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Modern Missionary Mamas

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#Momhack: Cooking While Traveling

We’re at our organization’s HQ for two weeks, doing some training and meetings, and the food situation? OY. Because my babies want ALL. THE. SUGARY. THINGS. and Mama doesn’t want crazy behavior due to too many treats. So I’m fighting back on costs and sugar with whole chickens…the leftovers of which I’m putting with stir fries, over pasta and into soups.

But my #momhack today has to do with flavor…because I don’t want to buy a whole bottle of sesame seeds for my stir fry, but without it? Kinda bland.

As you can see, even this tiny jar is $2.21, which is really more than I need for two weeks.

Instead, I went over to the bulk section at Winco Foods, and got just two tablespoons for $0.39. BAM.

In case you’re still not convinced, I also needed thyme and sage for my chicken soup, neither of which was cheap for a whole bottle…

A little trip over to the bulk section…(and look at all the options!!)…I scoop out what I need into a small plastic bag, write the four-digit code on the twist-tie, and close it up.

And I ended up walking out with just what I needed for two batches of soup. I paid $0.09 for thyme and the sage? Well, there was so little in the bag, it wouldn’t register on their scale, so they gave it to me for free. That would make me feel bad, except they’re the ones who designed the system, not me. So hey, I’ll take advantage of it! You don’t have to rely on junk food just because you’re traveling, and the smell of soup simmering can make even a temporary place feel like home.

Don’t let the big jars intimidate you! If you’ve got a kitchen available to you, don’t let it go to waste. Your wallet will thank you.

You’ve got this, mamas.

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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.

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. 

Featured post

Transition! Change!

The Fine Line Between Expat Chaos and Rhythm

Four Ways Missionaries Can Leave Well For The Field

I know lots of you are in transition as you’re heading back overseas from a summer in your country of origin…these may hit home.

You’ve got this, mama.

Village Visits

Village Visits: Five Realistic Expectations for Yourself

I don’t think this gal is a missionary (or even a mama!), but I love her perspective on crossing cultures. She unpacks her own cultural baggage so well. She finds ways to be helpful, even when being “like them” is impossible. She learns not to compare their abilities or experiences, but just be present. What a gift to herself! And her husband, too, I’m sure.

Happy Monday, ladies!

Freebie Friday: Free Apps for Kids

freebie-friday

I stumbled across this a while back, and we’ve gotten some really fun apps this way! Okay, so I save them up for travel days and then I say, “HEY, stop crying on airplanes, LOOK, it’s a NEW GAME.” The only catch is that they’re usually only free today, so get ’em downloading soon, since you know it’s going to take forever. (Can I get an amen?)

Happy Friday! You made it through the week!

Smart Apps for Kids Free App Friday

 

 

 

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