Thankfullness

When we were in the states we talked with a Pastor friend of ours and out of that time came 3 things we wanted to ask the Lord for this year to help my experience of being here. 1 of them was a new house that was more condusive to all of us getting outside without having to brave the crowded parks, and a little more room.

I knew this was a big prayer request, basically requiring a miracle, cause houses are so difficult to find available, especially if you have requirements in the home. And now that we have been here a month I have begun to feel like it may take us all year before we find something.

God has given me reminders here and there to trust him. Sometimes I do, and sometimes I take it back up and stress or get frustrated about it.

But today I read this in “Jesus Calling” and it was perfect for today. Just like Yesterdays was perfect for yesterday.

“I am God of both intricate detail and overflowing abundance. When you entrust the details of your life to Me, you are surprised you are surprised by how thoroughly I answer your petitions. I take pleasure in hearing our prayers, so feel free to bring me all your requests. The more you pray, the more answers you can receive. Best of all your faith is strengthened as you see how precisely I respond to your specific prayers.

Because I am infinite in all My ways, you need not fear that I will run out of resources. Abundance is at the very heart of who I AM. Come to Me in joyful expectation of receiving all you need- and sometimes much more! I delight in showering blessings on my beloved children. Come to Me with open hands and heart, ready to receive all I have for you.”

There is a time for everything

I found myself on a down side today. Was it that I haven’t quite caught up on sleep? Maybe. I yelled alot. Loud. I wondered a few times if the neighbors heard me. And while I cringed inside I also fumed. By dinner I knew that an apology was in order before bedtime. They were still infurating me while I was trying to calm down and get dinner on the table. So I put T in his crib, and the other 3 in front of the TV. How do you like that for parent of the year?

Then I locked myself in my kitchen, yes I can do that. I dipped chicken in batter and I questioned God. Why am I so angry? Is it really the buttons that they are pushing? The disrespect they are showing? I resent that I have become a tape recorder on a playback loop?

Or is it something more.

Am I angry that I came back to India with hope that some fundamental circumstance would change and so far they haven’t? Is it that I am feeling stuck, trapped? Angry that I was convinced this wouldn’t happen? And now here I am, right were I was when I left.

You know, even after the one success of the day, that dinner was actually good. I still had things to yell about.

Then before bed I gathered them up and told them what I love about them. That today was hard because they didn’t listen, or show respect, but that I shouldn’t have yelled. I asked for forgiveness. I cried and still had things to say.

M was giggling and making jokes.

I looked at him seriously ” There is a time for laughing, and this is not it.”

And you know, my 6 year was lauging at me and mocking me all the while. I didn’t know what else to do. I buried my face in my hands and sobbed.

One asked “is she laughing or crying?”, another said, “crying.”

I lifted my head and quietly told them to get in bed. For the first time today, they obeyed right away.

I put my head back down and bawled, even harder. When I finally looked up the 3 year old was peeking around the corner. I told her again to get in bed and I locked the door. I turned on this new song my love sent my way and just cried and cried.

Halfway through the song I heard knocking. But I just couldn’t. For two minutes I could hear the knocking in the distance as the words to the song penetrated my heart. Then the knocking got louder. I could tell it was Malachi and I could tell he was crying and the spirit inside me took me to the door to hear him.

A bawling boy, “Mom can I cuddle with you?” I knew he was sorry, and this was his way.

Tears slipped past my cheeks, ” you know what I want more than your cuddles?”

” My obedience.” He answered.

“Yes”. I knelt down and hugged him. He sobbed into my shoulder and squeezed so tight.I joined him.

” I am sorry for disobeying and mocking you mom.”

” I forgive you.”

I reassured him of my forgiveness. Calmed him down and sent him back to bed.

I came in later to help V find her blankie and He was still sobbing in his bed.

He couldn’t shake the sight of me curled up in my bed crying because of him. I told him I was ok. That I forgave him and I  thought he needed to forgive himself. He asked me to pray for him. I did. Then he prayed, which I wasn’t expecting.

Through his sobs I heard “God help me to obey mom, and respect her. Help me to stop mocking her and making her sad.”

We took some deep breaths together and he asked if he woke up in the middle of the night if he could come sleep with me. (Dad is out of town).

Then just like this, He needed one more kiss, and one more hug.

I found myself back in my room, needing to cry some more. because there is a time for everything. And I am horrible at waiting.

Things I love about being here…

So many nice and refreshing things about being in America. I never payed much attention to or fully appreciated until leaving it.

Getting good chocolate anywhere, everywhere.

Breathing nice clean air, even in LA.

Sitting in bumper to bumper traffic, in LA, cars remain in there lanes, no honking, all is quiet and serene.

