Friday, February 26, 2010

And we're off....

Tomorrow is the day we've been thinking about for about 6 months now. Jeremy, Dad, and I are headed to Mexico - and although it's not the Mayan Riviera this time, it still has excitement in store. We're leaving on a jet plane tomorrow (Sat) afternoon for a week and headed to Rio Verde, Mexico. We hope to be spending the week working away at a few projects that will benefit our other ARP friends down there. Jeremy and dad, along with the rest of the team, will be working on a cement retaining wall that the past rainy season has totally destroyed. I have had to find another route of work since I'll be with child. :) It looks like I'll be doing some great work with the women and children of the area, sprucing up the camp site a bit, and hopefully doing a good bit of translating.
Now, I must remind myself that the last time I spoke fluent Spanish was 8 years ago while I was living in Madrid, Spain for the semester. That was 8 years ago (!!!) and in a totally different country. However, I'm praying that the Lord will bless our time there, and the gifts and skills I aquired in college to be used frequently while we are there. I am anxious but not doubtful that the language will return to me and I will be able to converse with the locals.
I'm so excited for the week ahead, however extremely nervous. This will be the first time I have been on a trip in a while that I haven't done any of the planning for, nor do I have a clear idea of the schedule and what exactly to expect. All I can do is compare to my last travel to Mexico (almost 10 yrs ago), and that wasn't exactly pretty. Of course, it was in the dead middle of the summer and the low temps were in the 90s. I am looking forward to a bit warmer weather this time, but thankfully, we'll just be in the mid-70s all week.

Pray for us this week, if you have a moment, for all of the many activities we will be a part of in the next 7 days. Pray for our team (group of 15) that is so diverse, that we would be able to communicate well with one another and grow spiritually together throughout the week. Pray for our safety in travels (flying on Sat 2/27 and 3/6) as well as bus rides (same days) and throughout the city during the week. Pray for our health, as we have to be careful with exactly what we eat and drink. Where we will be the food is safe and the place is stocked with bottled water. However, anywhere else might be a little iffy. Pray for me specifically as I am traveling while pregnant (definitely a first for me) and may have a few difficulties in finding enough (and good) food for me and the baby. I typically get a bit sick on planes, and it seems pregnancy hasn't made motion sickness anything better - so who knows what we're in store for while traveling. Pray that the gospel would be spread through our work, our words, and our witness. Pray that the Lord would bless our ARP friends while we are down there and offer a sense of refreshment for them.

Thank you for partnering with us as we do the traveling and serving and you do the praying.

Friday, February 19, 2010

February 19

"This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it." Psalm 118:24

"Writer's block" doesn't come naturally to me. Until today. I dreaded reaching this day for the past few weeks. I have relived almost every moment that I can recall of the days leading up to mom's death and some have been comforting, while others have been quite disturbing. I remember the sounds that were made when mom had a hard time breathing....I remember the way mom's eyes looked while she lay so still in her bed....I remember the vivid memory of mom's last breath - and it's shuddering to relive.

I went to visit mom's grave today for probably the 3rd or 4th time since her death. It's not something I like to do on a regular basis. This morning, I took 5 yellow roses (at mom's burial, all of us were given yellow roses to keep in her memory. we dried them and now I have one in a shadow box in my house, so the yellow roses have some meaning for us). The five were for me and sis, her two children, and my child to be. They were beautiful, and ridiculously expensive. But at least they were beautiful.

I rested them on the grave and wept, but only for a moment. For when I looked up and started taking pictures with the sunlight beaming through, I was drawn to the mom's favorite verse from Psalms that she quoted through her season of suffering. It was too dificult to weep any longer. I was rejoicing that after Feb 19, 2009, mom never had to suffer another day.

Dad and I traveled to GA today to be with my sister, Jeff, Grace and Sarah. Tomorrow we will celebrate with Grace for her recent 7th birthday. On our way down, I was anxious the entire time....not wanting to see the clock turn 2:58 p.m. And thankfully I didn't. Since we've been here, we haven't been sobbing as I thought we would. Instead, we've been enjoying all of our time together, laughing, playing with the kids, and just hanging out.
I can't even begin to share what all has happened in the past 365 days. I'm sure you can imagine - from births in the family, to new pregnancies, to job opportunities...and of course the heart issues. But in all, a year has indeed past, and we have proved to live life - although differently, with pieces of loss and sadness, excitement and joy - we have lived. Praise be to God for giving us breath each and every new day.
"This is the day the Lord has made, I WILL rejoice and be glad in it."

You never told me....

You never told me that "morning sickness" didn't just mean wake up first thing, get sick, and then feel better...instead, it's "all day sickness" where you're just icky all day long.

You never told me that I needed to take advantage of all of the sleep in the middle of the night that I could get, because sooner or later, it would be fairly limited.

You never told me that one day I'd forego any type of exercise simply to sleep - or eat.

You never told me that one day I wouldn't care what I ate and what time I ate it.

And even though you told me how wonderful it would be, I never would have imagined the joys that came with being a mother...even before your child was born.

Mom, you'll have the best birthday present ever this year - I just wish you were here to witness with us. Baby Ghent is due August 18, just days before we remember your special day. I know you said you'd be "one crazy Nana" but you sure will be missed.