06 September, 2016

It is Good

    Today i sat surrounded by my crew of boys and debated the possibility of losing my mind. I felt pulled in a gazillion directions as i struggled to keep the middle kids (twins and Jacob) focused on school, while helping the older ones with questions, even while Baby Love was crying every few minutes because he has massive teeth pushing through and he's beyond grouchy. I once again sat on our rather raggedy red recliner to comfort Christopher and thought about the impossibility of trying to do and be all things at once. I tried not to think about mothers who actually have a room designated for school, along with cute little girls who think school is the cat's pajamas.

The detox of green smoothies that was meant to make us healthy and quite thin?
A complete and nasty failure.


  As my boys chased each other through the house and banged kettle lids with Lincoln Logs for drums, (i chased them outside.....quite literally) and a son had to rewrite a sentence for the third time, i had an epiphany.

  I've been fighting this hard stage of schooling in my spirit. I keep thinking that if i find the perfect answer or schedule, everything will fall into place and it will become easy. My children will be cheerful, hard working, and will love nothing more than quietly sitting, preferably in a far away corner, filling out large workbooks with neatly written answers.

  So while Zachary voluntarily cleaned up the living room and i rocked Baby Love, i realized that this is a very intense stage of life and i need to embrace it. No matter how good i organize, IT WILL BE HARD. And guess what? THAT'S OK!!! Yes, there are answers to help things run more smoothly but God will only give them as i surrender to where i'm at in this schooling stage and stop relying on my own strength.

  And did you get that sentence about Zachary voluntarily cleaning up the living room? That's right! On his own, without me so much as saying a word. And why am i complaining??? Dear Lord, forgive my selfish heart. I want perfectly obedient children so i can feel good about my perfect life that never stretches me beyond what i can handle. Or think i can handle. That way when i'm old and retired, i can remember how my life was perfect and my house clean. But how empty. How incredibly empty that would be.


The living room after Zac was finished. There's hope!!! 



  I thought it was intense when all i had was littles. When my 3rd grader couldn't remember to add vowels to her words and the twins were trying to butcher bananas behind my back. I thought it was hard when my mother followed me all day wondering where her husband was, and i fed my farmers copious amounts of food at each meal and trembled at the grocery bill. I thought it was hard when i lived in a dusty compound with a green mamba snake and tin walls and worries about ISIS snatching me at the grocery store. I thought surely it couldn't be any worse when i found out my little girl was going to be buried in African dirt, and what if i never smile again.

  But now that i look back, all i can see are the silver linings. I see the row of little Weaver bodies snuggled up to me while we read huge piles of books about early American history. I see the memories made as we laughed over piles of fried potatoes and crispy bacon around that scratched farm table. I remember my mother's laughter and her tears as she realized she will never again be the woman she used to be, and i see her brokenness at the foot of Jesus as she surrendered that strong, beautiful woman that was her. I remember the fellowship with fellow missionaries inside those dusty walls, and the smiles on the people as they laughed at the strange white woman who carried her baby in front of her instead of behind her. I remember the healing as i gave Hadassah back to God and chose life and joy, and i remember the smiles that followed.







   Someday, i will look back with an ache in my heart at the memory of this little house bursting with life. I'll remember the son cheerfully taking the littles outside so i can get lunch ready and i'll remember the soft cheek of baby snuggled against my neck. I'll remember those early mornings, stumbling to the table bleary eyed, and reading the Word of God together and then searching our hearts to see what God is saying to us. I'll remember the prayers going up from the mouths of our young people as they seek God for answers and strength. I'll remember my strong leader of a husband as he sat at the head of the table, leading our discussions and challenging our hearts. So strong and yet so tender. How God has taken him through the fire the last number of years and how incredible are the results. I'll also remember the laughter. So much laughter.

  I don't know where our future as a family lies. We are seeking God's face as a family for where He wants us. We've been asked to return to Africa to reach out to street children and we've also been asked to pray about inner city ministry in the United States. Or does He want us to stay in Virginia? No matter where it is, i know God Himself walks before us, with us, and inside of us and because of that, my heart is filled with joy and peace.  And forgive me if this sounds super spiritual, but i never want to retire. I'm praying that the Lord will take me while i'm still going full blast. Whether that's in my 40's or 90's, i'm praying to never stop until i've officially been released by King Jesus Himself.





