Monday, October 7, 2013

confessions of a missionary wife

We skyped a missionary service a few weeks ago, and someone wanted to know how we became "ninja christians".   He meant, I think, how did we decide to actually LEAVE.  

We were with other missionaries, and we were thousands of miles away with a 30 second delay, so I could not laugh out loud like I wanted to.

I thought, if only you knew. . .

I am NOT a NINJA christian.
I am NOT.
My life is not glamorous.
I struggle with some of the same things I always have, I have laid some time, only to pick them up again.

Sometimes I wonder if people realize how very not ninja I am.

Let me give you some recent examples.
of my non-glamourous life.

Last week Dave had dropped the girls off at school, and later I hoped in the car to go to a Bible study.  He was driving with the window down.
I make it a practice not to do that, because there are many people who come to your car while you are stopped for a variety of reasons.
Well it was a beautiful morning, with blue skies and white fluffy skies, and the music was on, and I was by myself (which rarely happens) so I was enjoying it.
I was at a stop sign, minding my own business, keenly aware of what was going on in front of me.
When all of a sudden, a man on roller-skates comes out of no where, FROM BEHIND, and pops his head in my window to ask me if I wanted to buy a back scratcher.
OK.  I panicked, thinking how am I going to get out of this situation, 2 of the missionary women here have had men grab them and steal their purses.
I am thinking I am going to die in Costa Rica by a strange man with a back scratcher.
My immediate thought was NOT let me witness to this man who obviously needs Jesus.
No sir, my ninja faith had me run the red light and roll up the window as fast as I could.

speaking of the car.
last week I decided that I drive better  when I am angry.
I have had a huge fear of the road from here to the girl's school since the beginning of school, creeping my way up.  Praying that the rapture occurred at any second.
It is scary people.
Well last week I was angry before I left, (I am not going into the details :) and got half way up the road when I realized I was driving the "drive of death".
And I was not focused on the bathsized pot holes, or steep embankments.
(negative points there)

I still struggle with materialism.
I have hardly thought about that in a long while (selling most everything you own and packing everything you want for the next 3 years in 20 suitcases makes you choose your purchases carefully)
However, the girls started a new school, and at this school there are some very affluent people.  I found myself wanted to know who Micheal Kross was and how could I get a bag like everyone else's.  (or I would settle for a coach bag.)  I have never ever in my life wanted a purse that would cost a house payment.  But yep, it is true.  I did recently.  I wanted to fit in by the things that other people saw.  (before that I just wanted some new pajamas from k-mart)

The next have nothing to do with Ninja faith, but are just some confessions.

I can not do a three point turn (it is more like a five point turn if I am lucky)
I use my i-phone to help me in difficult conversations, and directions.  I am still addicted to it.
I still like Vera Bradley & Brighton jewelry
I have become a hoarder.  (not like extreme coupon hoarding) but . . . here you never know what you are going to find, and how long they are going to sell it.  So when I find something I like, or my girls like, I buy 4 of them. (which may or may not include brownie mix)  I know that is ridiculous.  But I have gone back so many times and NOT been able to get them, I have resorted to hoarding.  A month ago (for example) they had the cornbread mix that we like.  Now we like it so much it made the precious 20 suitcases when we came.  Only one box, because we only eat it on New Years Day.  But they had it in a store here, and I bought 4 boxes.  (really?)
I buy imported fruit.  I can't for the life of me understand how people can eat some of these fruits. (for the record apples, grapes, and kiwi are imported)
I don't understand why missionaries criticize each other.
I don't want to get the "yellow fever" vaccine that I have to get.

I could go on and on. . .

But I will stop with one last confession.
Today I cried.
I came home from a parent volunteer session at the girls school.  I plopped down in the room where Dave was doing office work, and started to cry.
I will give the man credit, he was smart enough to stop what he was doing, but was totally clueless at the cause.
Every time I tried to tell him, I found myself physically unable to.

Our Big prayer is that our girls, especially Maggi, finds a true good friend.  Maggi's personality needs a good friend.  There are only 5 girls in her class.  One is sweet but has a faith completely opposite of what we believe.  One has no faith.  And two are girls who are from here, and have been in the same class since Kindergarden.  They are tight, and speak Spanish as first language.  Maggi and I have been brainstroming ways to "mix" the Costa Rican girls and the American girls.  Well today I realized how hard it is to be in her shoes.  In the parent volunteer meeting, the women paired off, obviously being close friends, and after cordial introductions with me, they start speaking in Spanish, and became involved in their own conversations.  Now our Spanish is good enough to order food, grocery shop, small talk, speak in conversations, pay bills, and are comfortable in conversations that we are familiar with the vocabulary.    But that doesn't take the place of a life time of "history" between friends, talking about things that are familiar with local phrases and terms.  I came home with the painful reality of what Maggi faces everyday.  Wanted to connect, but having a big divide.  My heart was bleeding for her.  I had no words.  I had no ninja like faith.  I wanted to take her home, and give her a pajama party  with her old friends.  I wanted to go to the mall, go to chick-fil-a, and drive with the windows down singing songs at the top of our lungs (I would even let the songs be One Direction songs).  I wanted things to not be hard for her.
so I cried.
Not the stories you here missionaries talk about when they come to your church.
Not the thoughts they make people give money to your mission.
Certainly NOT the definition of a "ninja" Christian.

just an ordinary mom, doing the best she can, realizing that it is about the small steps that are defining our family and our faith.

If I trust the Lord enough to move my family wherever He wants.
Then surely I can trust Him to bring Maggi a friend.
(and one who has a great mom wouldn't be bad- just saying)
and then I stopped crying (after I ate a little chocolate).

1 Thessaloninas 1:2-4
We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers.  We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.  For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that He has chosen you. . .

1 comment:

  1. For those of you who know my wife she is an incredible woman who does not give herself enough credit. But you should know that I am incredibly proud of her and how she has been extraordinary at being a normal mother in very difficult circumstances. Love you babe. -David