check in at the hotel, etc, etc.  But we made it.  We enjoyed the three days we had there.  Some great friends, Bacho and Laura, met us there to make it a sort of mid-year type conference for the team.  We were able to connect with them as a team, individually and as a couple.  I think it was refreshing for everyone involved.

The results of 11 or so hours of travel

It was hard to find physical rest there however.  Have you ever tried sharing a bed with a 2 year old or 4 year old?  Oh my.  So we came back and slept for like 10 straight hours.  We were all pretty excited to be home.  But we are thankful to feel spiritually and emotionally refreshed.  The team seemed to connect in ways that hasn't really happened before.  It felt like our marriage had new purpose after getting to process through some hard things.  And our kids just really wanted to go home.  To Venezuela.  This has been a hard transition and I think visa trips will always be hard on the kids to understand, but we're so grateful that they consider this home.  We feel blessed by that.

We were able to go to the beach the last morning there

It's rough being 2

The kids loved the "train" we took to get around
One other thing that brought us all kinds of joy from this trip is that people like our parents and Bacho and Laura brought us all kinds of great things!  It's amazing how exciting something as simple as peanut butter can be!  But we were able to get things that the kids like and different gifts for the kids.  We also were able to get some Valentine's Day stuff for the kids and for the women's time we have coming up.  We hope the students feel blessed by things from the States.  It's such a joy to be able to receive special little things from people who care about us.  If only someone could send an air conditioner....
The team with Bacho & Laura after dinner one night

Friday, February 01, 2013

No more yelling?

I sometimes come across some interesting articles online. Some are helpful, some are thought-provoking and some are just for fun.  Today I came across this article on yelling.

http://awesomelyawake.com/5-pleasant-alternatives-to-yelling/

I don't know that I like all of the alternatives, but the article is a good reminder of what my children (and I) need.  They don't need me to be setting the example that yelling is ok.  This article came at a perfect time because we just started talking this week about counting to 10 before we yell, cry, whatever.  That happens a lot around here.  Noah cries.  Leah screams.  I yell.  Either way, we need to count to 10.

As I sit and think about what I pass on to my kids, I want to consider what example I am setting for them.  They are both little tape recorders and sometimes that just breaks my heart.  Do I say that?  (Or maybe I can blame Bart?)  But sometimes my kids can be so sweet and I want to help them thrive on their innocence and not on frustration.  I want my kids to whisper when they are angry, partially because it helps control yelling/crying, but also because it's entertaining.  Have you ever tried being frustrated/having a fight with someone in a whisper?

As we prepare to have 30ish students at our apartment tonight for a leadership retreat, I can't help but think, how can I set a good example?  How can I be Christ to these students?  How can my kids be Christ to these students?  I'm not talking about behavior modification, but recognizing that Jesus loves me and he wants me to bask in that love.  And when you really love someone, do you yell at them?  Or do you welcome them into your heart and embrace them?  I want students to experience the love of Jesus through me and my children.  If I'm not discipling my kids, no one else will.  I would love for my kids to always surpass me in how they show grace and love to others.

This coming week we'll leave to go to the Dominican Republic.  We're hoping to find rest and enjoyment there. It will be sort of a mid-year conference mixed in with a visa trip.  I hope my kids can enjoy the time.  There will be a lot of travel time to and from there to only be there for three days, so it's a lot for our kids to handle.  Will you pray for them, that they handle the trip well?  I think these visa trips will always be a little bit challenging for them.  They don't understand why the transition is happening.  But we're hopeful that they will enjoy the time at the pool and the beach and the sleep that comes with those!