Saturday, June 23, 2007

Quick Question...

At what point did my son look at me and say to himself...
You know... I think she'd make a great human jungle gym!
Oh the adventures of little boys! :)

Monday, June 18, 2007

Just Because...

Just thought I'd post a few new pictures... just because...
Nathan and I buying flowers at the market.
Nathan enjoying Gary's new wheelbarrow.
The cheesy smile that ensued when I asked Nathan to smile :)
What happened when I told him he had to get out.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Need vs. Desire

About three months ago I was sitting on the beach in Brazil being so blessed by my time with 40 other missionary women from South America and 12 wonderful women who came down from the states to conduct a missionary women's conference! The main idea that I walked away with (understanding that I was blessed by many new ideas and thoughts from speakers and other missionary women) was that as women (and especially missionary women living in another culture) we have needs. If we can meet our personal needs we will be more effective as wives, mothers, missionaries and research says... we'll stay on the mission field longer than if we had neglected them.

It was so liberating to hear someone say to me... Laura you have needs, it's okay to identify what that specifically looks like for you and your family. And it's okay to work within what God has blessed you with to meet those needs. It was so wonderful to hear someone say "it's okay to take care of yourself" since as women I think we can be so focused on everyone else in our lives' that we lose sight of what our own needs are and what we can do to take care of ourselves.
(shifting gears just a little bit...)
Just recently I've been reading a book that introduces the idea of desires. I started the chapter on desire and was fully prepared to hear the traditional feel good teaching of... ask God for the desires of your heart and if you ask in faith He'll give them to you. I have heard that so many times and I think it is a travesty of a misinterpretation of what God meant when He said in Mark... Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it and it will be yours... but that's a whole nother blog post :)

The thing that God has really been opening my eyes to lately is the difference between needs and desires. For example I have the need to get out of the house by myself at least once a week. With a toddler in the house meeting that need can be tricky at times... but even if it just means going to the grocery store, running to the post office, or getting my haircut by lonesome... that is a need I have. It doesn't crunch our budget and with a supportive daddy and the help of Sonia I am able to meet that need on a pretty regular basis. I am a better mother and wife when I am able to meet that need.

Difference... I have a desire to live closer (in physical proximity) to my family and close friends. What I'm learning is that is not necessarily a need. I had mistaken it as a need and was blaming our situation (mainly Bolivia and it's people) for the fact that my "need" wasn't being met. But this chapter on desires really opened my eyes, and my heart. You see it is okay to have the desire in my heart to live closer. It's okay to say to God... I really and truly desire to live closer to my family and friends. But what I have to know is that as a desire, it is within the discretion and all knowing wisdom of my heavenly Father to say no, or not right now.

I don't always know why we're here. Let me rephrase, the obvious reasons remain the same: we are here to plant a church and bring souls to the Lord. I am fully on board and at peace with that. But on a day in day out basis when I find myself frustrated with my situation or surroundings it's sometimes hard to understand why our particular family was chosen for this life, why the call on our lives' to go to the mission field was so strong. And before I would have been resentful in that time of not understanding God and his will... but just that simple differentiation between needs and wants has opened my heart up in a whole new way to our life here. I have no idea how much longer God will ask us to say here... but what I know is that I can stop complaining (which my husband will be so grateful for), be more at peace about where we are, and live more for this day and this place in our lives knowing that God has answered me by leaving us here.

Please don't hear me saying that we're packing up and heading home... or that I've asked God for his blessing to leave this place, or that I feel abandoned in being "left" here. God made it so so clear to Gary and I both that Cochabamba is where we should be. I've made that decision with my husband to be here and we're not going anywhere. But the difference is that I can now embrace that call and be at peace in a way that I don't think I have been since we got here.

Gary started this blog as a way to communicate with our friends and supporters back home. It's been such a blessing to share the daily ins and outs of our life here with you... but what I long to share as well is how God is using this amazing experience to mold me as a woman into what he longs for me to be. I pray that my candor here is something that only helps others to have a better insight into the growth of this particular child of God. Being on the mission field is such a unique experience, and one that I feel I will be blessed to carry with me through the rest of this life. God bless and thank you for listening to the ramblings of a woman growing in her faith.

Redeeming fact...

I've decided the only redeeming factor in your child waking up 2-3 hours in the middle of the night to have a party that you were not informed of, is that he sleeps until 9 or 9:30 the next morning... but oh to have those hours of consecutive sleep back again... I sure thought we had passed the phase of not letting mommy get consecutive sleep, but apparently I was wrong, very wrong :)

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Happy Birthday Gary!

Well... today my sweet husband turns the big 3-0! This morning while Nathan and I were home from church (he's still pretty puny from the recent cold and run in with parasites again!) he worked on this picture for his Daddy... with a little help from the mommy.
(can you tell who's totally into stickers right now?)

Nathan adores his daddy. It brings such an amazing joy to my heart to watch them play together in a way that only a daddy and son can! Nathan's been cooped up in the house with mommy since he's been sick and when Daddy hits that door at the end of the day, all sickies and whinings go flying out the window (at least for a little while) and it's time to rough house with Daddy.

Who knew that when I met Gary Bull almost 8 years ago that I would be blessed with such a wonderful man to be my partner and husband in this life. He has blessed my life beyond what I could have imagined... helped me to realize who I am... loved me through the learning and growing that entailed... and always saw the woman in me that God made and created to be his wife and Nathan's mommy. Gary is so many wonderful things and for those of you who know him well, you know that the list is long and grows every day... but suffice it to say that I married a wonderful man and wanted to take this moment to say Happy Birthday to him.

Gary... Thank you for being an amazing husband, partner, friend, and daddy! Thank you for loving Nathan and I in such a sacrificial way and for always leading our family where you hear God calling! I love you... Happy Birthday!

Friday, June 1, 2007

A little taste of heaven...

If you want to know what our little taste of heaven was today... well it wasn't healthy, but it sure was good :) We found (thanks to the help of our co-conspirators the Marcums) a new donut shop here in Cochabamba! It's amazing and really tastes like real glazed donuts from the states... so when we had our monthly ladies meeting this morning at my house I decided it was well worth the trip (and a great excuse!) to pick up a dozen. So this morning we had a little piece of home on the kitchen table... and in our tummies :)

The proof :)

The remains :)