Friday, August 01, 2014

Things Learned in July (2014 Edition)

Our time here in the states is quickly coming to a close.  If all goes well, this time next week we will be back in Central Asia settling back into our home there.  This summer has had its ups and downs but also many lessons.  Here are a few lessons from this month.  Some are serious and others not so much.

1.  I have a new appreciation for single moms.  As the other team wives and I have been in the states while our husbands rotated in and out of Central Asia, we had a glimpse of what it was like to be a single mom.   Notice I said just a glimpse.  Our situation was not long term.  Our husband was just a Skype call away.  We were not having to work full time and then do all the others things these amazing moms do.  I have a friend in Texas who is a single mom of 3 boys.  She is my hero.  God is working in her and her boys in a mighty way.  It is not easy.  Things are tight.  Things are hard.  It is blessing to see how her friends and family step in and help her.  It is also a blessing to see her faith as God works in her to heal the loneliness and hurt that can come with being a single mom.

2.  A running playlist helps keep my pace and makes my runs more fun.  One night this month, I stayed up late making two playlists to run to.  One was an upbeat inspirational list.  The other list was made up some upbeat songs from Big D's song collection.   It was exciting to reach one of my running goals today.  I am sure my playlists helped.

3.  One of my favourite bonuses of being home this summer was extra time with my sister and mom.  The kids and I spent one week in Illinois with my sister and her family celebrating the 4th and just hanging out.   She even gave me my own room with a desk and everything.  So I had a great balance of having time to myself and time with her.   The kids and I also stayed a week and half in Iowa with my mom where we played lots of scrabble, peanuts, and tennis.  One day we even went on a long bike ride.  The weather was great in both places allowing us to be outside more than normal for July.   We made great memories.  




4.  I could maybe have a garden someday and not kill everything.  While in Iowa, I had fun helping mom in her garden and yard.   It made we want to have a garden next year in Central Asia.  I even bought some seeds to try a few things.

5.  Don't get iced coffee at Starbucks.  This summer I have really enjoyed iced coffee especially when I was in Texas where my friends made it themselves.  While traveling, I have tried the ice coffees at different places.  I liked Panera Bread's and Einstein Bagel's the best.  McDonald's was okay.  Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts were the worst.  Of course, this is just my opinion.

6.  We were reminded this month of God's perfect timing and provision.  One of W.'s wisdom teeth had started to come in so we went to the dentist only to find out she needed all four taken out.  In God's mercy, the oral surgeon had an opening for her, and currently she is healing nicely from the procedure.

7. Our family is enjoying watching The Last Ship on x-infinity here at my in-laws. The show is about a ship that was out at sea when most of the world died because of some virus.  One board the ship is a doctor who is trying to make a vaccine for this virus.   I like how they have to use the resources available to them to solve some problem or crisis and how the captain does a great job of bringing out the best in his crew.  I did also realise that if we lived in the states it would not be good to have x-infinity because I would end up watching too much TV.

8. My son is growing up.  This month, especially, I have seen how Big D did a great job of taking care of his sister and I as we have traveled.  He is doing things the first time I ask him to and responding well when I remind him of things he needs to do.   He is growing up physically and becoming more mature.  I am so proud of him, and the young man God is making him into.

9. Praying scripture is powerful.  This month I have been blessed as I have prayed through the Psalms.  The Psalms have been so relevant as they reminded me of who God is in the midst of this world's craziness.   They were just what I needed to help me pray for those suffering in Iraq, Israel, Palestine and many other places.  

10. We are so ready to be back.  Our bags are almost packed because we have lived out of them all summer.  It has been a good summer with many unexpected blessings and time with family and friends.  As a family, we are ready to be back home and back into our life there.  Even though there are many unknowns about the next year, we feel like we are in a good place physically, emotionally and spiritually.  This summer has renewed and refreshed us.  We are excited to see what God has for this year as we start a new season.

What have you learned this month or this summer?  Once again, I am linking up with Emily and others at Chatting at the Sky as they also share what they have learned this summer.

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