Yesterday, I was sitting. Reflecting. Thinking.
I haven’t been great at posting anything since getting to the USA. Not that I haven’t had time. Okay yes, I have been busy. But really I could have found time.
But my wandering, dreaming, creative personality has a hard time sitting still. I’ve never been great at “putting down roots.” and I realised something — after spending the last seven years traipsing over Eastern Europe, learning languages, learning to appreciate new cultures, learning to enjoy chicken heart soup — a “home assignment year” seems very much boring. Especially when we have move date “guesstimates” but nothing set in stone. That in itself is quite faith building!
The girls started seeing a wonderful counsellor in October. What a blessing and find she is. Her office is five minutes away, covered by insurance and she works so well with them. We’ve been digging deep, because our kids have some deep sadness and fears. We’ve been uncovering loss, death and fear. We’ve been discussing transitions and traumas. We also did some academic and behavioural testing (through school and the counsellor) and both girls were considered 2E. If you have heard of that, great. If you haven’t, great. I’m not going to go into it a lot, because this is the internet and that is their story. I’m digressing with a point. 😉 In Romania, it was suggested that Addy has ADD and I guess she was diagnosed “officially” although we never received anything. She’s known this and we’ve talked about it and she’s quite okay with the entire thing. We tease that we knew what we were doing when we named her ADD-y. 😀 Did you know it is all called ADHD now? There are three types and she is falls in type 2, possibly type 3 combined ADHD. I’m going to keep digressing because it will all makes sense in the end, ha! While discussing this with the “professionals,” the next statement caught me off guard. “Most likely, you or her dad has ADHD. Have either of you been tested?” I diligently read through some of the paperwork, “NOPE that is in no way her dad. He’s pretty much the polar opposite.” Then the next question, “actually let’s do this. I will ask you quite a few questions. ADHD in adult women looks very different.” Ten minutes later…? “Well, I would say the ADHD genetic link comes from you. I am going to send you home with quite a few resources to read. ADHD in girls and adult women looks very different than the ADHD we are used to hearing about.”
And now I have a great excuse for digressing. :-p
I’m joking. Actually it has been life changing! So many pieces of my brain make sense to me finally. So many of my “character flaws” that I really disliked make sense to me. Actually some pieces of me that I thought were “negative” I’ve realised aren’t really that negative. Different, yes. But also able to be used as my strengths!
The counsellor also gave Christian and I the Enneagram test. (We have also been blessed to be in counselling since December!) At the end she laughed and said, “there should be a category for resistance to categories.” Christian of course fit neatly into the boxes and received logical printouts. In the end we agreed that I am often a seven but when I am struggling or grieving I don’t become a struggling seven — I actually morph into a four. Christian and I read a million descriptions from a faith-based and secular view point. He even agreed, “honey you aren’t the ‘unhealthy 7’ ever. You really become the four instead.” He is this perfect little “2 wing 1.” But I already knew that I married perfection. <3
I was going to post more but if I am truly going to resume blogging while living here temporarily in the USA, I better break it up. I will end with this — we are homeschooling this year. It is an adventure. I’ve learned a lot about myself and my kids. We are also reading “The Girl that Drank the Moon” as one of our read aloud books and each chapter begins with, “In Which…” which is how my children now like to start conversations (hence the title of this blog). 😀 Also, no matter how hard it is to furlough, that USA library set up is pretty fine. 😉
this little person is amazing. she turned ten years old in the midst of chaos and getting a new brother and sister. she hasn’t handled it perfectly but she’s been trying!
she also asked us if she could be baptised. we decided we loved the idea because the pastor that does the baptisms was a missionary for seventeen years, raising four third culture kids and really understand our family’s unique challenges!
then she asked for a feast afterward. 😂😍😁 we ended the evening with a christmas concert!
another kid getting baptised
a little wet 😂
special guests 💛
i realised this was her first concert! then when she begged to sponsor a child and was handed a ten year old girl from ethiopia…how could i say no? “i will write her in amharic and we can meet next year!!”
thanks for turning ten, following Jesus wholeheartedly and bringing a smile to my face every day, addy grace!
A blog by Christian about his time at the BAM conference.
Do you know the first time in scripture the phrase “filled with the Spirit of God” is used (depending on your translation)? Exodus 31:3. God fills Bezalel with His Spirit … in order to work. God’s Spirit is connected with our work.
A couple weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend the Business as Mission Conference in Philadelphia. The theme intrigued me, as our new venture will be to create a for-profit business in Ethiopia. I wanted to learn how business can be used as mission, and there was a lot to learn.
Many times, and this has been true in my life, the church has distinguished itself from business. Business is about money, and church is about God. There is a sacred-secular divide. There is an unspoken idea that business owners are *only* about making money. It’s about the bottom line. Business can’t ignore the bottom line of profit, but it can expand and have more than 1 bottom line. In fact, they have 4.
Profit. Obviously, if the company isn’t making a profit, it’s going to fail. Profit is important. It’s good even. But it’s not singular. Making money just for the sake of making money isn’t our God-given purpose.
