Monday, October 14, 2013
Turns out recovering from a c section was way easier than I though. IN FACT... easier than dealing with hours of contractions. :) What I realised on that day that it really didn't matter what plans I had to bring him into the world. How I wished it would happen.My plans really didn't matter at all. God had it in control.. Diego was there. In my arms. Healthy and happy. What a blessing.
Here are some of the things that I have learnt and loved over the past two weeks.
I have always loved that little proverb or quote that speaks about a village raising a child. I love the idea that as parents you are not on your own. I love the idea that the responsibility of raising a child is with a whole community. I think I have learnt to appreciate that while dealing with the boys here. Sometimes parents cant raise their kids. Sometimes input and advice from neighbours proves to be invaluable in a child's life. Sometimes its the people around us that impact our kids and inspire them to be better people. That's the positive side to that quote. These past couple weeks I have learnt what the flip-side to this little proverb is.
I have had to learn to stand up for what I think is right for my child. To push aside comments that I dont want and to take into consideration others which might help me and my child. Everyone and I mean EVERYONE has an opinion on how you should raise your baby. How to feed him. How many blankets to wrap him up in. Whats good and whats not.... Opinions are not lacking. At first I thought it was so wonderful that people cared enough to share what they though was best. But I quickly got tired of it and found myself crying one night feeling like a complete failure. There was not way that I could please everyone.
Luis very patiently listened and then reminded me that this child was given to us to raise. God chose me to be his mom. Yes I need help and advice but ultimately I need to figure out whats best for my child and trust in my instincts. This has not been an easy thing for me. I want to please everyone. I want everyone to feel like I am taking their opinions into consideration but I also need to make my own decisions with out feeling guilty. This village that is helping raising my child is made up of people with very loud voices.
I am Diegos mom. God has given me the privilege of having the loudest voice in his life. (at least for now- until he is old enough to not want moms opinion. (: )
Here is another thing that I have learnt...
I am overflowing with pride and love. Not only for this beautiful child that is staring up at me but for my husband. I am reminded every day I see Luis holding Diego how blessed I am to have a husband that is utterly in love with his child, praying for him, loving him and waking up for him when he is crying at night.
I am more in love with my husband than ever before. God has blessed me with the perfect little family. Not perfect like movie perfect... But perfect for me kind of perfect.
So I keep learning. Everyday. Through motherhood I am learning more about myself, my husband and mostly more about the love that my father in heaven has for me. Everyday I realise a little more how perfect God's love is.
Friday, August 9, 2013
Monday, June 24, 2013
Monday, May 27, 2013
Friday, December 21, 2012
Thursday, March 1, 2012
Today, I wasn’t serving the food and Luis’ spoon ended up on someone else's plate. Ian called me over to show me what had happened after that. Something I would never have expected. After trying to beg and plead for his spoon back he decided that he would barter it for his cup of milk. His trade was accepted very eagerly and both parties finished their meal very happy. I never realised how much it would mean to little Luis when I gave him a special spoon. It was something that was his. One thing in the world that was given to him, one thing that he loved and owned. It was worth more than his glass of milk which the kids are so happy to get. I love that I get to see those special moments. A little bit of love and attention means the world to these kids, even if to me, all it is, is a little green, frog shaped spoon.
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
This month my life took the most wonderful turn. After dating Luis since last year, this amazing man who loves the Lord and loves me got on one knee and asked me to be his wife. As the weeks have gone by we have started to not only plan our wedding day but our lives together. I could not be happier. This is better than I could ever have imagined it! Thank you Lord for allowing me to love and be loved like this!
Looking at budgets and houses, beds and appliances it was all of a sudden very clear to me that my life was about to change. There I was looking for a house for just the two of us. Although this has been something that we have spoken about for months and although I am more than ready to begin my life with this incredible man, still my heart aches a little for what I leave behind.
My friend Layne was praying for me a few nights ago and she managed to put my feelings into beautiful words. I feel as if I am mourning the loss of a time in my life. The end of a season. I have been almost like a foster mom for over a year now. My housemates and I took in 3 of the most incredible boys who really became our own. I have spent a large chunk of my time cooking dinners, doing homework, playing and laughing but also disciplining these boys. Our conversations about the Lord and what they have been learning have been some of the most precious memories. I have loved my responsibilities with the boys. And I have loved what they have brought to my life.
These boys have been a part of my life, and always will be. They are my boys. Things are just changing. As I look to a new season of my life. As I am eagerly awaiting becoming a wife and someday, hopefully a mother to my own children I have to learn to let things change.
Change is good.. In this case.. Change is the most exciting and beautiful thing I can imagine! Sometimes with all that goodness comes a little sprinkling of heartache.
But I won’t be living with these boys anymore. And although my role in Masana won’t change, although I will see them all throughout the weeks, I have realised I only have a few more months of 24hour time with my boys.
So I am letting myself be a little sad for the change that will happen in a few months. But REJOICING, and in complete awe of the Lord’s blessing for bringing me the man who I get to love and be with for the rest of our lives. BRING ON THE CHANGE!
