The things I will miss

I know the thing that I will miss the most above all else is people. I will miss the kids of Armenia Bonito who we have ministered to week after week for 2 years, watching them grow and change and many of them enter into adolescence. I will miss teammates and other American missionaries who have became family to me when I have had none. I will miss the Honduran moms which the Lord has enabled me to bond with over time because no matter what our cultural differences the problems with raising kids are all the same. I will miss Sra. Olga down the street who has become like a grandmother to my girls spoiling them with all kinds of surprises every time we see her. I will miss the bagger in the grocery store who knows me and my family by name always going above and beyond to help me and my little clan get all my groceries to the car. And that is just to name a few.

But I know there are also things about this culture and this place that I will miss and here are a few that came to mind:

Baleadas, a simple meal of beans and tortillas, which people here can eat for 3 meals a day. This is a stable in our family household, since we can buy homemade tortillas down the street, 10 for $1, and refried beans come in a bag, making it a simple meal to throw together. You can put just about any meat or vegetable in a baleada and make it a complete meal.

Fruit stands on every corner of the city, making fresh fruit and veggies easy to come by and always on the way home to pick up for dinner. Not to mention all of the tropical fruits available year round like avocados, pineapples, mangos, and more.

Piling as many people as possible in one car to go somewhere. Car seats are optional here and I know it sounds very unsafe and probably is, but it is funny how many times we have put 20 people in a 12 seater car, making any ride an adventure.

Having the beach a mile away and being able to skip away for a family day to play on the beach and nap in a hammock.

Those are just a few tangible things that came to mind but there are many cultural things that have become normal to me over time and some of these I hope to carry back to the US with me. Some of those things include the lack of planning and scheduling in life, although this can be frustrating at times I have learned to embrace it and become very flexible and have seen a lot of value in your inorganic relationships that form. Caring for your family even when it takes great sacrifices, and especially the elderly. And lastly living with little and finding contentment in few earthly possessions.

The Condition of my Heart...

I am sorry for the lack of blogging that has taken place lately. It is not because of a lack of things happening in our life, if anything it is the exact opposite. We are trying to prepare to leave a country and a place we have called home for 2 years and uproot our whole lives again to transition back to the States. Everyone asks me how I am doing with it all and I can honestly say I don't know. Don't get me wrong I am excited about moving back to Charlotte, seeing my husband minister in the church, being close to family, and so much more. But I hate goodbyes and I hate new beginnings.

We have been married 7 years and during that time we have moved 6 times and have had to get rid of all our belongings and pack up and move in suitcases 3 times now. It never gets any easier. I never really realize how attached I am to all my earthly belongings until I have to give them away again. I guess it is something the Lord continues to use to humble me.

It has also been harder this time explaining it to our children. The girls are asking so many questions: "is dad still going to be my daddy when he is a pastor?", "where are all my toys?", and "will I be able to speak Spanish at school?", I know this is only the beginning!

I am nervous about going back to a culture I haven't known for over 3 years. Will I ever fit in again? Do I want to completely fit in, now that I have seen and been changed by a world that is so different? What about my children will they ever see the US as their "home culture"?

So this and so much more are the questions and issues that weigh on my heart right now. Tonight I was reminded of my favorite hymn "Jesus I am resting resting in the joy of what Thou art" and praying that, that would be the cry of my soul right now in the midst of all the change and transition.

Mom's Day

Last Saturday we were able to steal a few mothers away from their families for a day of rest and relaxation. It was such a treat for me to be able to watch these ladies enjoy themselves laughing and playing like they were 10 years old again, experiencing the freedom that they probably have never felt before and that is a day with no responsibilities.

We first let them enjoy some time of pampering with manicures and pedicures.

Then after lunch it was rest time for everyone in their own hammock.

And lastly an intense game of "tiburon" or shark.

A fun group of ladies, all of whom I will dearly miss.

No Power

Well we have lived here for over 2 years and we have just recently discovered what to do when the power goes out, and that is pack up and prepare for a whole day at the beach. When you are at the beach in the nice refreshing water you could care less that you have no power at home. So we forgo trying to nap in the stifling hot air and don't worry about the lack of showers and camp out at the beach. This past weekend we had a "scheduled" power outage from 8am-5:45pm and so we had a wonderful family day together, even though with 3 kids it is pretty exhausting.

Anna and I enjoyed a couple of hammock naps. This reminds me of this picture of Ellie at this age.

And although Anna has been to the beach a handful of times this was her first dip in the pool.

And super flexible Ellie decided she would just crawl in the tent and take a nap for 2 hours.

So I am thankful for an unexpected family day at the beach, but heres to hoping there are no more all day power outages while we are here in Honduras.