This is actually Abigail getting into the van for her youth camp
Listlessly, we visited the grocery store. We don't often end up in Belize City and the grocery store offers more variety than we find in Orange Walk. Me? I ended up weeping in the flour isle. The trip to the Lebanese restaurant afterwards didn't go much better. Thankfully there is grace for our messy middle.
Our first experience with Lebonese food! So yummy!
What is our messy middle? We have entered a period of newness in Belize. This is the first summer we've spent in Belize. Although we are approaching 2 years in country, we had gone back to Pa two years ago in June (2016). Summer's family cemented that fact for us. We weren't only saying goodbye to them, we were saying goodbye to Pa, for a while yet.
Taking the "littles" to children's ministry on a Saturday Afternoon
At the EMM Central American retreat, we had some sessions about grief. It was good to talk about. It was good to label. For me I could look at my life and see the places where I hadn't grieved, or give myself the place to grieve.
A game some of the TCK's played with a tire while on our Central American retreat
As a family there are traditions we've held to. We do certain things during the summer that we are unable to do this year. (Hopewell camp, I work more and enjoy it ;) , Day Camp Live, CEF Good News camp, extra time with friends, Swimming in Mamaw's pool, and Family reunions)Grieving looks like feeling sad that we can't participate. It looks like: summer like weather all year. It means I've been struggling with what I feel like my kids are missing out on.
God has been faithful to us
I am thankful to be living in Belize, with my family, with "less to do"; allowing us to focus more on "us". I am thankful for the "organic" way my kids are learning language. (How else does that happen when you are learning 2 languages at the same time and not being immersed in either) Honestly I am often surprised at the words they've learned or signs they produce. It's an amazing process. I am grateful for the fact that my kids are third culture kids. They appreciate culture, differences, and culture in a way I couldn't fathom at their ages.
Being third culture kids also means they are saying goodbye...often. Just this week we had a VBS/youth camp at the Spanish Church we attend. Abigail was crying about saying goodbye. I struggled in my mind (it was 4 days).
I was reminded of my word of the year" engage" I really am attempting to engage with those around me. Wherever I am, whatever I am doing. I am choosing to both engage in the messiness, the missing Pennsylvania, the heat, and the peace we have in walking into the calling our family currently has.
Thank you for walking with us on this journey
PS I am not sure if the term "messy middle" is copy-written, but I got it from this blog. It is a great read, and this summer she has an excellent reading challenge!
I remember that lake ;-) you are doing great, and we are in admiration of you all. It is all for His Kingdom, and our eternal home is not of this earth.ReplyDelete
Yes that is actually Liz in the background! I had to capture the moment as my girls never hold hands! Thank you for the encouragement!Delete
Now I'm tearing up again just reading this. It was hard to say goodbye. I hope to write out some of the things I learned, but one thing that really stuck with me is how much sacrifice it is for you and the family on a daily basis...I always think of how missionaries have to miss out on Christmas at home, visiting with family, American schools, or having a ridiculous number of options for going out to eat. But those things mostly are occasional; you don't suffer daily inconvenience over those things. No, the daily sacrifices are things like never having a warm shower, never getting a good Philly cheesesteak, or having to walk to da lee shop for groceries because the big supermarket is a two hour drive away. Those seem to me that they'd serve as a constant reminder of the sacrifices you're making.ReplyDelete
Anyway, we miss you.
Thanks so much Isaac. Sometimes more than others it feels like a sacrifice vs a huge blessing! I love sending my kids to the "shop" when we are out of something. We couldn't do that in Sellersville. :) We really miss you guys!Delete