Friday, July 5, 2019

The Unfinished Conversation

It's that time of year where, in the last month, my time has been divided between being mom, working and helping friends leave for their furloughs or finish (when someone leaves the country and doesn't have plans to return). This process involves very practical help like cleaning out the kitchen (if you're a good friend, you tackle their fridge :)), helping pack boxes that will go in to storage, watching their kids or being that honest friend that says "Do NOT pack that faded, hole-y t-shirt! You'll be at Target in a week with Starbucks in your hand and can get a new one! Heck! You could buy 10 of the same one...and send me one while you're at it" :)

While this is happening, we're talking about everything furlough related...what restaurant they'll eat at first...what they're most looking forward to about being back in their home country...and what they're most nervous about. We talk about how the kids are coping and swap advice on dealing with transition. We set our prediction on what's going to happen here in our little community during the next year, what school activities are coming up or what will happen at work.

We promise to pray for each other.

We don't promise to keep in touch. Having a foot in both worlds is hard and nearly impossible to navigate well. We've all tried it and we've likely all failed.

The morning of our friends flight arrives and per tradition, we rise early and head out to our airstrip. Typical for this time of year, the fog covers our centre like a heavy blanket. Even in those early hours we're talking about all sorts of everyone slept, what's the connecting flight for today, all the while eyeing the sky, waiting for the sun to break through and lift the fog.

The fog is lifting and the time comes when the pilot approaches the gate and says "5 minutes before boarding!"

The conversations quiet, the hugs...and sometimes tears...begin.

You watch your friends load the plane and wave for one last time. At least for now, the conversation is put on hold. In a year (or more!), we'll hit the resume button and pick right up where we left off.

Friday, May 31, 2019

Back At It

And just like that, life has returned to "normal" and wouldn't you know that it's almost been two months since my last post. Currently the dough is rising so at least some time to update this space. The hours and days are moving fast. When I look at the calendar, I can't believe that tomorrow is the first of June. How is it already half way through 2019? (And yes, I realize I sound old saying that,'s true!)

Jason's knee is healing really well. He's been working on his physical therapy and two months post surgery, he was cleared to fly again! Such an answer to prayer...I'm floored at how well he's doing. God has answered so many prayers.

I started a new job at the middle school/high school as the Registrar. Because the current Registrar leaves after June graduation, I, and the newly form team will need to spend as much time with her as humanely possible in the next few weeks. She might be glad she's leaving after having so much "quality time" with us!

Fourth term at the school means the calendar is full. We've had class activities, dinners,'s been busy as we anticipate friends furloughs and some friends leaving this chapter of their lives to move on to the next. The goodbyes never get easier as we really don't know when we'll see our "framily" again.

The older kids had Sports Day last week which is like a US equivalent of "track and field". D has developed quite the arm and love for the throwing events. He placed 2nd in javelin and shot put and 4th in discus for his division.

It was Mo's first Sports Day and she won first place in the race walk in what could be described as a photo finish:
I've never been more enamoured with fast paced walking in my life!

She also won first in a relay race and placed third in a three legged race.

We had a great day, but I was thankful that the schedule for Saturday was pretty low key...we needed a break.

This week the youngest has been pretty sick. Fever, aches, pains, a lingering cough that won't go away. She's had plenty of downtime and rest which I think is annoying her! She's ready to be back at school instead of occupying sofa space.

Welllll...the dough timer went off so I'm off to make cinnamon rolls for breakfast tomorrow...happy weekend!

Sunday, March 31, 2019

From The Land of Coffee & Wifi

Post surgery recovery is in full swing and going well. As of last week, we're all back together as one big happy family and the kids are learning that "post surgery recovery" means ALOT of downtime, not thrill-a-minute-entertainment. Sorry kids...welcome to LIFE, the healing process and rest. We're thankful to have gotten the "all clear" from the doc and we'll head back to our normal life, schedule and routine April 10th.

In the meantime, we're enjoying the land of, well....everything! The grocery stores here, although a bit different from the US, have everything (and more!) that we could ever want to eat. I'm loving not making everything by scratch, bleaching/washing the veggies and I'm pretty sure we've eaten sandwiches, with real lunchmeat and cheese slices, And have I mentioned the coffee?? Starbucks tried to come in years ago, but couldn't make it because the coffee shops and cafes do such an awesome job. Yeah...that's definitely been a perk (no pun intended ;))

This unexpected detour has made me stop (literally and figuratively) and think about rest. I went from, what felt like running100 miles an hour, transitioning out of one job, training to move into another, getting our family ready to be apart from each other for several weeks, coordinating our schedules on top of the "everyday" goings on, needing more hours in a day than I was given. And then? I got a plane by myself for the first time in over 20 years and everything came to a screeching halt. There were no kids and schedules to take care of, there wasn't much work to work on. No responsibilities. Like the kids wanting constant entertainment, I found myself with nothing to do. The highlight of my day was retrieving frozen peas for Jason to ice his leg and watching the time for his next dose of medication. That's it. No agenda, no schedule. Nothing but time on my hands.

I've struggled with resting the last few weeks. As a working mom and wife living overseas in a developing country, there is constant work to just make daily life happen. Apparently, it doesn't take me long to get wrapped up in the routine of my every day and forgetting to take time out to really rest. I'm not just talking about rest as in sleep, but truly unplugging from the daily routine. Praying. Spending time with the Lord. Or just enjoying the silence that is just being. (That was easier when there weren't 3 kids running around!)

