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Modern Missionary Mamas

Because your Redeemer lives.

MMM Podcast Episode 2: International Travel with Small Children

Here’s how to listen:

-Right in this post! Just click play. You can also download it from here. (Amazing, eh? I know your internet stinks, mamas; I’ve got your back.)

-On Soundcloud. They have a nice app for your phone and if you add to a playlist or a station, you’ll always see when a new one’s posted (I think). And please, if you like it, hit like and share it! Let’s spread the word.

And if you’ve got more questions for me, don’t miss out on our first Twitter chat! Here’s the post on that, in case you missed it. 

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Featured post

Say my name, say my name…correctly.

I now respond quickly to “Mrs. ‘Arms?” Sigh. I miss my H.

It’s Tender There

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It’s Tender There: my appendix story

So, I got something published!

No, not like “on the blog” published, which only sort of counts–like PUBLISHED published, in a literary magazine. So don’t be fooled: yes, it looks like I’m linking you to yet another article on TCK’s or whatnot, but it’s me. Really.

And I love this story.

After four years, it still makes me cry, and here’s why: I felt God’s provision in such an unusually obvious way. Every moment we looked at each other and were about to say, “I don’t know what to do…”, someone walked in who did. And spoke English. And had all the right skills or right knowledge. It was truly amazing.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy it, mamas. Happy Friday!

Make it Monday: Playdough

Make it Monday

Ten different playdough recipes

Making your own playdough is so. darn. easy, mamas, you’ll wonder why you ever bought it. (And it smells way better, too.) Still don’t believe me? I made you a little video below to show you how simple it is…and seriously, the hardest part was not letting the pot slide off the stove since I could only use one hand.

This is the best recipe in the universe (go ahead, fight me):

1 C Flour
1 C Water
1/4 C Salt
1 T Vegetable Oil
2 t Cream of Tarter
Food Coloring (4 drops)
Sauce Pan and Wooden Spoon
Directions (Cook all ingredients on the stove)
1- Pour all ingredients into a saucepan. The order does not matter.
2- Stir until everything is mixed well.
3- Once the mixture is mostly clump-free, heat over medium heat.
4- Stir and keep stirring, after a few minutes it will start to clump up.
5- Stir until one big clump is formed and remove from heat.
6- Knead by hand.

 

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It’s so pretty.
When it’s cool, I usually add essential oils (peppermint and lavender are both favorites at our house). Nothing says “re-claim your chill” like smashing lavender playdough between your fingers and deep breaths. You may want to skip this if your kids are still in the “let’s see what THIS tastes like” stage; the rest of the ingredients would be safe to ingest. Salty, but safe.
And the best part? If *someone* forgets to put it away, I’ve brought it back to life the next morning with a little more oil mixed into it. You show me a store-bought playdough that can do that, and I’ll eat my words. But (spoiler alert) you won’t be able to.
If you’ve got celiac folks in the house, try this recipe. I haven’t tested it, but if you do, let us know how it goes!
If you haven’t heard of playdough mats, here’s a post to get you started, but mamas, Pinterest is full of that goodness. Go get it.
Happy Monday!
You’ve got this.

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Wise Words Wednesday: 11:59

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And the Philistines mustered to fight with Israel, thirty thousand chariots and six thousand horsemen and troops like the sand on the seashore in multitude. They came up and encamped in Michmash, to the east of Beth-aven. When the men of Israel saw that they were in trouble (for the people were hard pressed), the people hid themselves in caves and in holes and in rocks and in tombs and in cisterns, and some Hebrews crossed the fords of the Jordan to the land of Gad and Gilead. Saul was still at Gilgal, and all the people followed him trembling.

He waited seven days, the time appointed by Samuel. But Samuel did not come to Gilgal, and the people were scattering from him. So Saul said, “Bring the burnt offering here to me, and the peace offerings.” And he offered the burnt offering. 10 As soon as he had finished offering the burnt offering, behold, Samuel came. And Saul went out to meet him and greet him. 11 Samuel said, “What have you done?”