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
visit. We were taking one of our Masana boys to visit his family for the first time in years. Little did we know that visit was going to change Cesars life forever. We sat down and were greeted by a grandmother.She had come down from the North of Mozambique to help with funeral arrangements. 3 days before we arrived, Cesars mother had died.
A 16 year old child is not supposed to hear that he has lost
his mother. Cesar sat quietly and still as he took in the news. Not only had he lost his mother but he was not the oldest boy in Mozambique, he is now the man of the house. With 3 younger siblings to look after, he had some huge decisions to make.
Cesar only cried when we got back into the car. I sat with him for a few minutes, only able to comfort him through my own tears as I wept with him.
He stayed with us at Masana for a night or two while he mourned the loss of his mother and dealt with the pain and disappointment of
not going home sooner. Cesar chose to return home and stay in his mother’s house. His younger siblings will be going to live in a center. For children in these types of situations I am so grateful that centers exist.
Cesar has no intention of leaving his mothers house. He is terrified that if he leaves his aunt will sell the house. No matter how much we spoke to him about the things we can do to make sure that didn’t
happen, he didn’t trust the system. He doesn’t trust people and their word enough. He needs to stay there on his own to make sure that house stays in his family, even if that means struggling for food and living on his own.
This past week we spoke with him about his plans, he is still very excited to go back to school. Praise the Lord for that. We met some
incredible neighbours who are helping out and looking after him as much as they possibly can. Although I don’t think it’s a wise option for a 16 year old to be living alone, looking after a house, I also admire his determination to do whatever it takes to make sure this house is there for him and his siblings.
Cesars story has rocked my world. Visiting these children’s families are not always happy reunions. This little kid is fighting for a life
at home again. Without a family. I am so thankful for neighbours who have chosen to be his family.
Monday, October 24, 2011
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
I think crying is great. I think it really is so good for you. I cry alot on house visits. I find myself shedding tears of joy with parents and family members who have welcomed their son home. Today, was different.
I visited a family of a boy who has become a very important part of my growth and understanding of these boys. He is an older boy who I struggled to connect with and even love a few months ago. Over time, God started to open my eyes. Somehow he softened my heart and I started to spend time with and really try to understand this boy. He is a hard kid, with many many stories of how life on the streets is not easy. Being one of the older ones, he lives his day to day life bullying little kids to what he wants.
Over the past few weeks, I have really seen a change in him. He has become someone I really look forward to seeing every day.
Today we visited his family.
His aunt and sister live only a two minute walk away from Masana. We are practically neighbours. As they sat and shared their story about the day he left and about how they were desperate to have him home, I saw more pain than I could bare. The hearts of his aunt and sister were broken for this lost child.
Tears streamed from their faces throughout our time there. Pai, sat very still and quiet.
Finally as I began to pray for the family, I broke down in my own stream of tears. My heart breaking, at that moment, more than I have felt in a long time. As Luis squeezed my shoulder and carried on my prayer he motioned for me to look over. Pai, our hard, emotionless Pai, crying with no shame. For a long time we all just sat and cried. It was a beautiful moment where everyone was unashamed and open.
This time our tears were not tears of joy but tears for a broken family and a hurting son.
I am praying with all of my heart that this was the beginning of Pai's journey home. Today he finally saw just how much his family loved him. I hope this is not the last time. “He does not weep who does not see”. Pai has finally seen and out of that has wept. What a beautiful moment to be a part of.
Thursday, August 18, 2011
A few years ago, I was so against the idea of a woman cooking and cleaning for her family. I hated the expectation that when a man came home, he needed to be cared for, looked after. It was never my intention or dream to stay at home and look after the kids and house while my husband went out to work all day. Not because I needed a job or wanted to work all the time, but because I wanted to break the mould of what woman should be. I think especially in Christian circles, the idea of submission and the role of woman has become so warped and messed up.
Little did I know… God was going to flip my ideas and perceptions around, and now I want to change those warped ideas.
The past few months have been an amazing transformation for me. Woman in Mozambique are expected to work and serve all the time. It is their responsibility to cook food, look after the children and serve their husbands and any other male figures around them. When I moved here I decided that I needed to embrace all that comes with Mozambique. And so began my journey of submission, service and housework. J
A few months down the line I could not imagine anything else. One of my favourite things to do is cook a good meal for my little family. Keeping the house clean is hard work, but I have been amazed at the sense of pride and accomplishment that comes with the finished product. Sure, my boys cook meals, Ian is awesome and cooks dinner too. Some days I am too exhausted to clean our huge house but the point is my heart has changed. My attitude towards all these task has completely changed. Its awesome!
I find it the greatest joy and privilege to be able to serve my family in this way. It’s a gift that I can give to them. This is my role and responsibility. I really believe that part of my calling and plan in Mozambique is to serve and care for my family. The one I have now, and the one I will have one day.
Pope John Paul II says this about family,
“To maintain a joyful family requires much from both the parents and the children. Each member of the family has to become, in a special way, the servant of the others.”
I think this has become such a reality to me over the past few months. As we serve and love each other, we find joy.
So grateful for finding this new love and passion for being a “home maker”, for serving my family and in general being a bit of a mom.