Saturday, June 25, 2011

tears and smiles

didn't have Randy read through this first so you'll have to deal with the smelling....wait....i mean spelling.....errors!

June 19, 2011
I have to apologize for not blogging in a few weeks. I've been feeling so many emotions that I've chosen, at times, to just turn them off and be emotionally constipated.

Today my baby turned 5 years old! I can't believe it! What will my roll be when we get back to the states? I've been a stay at home mom in the states for 5 years and now I'm going back to the states with my boys in school full time! It's like, in a way, I have a clean chalk board and I'm not sure what my roll of “Mom” will look like in this stage of life.

June 24, 2011
New thought...

I'm the type of person that when I leave a place I end up leaving it completely. The memory of good friends and loved ones turn into a haze. I even temporaraly forget peoples names (ok, so I do that on a regular basis anyway). When I left the states I did feel a little sad, but I knew I'd go back eventually. The difference now is that I don't know if we'll ever come back to Madagascar and therefore see any of these people again who have allowed me to invest in their lives and them invest in mine. I know that, eventually, once back in the states these people, these beautifull, momentary friends of mine, will slowly but surely become a haze, fading memories. Memories that I hold so close to my heart will slowly start to fade from true factual experiences into stories that become distorted over time.

It's life. I know. I remember one of our missionaries saying that being a missionary is a life of “goodbyes”. His father than corrected him and said, “No son, it's a life of “hellos”. These last weeks I am constantly reminding myself that I do not have to dread people being in my life for short chapters at a time. I can look at it as a painful privaledge; a time to grow and mature and invest in each others lives.

My friend, Fiona, was reading a Dr. Suess book to our kids the other night. In the cover of the book it read, “Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened”. ….

I think I'll do both.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The beginning of many “Goodbyes”

May 29, 2011

Today was “Mother's Day” in Madagascar. I'm being totally spoiled here people! Two mother's days in one year! Yeah, I can get used to that. We went to Church and then out to lunch at Le Combava for my favorite dessert.....fondant chocolat. Fondant chocolat, say hello to my hips.

What I didn't realize was that I was going to have to say goodbye to some close vaza (foreigner) friends we have here today. Josh and Jocelyn Plett are leaving this week to go back to Canada for 2 months. Therefore, we won't see them again before we leave Mada. I had not mentally prepared myself for this. So when it hit me as we were walking into hit me hard.  (pic of boys and Judah, Jocelyn's older son on left; pic of Jocelyn and me on right)

I've learned that missing people is a huge gift. When I was sick with Post Partum Psychosis, with Seth, in 2005 I didn't miss him when he was taken away from me for awhile. I'll never forget the first time I missed him after being sick. It was such a wonderful, healthy feeling; to miss someone you loved. And so, now when I leave people, have that feeling of sadness, of a chapter ending in my life for, who knows how long, though it's painful, it's also a reminder to me of a blessing. It's a blessing because to miss someone means that they have made a positive impact on your life. To miss someone means that you have grown together through daily activities, trials, happiness.... It means that you have allowed that person to connect with your spirit. The deepest part of you.

And so, I guess I'm writing this blog more for myself then for you all......reminding myself.....trying to convince myself....that, as my Dad says, “It's better to leave wishing you could stay, then leave wishing you had left an hour ago”. I guess not wanting to leave means that we really have settled down, and in, with Malagasy living, with friendships, Malagasy family, Malagasy culture. No, this year hasn't been without hardship, but it has been full of contentment, full of things that the Lord wanted to grow us in and use us for.

I wouldn't change anything that has happened this year. I have no regrets.....well's not the regret of having to go home to America, it's the regret of having to leave Madagascar. So I'm thankful for these tears of saying “Goodbye” because that means we've accomplished what we came here to do: build relationships, encourage others, grow, and not just survive but thrive while living here in Madagascar. We've all done these things. And most importantly we've all grown in our relationship with the Lord and with one another as a family. Success.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

So Son Do You Know That I Love You?

May 30, 2011
Guest Blogger: Randy

On Wednesday, May 18 AMI (Anglican Music Institute) had a big day. On this day four of our students had the opportunity to sing in the best concert hall in Madagascar for the general public. Now the best concert hall in Madagascar is probably about as nice as the concert hall at your local community college. But this place still had a stage, dressing rooms, and comfy movie theater type seats. A group of music lovers in town (some foreigners and some Malagasies) sponsor free lunch time concerts on Wednesday afternoons. They bring the best professional musicians that they can find so people in the center of the capital city can take 45 minutes off of work and listen to some music. One of our students was so nervous about singing for this event that she said she didn't sleep or eat properly for a week.

Accompanying the students on piano were myself and two other missionary teachers. I had it easy as I was only playing for one song. But we practiced many hours for this concert. On the morning of the concert we went into town early and practiced again in the venue, the French Cultural Center. Then we had some time for lunch and then the concert. The doors were set to close at 12:55 but by 12:45 every seat was filled and there was only standing room left. The concert went very well.

Now on Wednesay afternoons myself and the two other accompanists are supposed to be teaching children's piano lessons from 1 until 6 pm. For this concert we had rearranged a few lessons and we had until 2:30 to get back to teach the rest of our students. So, considering I had to be at the concert hall early and had to go back to AMI and teach for several hours I had decided to not wear my suit but to change at the concert hall. It's not like I had to ride the taxi be. Someone drove me to the concert and then back to AMI and then even home at night. I just carried my suit on a hanger.

We didn't quite make it back to AMI by 2:30 but the afternoon continued fine and finally I went home. After dinner and all I was finally going to bed and realized my wallet was not in my pants pocket where it always is. After a quick moment of “my wallet is lost” I remembered that I had decided to put my wallet in my suit pants pocket during the concert so it would not get stolen from the dressing room during the concert. So, I grabbed the hanger with the suit coat and suddenly had a different moment – the one of “my pants are missing?” They were not on the hanger like they should be. And of course my wallet was in those pants. I quick grabbed the flashlight and ran up our road thinking they might have fallen off the hanger as I was coming home in the dark – nothing. I called the two people who had given me a ride in case they fell off in their cars – nothing. I called another teacher who lives at AMI – the pants weren't there either. And, long-story-a-little-shorter, no, they were not at the French cultural center either – at least according to the people we called.

So, over the next few days I worked out cancelling all my credit cards, etc – which turned out not to be as bad as I thought. And as a thank you gift for accompanying them the students from the concert bought me a very nice crocodile skin wallet. But a few days later I suddenly realized I now had no suit to wear at our upcoming graduation concert where I again needed to accompany. And here is where the love is. At first I was able to borrow a pair of dress pants. I could have bought a new suit or even just pants, but I only had one week and that sort of shopping for a tall person is a big hassle here. So instead I called the two tall men I knew here who had a similar size waist and got pants from one of them. But shortly after I borrowed the pants JungAh, the wife of AMI's director, told me she had two suits I could try. Her brother had given them to her for her son, but they did not fit him. When I tried them on they fit almost perfectly. JungAh said I could choose one and keep it! And they were not just any suits, but really nice Italian suits. Thank you generous friends!  So, if you see me in the future in a really nice black suit, just remember my Father loves me....oh, and He loves all His children just as perfectly.