Friday, March 3, 2017

God knows what we need. He even knows what our kids need.

I had several people tell me before we ever left for Cambodia, that God knew exactly what He was doing sending us here to Cambodia. Not just sending Chris and I, but our whole family, all four of us. He had a plan and a purpose for each of us in Cambodia. It can be so easy to get caught up in what we are doing here, why Chris and I are here, and what God is teaching us. It is easy to not think much about how it is affecting our kids except in the normal ways, like food, missing loved ones, and finding new places and ways to play.

The last week or so God has been revealing to me things He has be doing in the girls these last two months since we have been here, as well as in our family as a whole. It is truly amazing. That is what I would like to share with you today, ways God works in our families to make us more like Him, and more dependent on Him. I pray that you will be encouraged by these testimonies in our family and it may even help you to see what God might be doing in your kids' lives as you live out your life where God has placed you.

Starting with Amirah. Amirah has always been our more timid, worried, and even fearful child. She is up for trying many things but she is timid. Before we left for Cambodia, she would rarely ride on a 4 wheeler with her grandpa, and wouldn't touch a dirt bike or motorcycle. She hated escalators with a deep burning passion, and was fairly nervous about crossing streets, and walking around lots of cars. She was very nervous about swimming, and would never swim where she couldn't touch, even with a floatie of some kind. (none of these are bad things to be scared of, great survival things, but sometimes tiring when you know she is going to be ok) It could even be very hard to get her to try something she perceived as possibly dangerous and we were really worried about how we'd ever get her in a tuk tuk once we got here. Now we have been here 2 months. She has been amazing at jumping into new classes at church, playgroups around the city, and playing with friends on our street. She is a tuk tuk riding expert and has gone from riding with a death grip on me, in my lap or Chris's to riding laying down on a seat by herself sometimes. She regularly rides escalators (they are everywhere here), and swims around our pool with floaties, and with us all the time. She even let Chris throw her the other day when we were swimming! She walks with me to the market with awareness of cars, but not in fear that every car or moto is going to get her, and she tries out the Khmer she is learning on whomever will talk with her. It is amazing to stop and think about how much fear she has overcome in her little life just because we were obedient and moved here to Cambodia. She walks with more confidence and trusts Chris and I much more when we tell her she can do something. God knew that Amirah had this fear in her, He knew she didn't need to have it. He knew that He could clothe her in confidence in who He made her to bed, and He is doing just that! She also is fascinated with the stories of Moses right now, and how Moses trusts God, and obeys God. I don't think that is by chance that those are the stories she wants to read over and over right now, while God is showing her how little she has to fear.

Next is little Layla Lou. That Layla girl has known what she wants, when she wants it, and how she wants it since the moment she was born, and since she started walking she has wanted to be just like Amirah. God has been revealing to me how He is developing Layla's ability to play with other kids, and be on her own. She is totally content sometimes playing on her own (which is kind of new), and loves to play with Amirah or other kids often. She is determined! She climbed into the tuk tuk this morning all on her own, and she decided a few weeks ago we were going to potty train now. Layla has perseverance, and she walks with so much confidence as well! Layla is also a kind helper like her big sister and is finding a niche in helping the family get ready to leave, helping kids with their toys, sharing her snacks, and sharing herself with those around us. (she usually loves all the attention she gets wherever we go) Though Layla's things aren't as obvious as Amirah's it is still there, and I love see what God is doing in her little heart. This morning she brought me the Jesus Storybook Bible and told me she wanted Jesus. She has been wanting to read all about Jesus, and I know that her great strength God is going to use for mighty things, with that caring little heart.

As a family we have noticed a greater security in our family unit. The girls rely on both Chris and I more. The look to us more equally, and we love all the family time we get with language learning, and city investigating. When someone goes somewhere, besides school there is a concern about where they are going, and when they will be back. The security of our family unit is huge. We are their safe space. This is already opening up for so many great discussions with Amirah. (can you believe she will be 4 this month!) She is honest about how she feels, and we discuss many things we see, hear and do with her. Cultivating this in our family is our lifelong goal as a family unit, and I pray that God will continue to knit us together as a family that goes through things together, shares, and no matter where we are in the world are secure because of Him, and also how He anchors us in the family He put us in.

Praise God for knowing not just what I need, what Chris needs, what our family needs but also what our sweet girls need individually, and for continually developing the things He has put inside of them.

Enjoy the adorable pics below... we all know that's really why you read this blog. ;)

Using the curtains the wind is blowing as a tent for camping. :)  
Examining the elephant at Wat Phnom.

Me enjoying time with the little brother! 

Saying goodbye to uncle Johnathan at the airport.

Snoozing on the Uncle Johnathan in the tuk tuk.

Playing at Molly Fantasy! A new favorite spot! 

More Molly Fantasy! 

Riding a dinosaur in Siem Reap! 

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