Thursday, February 23, 2017

Three-thing Thursdays

Today's edition: 3 things that I'm choosing to not worry about.  (subtitle: I'm fighting worry about these things.)

1.  Leaving for Vacation on Saturday

In theory, all our paperwork is now in order.  But, Panama is a difficult place to leave.  The paperwork requirements change with some regularity, and there's no real way to find out exactly what's needed.

This week-long ordeal won't be settled until we get through security on Saturday morning, and I don't want to spend the next 36 hours feeling nauseous.

2. Our plans for next year.

I continue to not have the foggiest idea what is happening with a potential move.  Tony has a meeting March 9th that might answer some of those questions.  I just have to trust that there is plan, and that the Lord doesn't need me to know the details.


For the first time in my life, I can't think of something else I'm worrying about.  How bizarre is it that I've been sitting here for the past 20 minutes trying to come up with another issue?  What a blessing that I've stopped being the worrier I once was!!  Now to completely leave worry behind me!

To Two-thing Thursday,

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

I like people.

I remember a pastor telling me one time that if you're going to work with people, you are going to have problems.  I understand that to be a true statement, but you also are going to have a lot more fun.  You're going to feel a lot more loved.  And, you're going to have people to love.   I know it is not Thursday, but it's my blog, and I want to do a three-thing Wednesday.  So, I will.

1.  My children.

I know that all the wise people say that you aren't supposed to be friends with your kids, but I actively, intentionally ignore that advice.  I firmly believe you can parent and still be friends. (Ask my Georgia-based bff- being friends with me requires a fair amount of parenting)

I just really happen to like my kids.  I like their hearts and their likes and their individuality and their minds and their fashion sense and their lego creations and everything else.  I really like hanging out with them.  I'm the odd parent who longs for my kids to be teenagers, so that we can have deeper, more meaningful conversation.  I'm SO thankful that we're well on our way there.

2.  Silly times with acquaintances.

I went to get my hair done today (hello, platinum blonde highlights), and we were all running late.  My ride- I'll get to that it in a minute- was running super later because of her kindness to me.  My hair stylist, who I love but isn't a good friend, was aware that I was growing anxious to be going.  She also knows that a good blow dry is my mostest favoritest thing in the whole world (not counting guacamole).  So, she and her assistant tag teamed the rest of my appointment, so that we could leave.  It was good for a laugh.  And, my hair is grateful!

3.  My Panama Family

Today was an "it takes a village" day.  I can't drive because my driver's license is expired, so a friend is driving my van and being my chauffeur.  Chloe had dance practice, so she couldn't stay with Coralynn until I got home.  Another friend offered to stay with Bits and take her to the pool.  A third friend agreed to go the pool with them.  It's amazing how helpful people are when there is a swimming pool involved.  ;)  A 4th friend came over to swim once I got home.  Friend number one then took friends #2-3 to a party they were late to because of all the Bitty pool time.  Then, friend number 2 found my precious cup that I lost on MONDAY!!  

Now, I'm sure that paragraph doesn't make sense to anyone but me, but the events of this day reminded me that I have people here who love me and my family.  To me, that is the perfect way to end any day.

Until tomorrow,

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Finishing well

As a high school teacher, I've dealt with my fair share of senioritis- that moment when formerly hard-working students become bums.  Each year it hits different students at different times and manifests in different ways.

As we teachers discuss the hows and whys and the what nows, it makes me question if I'm finishing well.  How often do I see a finish line and quit?  More often than that is hitting the middle mark and quitting, believing that the finish line is never going to come.

Do I parent Coralynn with the same focus as I did Chloe?  (I promise you my oldest would firmly tell you that Bitty's life is unfairly easy.)  Do I put the same attention into my marriage as when we were newlyweds because the struggles are now so old?  Do I still reach out to my friends, or have I stopped because it feels like I'm the only one trying?  Have I gotten lax in my relationship with Jesus because the race feels to long?  

I have no answers.  

I do have lots of excuses. 

I'm exhausted.  I'm overwhelmed.  I'm busy.  

I wonder if I'm actually lazy and overextended.  Or maybe I'm just a pretty-much-full-time working mom of 4 and this is normal?  And maybe it's my act of love to first give myself some grace, and then to hug Coralynn and Tony.  To phone a friend.  And curl up with Jesus.

Not because I have to.  Not because it's a sacrifice in my exhausted place.

But because those relationships are what breathe life into me.

I'm only 38.  It's only February.  It's only Tuesday.  It's time to finish well.

Until tomorrow,

Monday, February 20, 2017

Thank you for the prayers!!!

Evening, everyone!

I only have a minute because I have to be asleep in 2 minutes!

The process with immigration seems to be heading the right direction.  Tomorrow, hopefully, we will have the final verdict.  At this point, it appears we will be able to leave Panama on Saturday for our much-needed vacation!!!!

I'll confirm with y'all when I know!!

Thank you SO much for the prayers- I can't tell you how much peace I've felt since Friday night.  It has to be the power of prayer!  (And keep praying that we make it out and back to the US safely)


Saturday, February 18, 2017

Because I have to move on

For good or bad, I don't stay disappointed for very long.  Tony says I need my 15-second mental fit, and then I'm good with whatever the next plan is.  Today, I had plenty of opportunities to see the bright side of life.

This morning was the school's International Fun Fair.

I got to laugh with friends, students, and coworkers.  I got to eat Costa Rican food and count money.  

I got to enjoy sunshine and dunk tanks.  And when it was all over, I got to go home, take a shower, and and enjoy a nap.  A lovely Saturday morning/afternoon for sure.

Then, this evening, we went to Casco Viejo to celebrate a friend's birthday with friends and family.

Spending the evening with my beautiful daughters reminded me just how much I like when we are together.  We missed Carson, but he was happy to have some alone time after a morning of extroverting.

And Tony and I got to spend some much needed time as a couple.  Yes, the kids were there, but it just wasn't the same as a family dinner out where we are parents.  

I am so thankful that today the Lord reminded me that His mercies are new every morning.  And thank you to the MANY people who prayed for us.  I don't have any immigration updates, but I know the prayers are being heard!!!

Sleep well,

Friday, February 17, 2017

So disappointed

Lest you think my life always goes well, we received very bad immigration news today.  There is yet another requirement that has to be met before we can renew our paperwork.  The problem is not the difficulty of the requirement, but that we don't have enough time before our trip to get the whole process done.

Please pray.

For my kids' hearts.
For my heart.
For some financial recovery.
For favor with immigration.
For God to make a way where there doesn't seem to be one.
For us to still get to go on vacation. (and for us to get back into Panama when it's over)

And, because today is just sucky, we found out that one of Coralynn's favorite friends is moving next week.

When it rains, it pours, and my umbrella broke last week,

Thursday, February 16, 2017

A First!

For the first time since my kids went back to school, I was called to pick up a sick child.  How exciting is that?  Correct.  It's not very exciting.

Please pray for Carson.  It sounds to me like he got to experience a migraine.  I'm praying it's the only one he ever has.  He missed his first soccer game of the year because of it, so he's hurting and hurting!

Also, we are in the middle of an immigration mess.  I'll spare you the gory details, but if a miracle doesn't strike, we're going to be illegal come Monday!  And, since we fly out on the 25th, I'd very much like to have this whole situation fixed.