Thank you to all who faithfully pray for all the prayer requests listed at the bottom of my posts. I pray for you often, even if I don’t know your name. I am so thankful for your prayers, and I’d like to update you on some of the latest prayer requests.
First of all, praise God! I passed my glucose tolerance test!!! I chugged a 300ml orange Fanta and munched down half a king-sized chocolate bar. An hour later, I walked up to the maternity ward for a finger prick. My blood-sugar level was within the normal range, so I indulged in brownies after lunch. 🙂 Being at the hospital gave me an opportunity to look around the maternity ward, to scope out possible locations for the delivery of Joshua, and to discuss some options with my doctor. We didn’t come up with any great plans, but we have some ideas for plans A, B, C and D.
Secondly, thank you for your steadfast prayers concerning our Tenwek MK Co-op. Although we still don’t have a full-time teacher in place, all the moms pulled together to cover all the subjects. Many moms are over-stretched. Some are teaching from 8am until 1pm with only a short chai break at 10am. Please continue to pray for us moms! We definitely need it!
Some of you might have seen a link on facebook that I shared a couple of days ago. I think it’s a good, objective look at the missionary mom. American moms have a lot of pressure on them to look perfect, have perfect and successful kids, and do so many things beyond being mom. Sadly, we think being ‘just a mom’ isn’t enough. Fortunately, God disagrees with the American culture (not only on this topic, but I won’t get on too many soap boxes today). God’s highest calling for a woman is to be a mom. If God has granted you this privilege and given you this calling, then please take it seriously and proudly. It’s a tough job, but it’s so important and should be priority over so many of the things that take up our time.
When American mommas leave their homes and move to the mission field, these expectations oftentimes come along with us. In fact, expectations are often increased for the missionary momma. Missionaries are wrongly put on pedestals and therefore are expected to live perfect Christian lives. Let me assure you, missionaries are not perfect! We are just as human as the rest of the world. We are broken sinners in need of a redeemer. The only real difference is that we’re called to live outside of our culture. Our obedience to this calling may make us brave or crazy or…pick your adjective, but it does not make us superhuman, holier than most, or even close to perfect!
Although this might disappoint some of you, my life here in Kenya isn’t too different than my life in America. My main jobs are being a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom to my kids and a supportive wife to my husband. I still don’t do these jobs with ease or reverence or with a servant’s heart nearly enough. I still struggle with all the expectations of America, and I’ve added a few from the Kenyan culture. Praise God that I am free from man’s expectations though! Any time I’m feeling stressed about not performing or not meeting people’s expectations, I simply look to God for direction. The bottom line is that HE is the ONE I’m aiming to please. It is HIS, “Well done, good and faithful servant,” that I’m wanting to hear.
Thank you all for praying for my heart. From the time I got back to Tenwek until just a few days ago, I was too busy to think of my pregnancy (though my back has been reminding me every night!) or of my baby girl in heaven. Now that the days are becoming more routine and I actually have moments when the house is empty (except for me and Joyce), I have been missing Hannah a lot. As I prepare our empty bedroom for Joshua, I’m taking down many of the pink things I kept in there. That spare room was where I displayed many of her pictures, blankets, mementos and decor from her bedroom. Most of that is getting taken down and stored in a keepsake box. It’s sad…and joyful. I’m so excited to make that room a nursery for the precious baby boy that never ceases to move within me. And yet, I so wish that room was still occupied by a beautiful, spunky little girl. I so appreciate those of you who help carry this burden, who truly spend time praying for me. I assure you that you are earning rewards in heaven for this sacrifice!
It’s nice to be back home to make my way through these waves of grief. I expect that they will persist as the pregnancy continues, as the nursery comes to fruition, and as we meet Joshua face-to-face. I had another dream about Hannah last week. It was a little weirder than the first. The only similarity was that in both dreams I was acutely aware that she wasn’t supposed to be with us, that she had already finished her earthly race and had gone to heaven. In both dreams, I thought why is she here? but then just chose to enjoy the few moments I had to feel and smell her, to enjoy her presence, and to wish it would never end. Oh, how I wish Joshua would have a big sister to welcome him to our family!
Speaking of Joshua, thank you all so much for your faithful prayers on his behalf. He is growing well, always active, already spoiled, and loved by so many. The boys are so anxious to meet him. They ask, “How many more days?” almost everyday. September and October are going to be long months! They hug and kiss him good night each night after prayers. Levi sings, “Do you want to build a snowman?” (from the movie Frozen) and many other funny songs. Jacob will put his hands on my belly and say, “Let’s see what’s going on here.” He’ll often feel a kick or punch. Noah just prays and prays for his baby brother. I think he’s a little worried about whether or not Joshua will live. Please pray for wisdom for Aaron and I and for comfort only God can give. I’m not sure how to reassure Noah that everything will be ok when I share his worries.
God’s Word tells us that he is close to the brokenhearted (Psalm 34:18). May we all rest is His sovereignty, might and wisdom.
Psalm 34 (ESV)
1 I will bless the Lord at all times;
his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
2 My soul makes its boast in the Lord;
let the humble hear and be glad.
3 Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
and let us exalt his name together!
4 I sought the Lord, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.
5 Those who look to him are radiant,
and their faces shall never be ashamed.
6 This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him
and saved him out of all his troubles.
7 The angel of the Lord encamps
around those who fear him, and delivers them.
8 Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!
Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!
9 Oh, fear the Lord, you his saints,
for those who fear him have no lack!
10 The young lions suffer want and hunger;
but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.
11 Come, O children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
12 What man is there who desires life
and loves many days, that he may see good?
13 Keep your tongue from evil
and your lips from speaking deceit.
14 Turn away from evil and do good;
seek peace and pursue it.
15 The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous
and his ears toward their cry.
16 The face of the Lord is against those who do evil,
to cut off the memory of them from the earth.
17 When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears
and delivers them out of all their troubles.
18 The Lord is near to the brokenhearted
and saves the crushed in spirit.
19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
but the Lord delivers him out of them all.
20 He keeps all his bones;
not one of them is broken.
21 Affliction will slay the wicked,
and those who hate the righteous will be condemned.
22 The Lord redeems the life of his servants;
none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.