Visiting friends and walking to parks together.

Buying anything my heart desires at ONE grocery store.

Driving to the grocery store.

Taking all 4 kids and having a good time, in the grocery store.

Beautiful trees.

Clean streets.

AWESOME beaches.

Mexican restaraunts.

Hearing any conversation around me and understanding it all without having to think about it.

Seeing LOTS of people on a daily basis that not only KNOW me but CARE about me.

Thrift stores, bargains, and GOODWILL in the OC.

Crockpot meals.

Kids screaming and playing in a yard with falling trees.

Wearing jeans, EVERDAY.

Actually being motivated to do my hair and make up cause it will show for all to see.

Central Heating.

Music in the car.

Not needing to dust and sweep everyday.

Going out at night, as a woman, with whomever I want, or nobody if I want.

Going out on dates with J. To fun places and not worrying about the kids.

Christmas music out in the world, not just my home.

Electricity all day and all night.

Taking hot showers and not freezing when I get out.

The hum of the dishwasher.

The wonderful feeling of slipping into clothes just fresh from the dryer.

Renting a movie from Redbox and it not being in a foriegn language or skipping all the way through.

Getting text love more often.

Getting more fruits and veggies.

Not having to soak them for an hour before I eat them.

Salad.

Getting real live hugs from friends and family.

I could probably go on and on. And as difficult as this last year has been I find myself having hope for the years ahead to only get better in India. True some things need to change and others need to fall into place for that to happen. But I believe it can. And when I looked at some photos tonight of  “home” the thought that came to mind was ” Wow! We are sure living an adventure!”

… and I like that.

Buying other supplies

Shopping at the lil store across the street with my helper.

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Homeschool moment.

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A neighbors doorway, I hope to go in someday. (this is the doorway I mentioned in the alley with the smiling lady.)

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In the lift, love those dimples.

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Playing music in our living room

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Going to visit a friend 2 stories down.

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A view from our Balcony, just after monsoon ends.

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M skateboarding in our courtyard below.

Malachiism

Lots of wonderful things have happened here in the US. But until I take the time to collect, sort and share these great memories with you I will leave you with something Malachi said on the way home tonight after having a GREAT time with friends.

 

M: I miss India, I want to go home home now. (awe… tears followed)

and here is a picture I came across tonight taken from a visiting friend right before we left for the states. It conjured up that same feeling, though not quite the part after the comma.

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On the road

Stopping at a rest stop on our drive to AZ T got into some poo… literally.

I caught him just before the dog poo went in the mouth. J and I were gasping UGH under our breath for some time after…20121119_085741

 

And the others were thrilled to be out of car seats for awhile.

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Rare friends

It’s not that often that you find friends that you and your husband and all your kids get along with great all in one family. So it was a special thing when we got to hang out with the Doane’s one evening before thanksgiving. We talked and played and then walked to the neighborhood park before walking to dinner at “the habit” (their hamburger addiction). Such great friends are they that they are fish-sitting for Malachi’s new beta, Luke (as in Luke skywalker) while we have been traveling around for the holiday’s. 

 

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Lily and A have been friends for a couple of years. I remember when they were about 4 at their house dressing up in the same outfits and coming to show us. Lily is one of the most compassionate, sweet girls I have ever met. The kind you want your kids to hang around.

And something extra special about this family is Marie, below, and I were pregant together with Taron and Seth. She was a few weeks ahead and since she is a nurse practitioner she performed my first few ultrasounds on Taron before we returned to India.

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Random photos from 6 months ago.

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Taron and I at Starbucks in Thailand.

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Arwyn loses her first tooth in May. Before: above.  Video.http://

After: below.

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Taron gets his first teeth in May.

 

 

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A wet girl (above) after a swim lesson with Daddy (below).

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Mama and I going out to meet my friend above. Twins below.

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One of our favorite hair-do’s : a fishtail braid. (right before she got a hair cut for her birthday.)
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20 family around the table

Thanksgiving was really special this year. With as many world travelers in the group we never know when we will see eachother again. It was really special for our older kids to see Great Grandma and Grandpa again at an age that they will will remember. So glad Josiah snapped this photo below of Great Grandpa and Malachi playing basketball together!

We fit 20 of us around the table and had a great feast. I discovered that although I don’t like the traditional sweet potato casserole, I LOVE sweat potatoes with walnuts and a little salt. And I loved my Mother-in-laws stuffing recipe made with cornbread!

Juanita and Jim placed scripture cards of thankfulness on each person’s plate and we read them around the table. Josiah and I also wrote up questions we taped to all the plates and people could optionally answer them. They were all related to thankfulness in various ways and it was a great time hearing from people personal journey’s of gratitude.