We’re leaving in a few hours to go and meet my cousin’s new baby boy, Carson. Yay! He’s not here just yet, but he should be by the end of the day. Is there anything more exciting than holding a brand new baby?!
We’re having a great week. Emma has been crawling super-fast laps around the house every day, screaming and squealing as she goes. (Ana doesn’t quite know how to handle this.) I keep trying to get it on video, but as soon as she sees the camera, she stops and sits there, smiling. She’s changing so fast. On Saturday, she’ll be nine months old. Where has the time gone!?!
Ana, who is twenty-one months old today, has recently become fascinated with Oscar the Grouch. Her Gram sang a song with her about him while she was in town that goes something like this, “Oscar, Oscar, where are you?” Since then, Ana has spent the majority of her time singing, “Okars, Okars, where aww ou?,” and looking for him in her books, in her toys, and in our kitchen trash can. Sometimes, she’ll just stop what she’s doing, look at me, and ask, “Okars?” as if I’m hiding him somewhere. He’s on some of her Elmo’s World videos, and when he appears, she literally shouts, “OKARS!” I think it’s entirely fitting that the grouchiest muppet is her favorite. Here she is helping Mommy bake some cookies for church visitation…
Anyway, that’s the update on the girls. I’m keeping busier than anticipated with preparation for Sundays. The ladies’ Bible study is going okay… one week everyone will be there and super-involved, the next we’ll only have a few there, etc. The only other ladies’ Bible studies I’ve ever been involved in were workbook studies, where each member did about thirty minutes of homework each day. (They were Beth Moore studies at FBC Houston, in case you’re wondering about the format.) It was a lot of work (but well worth it), and I would have preferred something in-depth like this for our study here. But I knew that doing this level of participation would be overwhelming right now for this group, since they’ve struggled to keep up the work in studies like this before, so we picked something that was just twenty pages of a book a week. Is that too much to read? I don’t have a fulltime job, so I can’t understand the time demands of some of the women in the group, and my kids don’t have school and extracurricular schedules that keep me busy either, so I can’t understand the time demands of moms with older kids either. The study is great, and when people are there and have read, we learn a lot. I don’t know how we can make the study of God’s Word a priority to people. On an optimistic note, I know that just because no one invests time in this particular study doesn’t mean that they aren’t investing time in their own personal Bible study. So, maybe I just need to get over it. Ha! I use the girls’ nap time to keep up with my reading, studying for the lesson, preparing the powerpoint, going over my notes, etc… and then feel like I’ve just wasted all those precious nap hours when I should have been cleaning, doing laundry, cooking, etc, when no one even shows up! If I think time with God’s Word is wasted, despite what other people do, then I’M the one with the problem. So, there you go. No one’s problem but my own. Moving on now… LOL!
I’m teaching fourth-sixth grade Sunday school in the mornings now, which has been fun. I’m encouraged at how Biblically literate all of these kids are! Or maybe I’m just used to teaching Ana, who is too young to remember anything. (Except Papa on the cross. She STILL thinks he’s the one in the pictures. Sigh.) Anyway, I’m having a great time doing this. One of the girls told me last week that she thinks she scares away all of the teachers since every few months they have to find a new teacher since the old one has quit. Well, if that didn’t convict me to be faithful in just being there, I don’t know what would have. I’m still trying to figure out how to fit preparation for this group into my schedule. It’s been good so far, but I think there’s a lot more that could be done to really make this time profitable in these kids’ lives.
Anyway, that’s about all that’s going on here. Wes is crazy-busy all the time, but he’s doing a great job. I can see now how this — Oklahoma — is a better fit for him than the foreign mission field. And for me, too. For that briefest moment in my life, being in Namibia was the perfect place for me to minister. And what I’m doing now isn’t all that different than what I did there. I’m still trying to figure it all out, how it’s about serving where you are, and not always about serving in a particular place. I think Duncan, Oklahoma is God’s will for us. But if we were somewhere else, I don’t think He would be any less honored or glorified through our faithful service there. Do I sound confused? I’m really not. This is just something I’ve had to work through a lot since meeting and marrying Wes, these past five years, all of our ministry experiences together, etc. I’m very happy here and feel like I’m serving God as I’m meant to. Five years ago, when I came back from Namibia, I would have scoffed at the mere thought of being a pastor’s wife in Oklahoma, but it all worked out the right way. Am I still the same person? Am I ministering in the same ways? Yes. But being a single young missionary in Africa sure does sound a lot more dramatic, daring, and romantic than being a homemaker/stay at home mommy in smalltown Oklahoma. Believe it or not! I think I had a lot or preconceived ideas about what would be an acceptable and fulfilling life, not taking into account that any life lived to the fullest for Christ and His glory IS fulfilling and wholly acceptable and pleasing to the Lord. It took a long time for me to get to this way of thinking. Trust me.
And with that, I really need to pack our bags! Ahk! Where did the morning go!?!