  So today i choose to embrace this season of life. I'm being stretched beyond my comfort zone AND IT IS GOOD.

  Thank you Jesus.

  Thank you, thank you, thank you.

03 July, 2016

Queen of his Double Wide Trailer

   Marlin bought me a camera a couple of years ago. A shoot and point that i thought would fix my lack of picture taking woes. Didn't work. So now i snap pics on my iPhone but haven't figured out how to upload on computer so......still no pictures. And Marlin and my computer savvy son Eric are so busy working that i never remember to ask them because i want to sit and talk with them when they are home, and possibly chase Marlin around the house if i have a spare moment or two. Because chasing him is what i do best. And by the way, i LOVE having a 16 yr old son. Sometimes we get into heart to heart talks and i marvel at this young man who thinks and feels so deeply. And then i go find his daddy, tell him what an amazing man he is, and chase him around the house a few times or two.

      The last number of weeks have been down right hair raising in an American kind of way. We did a bit of painting in our new house (can you call a double wide a house?) and i do believe we will move in this coming Monday. It's been great seeing our boys take such an active part in the little bit of remodeling that we did. Of course i changed my mind on the kitchen paint after it was finished but even our strong marriage wouldn't withstand the thought of repainting it. Maybe i can show pictures after we move altho i wouldn't count on it if i was you.


  Last wknd we were at a cabin with 3 other returned missionary families plus several singles that we had served with in Kenya. Ahh, what an amazing time we had. I soaked up the fellowship and laughed myself silly with these people that became so special to us, and came to a startling realization. Those two years in Kenya were brutal ones in so many ways. I think God did a lot of pride stripping and humbling in my life and quite frankly, i wanted to curl up in a corner and never leave my comfort zone again. Until this weekend when God did a work in my heart and i surrendered all over again. I sat out on the back porch by myself on sunday afternoon, and told Jesus that when i gave Him my heart almost 15 years ago i gave Him ALL of it so if He ever calls us back to Africa or any other corner of the earth, I'm all His and i'm willing to go. But for now, (and maybe for like 50 yrs) i'm settling into our new life and will revel in being the queen of Marlin's double wide trailer.

   I didn't put this on the blog because i was going to post pictures of our date night but the pictures never happened. Shock, shock i know BUT, we celebrated our 20th anniversary in April. 20 years people!!! And i'm not just saying this because it's the politically correct, christian thing to say but seriously, it just gets better. We actually PITY newlyweds, the poor wee sucklings. So many things to learn, not the least of which is too personal to talk about on a public blog. I mean, i'm so much better at chasing Marlin than i was 20 years ago and he's doing a much better job at being caught. And those of you that know Marlin well will agree that he seems to enjoy, nay, even revel, in being chased.

  Onto other things. Hmm, let me see. Do i have a garden? Sort of. 35 tomato plants and several lima bean plants. The men ordered and planted the tomato plants and that explains the inordinate amount of tomatoes that will most likely be showing up at my front door step, Lord and tomato bugs willing.

  Um, do i sew my own clothing? Some. Except that i've seriously fallen off the healthy eating wagon and have been stuffing my middle aged face with sourdough donuts, pizza, and brownies. Ooey, gooey brownies and ice cream. So now that i've been enjoying the forbidden fruits, i may need to sew some new clothing because i'm feeling bloated and looking it. I'm thinking i need to start an exercise program for my self esteem. Marlin tells me that chasing him is an excellent way to get my calories worked off but i think he's just being kind.

  Let me see.....our local cat had kittens and our little boys adored them and then we left for the wknd and when we came back they were gone. All gone and no trace left. Which is rather sad cause i wanted to take a couple of them to terrorize any mice at our new house. They were also kind of cute in an emaciated, scraggly kind of way.

  Are we finished with school? Sort of. It IS July so it would be cruel and unusual punishment to force them to sit and do algebra or anything that remotely smacks of school. Even more so for their mother.

  I think i will close this small blog post and maybe next time i will post a few pictures. Or maybe not. Either way, it will most likely be awhile because we won't have internet for a while where we're moving too. I feel rather depressed at the thought. But lo, i just had a cheerful thought. I can always chase my man while being the queen of his life AND of his double wide.

