Friday, May 26, 2017

An update from this week


Thank you everyone for praying for me this week!

 For those of you who do not know or receive our monthly updates, on Monday I accidentally dumped approximately a liter of boiling water down the front of my body. I received 1st and 2nd degree burns on my left arm, left side of my chest, stomach, and right leg. Thankfully the girls were not around and I was the only one in the splash zone, I was also so grateful that Chris was still home and had not left for class yet. We raced me into the shower to try to cool the burns down, but even our shower without hot water was not very cool. So Chris got ice and made ice water I dipped towels in to try to cool my body down. As we were working on this, Chris got the girls dressed and we raced in tuk tuk to a nearby clinic with a doctor we rare coming to love and trust. They were able to help get my burns cooled down, and assess my burns. Which was about 30% of my body and all only 1st and 2nd degree burns. We returned home not too long after feeling a bit better, and I rested with ice packs the rest of the day.

On Tuesday we attempted a fairly normal day just at a slower pace. (The girls got the week off from preschool, on account of their teacher being injured) I went to class and that evening was the highlight of the week hosting connect group from our church here. SO FUN!!!! (maybe more about this later)

Wednesday I was feeling a bit worse in the afternoon, as some of my blisters were bursting and oozing, and the skin is just raw underneath.

Thursday was one of the rougher days. I went to class, and we did a fairly normal day, but I just felt done. Layla was grumpy all day, and I know we are all entitled to grumpy days, but grumpy 2 year old days while being injured are the worst! By Thursday evening I was in tears. I was so tired of hurting, tired of disciplining, tired of not being able to do my normal mom/wife duties, and tired of not just having a Walmart around the corner where we could just go grab everything place, from medical supplies to take care of my wounds to food.

See the thing is being hurt is frustrating on it's own, but I think it brought to the surface all the mildly frustrating things about learning a new place too, and how deeply you miss your community who knows. It was so comforting having that community praying and sending encouraging words. Thank you.

Friday we did a fairly normal day, but I was hurting more so after Chris got home he did a lot of the heavy lifting when it came to parenting. We ended last night with exactly what our weary family needed after a long week, legos, pizza, and a movie. Family time, laughing together and loving each other.

Today has continued that same relaxing family time we all four need. I was grateful this week to have my amazing husband to take care of me and the kids, and to simply say "it's ok, you don't have to do that, I can do that." I was also so grateful to the new friends we have made here who were so kind and supportive. Asking how I was, hugging me and letting me cry a little at playgroup yesterday. Bringing soup, and supplies. We are slowly finding great community here, and are loving it.

Just last week Chris and I were talking about how we are getting out of our exhaustion and how fun things are getting. Learning a new language, place, and making new friends is lots of work and fun. We are loving the people we are getting to know here, and are excited to know them more and more. It is hard feeling like it is kind of 2 steps forward 1 step back process. (But isn't life in general kind of like that?)

I was so comforted by the fact that our God isn't surprised. He knew. He has a plan, and He is our comforter, counselor, and great healer. Don't be afraid to invited Him into right where you are. He will come, He will move, because He loves you.

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Here's to already being in our new home almost 5 months!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Market Day (again) and the Holy Spirit

So a lot has changed since my first post about "market day". That post was full of excitement, and anxiety. I remember feeling the sense of accomplishment as we sat down for lunch at Jars of Clay. Today I felt similarly as we hauled our groceries up to our apartment. But this time for different reasons.

I didn't just go to the market today, and I didn't just survive it and come home. I actually enjoyed it, and spoke so much Khmer! I made small talk while I bought fruit in Khmer, while watching the girls. I then proceeded to buy vegetables all in Khmer, and able to ask about a vegetable I have wondered about since we got here. I was able to ask and understand all in Khmer how to cook it, and we try it soon! I was able to navigate with our tuk tuk driver to the market, a bakery and the super market all in Khmer. I did all of this in a little over an hour with a 2 and 4 year old, and a backpack.