A week is a long time to wait.

I’d have to be pretty darn desperate to hide in a tomb, but facing troops like the sand on the seashore? That’d do it.

Saul missed out on God’s blessing by minutes. By seconds.

This is your reminder to wait a little bit longer, because those final seconds on that ticking clock still belong to your God, not to you. Give Him latitude to act. Let Him have every opportunity, instead of snatching it away from Him when your feelings get hurt because He’s taking too long.

My friend J came to the gate. His mom died last year; his dad is not well. Needed money for school, and it hadn’t been sent yet. He knew he might not get to continue, and I hurt with him. I felt helpless. I gave him the gift of conversation, then remembered that I had some leftovers I could share with him. On the way in, I prayed for him. He drank the cold water I offered, handed back the tin cup. I sighed a lot. Then as I came back inside, David happened to check his email. “Oh, that school money came in.”

How fast do you think I can get to the gate? Well, when properly motivated by a perfect gift given at the perfect time for a young man who needed that perfection in his life, pretty darn fast. We laughed together, relieved. Joyful over the gift God gave because we asked. If I hadn’t stopped to grieve with him, hadn’t stopped to share, he would’ve been gone by the time it came in. Yes, he would’ve still gotten it…but it wouldn’t be the same.

I’ve been listening to Lauren Daigle’s new album on repeat lately. There’s a lot of battles being fought all around me, and I just need a reminder that God comes to the rescue. Not that he does my will, but that he cares.

He will show up for you, mamas.

In your kids’ educations.

In the transitions to a new program, a new home.

In your marriage.

In your friendships.

In your loneliness, in the losing.

Just wait. Don’t try to solve it yourself. Saul missed it by minutes, and as a result, he lost everything.

God will act when it’s obvious that only He could, when there’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that all hope seems lost; that’s His moment. He does it to increase your faith, to give you a moment like a souvenir to touch when the next trial comes.

I love you, mamas. You’ve got this.

Creature Catastrophe

Dog in the garbage,

Mouse in my shed,

Ants in the honey

Mosquito round my head.

Cockroach in the shower,

Lizard on the tree.

I’d be back in bed right now,

But I’m scared they’d follow me.

Don’t cry; laugh instead! 🙂 Happy Monday!

In the Word Wednesday: Your faith heals

18 While he was saying these things to them, behold, a ruler came in and knelt before him, saying, “My daughter has just died, but come and lay your hand on her, and she will live.” 19 And Jesus rose and followed him, with his disciples. 20 And behold, a woman who had suffered from a discharge of blood for twelve years came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment, 21 for she said to herself, “If I only touch his garment, I will be made well.” 22 Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, “Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well.” And instantly the woman was made well. – Matthew 9:18-22

I find that a lot of missionary mamas I talk to have some sort of chronic health problems. It’s really prevalent, and I could speculate for a whole post about why that is…but it’s In the Word Wednesday, not Please, Bore us with Conjecture Wednesday.

She thought she had to steal her healing. She thought she had to sneak up on it, thought she wasn’t important enough for him to stop for her. And realistically? All the men gathered around Jesus would’ve thought so, too.

She still held out hope, after twelve years. I’ve been sick for ten years, and my sinful heart cries out “How?” How did she not give up hope? How did she not lay down and die, if only inwardly? I don’t know for a fact, but I suspect her hope ebbed and flowed. I’m sure she despaired many times.

I think that fact alone should inform us about the kind of person Jesus was, the kind of God he is, even now. Put yourself in his presence, and dead things will come back to life. Hearts of stone begin to beat again. Do you need hope today? For those you minister to, for your kids, for your marriage? Or even for yourself? You don’t have to steal it; you’re not bothering Jesus. You can look full in his wonderful face and ask Him, without shame, without guilt.