07 June, 2016

Modesty

  A link on a subject that is so vitally important. Please mama's, wake up and teach your daughters the beauty of modesty. Teach them how a young man is wired by God and what an honor it is to cover up our bodies for the sake of ourselves and our brothers.  Our bodies are considered beautiful by God and by men, and to dress in such a way that causes a struggle with lust is to mess with an Almighty God. It's serious business and the conservative church (Anabaptist included) are failing miserably in this area. I'm still learning and i'm begging you to learn with me. Praying the Holy Spirit will speak into our hearts.  https://radi-call.com/2016/06/06/what-every-girl-needs-to-know-about-modesty/

25 May, 2016

Bible Studies for Young Women

      I would like to do a Bible study with Emily on being a woman for God. I could do all the research myself and write one but i simply don't feel i have the time right now. Altho i'm thinking i may just need to since i'm having a hard time finding one that is up to the standards that we want for Emily such as modesty, head covering, marriage etc.
   So any ideas? Or book suggestions? Emily is almost 15 and i have a sinking feeling my years with her are limited. I want to grab every moment i can and one of those ways is by spending time studying the word of God in a relevant manner to today. Sure, we're together all the time and we discuss life issues constantly but there's something to just sitting down with the word of God and applying it to our lives. So i'm taking opinions, dangerous as that may be. :)


 

09 May, 2016

Bits and Pieces

  A bit of an update on our lives, starting with number one.


1. We are still alive and well. Mostly well, that is.

Marlin is having an issue with his eye......Christopher threw up chunky spaghetti all over his mother this evening......we are finding ticks on our children which brings the worries of lyme disease......i'm now 40 and not getting any skinnier. Small things like that.

2. We are still trying to finish schoolwork. That's a real trial when you have boys that could care less about right angles and the mechanics of language. The sun shines, the trees are in full bloom and i expect them to cheerfully sit at a desk? Yeah, not happening so much. But we plod on because those books must be finished or....or....or what??? So maybe we won't finish every book but we are giving it our best shot. Sort of.

3.  Christopher is getting cuter and is walking between people. He's started standing up on his own accord but he just can't quite get his courage up to take off alone. The children are continuing to hope for a set of twin girls.

4. I had a tooth pulled and it reminded me of a c-section in my mouth. I also felt like my body is betraying me and i have now stepped over the invisible line into old age. The age i remembered my parents entering. Scary.

5. We are moving. Again. Interesting the people's reactions when we announce we're moving. They get nervous until we tell them we're only moving several miles away and not several continents. Altho i guess that's always a possibility too. We are moving to a smaller house but it has a shop for the boys to build and destroy things along with a loft that we're hoping to remodel into a rec/company overflow room. It's surrounded by 2000+ acres that we'll have access to so the boys are excited about that. We have been so incredibly blessed with the place we're living in right now and are hoping to someday be able to pass those blessings on to others.

6. Emily's almost 15 and in our church that's when you join the youth, which makes me wonder who came up with that hare brained idea. I wasn't fit to be in the youth when i was 17, much less 15 altho i'm happy to report that Emily seems to have a bit more maturity than her mother did at that age. Still, 15? Really? So she'll be going to some youth things but not necessarily all youth things because we still like our youth to hang out with their fuddy duddy parents. After all, i didn't go through the agony of childbirth, the torture of potty training, the hair clutching of math lessons and the horror of stomach bugs to hand them over to a bunch of pimply youth and a youth leader, no matter how godly they may be. Fortunately, they seem to actually like their parents and often prefer to stay home. Which brings me to another point. Marlin actually gives them the option of deciding things that i wasn't allowed to decide till i was like married. But then i wasn't known for making real wise decisions as a young person. Shall we leave it at that?

7. Altho i wasn't known for making wise decisions as a youth, i have now matured enough that i'm able to run our store so Marlin can go do male things with his boys. Like fishing and hunkering over a fire while shivering. While they were being all manly, Emily and i and baby Christopher kept the store running smoothly. Just like clockwork. I did forget to charge a man for his grill pellets after he bought a grill but i figured i canceled that out by selling a $550 grill in the first place. I'm hoping the man is honest enough to come back and pay up. I also had trash floating behind our truck as we roared away from the dumpster on the way home from the store. I saw flashing lights up ahead and remembering the fines for littering, i ever so kindly slowed down to allow the law to drive ahead of me instead of behind. Besides, i like to make our truck rumble and it's not such a good idea to rumble trucks in front of an officer. I like even more when it's my man making that truck rumble. Puts a gleam in my eye. But the truck is more truck than we really need so altho he bought it for a good deal, we're selling it. Shoot.

Speaking of trucks, i do believe i hear it rumbling in our drive which means big daddy Weav is home from mens meeting. Yippee! See ya'll later.

23 March, 2016

It's my Life

.....frying mandazis

.....listening to Pandora.....what is it about music that just.....works? I find myself dancing around the kitchen, grubby apron wrapped around my middle, music swirling around like so many sunbeams. Standing still in church while singing is next to impossible for me and its not because we have a band. We sing old fashioned hymns but we stand and the acoustics are amazing in our little country church and the worship lifts me up, up away.......

.....kissing a fat baby boy with a very bad cold

.....pulling out kenyan treasures, remembering

.....sitting in our store, chatting with the hot owner who also happens to by my husband, on stools that have price stickers on them

....watching the trees bursting into buds....purple and white haze filling the tree lines

....laughing as cousins make memories and delight in the joy that is family

....knowing that Jesus loves me, even me

These are a few of the things that are occupying my days and it's good. Very good.


17 March, 2016

A Cup of Water

     It wasn't such a bad dream, really. To reach the lost with the gospel of Jesus. To weep with them and to live life with them. No matter that they were African and i was American. I had always longed to serve somewhere foreign......far, far away. And then we moved to Kenya and my dreams of what a missionary woman's life would look like slowly crumbled and i found myself weeping by my lonesome instead of with the Africans. There came a day, when i was hosting guests once again and cooking food for yet another white person, that i apologized to Jesus for failing Him and for failing what i always thought missionary life should be. He ministered to my heart that day in that rocking chair with the broken back and dusty cover. He showed me that no matter how lowly and humble the job, if it's done in His name, it then becomes something so much more in His eyes. My heart was comforted and i went back to cooking rice and beans, and wiping dirty little faces. We left for the states several months later and while i was at peace with how my journey in Africa turned out, i still didn't understand.

   I didn't understand until last week while sitting in a basement in the heart of New York City. We were at missionary de-briefing and re-entry at the Mission Training Center under DNI, and it was then that i caught at least a small reason of why my time in Africa was so far removed from what i had always imagined it would look like. I didn't lead one person to Christ.......never so much as led a Bible study. What i didn't realize was that my Heavenly Father, in his mercy, wanted to teach me to serve in the smallest of ways in order to show me one of the greatest ways to live.





   As i processed those two years in Kenya out loud last week, my mouth fell open as i realized what God saved me from. I went with a pure heart but a rather condescending one. I think it's a common enough trap to fall into it and many of us are guilty of it. We mean well but subconsciously we think we are going with the answers to hand out to the poor savages who haven't any at all. Instead of humbling ourselves to serve, we go to be served even if we would never in a million years recognize it. We don't understand their culture, nor do we really try to, and they certainly don't understand ours and we end up playing a game where everyone's the loser. If i would've done many "spiritual" things, i'm afraid i would've came back insufferable, my spiritual ego inflated and my heart quietly (or not so quietly) condescending towards the people at "home" who never had the courage to leave at all. Instead, i was allowed to serve Jesus through a cup of cold water........over and over and over again. I came back humbled and with few answers. However, i do know this.

   Jesus WILL build His church and He needs servants to do that. Humble servants without all the answers but with teachable hearts. God will not be robbed of His glory by anyone, and that includes middle aged, missionary women in dresses who have lofty dreams of reaching people for His name. I am now reaching the place where my heart is worshiping Him in allowing me to learn those painful, exhausting lessons that has taken so much out of me. He is a good Daddy who has been, and still is, tenderly rubbing away my tears, pruning those sharp edges of spiritual pride, and teaching me the joys of serving Him in the humblest of ways. In my heart is still a bit of a longing to climb back into an airplane and try it again. I have absolutely no idea if i will ever be given that privilege. For now, i will hand that cup of water to whoever He asks me to and in doing so, rejoice that i am allowed the honor.