Whoa! Where did September go? It was mighty busy. We traveled many of the weekends. On the days in between, we were often consumed with homeschooling, clubs, errands, and chores. I knew our time in the States would go quickly, but I didn’t know it would be quite the whirlwind that has been.
But God knew. When 2015 was just beginning, God convicted me to dedicate posts about the ways He is blessing us. He challenged me to look for His glory and goodness. Some months, the blessings overflowed, and these posts were so easy to write. However, I’m not going to lie, other months haven’t been so smooth.
I’ve had a hard time transitioning back into American life. Before leaving Tenwek, I tried to anticipate some of the struggles and prepare myself. I’m afraid to admit it, but I failed miserably. I’ve been so overwhelmed by life, by my circumstances, and I haven’t been as joyful as I should be.
But God knew. He knew that it would be hard. He knew that these months were ahead of me when I quickly published the January Blessings post. While choosing joy these past months has been harder than I thought it would be, I’m making choosing joy a discipline. These posts help me see how very blessed I am in the midst of the lonely, overwhelming, and mundane days. They show me that God is indeed in control even when my head races with a thousand questions. So here is my list of September blessings. To GOD be the glory!
One of the biggest joys of the month happened September 13 in Mifflintown, PA. We visited the church where Aaron’s dad preached for many, many years. It’s a beautiful Presbyterian church in the center of our little hometown. Aaron delivered an informative and powerful message to the congregation, and then we enjoyed lunch together. The boys loved seeing the places where Aaron grew up and committed all kinds of mischief. They even found a dead bat!
Another big, big joy was having some medical students over for supper. It has been our prayer that God would use Aaron to encourage students at Liberty University College of Osteopathic Medicine (LUCOM) to consider missions. That is already happening! In fact, some students entered medical school with the intentions of serving overseas at a mission hospital. It’s exciting to see what God is doing here in Virginia to impact the world! On September 24, we hosted 4 students in our home for a fiesta.
I hope the students who will be our guests in the future don’t expect such a party. We had been studying Mexico in school, so we just had to end the unit with a fiesta. We spent the week preparing. We made a piñata for our entertainment, paper flowers for our decor, and lots of food. We even found Mexican soda at the grocery store. The boys were so excited that they waited outside for hours. To pass some of the time, they decorated the sidewalk with chalk.
While homeschooling can be an all-consuming, exhausting endeavor, there are times when it is over-the-top fun. This was definitely one of those fun times!!
An unexpected blessing happened this month as well. I joined a book/knitting club! For those of you who know me well, you know that I do love to knit, but that I don’t typically read for pleasure. I can’t think of five novels that I’ve read since becoming a mother. I read. A lot. But not fiction. When a friend invited me to join her at KnitWits, I agreed but I was secretly thinking that I wouldn’t like it. I didn’t even open the book before attending! To my surprise, it was a lot of fun! I’m actually reading the book for the next meeting! Then, I might be able to add to the conversation while I knit away at my little blanket.
Lastly, there have been some ongoing blessings this month. The first one is Awana. The boys are enjoying their Wednesday evenings, and I’m praying that they’ll each find a good friend. Levi is often found studying the badges he can earn for his vest, but he can’t quite figure out why Jacob’s book has more options than his.
Another one is family time. One of the greatest joys of mine since being back in the States is watching how the boys have become such good friends. They fight, of course, but they do play well together most days. I also love watching them reunite with their cousins. We were able to visit Aaron’s sister’s family in North Carolina, and the boys tried to convince us to move in with them! They had such a great time! We’ve also seen grandparents and other family from Pennsylvania earlier in the month. It’s so neat to see them love each other as if they see each other every day.
Then, there’s Joshua. He still has his screeching days, but his behavior has improved overall. He has conquered the stairs, and he is ever exploring something (usually something that he shouldn’t have). Perhaps the best development is his increasing ability to communicate. It’s always amazing to watch a child discover ways to communicate!
Lastly, I want to praise God for our routine! Yes, we have fallen into a good routine. It’s flexible and sometimes it just doesn’t work, but most days flow nicely. As long as Joshua naps in the morning AND the other three focus, we are able to finish school by lunchtime (1:00 p.m. for us). This gives me time to tend to Joshua’s needs, and it allows us to work together to keep the house relatively neat and tidy. I’m also thankful for the boys’ growing independence. They’re able to make themselves breakfast and lunch, and they can get themselves snacks. Of course, this requires that I make frequent trips to the grocery store to keep the house stocked with the “right’ foods. As time goes on, I hope their culinary skills improve and expand, but for now I’m just happy that I can delegate these tasks.
Well, there it is. My list of blessings for September surprised me. By doing this simple act of thinking back over the past month and then writing down the ways I am blessed, I can acknowledge that God truly loves me, cares for me, and blesses me beyond measure. Thanks for sharing my journey. I hope you take the time to thank God for the ways He blesses you.
Praises and Prayer Requests:
- Praise God for being our Abba Father, who takes such good care of us.
- Please pray for my parents and the boys this weekend. Aaron and I will be away from Thursday through Sunday.
- Pray for us next week. It’s going to be a crazy one! Our container is scheduled to be packed on Friday! We have a lot of work to do before then.
- Praise God for good dental appointments! No cavities for the 3 boys!