The Ferris wheel.
We got to watch him spin this cotton candy right there.
The ride home on the back of the truck.
This is a post asking for input and wisdom from you.
We conservative people, have, for the most part, decided that TV isn’t worth it’s time. Why pipe it into your living area for us to have to flip through in order to find something half decent to watch? So we’ve pitched it.
Along comes internet and things get complicated. We find it almost necessary to live and operate in this modern world. Meetings and appointments are planned, cancelled, and even held online. For those of us on the mission field, it’s amazing to be able to talk face to face with family at home via skype.
But this doesn’t change the fact that I unfriended another of Dru’s facebook friends today. It doesn’t change the fact that the news sites flash dumb stories and maybe even adds. We find ourselves knee deep in stuff we don’t want to see and don’t by any means want our husbands to see, by an accidental click. We all know our husbands and men run into junk now and then because they’re honorable men and tell us. Even those of us with internet filters find junk now and then by accident.
But what am I going to do when my 3 year old is 14? Open communication is the key. We all know that. If we just get the internet out of our houses entirely, does that really teach our children how to deal with the real world? Yet, how come it’s okay to have this kind of media in our homes?
Facebook is a fun, amazing tool. But, when you’re in ministry, you have friends who are going post language and junk, and you have to see it. And then friends you thought you could trust post bad stuff. Is the answer a family Facebook page? How many teenagers are going to be enthralled with that?
I don’t have any answers. I want to grow kids that are sheltered from within. Kids that don’t look on sin and read junk just because they want to serve the Lord and be pure. Kids that are going to know how to handle temptations when they discover the real world. Actually, I want my kids to know about the real world as they grow up and know how to deal with it well. But I’m wondering—are we bringing the real world a little too close to us when we pipe it right into our homes? Our homes that are supposed to be safe, nurturing places.
So, what has worked for your families? What are your house rules? And, if you’re brave enough, what hasn’t worked for your families? What would you do differently if you had it to do over again?
Life ticks by. I feel busy, busy. Always. Always something to think about. Something to pray about. Things to remember not to mull about, but to turn over to the Lord. My time, relationships, children, hubby…all of it. My brain feels like it’s on overload, although this week things are better. Thai class isn’t just about language. It’s culture stuff. Complex. More to think about.
So here I sit with my coffee on this stuffy afternoon to tell you about the fragments that make my life go around. I’m fully aware that I should probably take a nap. I know full well that I should work on my Thai studies. Double chocolate chip cookie dough is in the fridge waiting to baked, and later frosted with cream cheese frosting and eaten at an astounding rate. Never mind. It’s time to stop. To write. To reflect. To rest.
This is us all dressed up for banquet night.
I learned in Thai class today that if I live in a Thai neighborhood and we live our lives together as friends, knowing each other well, we still have to use “high” language when we go to church with these same people. Because it’s appropriate, and to use common language in the church building, would be rude. However, if I take this same group of people and we meet together in my home, and talk about the things of the Lord, than I can use normal street language.
For today’s lesson I’m too try to memorize a prayer in Thai…high language and all. I told her I’d study this so I know it, but I’m not studying this in order to impress the Thai people with my ability to pray.
I also learned that if I’m to pray in a way that is appropriate and proper, than I must learn to speak the high language. We don’t use street language to speak to God anymore than we do to speak to the king. This is why Pii Bob, as of yet, refuses to pray in church when asked. (However, if we were in a home, maybe, he’d be a little more comfortable. I’m not sure.) New Christians in Thailand will tell you, when asked to pray publicly, “I haven’t learned how to pray yet,” as though it were a subject you learn, such as Math, or Science. It is indeed, a bit of a science. In Thai, some people are known as good prayers, in the same way that we think of people as good singers, or good mechanics, or good students or teachers, simply because they know how to use pretty language to pray. Kru Gaye admitted to me that many people are guilty of the sin of the Pharisees, wanting their beautiful prayers to be heard. Too many of them, not praying from the heart, but from the head. All this troubles me badly. And, although this information answers some questions, it brings up new ones. This is indeed a complex culture we live in.
Dru and I are also in the midst of asking ourselves—what should the redeemed Thai culture look like? How does Jesus want to change Thai culture? We’re thinking about specific applications of Scripture. And we find ourselves in a position of some awkwardness as we work with our Mennonite brothers and sisters here, loving and trusting them so much, yet finding that my Dru Seth isn’t really a Mennonite after all—and by extension, I’m not either. We desperately want to do what is right towards our Mennonite brothers and sisters, our Thai brothers and sisters, and our Heavenly Father.