People. A Business as mission cares about it’s people. Suppliers, employees, customers, and government officials. We ask ourselves, “Do I love my team/suppliers/customers/regulators as I love myself?” Business that ignores people and society is not doing mission.
Planet. We are called to be stewards of the Earth. We’re called to subdue it, not destroy it. Yes, we are supposed to use the things of the planet for our benefit, but not *solely* for our benefit. A business that destroys the planet is not glorifying God.
Eternal Purpose. This is the spiritual aspect. We need to be investing Spiritual Capital in people. We need to demonstrate a true relationship with Jesus and pray to the God of the harvest.
There were a few speakers that really stood out to me. One is a businessman in China. He has been working there for over 30 years, and has a manufacturing company brining in over $1 million every month. He also hires disabled people as a significant percentage of his workforce. He prays over his equipment and staff daily. He’s focused not just on revenue and profit, but also on the wellbeing of his people and their spiritual welfare.
We also heard from Shane Claiborne, who ministers in inner-city Philadelphia. He encouraged us to care about the poor. He shared stories of how they’ve ministered in their community with urban farming, providing low-cost housing, and non-violent activism.
Every speaker had great insights, from how we are seeing the lowest level of worldwide poverty ever in history, how we are combating human trafficking (a 32 Billion dollar “industry”), and how the church’s job is shalom – the flourishing of creation.
It was a great experience, and I’m glad I went. I was left with a few nuggets that I keep mulling over:
What will I personally do with my economic, social, and spiritual “capital”? Where will I invest it?
Remember that Jesus’ yoke is easy: the closer we are to Him, the easier the load for us.
I’m reminded of a comment from my missionary friend, who wasn’t at the conference: “Business can never be mission unless work is worship.”
Let’s remember that whatever we do today, we do it for His Glory.
A few pictures…
Whelp. We are three weeks into this USA homeschooling adventure and so far so good. It is weird not having kids go off every morning and come home every afternoon. There are some parts we really miss: the ease of uniforms, knowing that no matter what we are all ready for the day at 8am, and friends! On the other hand, there are some parts that are really nice: less stressful mornings, getting carried away and doing geography or science all day long and it doesn’t matter! And of course we are making friends. It just takes time and energy especially when you miss your other friends. We started gymnastics (Addy goes 5x a week and is finally…calm. Ha!) Mercy has karate twice a week and loves it, plus her Sensei said she is a nature and has the perfect personality for karate. We go to AWANA on Sunday afternoons at the church literally next door, Sierra Grace. Plus we will be going to field trips and activities through our school, Inspire Charter School.
Christian had his first week of solo traveling for Hope Takes Root (brand new site coming SOON!). He was able to attend a very interesting and helpful conference called BAM in Philidelphia. It was everything and more: inspirational, helpful, challenging, a networking opportunity, the list goes on! He is still traveling so I will have to wait until he gets home to get all the details. More to come. 😉 He was able to start the trip by visiting our friends, Mike and Shannon (and their boys) in Titusville. We spent a year in Moldova with them and they are some of our most awesome+like minded friends. The girls and I tried not to be too jealous! He is now spending the weekend in Harrisburg with other friends, originally from Thousand Oaks. He gets home early Tuesday morning.
Yesterday we tackled the shopping. We went to a USA mall which confused the girls (“where’s the grocery store, mama?”) to get my phone fixed. Then we did Sprouts and WalMart. My children think the Sprout’s cart is hysterical. Then we found Ursuletul Tedi which made their day but they wanted to know why tedi was spelled “so weird.: :-p
And let’s be honest. Everything is new or interesting. Why did Sprouts need to tell me my corn syrup came from corn? Does corn syrup every come from beets or wheat? And what in the world are boiled peanuts? Did I just miss this growing up or has the South, USA come to California?
Today we started our 2018/2019 school year “officially.” I say officially because we tend to “do school” every day all day and all year long. We are blessed with slightly exhausting lifelong learners. (They might get that from their mama…or maybe dad too!)
You might notice they aren’t in an official grade. Technically they are enrolled in year 3 and year 5 in their UK program and grade 2 and grade 4 in their California charter school. Homeschooling is really going to fit our needs this year as we conquer 3rd to 6th grade math and 1st to 3rd grade English language arts. 😀 Transitioning from a completely different education system is interesting and unique!
We passed the one month mark of being in America. I’d be lying if I said it was smooth but this past month was definitely filled with grace!
We hit some milestones. Both girls allowed themselves to be sad and grieve instead of forcing themselves to stay “angry” about all the changes. Both girls when asked the question, “are you enjoying home?” went from angrily replying, “my HOME is in Romania” to explaining, “I like my California home but my real home is in Romania.” Baby steps. This is an emotional step in the right direction as we allow them to process their feelings in their own timing.
We also took a whirlwind road trip to celebrate Grandma Ducky’s bday and see our good friend Katherine and her son, Josh (9). We stayed with our Auntie Barbara and Uncle Steve and even managed to see a couple special people like Auntie G and Great-Grandma Ruth. We didn’t mention to many people that we were down there and we promise we will be back SOON for much LONGER. We really wanted to see Katherine since this is the first time we have seen her since 2008 (she is a missionary to Cambodia). But we had to hurry home because we started school today!