Christmas Socks and Cell Phones

It’s been a looooong time since I posted on here.  But you’ve been on my mind.  Tonight, I have a few minutes and my brain is still in semi-functioning condition.

Part of what has been keeping me away was a major (for me, at least) project that I was working on– a bilingual children’s church curriculum for next year, with a ton of resources that all had to be edited, put together and even produced.  No, I didn’t translate it– my networker-extraordinaire friend Kayo hooked me up with a friend to work on this project.  This has been a naptime and all-night project, pretty much every day for the last 7 months.

There will be more about that later, in newsletters and such.  It’s really cool, and it seems like the Lord is opening doors for it.

But the other thing that has been keeping me away is just LIFE.  Life with kids, life with your spouse takes time and commitment.  But living life here, with kids, a spouse, ministry and a long list of must-dos that you wouldn’t expect to fall under that job title– it just takes up every last minute and every last brain cell.

Not complaining.  It’s God’s grace that allows us to be here.  It’s also just a matter of prioritizing what can realistically get done in 24 hours and letting other things fall to the side.

For example, I just got back from spending over an hour at the phone store.  Our contract is ending and we have to decide what to do next– what’s the most economic route.  We’d been trying to go all week, but something would always come up.  I knew I needed to go alone to focus, so I put dinner on the table and snuck out the front door, leaving my husband to watch the girls.

The sweet girl behind the desk took her time to explain the system to me and what my options were.  Sometimes she’d explain, I’d say ok….. Then I’d squint my eyes, look at what she wrote, pause, think some more, wait for the full connection to happen and then say, OH. Ok. But at the end, I did understand everything.

However, it took me only 15 minutes to explain it to my husband when I got home.  There’s a big disparity of time there.

Last week, my daughter’s teacher called.  Our conversation went something like this.

Teacher: Hi, This is so and so teacher from school.  Is now a good time to talk?

Me: Yes!

Teacher: Ok.  This week at school, ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~  ROSALYN ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Christmas sock ~~~~~Fill it with candy~~~~ Sorry it’s so late ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Is this ok?

Me: A Christmas sock (stocking)?

Teacher: Yes

Me: So I need to send a Christmas sock to school with Rosalyn.

Teacher: Yes, please.  Sorry it’s so late to ask for it.

Me: Ok, so what size do you need?

Teacher: Well, the bigger the better.

Me: Ok, when do you need it by?

Teacher: We’re going to work on it on Friday, so can you send it tomorrow? I’m so sorry it’s so late.

Me: Yes, I will send it with her tomorrow.  Thank you.

Teacher: Thank you.


Roughly end of the conversation.  I look at the clock, load up the kids on the bike and head up to the dollar store to buy a Christmas stocking before dinner. Rosalyn picks it out, we stand in an unending line with a toddler who wants to rearrange every item in the store, and finally head home.  I debate where to write her name on it, fold it up nicely to put in her bag and clear my brain of the task.

The next day, my husband comes in from picking our daughter up from the bus station.

“The teacher [another teacher on the bus] says you need Christmas paper for tomorrow.”

“Christmas paper?  What for? What kind?  How big?”

“I don’t know.  She got really nervous and couldn’t really explain it.”

Thankfully, right about that moment, my neighbor chimes in my phone with a message.  “I heard the conversation Vicente had with the teacher explaining that you need to bring [wrapping] paper from the dollar store to make a Christmas stocking tomorrow.  I’m sorry you brought the wrong thing. I have a lot here, please use mine if you want.”

And I think, Good, because I don’t have time to go to the store again today!

So, she knocks on my door early the next day to let Rosalyn pick which paper she wants.  I thank her multiple times and formulate a plan for repayment thanks– you always, always, always reciprocate any kindness. For repayment thanks, that weekend I bake her some sweets and deliver them to her door.  She returns the plate in a bag the next day, along with some juice boxes.  Her little repayment thanks.

There’s just a lot of little things like this that pile up and create long to-do lists that never end.  It takes time to make sure we understand correctly, to do what’s asked of us, to figure out how to respond, to plan events, connect with people, make decisions about budgeting and taxes in two countries and how to balance and make the most of the framework we’re working in, pray and plan for future ministry endeavors, do newsletters, study, etc. etc. etc. etc.  (there’s no particular order to this list, btw– and it doesn’t even include family life).

So, that’s where we are.

Now that some big projects are closing up for the year, I’m looking forward to Christmas break and hopefully a little rest for our brains before preparing for 2019.

We are really praying for what the Lord has for 2019– so please pray for us and for guidance from the Lord and that we will be bold and courageous and see this land for Him!




2 thoughts on “Christmas Socks and Cell Phones

  1. Wow, we feel overwhelmed with all we need to keep up with our kindergartener, and that is in our native language and culture. Can’t imagine all that goes into keeping up with all those other variables. Praying for you guys and all that God has for you!


  2. 😳😳😳 😘😘😘

    Just reading it makes me stressed… I’m adding one vote for the “Janine should rest her brain before 2019.”

    You amaze me. Good speed.


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