My musings, thoughts revelations and humorous observations on my life and life in general
I almost forgot about this blog to be very honest. It wasn't until I received a notification of a comment on my last blog post from 2016 (!) that I realized it has been so long since I have posted here. I would really love to post here more often! So, no time like the present!
These past few months have been very exciting for my husband and I as Christian parents! Our oldest, Isaac, is finally GETTING IT!! AND ITS SO AWESOME!!!
I am pretty sure it started with one of the lessons he learned in Sunday School while we were on furlough this past September. As I picked Isaac up from his classroom, he excitedly started explaining what his craft was.
Recently I have resolved to make an effort to take time, even if I am busy or rushed, to STOP what I am doing, and listen to what my kids are saying or showing me, to bring value to their thoughts and ideas. (This is going pretty well so far, but I know I still have a long way to go!). So, I stopped in the hallway, and let him tell me all about it. To be very honest, I can't exactly remember what the story behind the craft was (maybe Jesus walking on water?) mainly because I was thinking to myself ..." Wow! HE GETS IT!" He understood what he was talking about, without any prompting or "hints".
Just seeing his excitement at the revelations he is making makes me overjoyed at the thought of him wading further and further into this ocean of comprehending God's love for him. It also makes me realize what an important role we have as parents to continue introducing these biblical concepts to him and our other children. (Especially in Haiti, where we don't have a Sunday school class for our kids!) and to help guide their own personal relationships with their heavenly father!
Currently we are celebrating the Christmas season by going through and explaining the Jessie tree to him (You can find out more about what this is here), and afterwards we will continue in his AWANA Cubbies book!
I'm really really not perfect.
Like right now, I'm about to blow a gasket. My wonderful just-turned-three-year-old is asking question after question in his newfound stuttering ways ("mom, mom, mo-mo- mom can can can can I have a sip of of your coffee") and crawling all over me like an attention starved cat. And my beautiful 9 month old daughter is teething. Which... Sucks. Grouchy baby. All. The. Time. Plus, she suddenly has this knack at of getting into things she shouldn't.
Im trying so so hard to be patient, not to yell, not to let my frustrated self come out. My kids don't deserve that. They are just being themselves and actually acting as normal energetic three year olds and cranky teething 9 month old baby. So. Taking lots of deep breaths and asking God for wisdom and gentleness (NOT patience. I don't want to practice that right now).
This is may seem like a mini rant, and maybe it is. But I just want to say that I'm not perfect. Even though I may post all of the pretty perfect things on Facebook and Instagram and I talk about what God is teaching me about being a mom, and I may be a missionary, I'm still a stay at home mom. My kids still drive me nuts sometimes. I long for one moment when no one needs nothing from me. But not really. Because that would mean I don't have these two awesome kids to call my own and to snuggle with and be silly with and I wouldn't be able to see them grow into the awesome people that they are going to become!
So, for right now, I'll take the frustration. I'll take the borderline insanity. I'll hide in the bathroom to get two seconds of peace. But I will try very hard not to hurt my kids with my own issues.
Lots of deep breaths.
Lots of asking for wisdom.
Lots of realizing what is actually important in this moment.
Hey everyone! When we first started this website I had a blog called "How-to-Haiti" which was a fun idea, but I never wrote anything. Anyway, I was just sitting here nursing and thought "Hey! I should start up my blog again and use the times I nurse my little one to write it" (instead of pursuing Facebook, watching YouTube, playing games on my phone, whatever). So, I introduce.....
Missions and Mothering
Thoughts on living abroad, raising mini disciples, and life in general
Not sure how this will go, but here goes.....
Priorities, Pride and letting go
So lately God has been challenging me to examine my priorities and strive for excellence in those things that that need to be stewarded in my life.
Basically this is the fancy way of saying "figure out what God wants you to do, and do your best at it", and this has been......
Not because I don't know what things God wants, because I do. And it's not because I don't know what it looks like to be excellent at those things, because I do. (Actually I don't completely, but that's ok, I'm learning!). It's the excellence part I'm having issues getting right.
But before I get to why I'm having issues with that, let me tell you what I am working to be excellent at.
I am striving for excellence in a few areas of my life. I'm aiming for:
1. Soul nourishing quiet times with God that I apply to daily life
2. A more intimate and loving relationship with my husband
3. Attentive loving and mothering of my children, and discipling them and helping them to grow up loving God
4. Caring for my friends/coworkers on a more intimate level
5. Accomplishing my tasks here on the YWAM Haiti with speed and excellence.
6. Having a clean, cool (cool because we live in Haiti, and no one wants to be warm! 😉) inviting Home to share with others.
OK, these are just a few of the things I am wanting to do, I can add a lot lot more, but lets stick with this for now.
Now onto why excellence is my issue.