Amidst all of this, this lady, with so much on her mind, is very thankful to her Heavenly Father, for His care. Specifically, thankful that He brought Francis here to live with us for these few short months. I knew I needed her, but didn’t know how much. Just having the stability of her presence has meant so much. Last weekend I was hormonal and emotional. I realized that with my housework, children, Thai classes, husband, and church planting on my mind—even with Frances here, some things were still not happening. Jube’s behavior in general was getting out of hand and the housework was not happening right because I didn’t have the brains to delegate properly. So Frank took over the laundry…just poof…she’s doing my laundry…which feels amazing. And I’m not even thinking about it. The laundry smells clean and lovely again, under her tender loving care. She’s just quietly picking up tabs in other areas too, she has all along actually, but, well, this week I’m just letting it slide better and trusting her for it. It feels like it took we awhile to figure out how to make this all work. It’s not Frank’s fault at all. It’s my crazy, fragmented, brain.
It’s also been just plain fun to have Frank here and get to know her as my sister. I’ve observed that she doesn’t like red straws but uses all the other colors first. When all of the other colors are nearly gone, she’ll dig out new straws. “There just…too red,” she said. She likes clean babies. So my babies get scrubbed more often than they’re used to, but they don’t seem to mind and I don’t either so it’s fine. We think alike along a lot of lines…even about things like croutons that should be in the salad.
The children are healthy and happy. Jube will probably still need to wear a pull-up when he’s sixteen, but there are worse problems, right? Havilah is underweight according to my doctor. So I’m feeding her more milk and and he gave me an iron supplement for her. It’s not like she doesn’t have any chubbies though, so I’m not real worried about it other than to be subconsciously keeping better tabs on how much she eats. Bottles kind of save the day when her teeth bother her too much to chew food.
It all started with Jube’s verse about God’s Word being a light unto our path. Which made him think of Tim walking him down the path to the cabin with his flashlight after a long happy day at Nanna’s house. So he wanted to be shown again where Tim lived. Geography has already begun around here. The other day he begged his father for a city map so he could see where the park with the birds and fish was.
Hubby is back in school again. The second semester started this week. He has a lot of writing and oral presentation type classes this term and so he’s enjoying that aspect of it a lot. He’s also hoping to take some tests here pretty soon that will effectively allow him to “skip” those classes—if he can pass the tests.
Two weeks ago a friend of ours made it possible for us to stay at one of the nicer hotels here in the city for a very good price. Many thanks to this unnamed friend! My amazing man had made mental notes of quite a few different things that we needed to talk about as a couple. Things that had been sitting on the back burner and falling by the wayside for too long. Mostly things about where we are headed as a family. What we are doing for family devotions. What we’re doing for entertainment. And a lot more. All in all, it was one of the most profitable dates we’ve taken. I came away grateful for the amazing man God gave me. Thankful for a man who cares about his family and our direction as a family. Thankful for a man who wants to be tuned in to me. I came away from that time feeling safe and happy.
These two pictures were from our date. We didn’t take enough pictures…our camera battery died. But these are are happy memories anyway. My favorite meal was the one above. Just plain cashew chicken at Black Canyon in the old mall.
One of the things we talked about on that date was how Dru’s wife was really disturbed by how her bedroom was not well-painted or pretty. Mostly all it needed was some time and support from the man. We had the paint already. Our room is now beautiful, the only thing waiting to be done is the installation of a light fixture. This was kind of extra, but because we didn’t have to buy paint and the only expense so far had been masking tape and paint brushes, we bought an on sale new light fixture the other day when we were in the store for something else. I don’t think that we’ve spent more than $20 USD for the whole project. Nice. And it very deeply blesses my heart. All the way down to wall paper border from Lily that I finally got to hang. I am very happy about it. The light fixture still needs to be hung…that will come some day, hopefully soon, when Dru has time.
I know it’s been a while since I’ve blogged. Those of you who really care about pictures have been keeping up with Frank’s blog. I’m glad you’re enjoying them. I hope that you all will go home and take pictures of your lives for us to see now. And blog them. Sometimes I think people forget that in all of their caring for us, we want to know about them too.
Life has been crazy around here the last—oh, about three weeks. I’ve been so thankful to have Francis here “for such a time as this,” only I wish she could have missed out on some of the drama that surrounded us these last couple of weeks. Drama I’m not even going to go into other than to say that it’s better now and God answered many tears and prayers and the world isn’t going to stop going ‘round, even though in the middle of it, it did feel really awful at times. Actually, looking it all back over I have to say, God IS good and will continue to be.
