September 16, 2017

Do Australians Speak English?

When I got asked this question before our departure to Oz a few months ago, I admit, I was baffled. But now that we've lived here about five months, I'm not as baffled. 
Yes. Australians speak English.
Sort of. 
Let's see if you can decipher/define these Australian-isms

June 16, 2017

On Mandrakes, Harry Potter, and Transplanting

I have recently had an epiphany of sorts. A most unexpected one. But it's funny how God speaks sometimes. I've realized just how close I am to being a Mandrake (or Mandragora).

If you're not a Harry Potter fan, the Mandrake is a plant with a root that looks like a human.
I don't see myself as that ugly. It's more about the properties of the Mandrake.

May 07, 2017

Neither here.... nor there. {Alternately Titled: Caught in the In-Between}

I knew it would be hard. 
But I never anticipated how hard it would be. 
 It's not widely written about, talked about, or even heard of, really. 
Not from passport country to the mission field. 
Not from the mission field back to one's passport country. 
But from one host country (or "field"), to another one.  
Entirely foreign. Entirely new. Entirely different.
From a home nestled in a beautiful garden on the edge of a river in a village of Tanzania, to a home nestled in the suburbs on a thoroughfare in the city near the east coast of Australia. 

February 08, 2017

He's a Good, Good Father

The first time I heard this song I was sitting in a mini-bus, surrounded by (kinda loud, southern) Americans (you know who you are and I love you guys - but it was the first time in over a year, it was shocking!), riding through the streets of South Africa. It was surreal, to say the least. They were all singing along and I was completely lost. Being in Tanzania has meant I'm definitely not with the "up & coming" worship music trends. But the short-term missionary team I was with seemed to love the song because they played it every time we were in the van together. So it got stuck in my head, a lot.  It's a catchy tune.
Here, just in case you haven't had the privilege of hearing it yourself, give it a listen:
I'm not normally a fan of Chris Tomlin's style, and the words didn't even grab me really.
But then I saw the face of God.
It wasn't even during that song. It was this one:

January 03, 2017

On Moving

Who doesn't love it?
The boxes. The packing. The UNpacking. 
The boxes. My goodness the boxes.

Wait. You mean you don't sit next to your beau unpacking with a huge smile on your face whilst in your chinos and white t-shirt?

Sorry. I got carried away.

On Monday we get to move. Again.
On Monday we'll be moving into our 7th host home. Seven hosts in seven months of furlough. If anyone would have told me this before we planned this furlough I would have thrown the nearest thing within my reach at their head.

God is { Not } in Control

When Hurricane Matthew blew through the east coast, and even touched us a bit here inland, our son started asking lots of questions.
"Why did God send the horicane?" (he calls them hor-i-canes and I just. can't. correct him!)
"Why did all those people in Haiti die?"
"Will the horicane come here in Charlotte?"
Hurricanes aren't really something you hear about in Tanzania, so it was a very real and scary thing for him to see some of the footage being shown of what was happening. But it opened up such a great opportunity to teach our {not so} little 5 year old about the nature of God. One of those things being:

God is not in control.

October 14, 2016

Where There's {Pants On} Fire...

Who do you think you are?
You don't fit in here.
You don't know what's in style.
You don't even know what to talk about with these people. You're basically an alien.
No. You're wrong.
They aren't really there. It couldn't last that long, that distance.
You've changed.

August 29, 2016

The Wonder of America // A TCK's Experiences

When we were in America two years ago our friend took O for a walk around her neighborhood. When they returned, he walked in the door and said, "Mama, Nina says I'm inquisitive." After I picked my jaw up from the floor, I replied,
"She did? What does that mean, that your inquisitive?"
He said, "It means I ask a lot of questions." I wasn't completely surprised that our just-turned-three-year-old was inquisitive, that's a pretty typical thing for that age. I may have been shocked at his grasp and understanding at that new vocabulary word though - but I never really thought anything else of it.
Until now.
Our son is now five, and has spent some of the most formative years of his life living in Tanzania, East Africa.  From ages two through five he's known nothing but dirt roads, optional carseats, only the freshest produce, no air conditioning or heating systems, power outages, and never drinking out of a faucet. He's known livestock roaming the streets, monkeys climbing in our trees, open-air markets with used clothing and textiles, mini-busses rushing down roads with passengers hanging out the doors, and more friends that don't speak his language than those that do. He knows Christmas & New Years vacations on the Indian Ocean, camping on the side of Kilimanjaro with armed guards walking around the camp, a home with one computer for his occasional entertainment, and temperatures that range from 60*F to about 98*F.  He knows when it rains, it's cold because it's winter. He knows when it's hot, it's dry, because it's the "dusty season" (his words.)
So naturally, at five years old, the world is his oyster and coming to America has been an eye-opening experience for him. And for his parents. Who have learned to be patient and very thorough at explaining every. single. thing. he wants to know about. Because, unlike his parents, he didn't grow up in America and he doesn't have any basis for most of the things we pass by without noticing.

July 14, 2016

The One Where We Re-Become American

"Mama! There are so many Tanzanians here!" our five-year-old excitedly proclaims as we sit in the Boston airport at 11pm on our way from Phoenix to Charlotte.
"Um." I hesitate. "Those aren't Tanzanians, sweetheart, those are African Americans."
"Oh!" he exclaims, as the proverbial lightbulb goes off, he matter-of-factly continues: