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Modern Missionary Mamas

Because Christ is our all in all, all over the world.

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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Quick and Dirty Transition Tips

Hello, mamas! I’ve missed you. I’ve been in a time of transition as I travel towards furlough/home assignment for a season, so I thought I’d share a little bit of how I’m treating myself well in the blur:

I give myself a full two days to recover. HQ meetings start Monday? I come in on Friday night. I arrived in PDX on Tuesday night for a conference on Friday night. That gives us all time for the jet lag to wear off (really, kids? 3:30 AM seems like morning to you?) and to get over any illnesses we picked up on the plane. (Though I still stand by my habit on wiping down arm rests, tray tables, windows and screens with a sanitizing wipe. It may get weird looks, but we had no illness this time!)

I navigate triggers with extra time and space. And by that I mean reverse culture shock triggers. And by that I mean the grocery store. Knowing they’d remodeled again since I was last there, I happily left my kids with my mom-in-law while I navigated the assault on my senses that is the grocery store. Mamas, I had to do anxiety breathing. I don’t know exactly why it’s a trigger for me, but it is. So do I try to “just pop in for a few things” on the way to something else? No. No, I do not.

Just say no. I know. Your time is short. You want to see everyone, and they want to see you. But I know I can’t. I wanted desperately to drive to Salem last night to see a dear friend who goes back to Indo next week…but my kids needed time with me to process the next phase of our transition and recover from the exhaustion of doing American church for the first time (again). And it may sound silly, but I needed that, too. Give yourself time to putter, to knit, to write. You can dive into work soon enough.

I let the tears come. My oldest did NOT want to go to Sunday School. Usually, my guy is the tough one who’s good at Sunday school drop off, but it was just me yesterday. And when I walked away from him, I held back tears. I held them back so well, down the hall, down the stairs. I held them back from the usher who greeted me. I held them back from my dad-in-law when I found him in our row. But when the music started, even though it was a song I didn’t know (maybe because it was a song I didn’t know), I let myself come undone. The whispered voice said, No façades now. Not with me.

But people will stare! I know. They did. But that’s where my heart was at. It was grieving my Haiti home. It was overwhelmed by the increased noise and lights. It was sad for my scared boy who just wants to be with me. So I cried in the presence of God. You can, too. You don’t have to pretend this isn’t hard. It is.

I exercise outside. I’m in a temperate part of the world, so you may not be able to do this, but it so helps me with jet lag and burning off the residual stress of travel.

I should’ve stayed off Facebook and Twitter. Ah, the endless scroll. It’s too easy to lose myself in it, too easy to ignore my kids and those present with me. I was happier when I had some distance from my phone.

You’ve got this, mamas.

Customs alert

This was something I’d never thought of! Be careful ordering all those knock-off Prada bags I know you ladies have. 😉 Ok, so maybe it’s not purses–baby stuff!

https://www.racked.com/2018/1/8/16849298/amazon-counterfeits-global-entry-customs

It’s the blog’s FIRST birthday, and YOU get the presents!

Happy birthday, mamas! I’ve been writing to you for a year now, and it’s been better than I could’ve hoped for. Already, we’ve been visited by over 2,900 readers in 81 countries. Man, internet, you’ve outdone yourself this time.

Between Worlds: Essays on Culture and Belonging by [Gardner, Marilyn]

So I want to give you something! This year, I finally read Between Worlds by Marilyn Gardner and it spoke to a deep place in my heart…she writes so beautifully about the pain and the joy of immersing yourself in a different culture. I just know you’ll love it.

I’m giving away ONE copy for Kindle (to avoid shipping nightmares). Just let me know what your favorite post was this year in the comment section, then click right here to enter to win Between Worlds! And if you just want to say happy birthday, but you don’t want the book, that’s okay, too; I’d still love to see your comment.

Good luck, mamas! Thanks for making this a wonderful year. Just knowing you’re out there, going through the same struggles, keeps me going. You’re so loved. I appreciate you.

Make it Monday: Fake Snow!

Make it Monday

Okay, so the weatherman’s right: there’s 0% chance of snow outside. But inside, mamas? That’s another story. Whip this up and stick it in the fridge. Your kids won’t know the difference. (Unless they try to eat it. Don’t let them try to eat it.) 

https://playtivities.com/how-to-make-snow/

Jingle jingle, mamas! You’ve got this.

 

Surviving Christmas Overseas

http://unendingjoyadventures.com/2017/11/29/surviving-christmas-overseas/amp/

Some good thoughts here!

The Gift of Gethsemane

“Even though nothing we ever experience will come close to the pain he bore taking on the sin of the world, Jesus shows us that pleading for the bitter cup to pass is not faithlessness—it’s faithful. Acknowledging the excruciating cost of obedience is not rebellion, it’s honesty in God’s presence.”

The holidays can be so lonely overseas, and this spoke to my soul today. If you’re having one of those days (or weeks or months) when you’re questioning why you wanted to do this in the first place, this is for you.

The Gift of Gethsemane

Make It Monday: Sweetened Condensed Milk and Cream of Anything Soup

Make it Monday.png

http://www.frugalfarmwife.com/article/homemade-sweetened-condensed-milk/

Here’s a how-to for sweetened condensed milk, since I know many of you can’t just open up a can for this…and mama needs her coconut balls this Christmas.

http://dontwastethecrumbs.com/2015/04/how-to-make-homemade-cream-of-anything-soup/

And here’s the how-to for cream of…anything! Essential for that green bean casserole. And she’s right, a roux is really easy. You can do it, mamas. Don’t let the French fool you.

You’ve got this, mamas!

 

Removing the ‘mas’ in Christmas

Removing the.png

My first Christmas overseas was pretty depressing. I didn’t have kids. I didn’t have a tree (I taped ornaments to the wall in a triangle). It wasn’t snowing. I couldn’t even run my lights because the power situation was pretty bad. But I felt God tugging at my heart to really consider the holiday.

If you take out the “mas” (meaning ‘more’, in this case; I know where it comes from, don’t write me angry letters), you’re left with Christ. Removed from the commercialism, removed from the cold, what was left?

Advent.

Advent still felt like home. So pull out your pipe cleaners, mamas. Here’s a plethora of advent activities, some for you, some for your kids…but all will help you remember that if that baby was swaddled, he was sweating, just like you.

Because of Bethlehem

Around the World Advent Calendar

Inscribe the Word December writing plan

Jesus Storybook Bible Advent Activities

The Spirit of Christmas Family Advent Devotionals

 

You’ve got this, mamas.

::jingle jingle::

 

Missionary Memoir Free This Weekend!

I read As Soon As I Fell this year, and it was not only an encouragement, but an exhortation as well. Her memoir as well as an Advent devotional are free this weekend–go snatch them up!

Kay Bruner’s book on Amazon

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