And after we got through all of that, we felt like we were thrown another curve ball, which I’m not going to tell you about either. But last night Dru told me that he came to a decision that he felt peace about, and when the man does that, then things feel better cause then you at least have a plan. A man without a plan has got to be one of the world’s most helpless feelings.
But in all of this, my life is still pressed down and shaken over with good and happy things. Like my family. Frank snapped the following two pictures of us when we went to the Mall. The children we left with Mae Wahn.
I like it how we look like we like each other.
For Jube’s birthday we headed to the park to feed the birds. Jube was so excited and amazed that he didn’t’ even eat his cupcake. I couldn’t even get him to pose properly.
Sitting near the edge of the water like this made it easy to feed both the fish and the birds. Notice the water swirling.
Havilah was determined to go swimming. She was trying to leap into the pond with great bounds. Stinker.
This is my Dru man with his new book bag. We’re kind of happy with it because its leather, the right style and the price wasn’t too bad. After going through one bag in just one semester, we decided we might as well get him one that would last. Any of you who know Dru know that he can be dreadfully hard on things. It was kind of a struggle with the conscience to go ahead with this—but his wife kind of convinced him to go for it, so he did.
Finding it was a bit of a hassle but it made for a long, latish date (happy thing). Frank had the children tucked into bed by the time we got home. But then both children were sick and Jube had to spend some time in a steam tent, and Havilah didn’t want to sleep all night. So I didn’t get much sleep that night.
I like us.
And then we went to the coffee shop and ordered too much but got most of it down anyway and laughed and talked and read Jube a story , and chased Havilah around and had a good time while the dirty dishes waited at home. I made a conscious decision not to think about them and enjoy myself and my family.
Jube with one of his new books. Jube got lots of presents from other people. Anticipating this and given the amount of toys he already has, we kept it really simple. We gave him two books and his bears from Marmee and Dru bought an app for Jube to play with on his computer. (Dru’s computer that is. Dru and Jube like to play games on the tablet but Jube is still a bit young for angry birds.)
This little girl got silly and ran around and was cute.
Please excuse any typos until my husband finds them and fixes them. I’m going to go get my day on the road. I have to study for my Thai class. There are more pictures of the the birthday party we had at our house last night with Jube’s famous snowman cake that I made for him. He has insisted ever since Havilah’s birthday that he wanted a snowman cake…so I made one. It turned out okay if I must say so myself.
The children and Frank are still sleeping. The rain is falling, is falling, is falling, as rainy season rains itself out by hours at a time. I worry my precious pumpkins will blight and mold with all of this rain. But it really doesn’t matter about my pumpkins now does it, in the light of eternity.
My washing machine was fixed and I got it back last evening. Lovely to have my clothes wrung out properly. Today’s agenda included mostly laundry but I’m loath to get started until the rain stops. Drying laundry, even if I am doing it inside with a fan on the wrack, is a near fruitless endeavor.
Yes, it is lovely to have Francis (a.k.a., Frank) here. It’s hard to believe it’s been over a week already since she arrived. So far we’ve done nothing exciting with her other than get stuck in the rain on our first Sunday to church because our car doesn’t like rain and has a tendency to get fussy when we take it out in the rain. But we forget about this quirk it has until we’re stuck in the rain…so it hasn’t gotten fixed. So Francis missed church the first Sunday all because of a car.
And here we are still struggling to pin down a Thai teacher. One teacher we really liked is a bit pricey and transportation is an issue. Dru was able to make contact with another teacher we were recommended (she wouldn’t answer her phone) only to have her say that she was really busy but has a friend who’d like to start teaching and are we interested? So that’s where we are this morning. Do I want to have a teacher who’s never taught Thai before as my teacher? The lack of experience on her part has its pros and cons. There is some advantage to having a teacher to whom I can bring my agenda and say, “This is what I want to learn this month,” rather than have her decide what we learn. This does require more work on my part, but done properly, it could be the most effective way of learning. But, do I even know what I need to learn? Sigh. So glad for Dru helping me through all of this.
Today we also need to go pick up Dru’s now repaired bicycle. Then Frank and I can ride around the neighborhood. She says she’s going to go on bike rides and that she’s not scared of dogs.
It’s time for me to go make breaky. Jube just came an asked for a muffin. Muffins are his preferred form of breakfast. So I shall go make some breakfast. And I don’t have anything else to say anyway. Life is just really normal around here…
After a sad day yesterday filled with sick children a a piece of sad news, Dru brought me flowers.
Sorry if my blog looks a little funny, Dru was in the process of beautifying it yesterday when he should have been homework. He’ll get it fixed nice again one of these days.