Monday, May 19, 2014

Snapshots

Josh got a guitar for his birthday. Now he's a REAL missionary! :)

 
We've had lots of visitors lately. This is little guy is Neo first-ever, and
best friend. There's been a lot bike-riding, lego-constructing, and
junk-food-eating happening this week!

 
Filipinos are amazing. Creative, resourceful, and so artistic.
Each year this town puts on a big festival, and they build an
entire 'village' out of bamboo for the occasion. It amazes me!


 One of our favorite family outings is an evening at the
plaza. Hanging out, eating bbq pork, taking pictures....

 
Watching the dance troupe practice at the capitol
grounds. Oh yeah, did I mention Filipinos are also
amazing dancers?!

 
Homeschool by 'candlelight'. We've had a lot black-outs
this summer. So, homework sometimes gets done with a
flashlight. One more week and we're done with the school year!
HALLELUJAH!


 
I have loved living in this missionary community
for the last year or so. These ladies are amazing.
I'm really going to miss them. 

Friday, May 16, 2014

Where's My Sadness?
 
Mother's Day was Sunday. My kids (and husband) always make me feel like a queen each year- and that makes me happy. But I always feel a little sad too. Sad that I don't have a mom to send a card to.
 
I used to be REALLY sad each year. Especially before I had my own kids. Mother's Day church services were the worst. But each year the sadness lessens, and last Sunday I made a strange discovery.
 
I wasn't sad.
 
Even a little bit.
 
And that made me feel guilty.

 
 My tiny, petite mother, and her enormous Buddha baby.
 
So, I started to ask myself what was wrong with my heart. Why wasn't I sad....even a little bit? And I realized, well for one thing, 22 years does make a difference. Ones heart can heal in 22 years. But, I knew that wasn't it.
 
Perhaps it was because I was having such a good day with my own kids. But, they always make Mother's Day special, and most years there's still some sadness.
 
So what was the difference?
 

 Love the collar, Mom!
 
I realized it had everything to do with my Father. Not my earthly one (although for the record, he is pure awesomeness). But my heavenly Father.
 
God is a void-filler. And over the years he has slowly, but surely, been filling the 'mom-shaped' hole in my heart.
 

 I love this photo. My mom looks so exhausted.
It's nice to be reminded that she had rough days too.
 
 
I started to think about all the women God has sent my way since my mom died. Starting with Pam. Pam, I love you so much. Thanks for never trying to be 'mom',  but just letting us sit with you in church.
 
He sent along Mary, to feed me, and Carol to teach me to sew, and Kathy to look after me while I tried to look after my baby girls. He gave me a mother-in-law who's door is always open, and more NTM staffers than I can name who had me in their homes and lent a listening ear. Of course, there's a long list of 'church mamas' who showed me what hospitality looks like.
 
When we arrived on the mission field, God provided other missionary women to show me what it meant to walk with God overseas. And then there was Inay, and all the other Pinay 'mamas' who have treated me like family. The list just goes on and on.....
 
It takes a LOT of women to even begin to fill the void left when a mother dies. But, God is faithful, and he never leaves us as 'orphans'. It feels that way at times. But, 22 years after my mom's funeral, I can say that I am no orphan. God has taken this girl without a mom, and woven into my life a beautiful tapestry of women, all who have somehow contributed to filling a very large void in my life.
 

In an effort to be 'internet humble'....here's the awkward
picture. Ay yi yi. Lovin' the curls/clip combo!
 
Who knows, maybe next year the sadness will return. But I know it won't last. It can't last. Not with a God who loves motherless daughters this obviously.
 
So, this Mother's Day....I celebrate my Father. My heavenly Father. My void-filler.