Monday, July 29, 2013

Coffee Time
Friday was so much fun.
I had been looking forward to it for weeks.
All of the tribal church-planting missionaries came to town for our annual conference, and my friend, Brooke, and I got to host the ladies' coffee social.
Brooke is crazy. And by crazy, I mean she loves to bake. So she came up with a plan: She would bake everything, if I hosted it at my house. Um....O.K.!!!!! Best. Deal. Ever.
So, I got to do all the fun stuff, like clean, decorate, light candles, make things pretty, and put on some jazz music, while she was across town covered in flour and sugar!
But the best part for me, was the chance to do something special for my amazingly amazing co-workers. Some of these women live smack dab in the middle of the jungle. They deal with bugs and snakes, and a non-stop stream of visitors, and sick people, and heartache. Some sit at computers all day trying to get God's Word translated into an indigenous language. Others are sweatin' it out in the 'school room' as they homeschool their kids. Others are struggling with chronic pain and/or illnesses but refuse to retire because the job at hand is just too important.
These ladies amaze me. What an honor to do something special for them!
And so, Friday afternoon the Moffit home was filled with the sound of ladies laughing, the smell of coffee brewing, and the yummy taste of Brooke's amazing creations!


We had to get a picture of Brooke's feast! Look at how pretty all those goodies are! She is amazing. And, not to be outdone, I wanted to get a picture with my hard work too....

So, here we are in my really clean bathroom! For some reason, the gift of 'toilet-scrubbin' just isn't quite as romantic as the ability to bake tarts and pastries!

I love the picture below. Everyone is happy, delighted, at ease. Exactly what we were hoping for!

So to the missionary ladies of NTM, I salute you. And, please come by for a coffee anytime!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Full House

I have a full house.

I never pictured myself as the mom with the big family. I never really pictured anything, I guess. But, I definitely didn’t picture a large household.

I am from a family of five. Then, halfway through my childhood, it became a family of four. A few years later, we were down to 3, and then I graduated and was off on my own.  I got married, added two little girls, and thought 4 was the final number.

I was wrong.

God still had a little boy he wanted to add, to make us a family of five.

And this year, the addition of our ‘niece’ from the village, and a teacher have grown our family to 7.

Here are some things I’m learning as the ‘mama’ of a large household:

1.      I do not, in fact, ‘roll with the punches’.

2.       My house will always be cluttered.

3.       Someone, somewhere in the house will always be stomping.

4.       7 people make an extraordinarily large amount of laundry.

5.       I go grocery shopping all. the. time.

6.       Family movie night is WAY more fun!

7.       Cheering for Sheldon and his Filipino food on Top Chef is truly a bonding moment.

8.       Exercising together feels like you’re actually in an aerobics class at the gym.

9.       Neo has way too many mothers.

10.   People have no idea what to think of us when we go strolling through the store together.

11.   All household related rules and/or announcements have to be repeated. A lot.

12.   In Asia, a king-cab pick-up truck is perfectly suitable for 7 people.

13.   Someone’s always happy.

14.   Someone’s always not happy.

15.   Taking turns cooking means I hardly ever have to cook!

16.   I am more aware than ever of my shortcoming as a mom, friend, wife, and fellow human-being.

17.   The 6 other members of my family are very gracious with me.

18.   I am also learning to be more gracious.

19.   If I can sit on my bed for 30 minutes and read my Bible, despite the fact that someone is singing outside my bedroom window, while others are coming in and out to use my bathroom, while my husband is brushing his teeth, while I can hear my son screaming at the dog to, ‘Sit! Sit! Sit!’ – I’m still counting that as my ‘quiet time.’

20.   God knows that my natural tendency is to hide from noise, and chaos, and inconvenience – but that all those things would teach me to be more like him….so  he gave me a large household.  

Monday, July 15, 2013

Random Thoughts on Language Learning
It’s not easy re-learning English.
Filipino languages are similar to English, in that they have lots of borrowed words. Some are borrowed from English, yet they have their own Filipino pronunciation and meaning. To learn Visayan, means to re-learn some English words.
There are times when this is a frustrating process for me. But lately, it’s just made me laugh. I think Visayan has found better usages for some of our words than we have!
My favorite so far: Number 4
Nope. It’s not the number that comes after 3. It’s what you call the position that men often sit in with one foot crossed over their knee….you know….like the number four!
The fun doesn’t end there. There’s also number 7, apparently. That of course is the more feminine version of number four, with your knees crossed! (I hear there's a number 8 too, but I'm not sure I totally understand where the foot goes in this position!)
Text language is also something to re-learn. For example, ‘on our way’ is just ‘going’. Despite the fact that the person is actually ‘coming’, they will still text that they are ‘going na (now)’. If I get too comfortable with this way of talking, the next time I come back to the States, I won’t know whether I’m coming or going! ;)
In some ways learning Visayan is like going to Starbucks. If I go to Starbucks, I just want someone to hand me a cup of coffee. But, it’s never that easy. There are too many choices. They all result in a cup of coffee, but there are a whole lot of ways to say the same thing…well, almost the same thing.
That’s how I feel about Visayan. There are a lot of ways to say the same thing. Although, it’s never really the exact same meaning, it all depends on the speaker, the context, and plain ol’ preference.
Last week we spent a language session discussing the words ‘know’. My brain is thinking of one word, with one meaning. But Visayan breaks it down into lots of different options.
There’s the ‘know’ that means to know a person.
The ‘know’ that means to know how to do something.
The ‘know’ that means to know a fact or information.
The ‘know’ that means to know about something or gossip!
The word ‘fall’ and I are going through the same relationship difficulties. Because, of course, you need to decide if you are talking about fruit falling off a tree, or something falling off the table, or someone dropping something down to you, or maybe a whole assembly falling apart.
But, knowing all these differences, and options, and nuances is what separates the toddlers from the adults. And I want to talk like an adult. So I will keep studying until I know exactly how to use which word and when! (However, considering the fact that I told my language helper the other day that the fruit picked up the lady, I think I have a ways to go!)