And that faith will heal the broken parts of your life; maybe not in the timing you wanted or the way you wanted. But you can believe it; your faith is not for show.

Father, please show this woman your compassionate love. Let her faith heal her, too. Grow it, fertilize it, water it, nourish it. Let her feel your pleasure when she seeks your attention. Let her know that you love to give it to her, that she is no burden to You.

The College Crush

Natalie’s article on leaving her TCK at college

A little encouragement for those leaving kiddos at college this month; especially praying for those who will go back overseas afterward.

How do I… screen a metal door?

How do I...

Windows are pretty easy to screen; most of us can get (or make) a frame, put the screening inside and mount it. But doors? Mama, doors are another story, and most of the doors here have some kind of openness to them, even when they’re closed. Never fear! There is a solution.

First, you’ll need some rubbing alcohol. Grab a rag and use it to clean the surface of the metal so that the glue will adhere well. You may also want a pair of disposable gloves to protect your skin from the cement in the next steps.

This is a bottle of rubbing alcohol

Next you’ll need…screen! It comes in big rolls. There are different quality levels with different sized holes, so go for the smallest gauge and toughest material you can find. I prefer fiberglass over aluminum, but that’s just a personal preference. If the fiberglass rips, it’s more easily repaired with screen tape.

Next you’ll need a sharp pair of scissors. Screen is actually pretty easy to cut. I measure the width of the door, then leave it longer than necessary (why will become clear). Leave it as wide as you can to allow more surface to contact the metal. When I was a new, fresh, green missionary (not the decrepit old lady I am now), I used bias tape I made from an old sheet and bound the edges on my sewing machine to make them look nice. (I was so industrious. Sigh.) I didn’t do that this time. I’m not sure if it would work with the clear cement; you might need RTV if you’re going to go that route.

Once your screen is the right size across, you’ll go ahead and start using the clear PVC cement to attach it directly to the metal. It smells pretty bad, so you may want a fan. I found it best to apply it fairly heavy, wait a minute for it to start to dry, then apply the screen once it’s tacky. (It’s helpful to have two people to do this part, but I know how you roll, mamas, and if it’s just you, you can totally still do it.) Press the screen to the cement all along the edge; the cement will pass through the screen. As it starts to take, I do another pass with the cement over the top of the screen. Hold it in place until it can take the weight of the screen (two or three minute at most; it dries quite quickly).

Next, you’ll work your way down each side of the door. If you have any odd things you have to work around, go ahead and make the cuts to accommodate it first. Then, just like across the top, put a layer of cement on the door, pressing down the screen, and applying another layer of cement on top. Be careful not to pull the top away if it’s still drying; you could wait until it’s hardened to do the sides if you’re concerned.

Once the sides are both done, you can tell how much you’ll need at the bottom. Sometimes the screen can gap or fold funny, so that’s what it’s important to leave the bottom part longer, to ensure coverage. You do not want to get to the bottom and be half an inch short. (Trust the voice of experience, mamas.) Then you can go ahead and follow the same procedure at the bottom. Once it’s all done, I do one more layer on top of all the edges, just to be sure. This whole project only took 1/4 of the PVC cement. If I was using RTV, I would expect to use a whole tube, maybe a tube and a half, depending on how thick you put it on.

As you can see, some parts of my cutting were straighter than others…I had a five-year-old who was alternately trying to help and wrestling with his sister…it was so helpful…but it did impact the straightness of the screen. Which I now have to live with.  Forever.

Since these screens are not removable, I usually just use a stiff-bristled brush like with a dust pan and brush them clean. Try to make sure the wind is blowing through the house going out, not in. A fan is helpful.

Admittedly, I haven’t tried this on anti-corrosion paint. I’m not sure how that would work, but bare metal or regular painted metal should both work.

Also, I have no suggestions for getting your children to actually close the door behind them. You’re on your own there.

Hang in there, mamas! And while you’re at it, hang some screens. You’ve got this.

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