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Hello, I am a mother of three living with my husband in Africa. I have been blogging for seven years but still find myself very technologically challenged. I make lots of mistakes, but life is a journey. Come join me on the journey!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Trust the Process!

I keep repeating these three words on a weekly, sometimes daily basis. 

Learning language is difficult no matter how you do it. No method is perfect. It can be frustrating to not be able to say all you want to say when you want to say it. No matter how many words you have, there is always at least one you really wish you knew or could pronounce correctly. 

The program we have gone to using in the last couple of years is called the Growing Participator Approach. In a lot of ways it is patterned after how we learn our first language as children. We first only hear it, then we speak though simply, and then we begin to speak well and begin to read. Rather than a teacher or professor, we have nurturers who nurture us into the new culture, in similar way that our parents nurtured us into their community. While the approach has a beginning, there is no real end because we are always learning something new about this new culture. 

Last year as we began this approach to learning French, our language coach kept repeating those three little words. Now as I coach our new teammates, I find myself repeating the same words. After a month, they already have almost 900 words in their word log. One may start to point to an object and then pulls the hand back as they second guess themselves. “Trust the process!” Then they begin to point without overthinking it. Same thing happens when they start to speak. They begin to say the word they want to say but stop themselves in the middle of the word. “Trust the process!” Then they begin to let the words flow, may not be conjugated exactly, but they are only a month in to it. 

Last week, as I thought about it and was having my quiet time, I heard God whispering those same three words. “Trust the process!” Trust what He is doing in William’s life and stop trying to fix everything. “Trust the process!” Trust what He is doing in my life and stop fighting against it. Surrender to His work in me. Stop trying to think I can do better or trying to do it in my own strength. Let Him shape me and mold me into the person He created me to be. “Trust the process!” Whether we ever see our stuff from Senegal or not, we are here now where God has moved us, and He is providing for us. 

So to whatever you might be going through, “Trust the process!” 

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Living Like We Are Leaving

We recently returned from a vacation, where we had lots of fun, but we were glad to return “home.” We returned to the place we call home which is where most of our stuff is, and hopefully the rest will be soon, and where our residency visa says we live. Others say our home is the country that issued our passports. “Home” is a term that is not always clear to us. 

In my quiet time this morning, these verses stuck out to me. 
Genesis 47:9.  And Jacob said to Pharaoh, “The days of the years of my sojourning are 130 years. Few and evil have been the days of the years of my life, and they have not attained to the days of the years of the life of my fathers in the days of their sojourning.”
Sojourning, going to another country, wandering as a stranger. Sojourner, a person who resides temporarily in a place. 

Then Facebook reminded me of this quote that I shared a few years ago. 
“A person who feels at home “fits” with his environment....But we don’t fit here. It’s not our environment. There is no harmony, no rightness with our surroundings. Feeling like an exile is simply feeling a fact.”
I did not record the source of the quote, so I cannot give full credit. 
Despite where we reside, none of the options on earth really seem to feel like home. 

Upon returning from vacation, we had to unpack and do laundry. Then we repacked our go bags. What are go bags? They are bags we can grab in the event that the unexpected happens.  From broken feet to cancer diagnosis, we have had to use our bags and been grateful they were already packed. What kind of go bags? We have one bag each that is a backpack. In the backpack, we carry enough clothes and hygienic items for one night. In our carry-ons, we keep enough clothes and hygienic products to last a week. 

Then at Bible study this week, the ladies asked, “what is in our spiritual go bag?”  We need to have what is necessary to live. Our salvation! What about the Fruit of the Spirit? What about scriptures that have been memorized? What basics do we need to survive a day, a week, or longer? Am I packed and ready to live? 

So we live life in a balance. We live in a place where we are strangers, but we make our earthly home here as much as possible. We live like we are staying, but we keep our bags packed in case we have to leave. One day, we will leave this place, whether for our passport county or for our eternal home. 

Staying or going, we are living like we are leaving.