It was hot, so hot. Today when we got home the temperature on my phone was 96 degrees F but said it felt like 115 degrees F. But I had so much fun feeling like I explored a new market, navigated it, and got what I needed all in Khmer with my kids!

We love going to the market closest to our house, however this other market has more choices for fruit and veggies and is a little bit cheaper. We are still trying to figure out our routine for shopping, but I loved shopping where I could use so much Khmer! I am loving learning, and understanding Khmer. I am still in awe when I walk away from a conversation and I think about what I was just able to do.

The Holy Spirit is living and active. I cannot deny that He is moving in our family. That He is guiding us and I know that ability to learn Khmer, and have the guts to use it comes from His help.

Last night we attended our first small group meeting here in Cambodia. (in Khmer) It was so fun! Before we went my oldest daughter was not wanting to go. (culture and language has been rough lately for her with other kids) I asked her if I could pray for her. She said yes. I prayed for her, and ask God to comfort her, and help her, and to work on her heart to see and love the other kids like He does. When I finished praying her whole face lit up like a light bulb. I asked her if she felt a little bit better, and she responded, "NO, I feel a lot better! I feel so much better Mommy!". Then I shared with her how that was because of the Holy Spirit. How He is with us, and how God gives us the Holy Spirit to help us, and comfort us. He moves in our hearts to help us with what God wants us to do. He is our helper. She went to small group with a huge smile on her face, and we had a wonderful night!

It is so cool to see our God moving in our girls' hearts. It is so fun to watch them learning to trust Him more. The joy from Jesus, and the comfort from the Holy Spirit. I often think, this is why we are here. God knows what we each needed. He knows what we each need.

Culture Stress Effects the Family

This last week was hard. Our hard week came after a really great week. See we've made all these connections and are beginning to build real relationships with people. However we have also been here almost 4 months, and we hit our first round of "culture stress" this last week. We didn't even know what was wrong, until someone else pointed it out. I hear it can hit you every 3ish months your first year.

We felt lonely. We missed our people. We were tired. (language and culture learning is draining, the stress of this learning goes up as we make friends and aren't sure the appropriate ways to interact) Facebook wasn't helping, watching friends do things we love, like visit Durango, and the Durango Daddy Daughter Dance. We wanted our safe people so badly.

I didn't want to do anything. Not even the dishes. It was hard to study or go to class. I was tired, and was feeling sick.

Our oldest wasn't wanting to go out. She cried at church, not wanting to stay in kid church. She was being more mean and frustrated more easily. She was feeling and experiencing her own culture stress also.

We were tired.

God reminded me how He brought us here. He is helping us learning Khmer. He is cultivating and developing the relationships around us, and He would see us through. He is in control and He isn't surprised at our feelings.
We ended our rough week with birthday celebrations! We took cupcakes to playgroup, class and church, as well as cookies. We celebrated Layla being 2 and me being 29. Then Saturday we went swimming like we had planned but didn't know if we had the energy or the desire to do. But we stuck to our plan. We went to a pool with some water slides. It was quiet (except for the wedding happening nearby), and it was fun! We were the only ones there all morning, and I could feel all four of our souls being refreshed as we simply enjoyed one another and played. We were all physical exhausted afterwards from all our trips up and down the slides, but so full and refreshed. That evening we had some teammates over and I cooked enchiladas, Spanish rice, and we ate ice cream cake. We watched youtube videos, we played games and we laughed late into the night. (10 pm)

I love how God knows exactly what we need when we need it. I love how He allowed for our low to come when He knew we'd have a time to recover and rejuvenate. He is such a good Father.

We entered this week refreshed, and feeling much better. We enjoy a date afternoon Monday (a gift from our office directors for our birthdays), and entered this week so much better than we have recently.

I think here we call this low culture stress, but I think we hit these points in our home cultures too. They just feel different. Don't forget to see where you are. To rejuvenate, and to remember the beautiful promises God has given us as we follow and trust Him in all that we do.

Before the ice cream cake 
After the ice cream cake
Because sisters share a smoothie.