Wednesday, June 28, 2006

A Sense of Loss

There is not a thing in the world I would change about where God has brought us, how He has guided us, or who He has brought us to Bolivia to serve with. That being said... I had no idea how very hard it would be to transition. Not so much to a new culture. Not to say that the aspect of culture shock is not real and true in our lives. But the transition has been hardest for me as I work to rely on the Lord for my support and strength. I think my whole life He has been trying so desperately to teach me that He is all I need. But in the states there were always others, good, even amazing people there to rely on. And now, miles and miles away, there are fewer and fewer support systems present in our lives on a daily basis. Gary and I were blessed with wonderful support systems in the states. We have wonderful families, friends from Harding, from high school, from our time in North Little Rock and our time in Brownwood before our move to Cbba. We made amazing friends and were blessed by the fellowship of our brothers and sisters at Austin Avenue. From the Adult I Sunday school class to Small Groups we attended, from teaching the Kindergarten / First grade class (Beverly Stewardson is a sssssneaky recruiter) to the youth group teens that we love, from our Support Group that we met with to pray to ladies Bunco, and the list could go on and on, we have precious ties there. Ties that in truth made it harder to leave. I miss so much the fellowship of our friends and family. I can remember at times trying to make excuses to skip activities or different things (being the homebody that I am) and now I would be at everything I could, just to have the fellowship that I miss so dearly. Not to say that there is not a point at which we have to say no, I know that business can be just as bad as lonliness... just saying to those of you who have the precious gift of being at home, cherish those you love. Tell your friends how much they mean to you. Support each other, and take advantage of the time you have together, for yourselves, and for those of us missing it from afar.

New Wheels

Well for those who have had a Latin / South American driving experience, this news may be a little disturbing, but we sure are excited. The Bulls are officially car owners once again!! We have been looking for some time now for just the right vehicle for our crazy family and we found it this week. God blessed us with a great car, at the right price, and it looks like it will be a good fit. The one slight problem is that it is a standard. So I asked my sweet husband when he was going to work on teaching me how to drive a stick, and he said to me.... when we get our wills updated and leave Nathan with someone we trust :) So we shall see when exactly that happens. But for now it's getting a tune up and we are working on getting a luggage rack (for all the luggage we'll be hauling with visitors coming soon :) ) and Gary is working on a specialized paint job. My missionary husband has decided that all aspects of our lives should involve evangelism... including our vehicle. I'll leave that as food for thought, and we'll include pictures later :) So for now, this is the mobile family of the Bulls signing off. God bless you all. And God bless the streets of Cochabamba :)

Monday, June 19, 2006

It's the little things

There is a God!!! And He is so good! We found seedless grapes in Cochabamba! It's the little things in life right? Especially when you are peeling and de-seeding grapes for your little one!! You have no idea the rejoicing that has been going on in our house over this new find! We pray that you find joy in the little things in your day as well :)

Friday, June 16, 2006

Sunday, June 11, 2006

You know you're in Cbba when

Another addition to the growing list :)

You know you're in Cochabamba when you go to buy a chicken (yes to cook) and they ask if you would like the head and the feet. uhhh. ummm, no thank you.

You know you're in Cochabamba when you have to pay the customs office to store the items from your container.... that they won't release. hmmm, something's not quite right about that huh?

Saturday, June 10, 2006

What a Week

What a week is hardly adequate to describe the past few days. They have been so eventful and so exhausting all at the same time. It was a week of arrivals and firsts for the Bull family. Arrivals in birthdays (Patricia, Billie, Drew, and Gary), anniversaries (Josh and Julie), husbands (as Gary returned safe and sound from Santa Cruz), friends and family (Billie Gill arrived to join the work here in Bolivia, Jonathan Sandoval, Denice Sandoval and her fiancee Daniel all arrived to visit Butch and Trish), teeth (Nathan's seventh and eighth teeth made their first appearance this week), and drumroll please...... THE CONTAINER!!!! Our house is a madhouse this week, full of boxes and goodies, but we couldn't be happier. Nathan ate for the first time in his new high chair (a gift from some of our wonderful friends at our supporting congregation of Westside), he's no longer wearing capris, as he now has pants that fit him :) and his daddy is so excited as he is playing his X-Box (as I type) with team members and family for a late night birthday celebration. Nathan had his first up on all fours experience, so maybe soon we'll be crawling in a way other than military style. He also had his first rolling all the toilet paper off the roll experience. I kept hearing this sound coming from the bathroom, but I didn't think anything of it, until I went in to find my son, in his walker, in a mound of toilet paper, just playing with the empty tube on the roll. It's amazing how much fun they have with the simplest things. So praise God with us that He is faithful in bringing people, and things :), to us safely, and that He is so amazing to care for all our needs, far better than we can ourselves!

Sunday, June 4, 2006

Temporary Single Mom

As I type, my husband is the bedroom packing for his first trip since our arrival in Cochabamba. He and our teammate Butch Sandoval will be heading to Santa Cruz in the morning to visit with the brothers and sisters there, hoping to encourage them, and knowing that in truth, they will return all the more encouraged as well. But I feel like God is revealing to me an area of weakness in my walk right now as I watch Gary pack.

I am reminded of my precious son, who right now is loving exploring his new boundaries as he's starting his army crawl, and starting to stand up beside furniture without any help from his mommy and daddy. I can almost hear him saying already, "I do it myself!" And I think when I am truly honest with myself, I say the same thing to God so many times.

I rely so heavily on the support from my husband, and on my own strength, little as that is at times. When in reality I am saying to the Almighty God, no it's really okay, I've got this one on my own thanks. When I long to remember that like my son, who has learned to stand with the help of his mommy and daddy, it is that only by the grace of God do I stand.

And that it's not so scary watching Gary head off the airport, knowing that Nathan and I will be on our own for a few days, because the God of the universe walks beside me every step of everyday, if I will only let Him. Here in lies the catch, surrendering control for long enough to realize that I cannot do it myself, nor with only the help of those surrounding me here on this earth.

But if I will allow God to care for me, if I will spread my arms like Nathan does when his daddy tosses him in the air, trusting that his daddy's arms will be there to catch him as he comes down, I will find a peace and comfort, a strength to stand no matter what faces me in this life. So thank you my brothers and sisters, for listening to the growing pains of a sister, halfway across the world! God bless you all and Good night. -Laura