Teacups in the Jungle

Life stories from a missionary mama

On the go. Izzy loves getting out in the village. So much to look at!

“Sundays are a day of rest”. Maybe somewhere, but not here in the jungle. It is actually one of our busiest days. When Danny is teaching (as he was today), he gets up at 4am to prepare and get ready for the service at 9am. There is no real “finish” time here, so when it ends it ends. Today we had an invitation to go “to lunch” with a lot of people at one of the homes here in the village. While Danny was tucking into a dish of something, I heard him ask the lady of the house what the dish actually was…reply given..”pig liver”…..I passed. There are plenty of other dishes I do like, so why start with pig liver right? We stayed until izzy and Judah were so hot and sweaty and tired that it was obvious we needed to go home. Izzy had had her fill of pansit and Judah had fallen asleep on his Ate Beth’s shoulder. We got home, tried to cool off, put them down for naps and then it was off to Sunday School, which is in the afternoon. Danny still had to prepare a little more for Bible Study which is every Sunday evening so I decided to take Izzy with me and leave a sleeping Judah. Three quarters of the way through Sunday School, and I get a text to please come home, Judah is screaming his head off and must be hungry. Izzy and I scramble home to save baby and Daddy. Baby gets fed, Izzy gets watered from her fast trek home, kids come by after Sunday school to see we are all ok after our speedy exit, dinner is left overs heated up, Judah gets bathed, Izzy get bathed, Danny gets his stuff together and is off to Bible study and here I sit….still spinning. Did I do anything well today? Feels like it all just happened and I am not sure what exactly took place. I didn’t get even be there for the whole Sunday school and poor Judah was upset and needing Mama.

Our version of “eating out”. I was glad not to have to make lunch today!

The other day Danny and I were talking about moving around so much and about this life that we live that seems to be constantly to be on the go or move. I wondered aloud about the affects this all has on our kids (especially Izzy) and if she has a hard time with it. (Which really except for being car sick, she seems to go with the flow just fine). To which Danny’s reply was, “That is more a grown up way of thinking, she isn’t missing the past or longing for the future, she is just living in the moment.”He was busy as he was talking, and so was I, but that phrase has kept popping up in my mind these past few crazy days. “Just live in the moment”.

I haven’t figured out how to do that yet, but I wish I could be just like my two year old. Totally into whatever is in front of me, not pining for the past or worried about the future, but engrossed with whatever the Lord has brought before me today. 

Loves pansit….and eating with her hands.  Living in the moment 🙂 

I love being a missionary. I love being out with the people, or chatting with them as they visit on our porch. I love preparing for a Bible study to teach to the dear ladies. I love that I get to be here in the jungle having a part in sharing God’s Word with people who were steeped in fear and living in darkness. For four years that was all I knew, and I loved each day…..I was really fluid, go with the flow, walking to the next village with the ladies at the drop of a hat. Sitting at the village pump while they did their washing, telling stories, asking questions, just being together. Then after 4 years….Miss Izzy J joined the tribe, and now we are blessed with little Judah too, and things have certainly changed in my life. 🙂

Now, I get to love being a Mama. I thank the Lord for our two precious gifts that we have the privilege of raising. I love that they run to me (us) for their every need. I love that right now Izzy calls Danny “Papa-Daddy”. I love our little man, who is so full of smiles and has already made friends with all the “aunties and Grandmas” in the village. I treasure the moments that will pass so quickly. I want to live every moment with them, soaking it up and enjoying these days when they are so little and so needy. Concerning them though, I am not so go with the flow. They need naps at certain times, and Judah needs fed at certain times, and I want Izzy to have a good nutritious diet which means cooking good meals for the family (and here that is all from scratch) . Life suddenly feels a little more….I don’t know “tight”. I don’t feel the freedom to get up and go with whatever is happening in the village, I have two little ones who need to be nurtured and cared for and loved on. They need sunscreen on and bug spray on and I hate having them out at dusk when the mosquitos (which gave Izzy her bout of malaria last year) are out. These small but important things now affect my day, their day, our day.

Naptime today was on “Ate” Beth’s shoulder. 

So I have come to the age old missionary/mama dilemma. How do I spend my time? Where do I put all my energy? I want to do both well. I know that life has different seasons and there will be times when I will have more time for ministry and times when my family needs me more. I know that both can be done together. I know my family is my ministry and I also feel strongly that my “ministry”, (the people here in the village) are my family, they are my brothers and sisters in Christ. However there is only one me, and only 24 hours in a day. I need to make decisions and choices and sometimes I just need to know when to go with the flow.

I am asking God for wisdom these days to show me what it is He wants me to be doing each day, each moment. How do I live in the moment for Him, with Him and glorifying Him in ALL I do.

I don’t have answers tonight. Just lots of questions, a desire to be a good Mama, a heart for the people around me….and a great God, who I know will lead me, and teach me along the way. I know this is an area I am going to be growing and changing in a lot over these next years. I look forward to seeing what God will bring before me as I seek to be a Mama living for Jesus in some pretty unusual circumstances…..pig liver……really?

Enjoying the stillness of the jungle night,

Some snap shots from the week.

So grateful for dear friends who are always around to help and love our babies.

Precious Moments. Izzy’s favorite seat in the house…watching me baking and cooking. 

Homemade tortillas for a yummy Mexican dinner. 

Precious little souls. 

Pansit. What Izzy loved for lunch today. No photo of the pig’s liver….sorry. 🙂 

One thought on “What? Which? How? When? Lots of questions and even some pig’s liver. :)

  1. Deb says:

    You're doing an awesome job! Mothering, no matter where (or how old your kids are), always brings up those questions of how to manage everything. As women and moms, I think we tend to hold ourselves to such high standards and we wonder if we are really doing our kids justice. I still do that and my kids are grown!! You're on the right path – enjoying the moment and praying for wisdom. Thanks for sharing.


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