Archive for July, 2011

July 17, 2011

Come and be satisfied…

by mendibpng

Another day has passed with Ben gone. I don’t usually write this many posts in a week, but the writing seems to be cathartic for me as I deal with transition to being a single parent for a little while during Josiah’s medical trip to Cairns.

I wrote to our missionary women’s e-mail list serve asking for advice about how to cope with a spouse’s unexpected absence. I loved the contrasting advice of “don’t try to do too much” (ie keep things easy on yourself) and “make sure you get out when you need to.” (These are my words, I hope I have done the e-mails justice!) I think the balance of these two things has happened pretty well as I kept this advice in my mind the last few days. Today, the kids and I watched movies, ate doughnuts, visited with friends, and went on an extremely fun outing to a place where everybody could ride their bikes and run around safely (aka to me now as TODDLER HEAVEN). We also went to a potluck block party tonight. I had anticipated that I would find it stressful to bring the twins, but it turned out to be a refreshing chance to get to know those who live near me.

Other members also wrote to the e-mail list serve about keeping thoughts on God.  I must admit here that the thought of Ben leaving me in Papua New Guinea with our four youngest children was terrifying, and I felt more alone than in all of my missionary career thus far. The night before he left, I listened to Matt Maher’s CD. If you ever get the chance to hear “Sing Over Your Children,” it’s worth the couple of minutes.

The phrase that jumped out at me that first night when I was grieving the absence of my husband and missing my family back in the U.S. was, “come and be satisfied.” I wrote those words down and started thinking about the times when Jesus said “come to me!” in the New Testament. I’m no Bible scholar like Ben, but I can think of at least 3-4 instances where Jesus said it, particularly the verse that I have heard my whole life, “Come to Me, all you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” All He wants is for me come to Him. There are a lot of times when I look to my husband to fill up that place that only God can satisfy. I think Ben is willing to do what he can humanly to care for me, but ultimately it’s Jesus who can fill that deep void. I am still missing my husband since I like having him around! But it’s an opportunity to let God quiet the storm and satisfy me.

I am going to include the words here because I can stop writing this post…these words say it all for me.

 Sing Over Your Children
(Matt Maher)

 I flirt with the world
It steals my love for You
My fear grips my faith
And I am left unmoved
Your gaze stops my heart
Your voice fills the dark
Your love is the spark that lights this life
So we rise

Out of the depths you cry,
“Come and be satisfied”
Father, You sing
Father, You sing over Your children

You quiet the storm
Inside my shipwrecked soul
Your spirit will lead
It calls the wayward home

At the sound of Your name
Our sin is washed away
In Christ we’re crucified
In You we die, in You we rise

Out of the depths you cry
“Come and be satisfied”
Father, You sing
Father, You sing over Your children

Let us see through Your eyes
We are Your great delight
Father You sing
Father, You sing over Your children

And we’re singing along
Your daughters and sons
We’re singing Your song
We are Your children

Out of the depths you cry
“Come and be satisfied”
Father, You sing
Father, You sing over Your children
Let us see through Your eyes
We are Your great delight
Father, You sing
Father, You sing over Your children

Advertisements
July 15, 2011

Standing in the gap

by mendibpng

I generally am the one to be there for my friends in a crisis. When something happens on the mission field: a relative dying, a traumatic event in a village, a long term sickness, I love helping out. Being part of the member care team a few years ago meant I went on pastoral care visits and gave practical assistance to hurting people. Now that I have five children, my role in member care has pretty much dwindled down to the small(er) group of close friends who I have a ‘stand in the gap’ relationship with. It is a reciprocal thing. When one of us hurts, the others gather around and do what they can to help. This is one of those weeks when people have circled around me as we are dealing with separation and medical issues.

I am sure I would figure it out by myself if I had to, but I am grateful for the outpouring of help and encouragement I’ve had this week while on my own. I’ve had e-mails, phone calls and play date invitations. Some have helped me tangibly, like one friend staying during the crazy last minute packing frenzy before Ben left and figuring out how to put up Jacob’s PeaPod bed so that he would sleep while Ben was gone. Others listened to me debrief about the events of the week, and welcomed us to their houses for playdates/aka sanity breaks.

I guess what I want to say is that even though we don’t have parents or inlaws around to help, this feeling of ‘alone-ness’ is alleviated by those who are here and love us. I love that our community stands in the gap for each other: watching kids, praying, distracting and encouraging those who need it. Pretty soon, maybe even in a day or two, someone is going to need my help and because I’ve been cared for, I’ll be able to step in too. Living here has its particular challenges. But I think that it’s because of the others who live and work here that we can cope, if we let them help us. Living in community is not always pretty; in fact, it has its challenges. However, this is one night where I sit in my house, thankful for all those people who are making my business theirs this week.

July 12, 2011

Confessions of a missionary wife: walking and not fainting….

by mendibpng

Sometimes a number of events seem to stack up, and I deal (adequately) with one at a time until the next biggie comes. My teammate Beth talks about feeling like a rubber band that is stretched as far as it can go and then “twang!” the last biggie is just enough to make the rubber band break. This week was one of those weeks. I am watching our twins move from babyhood to toddlerhood and this factor on it’s own is probably the biggest one.  Another mother of twins wrote me with an understanding of this stage of raising twins and reminded me that it’s like ‘walking and not fainting’ (Is. 40:31).

Friday, I told a friend on the phone that Jenny Beth needed to go to the clinic because this was the second day on a fever, which could indicate malaria.

Ben and I with Josiah on his graduation day from 6th grade.

As I talked, Josiah burst through the door and said “she’s not the only one who needs to go to the clinic!” I took one look at his arm, which looked distorted and swollen and yelled for Ben to come quickly. After getting some ice and a towel to wrap it up, we piled into the truck and rushed down to the clinic.  After several x-rays we learned that Joe had broken his arm in two places and dislocated it as well. I stayed during the x-rays and long enough for Jenny Beth to get a malaria slide done, and returned home, wondering what the next step was going to be. We have very good doctors and nurses here looking after us, but when they don’t have the equipment or supplies to deal with something, they send us toAustralia. Joe came home with a cast on his arm that day, but he will have to see an orthopedic surgeon to make sure it will heal right. For those of you with medical knowledge, it’s a Salter Harris fracture, through the growth plate.

Of course I will want Joe to get the medical attention he needs for his arm, but the other part of me wonders how I will manage with the four younger children (especially the twins) at home without Ben here. This is one of the ‘hard’ things of missionary life…dealing with crisis (even a non-life-threatening one) without family nearby. We’ve already had many offers of help from friends, which is good, but it will be hard to handle the twins on my own without Ben. But like my friend says, God gives us the strength to walk and not faint.

%d bloggers like this: