April 28, 2017

Life

My oldest daughter celebrated her eleventh birthday over the weekend, so she had her best friend over for a sleepover (a very special thing we've tried to save for birthdays). Watching these girls grow up together over the past 6 years has been special. I'm so thankful that my daughter has had this friend in her life among so many others who have come and gone.

I'm anticipating more busyness next week as the days draw ever nearer to our departure. There are many last minute things we need to do during the final days before we leave.

I plan to go through everybody's clothes, shoes, and sandals over the weekend and sort through, outgrown and outworn, clothes. As I'm doing this, we will make shopping lists of clothes for everyone based on what they need. With school finished for now, I also plan to go through our school room, put books back in their rightful place, toss old work we no longer need, and tidy up things have been haphazardly placed around the room.

This week I defrosted my large freezer, and moved the few remaining items into the small freezer in our fridge. 

The dog needs his yearly rabies vaccine before we leave.

I need to make a list of things to be mindful of, or "how-to's," for our house/dog-sitter.

The kids' rooms need a thorough go-through...... 

I have some shopping left to do for Canada at the local souvenir market. I'm sure other things will come to mind as we prepare to leave.

We are gathering photos and videos we've taken over the past 2 years to try and summarize (hahaha) our lives into 5 or 10 minutes. Preparing for furlough is a strange time of reflection over the last 20 months---what has happened? What has changed? What have we learned? How have we grown? What were the disappointments, the challenges, the highlights?

The ladies' Bible study I've been a part of for the last 9 weeks came to its end this week. Just in time for us to leave.. the group started out quite large (9-10 ladies), but just because of life and schedules, only 4 of us have been able to regularly attend. It has been a special time of studying God's Word and discussing it together, and praying that it transforms our hearts.


Growing

Lots of red in my yard right now. At the tail end of April we start to see the poinsettia plants begin to bloom. These amazing plants bloom all the way into September and October!


This is a Sphere Poinsettia. These get huge, 6 inches in diameter!


After some extensive looking online, trying to figure out what these red bell-like flowers are, I'm going to have to guess they are a type of Salvia plant, of which there are 500 types. In this family of plants, there's the African Sage, a fuzzy purple and white flower, which I have tons of in my garden as well. I think these red ones are Bonfire Salvia.

Most people would recognize this is a traditional Christmas poinsettia. In my yard it stands as a tree, over 10 feet tall!

On My Side Table

 Expectations and Burnout: Women Surviving the Great Commission
Two years ago, I had this book given to me by our Canadian member care couple who came to visit us.

I don't think I'm coming anywhere near what the authors call "burnout," but they link women's expectations (on themselves, and a host of other things), and not being able to meet these expectations, as the root cause of burnout.

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