Always sweet and always too short.
Whenever I’d first find out there’s a little one growing inside me, I’d start to dream of what that little one was going to be like. We never ever know, but we can only hope that some of their likes and dislikes are similar to ours. This one, my youngest one, loves to be outside (she has an older brother who loves it as much as she does), and it gives me joy whenever she asks to go outside(it gives me joy whenever he asks too!). She looks at the bugs and worms under the walking stones, she stands on the rotting tree root called “The Hobbit Hole”, she climbs the sour cherry tree, and makes her way down to the creek. She collects things to throw in or tries to climb across on the fallen branches. This yard has been a place of renewal and a sanctuary even though there are a few not-so-pleasant-spots, I’ll spare you the details, but it is a gem in the middle of a bustling city. We hope to buy our own place soon-ish and all of us are so sad to leave this yard behind. I love that Laney loves to be out in it, experiencing it, seeing all the life being lived out all around her. I love that she explores unafraid (although we have had to set up rules for being around that creek without a brother or parent around!!) I love that she chases the birdies, and feeds the ducks and watches the squirrels. So glad God gave me kids who enjoy his creation as much as I do, who notice the details of the flowers and the trees and stop to observe the endless changes.
“The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature.” Anne Frank
The moon marks off the seasons, and the sun knows when to go down. Psalm 104:19
Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy. Psalm 14:17
Give thanks to the LORD, for he his good; his love endures forever. Psalm 107:1
Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. Psalm 100:4
August 11, 2011 was the day we returned to the states after living in Argentina. Anniversaries aren’t always something we want to celebrate but are often carthatic and a release. This anniversary marks 3 years that we’ve been back in the states, which is as long as we were gone. It feels significant. As Zekey just started 2nd grade, he had to prepare an “All About Me” bag, he wanted to include photos of him playing in the “cancha” or field with the kids we worked with while living in Argentina. (I love that he thought of this as something unique about him and his life.) As I looked for those pictures over the weekend, they took me to a place to remember with tears of sadness. I haven’t viewed those photos in awhile, they brought about some more healing in my heart about our time spent in La Plata.
I still have days that I struggle to accept that we live back in the states. We were doing what we always hoped we would do, it wasn’t easy, and I fought through months of discontentment while we first lived there, and came to an acceptance of God’s leading and will in our lives. And then as quickly as we were there, we came back. Disillusioned and reeling and grieving the death of a dream of seeing a church started to glorify Him.
Three years later, there is some clarity in the bigger picture of how God had a plan for us in Indianapolis, but I still struggle with discontentment in that plan. It seems that is a theme in my heart that God continues to work on and grow in me. There are days I don’t ever feel like I’ll fit in here, and I’m trying to accept that that is okay. There’s a restlessness in my heart to “go” and “do”, but I’m learning how to “go” and “do” right here. Watching a friend’s kids for her while she works, working in our family business, volunteering at school, getting to know families through my kids’ friends at school and sports…….these are all significant things, and significant for the kingdom. I’m often fighting the echos of lies in my ears about how insignificant our time spent in La Plata was and how insignificant my life here is…..it’s a battle. God is always good, he is always faithful and he always loves us. These truths are what I repeat to myself to keep away the echos.
And I pray that we will be faithful where we are, and that I won’t hold too tightly to my life here. And hoping to go back…somewhere, and maybe that day will come when one of our kids decides they want to church plant overseas, and we follow them. 🙂
Because photos are so important to my life, I want to share the last few days of our time in Argentina and the people we said goodbye to.
(Okay, so we didn’t say goodbye to them, but look how small all of them are!)
Nanci and Andrea, Pablo’s mom and sister.
Pablo and Tomas.
Magi, Yanella, Chuchi, Veronica, Erica, and I’m drawing a blank on Erica’s sister. 😦
Some of you helped give this woman and her family money to go toward rebuilding their house, it burned down just a few days before this photo was taken and before we left.
Junior and our boys
Brian, Guri, Ezequiel and Malachi and Elijah
Enrique, Guri, Junior, Dario, Dani, Ezequiel and Brian, Elijah and Zekey
The guys enjoying their new ping pong table.
Marcelo and Alicia
Regi, from the bicycle shop
Ester and Marcelo
The airport, thank you to the McCamans for seeing us off with hugs and words of encouragement.
And thank you to those who have or are walking this journey with us, we’re so thankful for you and sharing in our story and God’s story for our lives.
This little lady came to our house the last week of school. She was one of 8 who were studied by Malachi’s 4th grade class. I told Malachi he could bring them all home and we’d release them into our creek, but she was the only one not spoken for. So we kept her for a week or so and then said goodbye.
Malachi was hopeful she’d find a mate in our creek.
And just yesterday he found a dead baby crayfish on the banks of our creek. I don’t know enough about crayfish to even know if it could have been hers.
She was so happy to swim around.
This is definitely a more peaceful life, than sitting on our kitchen counter.
Elijah’s 9th birthday party was a hit and was one of my favorites to plan for.
Oh yes, they were so excited before the party, but they were also super helpful….mostly, Argentina was playing again today and we were all thrilled when they won!! (We already had those green shirts, I made a stencil and painted on the creeper.)
Elijah got this paper craft kit for his birthday and the boys folded them all up for the birthday party. And here’s some more decorations, some spiders and a creeper.
The boys made these perler bead characters and swords and axes and I added the jump rings and cording to make necklaces. (This was a pinterest find…yay for good ideas!)
We added them to the goody bags, and I also made duck tape bracelets with velcro and added some black sharpie for the creeper…on the bag and bracelet, and the printables for the candy I found here. (I also used that link for the banner.)
The ideas for the cupcakes and free printables were found here.
We planned three games. The first was to divide the kids into groups and have them build with the legos. Two groups made castles with defenses and the other groups made creepers, zombies, endermen and other things like slime and tnt. Then Brian had the two groups with the characters “attack” the castles, each side took turns going back and forth with tactical moves. Think of that more like sharing your strategy for playing chess, not actually physically attacking. 🙂 But these kids knew their minecraft rules and strategies and used that to defend their castles. And in the end both castles won.
The second game took us outside for some good old-fashioned tag, with a twist. So, there was a Zombie(the tagger) and everyone else who was being chased were Steves. Then there was a creeper running around too, and Brian would yell out “Creeper!” and the the creeper would take silly string and spray it(because creepers explode) and whoever got string on them was out, along with whoever was tagged by the zombie. The creeper would only spray the silly string for a few seconds and then would run around again until Brian would yell “Creeper!” and repeat until there was a winner.
The third game was with the giant creeper made out of paper taped on the side of the house. The kids had three tries with the nerf crossbow gun to hit the red target. We put their names on their best shot and at the end whoever was the closest got a Minecraft Handbook as a prize.
And then we had some cupcakes and ice cream.
What a fun party to plan for, what a fun group of kids to have over, and what a great kid to be celebrating!