Saturday, November 24, 2012

Thankful Heart

My heart was full last night as my family got ready to decorate our tree. All my boys are big now and not all were entirely interested in the old tradition. But regardless I was determined not to just "get it done" but also to enjoy and savor the moments.

I was called away in the beginning of our time with a church member needing a little help with her elderly mother.  I could have said no, but hurried along and got home quickly from the errand just in time to serve some extra Thanksgiving pie with a smile.

Thursday we spent the day with missionary friends on the other side of our giant lake. We all enjoyed a traditional holiday meal and took advantage of the time to squeeze in a little chemistry with our chem lab prof/ missionary uncle.

My dear missionary colleague planned to make bread and butter pickles in the afternoon so we were able to take home a big jar of pickles as a treasure from the day.  Yum!  Yum!
Three Pie Day - Pumpkin, Coconut Macaroon, Apple

Yesterday not only did the tree go up but the living room got its annual redecorating for the holidays with all my nativities being set out on the top of my old buffet cabinet. My heart is thankful for so much this year.

Happy to be a part of God's family, my family and a missionary family of many colleagues. Wishing you and yours a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend.

See my other Thanksgiving post at my homeschooling journal...

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Power of Prayer

The shared prayers of mothers for their children, wives for their husbands,
women for their world - powerful!

This past Saturday I was privileged to attend a valley-wide women's meeting in the next town with five other ladies from our church work.  Part of the time during these biannual gatherings is spent in small group prayer. Sharing requests with these two dear ladies that I only see from time to time was emotional and empowering.  I firmly believe that women need such meetings for personal growth and encouragement.

Another part of these regular encounters that always means so much to me is the group hugging session! Yeah!  A particular chorus is sung during which everyone is to "get up and shake hands."  This translated into Brazilian Portuguese means walk all around and hug and kiss everyone you possibly can before the music stops.  I love it and always enjoy seeing women I've seen before at other meetings and from retreats  out at our island camp.

Seems Christian mothers from all walks of life, all types of homes and all ranges of the economic scale share the same prayer requests for their families.  As I told of my personal prayer needs with these two ladies and they told theirs, each request was mostly the same:  seeing children grow up and follow the Lord, spiritual strength for husbands, personal stamina and health for the daily battles at hand.

Special thanks to my missionary colleague, Renate R., for the lovely photo!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Missionary Aunt

8 years ago today I became a real Aunt with a capital A.  I was no longer just a missionary aunt to MK's but a true blood relative to a real-live little person.  What emotions went through my heart as I heard of his safe delivery!  He was healthy and yes, he had all his toes and fingers.

My Mom and Dad were on hand to see the baby come into the world and help take care of mother and father after his arrival.

Alas, the little guy was in America and me, I was in that orange section of Brazil marked with a big BA.

I would not see my first nephew for another four years until our next furlough.

Ah, but the day did arrive and I was able to meet not just one real nephew but three!  You see that first fellow now had two more brothers!  Four years is a long time.

We had lots of adventures on that furlough year in the States.  I remember this day well when we went to a local science museum.

As I watched all MY little nephews in the play area I knew my time was so limited.  I had a lot of impact to make in a short amount of time.  There was so much to share...

like why taking your shirt off so you don't get it dirty while eating was a perfectly good thing to do!

And why each little boy had to have a big boy as his special hand holder wherever we went.  (Dalton's pal must have been in someone's arms during this shot.  Ah, and yes, you have to do what the big one says!

We had lots of good memories with our crazy Aunt that didn't want to waste good money on closed-toe shoes that she would never use in Brazil and went around quite often with socks and sandals.  I did my best to teach them all a little Portuguese and tell them how it would be to live in Brazil.

 And they learned a little and they went.  I learned what it was like to be a real Aunt telling little MK's good-bye as they got ready to get on their jet plane and fly away.

I haven't seen my only true blood MK nephews since 2009 when they went to spend 2 years in Southern Brazil.  But I can remember birthdays,  I can send messages and an occasional gift.  I can pray for each one to grow up to know the Lord, to follow His will, and perhaps one day to be Uncles to MK's somewhere in the world.

Dealing with the grief of separation from family and friends is a very real part of missionary service.  Perhaps a part that is often overlooked in orientation and preparation classes for new missionary candidates.  I'm glad to be a part of a supportive family who are glad for what we do, but it does not make the longing go away or stop.  There are little moments when thoughts of loved ones flood my mind and overwhelm my heart...

Crazy Experience

And whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, assuredly, I say to you,  he shall by no ...