Monday, January 19, 2009

Typical Day in My Life

As we visited churches in the states on deputation, sometimes people would ask me questions like, what does a missionary do, or what is your life like as a missionary? Some have the idea that being a missionary sounds so exciting, so adventurous, etc. Well, at times it is a bit of an adventure, but most of the time I am just doing the same thing that stay at home moms do everywhere--but on foreign soil, which has its own set of challenges depending where you are called.

My days are pretty routine, and go something like this--Monday-Friday:

7-9:30 am: Personal quiet time, Bible reading, shower/get ready for the day. Make breakfast, do dishes, throw a load of laundry in the machine, etc.

9: 30 Bible class

10:00 Composition

10:30 Phonics

11:30 Handwriting and Reading

12:30 Lunch

1:00 Spelling

1:30--2:30 Math

2:30--3:00 History or Science

After school, for the next few hours the girls practice piano, help around the house, and play. I clean up some more around the house, and on some days we have piano lessons, dr. appts. etc. or go grocery shopping. I start making dinner around 4:30 or 5.

Dinner can vary anywhere from 6-7 pm depending on Doug's schedule. He does most of his ministry work in the morning and afternoon, but also has visits to make in the evening because that is when people are home from work. If he isn't out evangelizing or giving studies/counseling church people, then he is studying for his sermons for Sunday and Wednesday. One afternoon week he tries to help me get things done around the house, or we may go on a drive just so I can get out of the house.

After things are cleaned up from dinner, I usually am on the computer checking email, writing or calling my girls at college. Since they are six hours behind, I have to wait until evening to talk to them. We also like to play games with Leanna and Rebekah. The girls take a bath and get ready for bed.

Devotions as a family are usually around 8:30 or 9 pm, and Leanna usually falls asleep on the couch, so we carry her up to bed. If we are not sleepy yet, we stay up some more, reading, watch an Andy Griffith, or Creation DVD--after that we are ready to go to bed so we can get up and do it all again!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Dinner Time

A few weeks before the holidays, I was debating what to do about Christmas dinner, seeing how our older girls were in the states and couldn't come home to be with us, but I still felt I should do something to make it special for Leanna and Rebekah. I really didn't feel like cooking a big dinner, but why let the girls down? So I made preparations, inviting two families and a single man from our church. They all accepted the invitation, so we made preparations for our Christmas dinner.

On Christmas day, the phone rang about two hours before the guests were going to come. It was one of the couples, explaining that they wouldn't be able to come because they felt like they should attend another gathering they were invited to. OK, I thought, well at least the others will be coming, so I told Rebekah to take 3 plates off the table.

Soon it was time for the other guests to arrive. But nothing happened. We waited, tried to call several times, but no one answered their cell phones. Finally we decided it was just going to be us, and went ahead and enjoyed the meal. None of the invited guests made an attempt to even excuse themselves. Was it a disappointment? Of course, we were all a little let down after having gone to so much work to get ready.

This reminded me of the time in Luke 14:16 when a certain man made a great supper and bade many. When it was time to eat, he sent his servant out telling them it was time to come, but they all began to make excuse.

On the other hand, Doug decided to have a dinner this past Saturday at our church for anyone who wanted to come. The men of the church went out into the streets and invited the poor, the homeless, and outcasts of the city. Probably the ones we wouldn't ordinarily invite into our homes for a Christmas dinner.

Honestly, I was afraid that no one was going to come. Much to my surprise, when we arrived at the church to set up, there were some people waiting outside the gate. I thought to myself, there must be something else going on here today on the other side of the building. I sat in the car while Doug and the girls carried in all the things and began to set up.

I couldn't believe my eyes when the entire room was filled! Almost every seat was taken, and the dinner was a huge success. Afterward, a man in our church, Pedro, who cooked the entire meal, gave a short salvation message. Rebekah also played the piano providing the background dinner music. I found myself saying "We should do this more often."

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

What Goes Up, Up, and Up

When I want to get out of the house, Doug will take me on a drive. Yesterday was a holiday here, and while most islanders were home celebrating "Dia de Los Reyes," we decided to go for a drive and enjoy the sunshine.

We like to explore new villages and towns that we have never been to, so yesterday we headed south, traveling on the back roads through small villages. It is refreshing that the island isn't dominated by fast food restaurants, shopping malls and strip malls. Rather, each town has its own grocery store, lots of mom and pop businesses, and cafes and diners. This makes each town interesting to explore, discovering what they have to offer.

As we headed out of one town, we assumed that the mountain road we were on was going to take us on to the next small village--but as we turned the corner on the road heading out of town, I looked ahead only to find the road was taking us up, way up. Doug asked me if I wanted to keep on going, and I said yes. As we traveled on, the road was too narrow to turn around, so we had no choice but to continue on to the top.

I don't know if I ever mentioned this on my blog, but I do not like heights. I get this sick, panicky feeling when we get to the top of a mountain, and I have to get down as SOON AS POSSIBLE!! The last time we traveled the 12,000 plus feet up to Mt. Teide I sat in the car while Doug and the girls went in the gift shop. As they were looking around, what was 10 minutes seemed like an eternity to me as I was trying to close my eyes and just pretend that I wasn't on top of a mountain, praying as hard as I could that God would help me. I couldn't wait til they came back and we started our way down.

So yesterday, after winding our way up the mountain, Doug and Leanna got out of the car to take in the fabulous view, with Rebekah and me staying in the car. Rebekah gets car sick on the curvy roads. Our girls don't really like it when mommy and daddy go for a drive--and I understand why.

So why did I submit myself to this drive anyway, I am asking myself? Well, one good reason is that I have to face my fears if I am going to get over them. I am doing better, I think, but still can't say I am crazy about the feeling. I find it interesting that the Lord would call us to live on a island that is all volcanic mountains. Just another example of God's amazing grace!