Sunday marked twelve years of marriage for Scott and I! Wow. My cliche saying of choice is “time flies,” and I use it pretty much every day. I decided to get out the family photos this year, and I thought I’d share a few here!
The following pictures may show smiling faces, sundry memories, and varying lengths of hair on Scott’s part, but there have been hard times, too. Both the good and the difficult have drawn us closer to each other and to the Lord. Looking forward to the next 12 years!
We’re excited to start a new series on the family blog featuring… the kids! We thought it’d be neat to show the world from their perspectives. After all, they’re just as much a part of the ministry as us adults. So without further ado, here’s Noah’s very first entry!
Hi! My name is Noah. I’m 9 years old, and I live at Freedom, a campus close to the town of Ramon Santana. I like living here, but sometimes I miss the United States. I’ll tell you the story of how I got here to the Dominican Republic.
I was born in Virginia and lived in the States for a year and a half. My mom and dad raised support and moved to the Dominican with me and my brother. Leyton was 4 months old when we moved.
We moved into a tiny house at first. It was hard work to move in. Our backyard was full of trash. Our bathroom was a mess. We fixed it up a bit and made it a home.
During the days, our family went out to the villages and played with the kids. I don’t remember it very much, but the kids liked to play with me. After that, we’d come home and play some more as a family.
I lived in that first house for about a year and a half until….
Check back for my next blog post to find out where we moved next!
We’ve crossed the halfway point of 2020! This past month, our team was excited to get back out to the villages as restrictions have begun to lift oh.so.slowly. I personally spent most of my time behind my computer screen as lesson planning continues, but the boys have been in the bateys each morning helping with school – social distancing style, of course. Here’s our June in 30 photos!
People often ask me what I miss most about life in the States. Family and Kroger’s ice cream aisle are pretty high up there, of course. But – nerd alert – I think the library would make my “Top 10” list as well!
The last few weeks, I’ve been reminiscing about the endless hours I spent as a young girl in our public library. (There is a literal ache in my chest when I think of that place!) I absolutely attribute my deep love of reading to my camping out at the library. I felt such a sense of wonder every time I walked into the main atrium of whichever branch we decided to visit on a particular afternoon. It was almost overwhelming for my indecisive little heart – which section should I peruse first? Sometimes I’d stand there amongst the rows of books, not really searching for anything in particular. Just being in the middle of all that knowledge and fun excited me!
It hurts not to have that same access to physical books. I can’t check out a giant pile of good reads (with my very own library card, of course). There are no weekend trips to listen to an author do a read-aloud. While my kids humor me by taking part in reading challenges at home, it’s not the same as going through our library’s summer reading program. I’m much more thankful these days when I get my hands on a good book, and my Kindle quells the sadness a bit, too.
I’ve digressed. I’m supposed to be sharing about my March reads.
This month, I finished Paul David Tripp’s book, Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family. To be completely honest, I’ve been feeling a lot of “mom guilt” recently in regard to how I handle my growing kiddos and their various struggles. One of my biggest takeaways from this book was the reminder that, while I have the incredible responsibility to be an ambassador of God’s love, grace, mercy, and discipline, my children will ultimately be changed as they choose to walk with Him. My biggest criticism of Parenting is how repetitive it felt. Tripp could’ve gotten his point across in half the number of pages. Overall, I’m glad I read it – I was able to slow down and think intentionally about how I can better draw my babies toward Jesus in each precious, mundane moment.
Awhile ago, I was talking about The Boxcar Children series with Krista, a fellow missionary. I was fairly obsessed with those books at one point in my childhood. Freedom’s school library has a few of them in English, but I wanted to read the first one aloud to my kiddos to set the stage. I was elated when Krista told me her girls owned a copy! This month, Noah, Leyton and Cal were forcibly introduced to the enchanting world of Henry, Jessie, Violet and Benny. Such fun – for me, at least!
Below you’ll find a few of my favorite quotes of the month.
Since change is most often a process and seldom an event, you have to remember that you can't look for a dramatic transformational conclusion to your encounters with your children. 1
What kind of picture are your children getting of God's authority by the way you exercise yours? 1
It's not your weaknesses that you should fear, but your delusions of strength. 1
Parenting is about the willingness to live a life of long-term, intentional repetition. 1
If the mind developed through blind, material process of Darwinian evolution, then why should we trust it at all? Why should we believe that the human brain--which was the outcome of an accidental process--actually puts us in touch with reality? 2
What does national unity mean? It surely means that reasonable sacrifices of Party opinions, personal opinion, and Party interest should be made by all in order to contribute to the national security. 3
It is curious how the English-speaking peoples have always had this horror of one-man power. They are quite ready to follow a leader for a time, as long as he is serviceable to them, but the idea of handing themselves over, lock, stock and barrel, body and soul, to one man, and worshipping him as if he were an idol; that has always been odious to the whole theme and nature of our civilisation.... 3
1Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family, Paul David Tripp 2More Than a Carpenter, Josh and Sean McDowell 3Churchill: The Power of Words, edited by Martin Gilbert
Nine days ago, we made it back to the DR safe and sound! Our family spent the month of May in the States. Furlough is always a rich time visiting friends, family, and supporters. Each year, we’re forced to stop and consider all the ways the Lord has worked throughout the year. It’s so fun to share the miracle stories with others!
We visited Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, and Maryland. So many blessings from unexpected sources. Several people walked up to us and just handed us money. Others gave us cards, goodies for the kiddos, or verbal bits of encouragement. We were so spoiled with good food, wonderful company, and heartfelt prayers. Wow – God provides more than we need! This year, I left the States feeling refreshed and ready to get back to work here in the Dominican. Thankful!
Getting on a jet plane!
Checking out that big, wide world while waiting to deplane
Finally made it to our first stop!
Making breakfast with Aunt Suzy!
Scott in his happy place – playing bass!
Fun with Memaw!
Ice cream for dinner? Absolutely!
Good’s Ice Cream visit is a must!
Randomly running into another Freedom missionary’s family!
LCS alum speaking in chapel
Center court with Dad!
Posing under a poster of dad’s high school basketball team as ACSI state champs!
A wonderful breakfast with this sweet lady!
Precious and ornery all mixed up in one
A quick visit with Ang’s grandparents
Making homemade slime with Great Grandma!
Evening bonfire fun
Lunch with this amazing crew!
A chilly softball game
Brand new kittens are the best
Their very own treehouse!
My favorite mother-in-law
A fun but muddy hike!
The boys and their creatures…
A new experience – drinking out of a public water fountain
Missions talk with this awesome group at church
Our sweet friends treated us to a day at the aquarium