You see, I have all these ideas in my head of what excellence in these areas looks like, and usually they are exploded versions of what I should actually be doing.
Let me explain.
I like having a clean house. Period. I like having things swept, mopped, dusted and picked up, an laundry done. And when you live in Haiti, things always need to be swept, mopped and dusted, and when you have kids things always need to be picked up and laundry always needs to be done. And it's actually one of those type things I'm striving for, but sometimes I let it get out of hand. I would be so focused on getting the house clean that I would start ignoring the other things I needed to be stewarding better, mainly my kids, and my husband.
This is where the Priorities, Pride, and Letting Go part kicks in.
My husband recognized that things were getting out of hand, and I was so stressed out from trying to get everything done that he brought back a subject we had touched on before... hiring a housekeeper.
Now like I said before, I prided myself on getting everything done...myself. But, knowing my stress level, he was right. I wasn't able to do the other, more important things on my list with the excellence they needed and deserved, and I wanted to steward everything well, not just my home. So, we hired a housekeeper to come once a week to come and clean for 4 hours. She is wonderful. Not just because she reduces my workload down by leaps and bounds, but because having her in my life has helped me to realize that my priorities were really out of whack, and even though I was stewarding something God told me too, I was actually neglecting more important things that needed more attention than clean floors.
So, thats my life right now. Learning what to prioritize, when to prioritize, how to steward and just lead an excellent life in God's eyes. I'm a work in progress, and kinda glad that there is no such thing as perfect. (Except God of course!)
Let me know your thoughts, musing, or jokes! :)
While I was in Haiti last for my DTS, the only way to wash our clothes was by hand. There was a washer in our dorm, but it was reserved for housekeeping and staff purposes only. My fellow classmates (who were Haitian) tried to teach me how to laundry their way, but then decided that my laundry washing skills were not up to their standards, and continued to wash my clothes for me. I made sure to keep them well stocked with soap, they would do my laundry in no time flat, and it was a happy little circle of laundry doing goodness.
Now that we are staff, we have been granted access to the washer in the dorms, along with another washer that is much closer to where our apartment is. (I did the math, its about 1/10 of a mile to walk to the dorms from our apartment, plus a flight of stairs to get to the washer and about 1/4 of that distance and only the stairs to our apartment to get to the other washer. So, much closer)
Welllllll..... About a week after we arrived, the closer washer broke. So, as you can already assume, we were down to one washer..... the really far away one (#firstworldproblems) After a few weeks of lugging laundry and baby to the washer and back, I decided that I was going to attempt to wash our laundry in the guest bathroom. (What was I thinking?????)
After reading up a bit on the subject, and remembering my (failed) Haitian laundry lessons, I have developed my own method.
So, without further introduction.... here is my tutorial for washing clothes......
I'm going to tell you a secret, it doesn't exist, but we use it all the time. Confusing, I know, but let me give you a mini Haitian Currency history lesson.
In 1813 the Haitian Gourde (Named for gourds used for currency before the island was colonized) was officially introduced. Before this time, Haiti had been using the Haitian Livre, basically a version of the French Livre. When the gourde was introduced, its initial exchange rate was 1 gourde to 8 French livres and 5 sous. Fast forwarding to 1881, and the gourde has now been pegged (associated with) the French Franc, and the exchange rate was re-evaluated to be 1 gourde to 5 francs. (Keep this bit of info tucked away.... it will come in handy in a bit.) Alas the gourde's association with the franc came to an end 21 years later when it became associated with the US dollar, as it still is today.
So what does all this have to do with the Haitian Dollar? Be ready to do some math...
Let's start with the US dollar that we all know and love.
Fortunately, many stores in Haiti accept US money, and the exchange rate is most often 40 gourdes to one US dollar, got that?
Lets keep going...
So remember when I told you that it used to be 5 gourdes to 1 franc? Here in Haiti, they still this conversion, but with a slight difference. Instead of using francs, they use this ratio with the non-existant Haitian Dollar, so 5 gourdes is equal to 1 Haitian dollar.
"How do they use it if it doesn't exist?" you may ask...
Most stores in Haiti use this form of currency. You will see price stickers on everything, and the prices are really low if you think you are looking at a price in gourdes. In reality though, you need to multiply these prices by 5 to get gourdes. So a bottle of olive oil has a price tag of 45 haitian dollars, is actually 225 gourdes and using our US exchange rate, is $5.63.
So if you were to put this whole thing into a ratio of some sort, it would look like this;
US : Gourdes : Haitian Dollar
1 : 40 : 8
So (To mix it up a bit) :
Anything you are curious about? Let me know! If I don't know something, I'll learn all about it and let you know!
In recent months the exchange has changed! It is now 45 Gourdes = 1 USD
200 Gourdes = $4.45 = 40 HTD