True rest is something I know I need to work on when we get back. We already know we'll hit the ground running the day after we return with work meetings, responsibilities, school and the normal routine, but I want my response to the craziness to be different. I need to rest. My family needs me to rest. And yes, I really think the Bible tells us we need to rest.

Now it's just coming up with a plan to make that happen.

Sunday, March 3, 2019


So the news from the orthopedic doctor wasn't what we'd hoped for. 

Jason's ACL and meniscus have to be repaired. The ACL was expected, the torn meniscus presents more of a challenge. If the doctor can fix it through surgery then Jason will need to be off his leg for 6 weeks in order to allow the meniscus to heal, or at least begin the healing process. We don't have a timeframe yet as to when he'll be able to come back here.

I leave this week so I can be with Jason for his surgery at the end of the week. Our kids will be scattered all over with awesome friends so they can finish the school term. During school break, they'll join us. It will be over a month since they'll have seen Jason.

I am a logistical, form filling queen with all the paperwork, flight schedules/reservations with our organization, not to mention prepping our 3 (bags, clothes, plans, oh...emotions!) for this unexpected chunk of time apart.

But....God is good. Things are coming together piece by piece and only because His hands are all over this. We're tired, but trusting in Him to carry us through. This has already been the beginning of a marathon journey.

Pray for wisdom for the doctors, miraculous, quick healing for Jason and for our kids as we're apart.

More soon from the land of awesome internet, grocery stores and coffee.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Head, Shoulder, Knees & Toes

If you receive our newsletters, you read that this is shaping up to be the term we deal with all the health things. Beginning last January, upon our return to PNG, we've had several health related issues in our family. I won't list them all because that's boring for you and honestly there are people we know and love facing far worse situations. Regardless, it's been a challenge to have so many things happen back to back. Today an update...and you're welcome for singing "Head, Shoulder, Knees and Toes" the rest of the day :)

Head: D is feeling better, claiming to feel "normal" whatever that looks like for a teenage boy (and really that's another blog post altogether!) He has resumed all but one of his classes, which is a huge praise! However, there's a good amount of make up work to finish but the school and teachers are working with him to get caught up. Plus, he has a bit more motivation...I suspect that his isolation for a couple of weeks has helped him gain some perspective.

Shoulders: My shoulders been a little tense these days if I'm being honest. More of why that could be below...

Knees: The short version of this section is that Jason hurt his knee last year. Actually, probably as far back as 2016. The pain ebbed and flowed but this year it's become more significant and now is affecting his ability to work. Our doctors here said in order to know what was really happening he'd need to get an MRI. So, currently, he's in Australia awaiting an orthopedic doctors appointment (tomorrow) to see where we go with all of this and what can be done.

Toes: So far our toes have been unaffected. Unless you count the mud they encounter on a regular basis during rainy season. In that case, I could use a pedicure but that's beside the point.

This morning, as I was thinking about writing this, Lauren Daigle's "Your Wings" came to mind and then this reminder from Psalm 91:4 that a friend stitched for me a few years ago:

Come what may with these current situations or in the future...we know we're covered and in the Lord's hands. He's sheltering and protecting us and I don't have to fear or dread what's next. What a image and promise to cling to!

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Concussion Day 14

Regardless of his face in this picture, we have some small victories we're super excited about!

This morning, D could walk in to the clinic without the assistance of a cane. He "passed" most of the neurological exams the doctor performed on him. (Apparently, he failed them last week when Jason took him to his appointment.)

He's still having headaches and a bit of dizziness, which is normal in concussion cases. The biggest concern now is not overdoing activity just because he's starting to feel better. This is a marathon healing process, not a sprint. Of course, this has lead to some pretty animated "discussions" as his idea of activity level and mine are REALLY different. Pray for me as I help him see my side of things...ha!

The doctor wants him to come back next Tuesday with the *possibility* of going back to school on Wednesday. He'll have to reduce his course load, but thankfully he still has a couple of years to make sure he gets all of his high school credits in. The biggest concern is that he's still having trouble focusing in on words when he tries to read.

We are SO grateful for the progress D has made, even in just a week! We know it's because the Lord is hearing and answering the prayers of so many who are praying!

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Clinic Update & Visitors

Just in case you're following the concussion journey we're on with D, here's the latest at the one week mark:

The clinic said the good news is that he's not showing symptoms of anything getting worse. The bad news is that he just needs more time and more rest to heal. One week in and he's going stir crazy as anyone would being isolated. He needs limited to no stimulation (that means everything and anything around, phone, computer, books/homework) and that's a struggle for a 15 year old boy who typically has nothing but energy he needs to get out.

Since D is homebound...and bored beyond himself...he's had heaps of visitors. Not great for his stimulation but good for his emotional state, so we're trying to balance that. Throughout the afternoon and evening, our porch and living room were packed with smelly, teenage boys who care enough about our kid to stop by, catch him up on all the school drama he's missing and make him laugh. Today at lunch most of his class came by...including girls-ha! 

I had to snap this picture yesterday. You can see where the boys were lined up to get in the house. It's customary here to take your shoes off before entering so you don't track dirt all over the floors. My mama heart is thankful for this community and for these kids.

Thanks for continuing to pray for D and for us. Navigating this has been more challenging than I anticipated. The longer this goes, the harder it gets. 

Pray with us for:

-miraculous, quick healing of his head
-heaps of patience (for him and us!) 
-peace in the midst of the boredom and waiting
-that D wouldn't worry about missing school assignments or being behind

We're trusting the Great Physician and His perfect timing.

The Unfinished Conversation

It's that time of year where, in the last month, my time has been divided between being mom, working and helping friends leave for their...