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Missionary Mamas

Because we are mamas on the move.

Even if…

When Easter (1)

Even if your kids don’t have new clothes or hats…

Even if you can’t hide real eggs because they’d start to turn immediately in the heat…

Even if the Cadberry mini-eggs arrived pulverized and melted…

(please, a moment of the silence for the chocolate…) 

You can celebrate the resurrected Son. You are celebrating him daily in how you care for your family; your life bears witness. But on this day, take a note from Jewish tradition and just do something–anything–different.

I was reading about Passover, and it was interesting to hear that the youngest child is supposed to ask what’s so different about this night. Because we don’t normally munch on bitter herbs, right? And the order of the meal is different, because the celebration is different. I know holidays outside our home culture can be hard, but there are so many ways to make this night different from all others. Just putting a tablecloth on the table can be enough (assuming you’re lazy like me and don’t usually use one). You don’t have to spend extra money if you don’t have it: cook breakfast for dinner or have a random smorgasbord of everyone’s favorite food. I love Barbara Reiney’s idea of simply putting a stuffed lamb on the table to symbolize Christ’s sacrifice. Pick flowers from your yard. Eat outside. But do something to mark the day he rose for you. Make sure they know it’s different; it’s not like every other day. This day, we stop and remember.

Oh, you’re so deeply loved, mama. He sighs over you. He delights to bless you. You are righteous by the blood of his beloved son and perfect in His sight…even if your meal doesn’t contain ham. Don’t stress the small stuff.

Oh, and just because it’s Friday (and a Good one at that), here’s some free Easter printables to brighten up your abode. I love the one with many languages proclaiming that he is risen indeed!

You’ve got this, mama.

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10 ways to be a good missionary host | The Missions Blog

http://www.themissionsblog.org/how-to-be-a-good-missionary-host/?platform=hootsuite

This is a great primer on hosting guests. I would add a few things:

1. Write out your house’s guidelines. They’re going to be tired when they arrive and may not remember which water is safe to drink, etc. I also include the wifi password on this sheet, since most people have several devices they want to connect.

2. Ask about dietary and/or medical needs before they arrive. I’ve had several guests sit down to their first meal, only to say, “Oh, I guess I should’ve mentioned…” That left me scrambling! Others assumed that their medication would be available here. Asking sets up better expectations for everyone. It also gives them a chance to ask about appropriate dress, gifts for friends, etc. 

3. Make sure you provide your address and phone number for their customs paperwork. I also usually provide a suggested packing list with things like a swimsuit, a reusable water bottle, bug repellent, etc. 

4. Assure guests that you want to know if they’re sick. Americans tend to try and hide illness for some reason. Let them know that you probably have something in your stash that can help them. 

5. If it’s a long-term guest, ask about laundry and provide a bag or basket for dirty clothes. Some people are understandably uncomfortable with other people washing their undies. Let them know how to do it themselves when it won’t be a problem for you, or offer to throw their stuff in with yours. 

5. Don’t change the sheets until you know for sure their flight has left…with them on it. Just trust me on this one. 

And above all, enjoy them! Ask what God’s doing in their ministry. How has He been faithful? How has He sustained them in hard times? We all need to hear encouragement that He’s at work. 

You’ve got this, mamas. 

Oh, prepositions…

At the vet with my dog, who developed an infected paw while we were on vacation…the vet says, “I’m going to have to put her down…” and my heart stopped. Then I realized he was still talking, about the cost of anesthesia…hey Doc, that’s “put her under,” not “put her down!” He scared me for a minute there! 

Got any language “oops” moments to share today? 

My Mother’s Day Gift to Myself


I have a confession: I’m really good at beating myself up. Like, Olympics-level good. My kids were talking about Mother’s Day, and all I could think was “I hope they don’t spend any money; I don’t deserve that.” Is that true? Unlikely. So as an exercise, I decided to think of five things I’m doing well as a mom. It wasn’t as hard as I thought…and it sure felt a lot better than thinking about the Mt. Washmore situation in the laundry room. 
So here I go. 

1. I am feeding my family healthy food. They may not like it, but they’re eating it. 

2. I show respect for their dad. I’m actually pretty good at this one, even when he’s not around. If Dad asks it, we do it. Always. 

3. I model being a reader and read often with them. I love books and want to pass that love on to them! 

4. We talk about God often. I knew a missionary mama who did this so well, and by her example, I learned a lot about keeping God in our conversation “as you walk down the road.” 

5. I love my kids. You may consider it a given, but I’ve known some mamas who didn’t. It’s no small thing to love someone who can’t be convinced to stop saying “kaka” and won’t eat pasta sauce of any kind and keeps calling you by your first name. No small thing at all. 

What are you doing well? Will you courageously share with us? 

Happy You Day, mamas! You’ve got this (holiday). 

So Where’s Home? A Film About Third Culture Kid Identity on Vimeo

https://vimeo.com/41264088

Loved this short film. Elementary kids and up can probably relate; why not watch it together, start a conversation about where your child considers home? It might be different than you think.

Real Life Talk– When Life Hurts…opening up about my real life – YouTube

https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=C6REfRyt2D0

Send this missionary mama some love; what a tough spot she’s in! And no husband shoulder to cry on!

In the Shadow of His Wings: April 27th, 2017: A Normal Day

http://davidandchristineharms.blogspot.com/2017/04/april-27th-2017-normal-day.html?m=1

This is my ministry blog for my supporters, but I thought it might sound familiar to some. Enjoy!

Moving to Africa? Leave These 6 Hang-ups Behind

http://www.aainafrica.com/6-hangups-leave-behind/

Obviously, Africa is a very diverse place, so this surely won’t apply to the whole continent…but does anyone else agree or disagree? The sharing aspect was interesting to me: Haitians also expect a lot of sharing and it does go both ways, even if it’s something as small as a plant in a cracked pot as a thank you.

Francesca Battistelli – Unusual (Official Audio) – YouTube

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=96NQNa16wSE

If you have the bandwidth, I hope you can listen to this song. This, mamas, is just how I see you. You’re so unusual, in the best kind of way. You rock. Happy weekend!

How Do You Tell the Story of Your Relationship?

https://www.gottman.com/blog/tell-story-relationship/?utm_source=Marriage+Minute&utm_campaign=a8d8adfa64-MM_042017&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_56abe07ac5-a8d8adfa64-135428121#gf_54

They hit on a really important point in this article: how do you look back on the past? Is there bitterness? Is there resentment? That’s going to color how you move forward together. Missionary marriages have a high level of adversity; are you approaching it as a team and allowing it to bind you together as a couple?

What do you think of his idea of “glorifying the struggle”?

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