Things That Never End

Things that Never End

There is the song of course. I probably don’t have to write out the lyrics for you to picture the little lamb and red curly-haired woman singing…

“This is the song that never ends, yes it goes on and on my friend. Some people… started singing it not knowing what it was AND they’ve been singing it F-O-R-ever just because…”

Go ahead just try not to hum a bar. Now good luck getting that out of your head!

Worse than that song running circles in your mind all day, are the goodbyes that are a never-ending cycle for us. A friend once told me that goodbyes just make room for more hellos. What a sweet way to look at it but… in my mind that doesn’t ring true.

Every goodbye I say tears a little piece of my heart. I have to work hard not to let the scar tissue grow tough, callous and indifferent. I have to work hard to allow new people in, to make new friends. My survival instincts tell me to shut people out, to close off and remain aloof.

Our life is one of constant transition. I’ve mentioned that before. Yet, even if we remain in the same country, the same city, our friends are always coming and going; whether for home assignment, another field of service or to their passport country for good. If you add to that our coming and going for home assignment and the flood of goodbyes to family and friends you can see how the cycle is one of continuous grieving.

This year several hard goodbyes are imminent. Some of our closest friends are leaving. I’m conflicted in my emotions. I’m excited for the next chapter in their lives while at the same time extremely sad to see them go. It’s hard to say goodbye to any friend but especially one whose passport country is literally on the other side of the world. However, the tears haven’t come. My grief is silent as I try to look on the positive side of things. And while I know that in time I will make new close friends for now I’m simply missing my old ones and possibly eating a lot of ice cream.

Facebook…

I have a love/hate relationship with this social media giant.

I hate that I get envious of other people’s posts about the awesome lives they are living (Read about my house envy here.). I hate that it skews my vision of others’ lives because of course who wants to post the terrible, horrible, no good very bad days for the world to see? I hate that it causes me to compare my body to others. Can we please stop posting pictures of itsy-bitsy teeny-weeny bikinis on the beach?! I hate that I waste precious time while my son naps scrolling through checking out posts or clicking on meaningless articles when I should wash dishes or write blogs, things that are difficult to do when Little Bear is awake!

Most of all I hate that Facebook is the home of sensationalism, that it is a platform to spread unchecked facts, hate, bitterness and inappropriate photos.

Yet, I love how it makes the miles almost disappear. I love that I can keep up more easily with close friends all over the world. I love seeing pictures of my friends’ kids, fun activities and motivational stories. I love that it gets information out quickly to a wide audience, like how this blog will post to Facebook automatically! I love how it mobilizes people to pray, like with the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and recently when Little Bear had a really high fever.

Knowing that people in different time zones were praying for us even while we tried to get some sleep was priceless! More and more I am learning the peace that comes through prayer. I’m so thankful that Facebook enabled me to get the word out quickly and then notified me that people were interceding for us.

I don’t think I’ll give up Facebook but maybe I can work toward giving up some of those bad habits that Facebook brings out in me!

Cloth Diaper Nightmare

I hate bodily fluids. Blood is ok but everything else, especially the kind we don’t like to talk about over dinner, the kind that comes out “the other” end, royally grosses me out. And changing diapers involves being intimately acquainted with this particular kind of bodily fluid, well more like bodily solid, unless of course… well, never mind, you get the point!

In fact during one of my first babysitting gigs the little 2 year old had such a nasty one that I actually told her not to move, left her in the room by herself and called my mother. She, of course being reasonable, told me that she wasn’t coming over to change it for me so I’d better get my act together and do it. And I did, holding my breath all the while.

This being the case, cloth diapers are the embodiment of nightmare for me.

Unfortunately or fortunately, Bear and I are fairly practical and frugal. Since paper diapers are extremely expensive over here and a friend quite sweetly gave us her gently used cloth diapers, I was forced agreed to see reason and use them.

Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean I like them.

Bear is pretty much immune to being grossed out in any way, so generally I shake what I can off into the toilet and leave it in the bath tub for him to deal with when he gets home. Lame, I know. And yes, he is an extremely wonderful man!

However, THIS week, this week he is gone. I can’t leave diapers in the tub for 10 whole days; one, because I would run out and two it would stink to high heaven. Being the dutiful mother that I am I took one particularly stinky diaper mounded with, *ahem*, and went to dump it in the toilet. To my absolute HORROR I heard a gushy plop. When I looked down there was a slimy, nasty pile on the bathroom floor. (I am thankful it didn’t land on MY foot or the rug.)

I must be more grown up than my high school self because I didn’t call anyone. I calmly, well mostly calmly, grabbed some tissue swiped it up and quickly flushed it down the toilet. Then I rinsed the rest off of the diaper and gently laid threw it into the bathtub.

Therefore this week I am especially thankful for our washing machine that allows me to touch the dirty, poopy, wet, smelly diapers as little as possible.

We Love Music

We love music! Both Bear and I played musical instruments growing up (Although his was short-lived!). All of us enjoy the time of praise and worship at our AIC church. Bear and I also really love country music but finding clean lyrics over the radio is hard. Therefore much of the time we listen to Bear’s collection of classical music, Klove or the children’s catechism CDs given to us for Little Bear. The CDs put Scripture to music and teach many of the basic truths we believe. Little Bear and I dance together in step with the music quite often. He claps his hands, bounces and “sings” right along with whatever is playing. He even gets emotional when sad or mellow music is playing but perks right back up when a happy song comes on.

His face really lights up when Bear sings to him just before bed. We recorded Bear singing “Jesus Loves the Little Children” for the times when he travels and can’t sing to Little Bear in person. So far he sings it in three languages; English, Hausa and Bariba. We’ll have to work on adding Kiswahili and Arabic to the repertoire! Listen to Bear singing below.

Keeping Dry at Work

IMG_0934

Wet, rainy day. Bear is thankful for a dry hangar in which to accomplish his work.

Bear Working

Staying dry inside the hangar. (photo credit: My father)

Little Bear working Copy

Little Bear getting ready to do some welding work. I promise he is totally fine in this picture. (Photo credit: My father)

Little Bear

He is such a joy; a laid-back, easy-going little boy who rarely cries unless something is actually wrong OR if he is struggling to reach a toy he threw just out of his grasp. He is full of smiles and laughter. His grins light up his entire face. He will eat most anything but loves bananas the best of all. He giggles when his Daddy gives him kisses because the beard tickles his face. He gives sweet cuddles in the morning when he isn’t quite yet awake. His legs never stop running and kicking but he refuses to even try crawling! How we love this new addition to our family. Our hope and prayer for him is that he will know and love our heavenly Father.

Who are you thankful for?

Bear

I’m thankful for Bear, my husband.

He is like a Bear. I think the name suits him. He’s tough and stocky and can grow a beard like no one else I know. He can drive me crazy but also keeps me sane. He sings out loud in church and sings to Little Bear each night. He is courageous and calm. He is strong. He survived Bilharzia and numerous bouts of Malaria. His immune system is to be envied. He can drink tap water…in Kenya. He holds my hand when we walk and makes us pancakes every Saturday morning. He loves me but loves the Lord more. And I love him for that.