Monday, September 29, 2008

Growing like a weed...

So this past week found me putting away all the under 12 month clothes and taking out all the 12-18 month clothes. It was a fun adventure, remembering when Nathan had worn a particular shirt, or a certain picture in which he was wearing this or that... and for those of you who might be thinking... surely I'm not confused, Grant's not close to his first birthday is he? No, no, you're right, he just hit the 7-month mark and is eating us out of house and home :) He's such a sweet baby, but such a chunk! In these pictures, Nathan is one year old and Grant is 7 months old... yeah, you're seeing right, it's the same shirt!

And just as a side note, I've found that one really comforting thing in the midst of craziness in life here (political turmoil, a husband with stomach crud again, church potluck, teething baby...) is a good dessert from home :) but since chocolate makes Grant a little crazy it limits the options a little. So when the going got tough this weekend, the tough got cooking. For my first Lemon Icebox pie (crust and everything from scratch) I was pretty proud... and it was delicious if I do say so myself (but Gary said so too :) My mom would be so proud!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Here's the deal...

Okay, so here's the deal. I've been trying to figure out why and how my anxiety about the current situation in Bolivia is different than my anxiety was in 2007 when we had such political turmoil here in our own streets of Cochabamba. And I think I've figured it out...

In 2007, as we were preparing for the church's inaugural weekend and juggling only one child and living in a house far removed from downtown, I was more scared anxious. I was worried about our food supplies, Gary was worried that things would happen on the bridges, separating us from the things and people that we needed downtown (the church, the office, and our teammates), and I was worried for our safety.

In 2007 I was still pretty fresh on the field. We had been on our own in Bolivia for almost a year and I still was at the point that I would have jumped at the opportunity to board a plane for home (at which time for me was the states). But you see this time around I think I'm upset anxious (a little mixture of mad and sad). And the difference is that I don't want to board any planes headed anywhere but here.

The difference between January 2007 and now? This is my home... my life is here. I'm not worried about food supply. We're stocked on canned foods, have a billion little stores surrounding our apartment and we'll make do with what we have. I'm not worried about our safety, especially since the violence and political tension for now is isolated to other parts of the country and our streets appear as they always do. I'm not worried about getting separated from teammates (who live only 6-7 blocks from us), the church (located only 7 blocks from us) or the office (located only 5-6 blocks from us).

What worries me now is that a situation, or the government, will put us in a position in which we have to leave. This city, this apartment is our home. I love this apartment, from the moment we stepped foot inside it just felt like home. I love our building, it's location, it's safety, and it's privacy. I love downtown. We're not normally downtown kind of people, but for the lifestyle that South America provides, the conveniences of living downtown far far far outweigh the inconveniences. I love our life here, the way we're able to really focus on what's important to us and make ministry our full-time jobs!

I've gotten to a great place in our life here, and now I feel as if it's being threatened. So this time around I'm just upset that our way of life here could be taken away in the blink of an eye, upset about all that we could possibly have to leave behind (meaning our brothers and sisters here, the church work, and our friends... not our possessions). So for now all is calm in Cochabamba. Nothing has been truly resolved politically, but things have calmed down. There's no current threat of us having to hop a jet plane anytime soon, but we have a plan if we need it. For now, I'm praying and pleading with God to intervene in the situation here, to work as only He can to make things right for the people of Bolivia, and that in that, we'll be able to stay and finish what He brought us here to do.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Enough is Enough...

I never thought that I would have to ask myself the question when does enough is enough actually happen? I know so many of you have been following the turmoil here in Bolivia. I also know that it must be hard for you to imagine yourself in the situation in which we find ourselves. I never thought I would sit on my bed with my husband having the conversation about if we have enough food to make it through a few weeks if we need to... do we know where all our documents and important papers are located in the apartment... how much are we willing to endure before we decide it's time to try and travel for awhile... do we know what things are truly necessary for us and the boys if we have to pack quickly... do we have enough funds on hand to get us through if ATMs and credit cards stop working here in the country? They are hard questions to ask, even harder to answer. Please pray for us as we make these important decisions, decisions that not only affect our family, but our teammates and our brothers and sisters in Christ here in Cochabamba.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

My tribute to Nathan...

My dear sweet firstborn,

Today you turn three years old. I can hardly believe that it was just three years ago that your daddy and I were at the hospital waiting for your arrival, and just like your mommy you were fashionably late :) I had no idea how this day would completely change my life. You have made me a mommy, and in that, a different person in many ways. You have taught me the joys of the little things, the excitement in life, the gift of laughter, tickle wars, playing chase in the house, and dancing together until we're so dizzy we can't stand up straight. You have taught me that I am capable of things I never imagined. You have shown me in new ways my strengths and weaknesses as a woman, mommy, wife, and daughter of the King. You will forever have such a special place in my heart as my first son and I will always be grateful for all that you've taught me about myself and about this life. I love you Nathan, more than my next breath!


Bolivia Update...

I know that many of our family, friends, and supporters have been hearing news of the political unrest in Bolivia. As of yet things are fairly peaceful here in Cochabamba, but we will see what the next days and weeks bring. I wanted to post a video from CNN that I thought did a fairly good job of describing in a nutshell what's going on in other regions in Bolivia. Please be praying for this country, our church here, our families and our friends.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

A little advice please...

Could someone please tell me how to explain to my almost three-year old the idea of weighing the cost?

You see Gary and I, as adults, made the decision to follow God's calling and move our lives to Bolivia. We knew there would be hard times, sacrifices to be made, but we also knew that the blessing of being a part of full-time ministry would be worth the cost. I have no idea how to even begin to explain this to Nathan.

The whole idea of weighing the cost surfaced the other day through a miscommunication between Nathan and I. I asked if he would like to go to the post office with me to pick up a package from Nena and Papa. In the words I communicated, all my precious son's ears heard were Papa. So off we went, in my mind to the post office, in Nathan's mind, to Papa. After we got our package filled with goodies from home, we loaded back up in a taxi to return to our apartment here. It was at this moment that Nathan realized a trip to Papa's house was not on the day's agenda. The tears began, the pleas for Papa, Nena and Do-Do were without end and I was without words.

How do I explain to him the miles between us and our families? How do I tell him that we can't go on the airplane everyday to see Papa? How do I make him understand that it will be another year before we do again? Gary and I know without doubt that we've made the right decision in being here, despite the fact that there are many things, and people, that we've had to leave behind. But how, oh how, do I help Nathan understand that the work we do here in Cochabamba will make a difference for eternity in a way that will make all our temporary heartaches worth it? And how do I help him understand when, even though I am truly truly happy and at peace with our lives here, there is a piece of my heart within me that wants to shed a tear too... as I hold him tight and say, I know sweetheart, I want to see them too.