I just got this email from a blog I sort of follow. (For some reason I never added her new blog address to my RSS feeds, so I still had the old one which hadn’t been updated in a while.) Anyway. Thankfully she sent this newsletter to everyone who had downloaded her free e-book (which I had) so I got it just in time.
And I’m sharing it with you just in time! Hope you can jump on board and be a part of this intentional period of growth. You can read all about it here at her blog. She’s beginning this thing for the month of October called Mom-iversity. The best thing about it is that YOU plan out what you are going to study, how you will do it and how much time it will take. She supplies the accountability and community to grow and learn from each other. What a great idea!
I looked through her list of resources – and there’s no rule that you HAVE to do something from her list – but one of the books I’ve been trying to get through was on there – Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Dr. Marc Weissbluth. So here’s my motivation plus I get to share nuggets with new friends online! Yea!
I just can’t go on to blogging about all the subjects floating around in my head without acknowledging my long absence from posts on this blog….I’m sorry. To those few people who have continued to check out my blog, Thank YOU! Sorry to waste your time. My hope is that the next few months I’ll do much better!
So in the past four months, much has happened in my life… and you’ll see more about it on the blog. The biggest thing is that we launched the church we’ve been planning and preparing for. On August 8th, The Life Church of Durban started! We are training up leaders, building the service teams and inviting everyone we can to come check us out. This being our first year, we’re learning the ebbs and flows of holidays and school breaks and how they affect attendance to church on Sunday. It’s a great learning time and we are enjoying every bit of it!
We are also thrilled that we have another baby on the way! Isaiah is 10 months old and will be 16 months when baby #2 is born in March!
My little one is only 6 months old, but already I notice him looking at me for reassurance in a new situation. Maybe there was a loud noise or a new sound – as he decides if it warrants an outburst of tears, he’ll look to me. If I’m smiling or laughing, we often avoid those tears and we get smiles instead. Already he trusts my judgment and feels safe if mommy is not worried.
This has been tested as he’s learning to sit up on his own and reach for toys. His balance is not so good yet, so sometimes he falls flat on his face, literally. Most times I try to sit right by him and steady him as he wobbly stretches to get something of interest, but occasionally he verves off in a new direction and falls. The first time it happened, I gasped – and of course he cried. Now I bite my tongue, help him up and try to look happy.
Yet another thing I’m learning since being a parent – how to control my reactions. How often have my reactions made situations much worse than they really are? Over-reacting to things people say just makes me miserable. Emotionally responding to difficult situations does not help anything. Crying, venting or just getting angry at things we can’t control just adds stress to our lives.
Just before he toppled - do you see the lean towards the right?
So, not saying I’ve learned this, but my little boy is giving me some good practice at controlling those reactions.
Sorry to be MIA from the blog world for a bit… we had a little dose of real life – my husband had to have back surgery. Check out the details on our ministry blog.
The good part of it was that my sister came over to help me with Isaiah. It was an unexpected trip and a nice treat for her to see Isaiah at this fun stage of development (5 months). Our home church sent her (they take such good care of us!) and it was a huge help! I could be at the hospital with Greg and have no worries since Isaiah was in such good hands! And he took to her right away. He saw her when he was just a month old, but of course could not remember that. We do look alike, so I joked the first day when I came home from the hospital that he realized – “wait, there are two mommies!”
Aunt Sonja and Isaiah
So now both Greg and I have experienced hospitalization in South Africa (me when I gave birth to Isaiah). The crazy thing is neither of us have anything to compare it to since we were never in the hospital in the States (unless you count tonsils removed when I was little, but I don’t remember it).
One thing that is different is the strict visiting hours. In the States, at least where we live, spouses could even spend the night if they wanted to. Here, I had two hours (at different times) I could see Greg. The first night when I stayed just a couple minutes pass the end of the visiting hour, the nurse asked if I was going to stay and nurse him all night. I said, “Sure.” She was kidding. I wasn’t.
Out to eat with my sis the last night she was here
He’s back home now with a big cut along his neck that is healing up nicely. One more week of (almost) total rest, then he can go back to a little more activity. It’s been an interesting season. Since February, Greg’s been battling something – first severe tonsillitis (three rounds of antibiotics to kick it!) then the back injury. We are declaring health and healing in our house! Thank you God for seeing us through!
One thing about South Africans – they love their holidays! In April there are a couple of public holidays and of course we just finished Easter. And any public holiday is a chance to pack up the car and getaway somewhere.
Isaiah and I on the beach in Sea Park, South Africa
We had a little holiday – although we worked it out that it didn’t fall on a public holiday so we could get the off season rate. It was our first purely rest and relaxation getaway since we’ve arrived in Africa – a year and half ago! We’ve done a little traveling but it was always built around ministry opportunities.
It seems like little getaways – or holidays as they call it here – are very important to South Africans. Our friends are always “going on holiday” somewhere or another, even if it’s just for a weekend or so. It’s a part of the culture I love – slow down and enjoy life a bit. We Americans could definitely learn something about that!
Check out our other blog (www.gregandkristinevans.com) for pictures from our holiday getaway. It was a great time!
Just after Isaiah was born!
My overseas birth story is featured over on Missionary Moms blog. She’s doing a series about people who have given birth while overseas – it’s really fun to read the different stories. I feel like I cheated – mine was so easy especially since English is an official language over here.
(One of 11 official languages! Actually I’ve heard rumors that at one of the hospitals in the same group as the one I went to, the nurses will only speak Zulu to you. Don’t know if it’s true or not, but my hospital was all in English.)
For some reason I didn’t include a pic when I sent my story over, so I put one up here. I was not one of those ladies who you say, “Oh she doesn’t even look like she just gave birth.”I look tired because I was! It was about 1 am when this pic was taken and my hair was in a rat’s nest. But I had the most beautiful little boy!
That was almost five months ago… here he is today – my little chunk of love!
I think my favorite part of this series of posts is inserting a cute pic of my little one! I just can’t get enough of him!! I mean, I see him all day long but then at night I can very often be found perusing pictures of him in iphoto. What is wrong with me? Nothing. I’m a mother.
I think God looks down on us like this. He loves us so much, He can’t get enough of us. The Bible says in Zephaniah (3:17) that He takes great delight in us; rejoices over us with singing; He quiets us with His love. I love that God has given us the family to understand more of His love.
He loves us through all our spiritual growth and development. He lovingly calls to take steps out into the unknown while trusting Him – just like Jesus calling Peter to step out onto the water – and just like babies learning to walk. Have you ever noticed that babies walk better when they keep their eyes on mom and dad? When they look down, they fall.
He even uses the parent-child relationship to describe Jesus – His only son – so we could understand the intense sacrifice He gave for us. I’ve heard people say they understood more the depth of what God did for us by sending Jesus once they themselves had a son. It’s true. It’s unimaginable what God did for us so we could come back to relationship with Him. Thank you God!
What is God teaching you through parenthood or the children in your life?