Sunday, December 28, 2014

Our journey with Chikungunya part 1

Chikungunya.  This was a new word in our vocabulary a few months ago.  A funny word that rolls awkwardly off your tongue.  But now my kids can say it smoothly, because of the changes it has made in our life and the many times it has been mentioned in our world.  This big worded virus caused by a bite from an ornery little mosquito carries quite a wallop.
Image: A female Aedes aegypti mosquito acquiring a blood meal from a human host at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, Ga.
When I first caught chik virus we all thought it was just a few days of misery and that would be it.  Not even worth mentioning.  From that fateful day in October this virus has stolen many things from me.  Including properly celebrating birthdays and Christmas, time with my husband and children, and a little bit of my dignity since I'm now walking like my Great-Grandmother.

Here is how our journey started...
A few members of our church had already came down with the chik virus so we were familiar with it plus it was all over the Jamaican news how it was spreading around our island.

One morning, Josh left early to drive across the island to buy groceries at our nice grocery store.  When I woke up I swung my legs over the bed and started to walk across the bedroom.  I  noticed my toes were all severely sore and had the feeling like they had all been jammed.  Odd.  As all mothers do I continued with my morning, making all the kids their breakfast and getting school work underway.  After a few hours an aggravating ache had spread up my legs.  A thought came in the back of my mind that this could be one of the symptoms.  I called a church member who had came down with it the week before.  I asked her how she felt and her symptoms, without telling her my worries.  As I realized my beginning symptoms matched hers an scared little ache started in my belly.

By lunchtime, the pain was so severe I couldn't walk upright and I was developing a fever.  When Josh returned to the house that evening he laid his hand on my leg and I cried out in pain.  The next 3 days were extremely painful.  The African meaning of Chikungunya is "drawn up".  Describing how you pull your limbs up because the pain is so intense.  My fever went high and stayed that way for almost 3 full days.  Everything hurt to touch me.  It hurt to lay in the bed, but I couldn't walk or sit so that was the only option.  It hurt to lay my head on the pillow.  It hurt bad to cover and let the sheet touch me, but I was so cold even in the 80+ degree temperture.

After a few days the fever was gone and I only had very minor aches.  We thought, "That was awful, but I'm so thankful it's over with."  So, the next week, Josh went ahead with his plans of flying to the States for 3 weeks for some meetings.

A few days after he flew away, leaving the girls and I on the Island, all the pain came back.  (to be continued...)  

Wow, drama.  Sorry for the theatrics.  In truth I'm just too tired to type any more and my finger and wrists are hurting.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Mama, tell me a Christmas Story

Tucking all my little ones into bed.
My favorite time of the day.
  I snuggled in with Princess Brynlee
 who insisted she needed "help going to sleep".  
The room was getting settled down,
 there was a soft glow from a single strand of Chrismas lights draped in the corner.
  A small voice asked, "Mama, tell us a story.  Tell us a Christmas story."
  And then I remembered a story I read when I was a teenager......

...."The story is told of a Danish prince...
                  (now I had their attention).  
He was a very rich prince and lived in a beautiful castle.  He was good and kind to all those in his kingdom.  He had fallen in love with a sweet pheasant girl in his kingdom.  
        (Someone in the room sighed...dreamily.)  

This prince had a problem.  He was afraid if he told this young maiden of his love she would marry him because she wanted his riches and the prestige of being the queen.  Or he was afraid that she would be obligated to marry him because he was so important and she didn't want to anger or refuse him.  The handsome prince didn't want this at all.  He wanted his bride to love him for himself.  

He decided to truly know her heart he would step down from the royal throne.  Take off his regal robes and go to her as a commoner.  The soon-to-be king would present himself before his humble maiden.  He wasn't trying to trick her, but instead he was showing her another side of himself.   He took on the life of a servant to win the young woman's hand.  

This was daring.  What if she wasn't interested in him and sent him away? Then he would lose her forever.  Still she might love him for his true self and choose him above all else.

This is a picture of the choice God gave to many years ago.  The babe in the manger cast off his royal robes and came in the form of a baby.  We aren't forced to obey and yield to His will.   Our Lord humbled Himself for us."     

Goodnight, Little Princesses....and Prince,

This story was from an Our Daily Bread devotional journal I read as a teenager, but told from memory to my children.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

thank you, Lord

our ladies choir sings this song
each time it makes me cry
their rich voices raising up the precious words in the old hymn
they burst forth with "my chains are gone..."

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Killed, survived, taught, sifted, etc...

what do missionary wives do with their days?
well recently...very recently
I've stepped on a frog in my hallway,
killed an {agressive} 9 inch 40-legger with a machete, (this machete)
finished a whole pot of coffee one morning,
survived the vicious Chikungunya virus,
gone 5 days without full running water,
taught 3 school grades while folding laundry,
carried water to wash clothes,
received a pedicure from a 3 year old,
helped our German Shepherd deliver 13 beautiful puppies,
sifted bugs out of my flour,
carefully moved all the lizard eggs out of my sewing machine box,
and more
(things that are more normal to me now so I can't even remember them).
While all my friends back home are posting pictures of fall leaves and even snow.... 
Jamaican kids are playing in the water hose and eating watermelon.
The kids love watermelon.
  They love it so much that all that is left
 is a thin shaving of the green peeling.
(Alexis, 9)

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

pockets as deep as Solomon

Meanwhile in Jamaica.... where is the Pastor's wife?  Well, that's her over there... picking up all the goat poop with tree leaves before Sunday School begins.  (Did I just mention that out loud?)  {blush}  Well there you have it....just keeping it real.  I have to clear away the nasty stuff otherwise it's always a big distraction under the kids feet.  I'm sure you can imagine.

Many eager little dark faces flew out of the church bus when it pulled up.  Many smiling faces happy to be at church today.  Many chipper little voices began our song time under the almond tree we meet at.  EVERY Sunday school class begins with the song "Jesus loves the little me, me, me.....little ones like me, sat upon His knee.  Jesus loves the little ones like me, me, me."

We've been studying King David last month and how he prepared for building God's house.  We started Sunday the exciting story of how his son, Solomon, was the one who God had build the house.

The kids love talking about building a church for God.  I went in-depth on detail of getting the trees for wood and boulders to cut into blocks.  How King David gather gold and many precious jewels.  This is exciting to the kids and me, especially because we are purchasing land to build our very own church house!  I've been preparing them by getting them worked up about God's house being built by Solomon and all the sacrifice and preparation it took.  The idea of us building God's house in Spot Valley is so precious to them.
One little curly haired boy asked, "Is our church going to have gold and jewels in it also?" Nope, our pockets are not as deep as Solomon's.  I love teaching Sunday School.

Monday, November 10, 2014

cleaning up their childhood

When I was scrubbing the bathroom and took my eyes off the kids for 2 minutes....they did the usual thing and made a {huge} mess behind my back.  Same-o same-o.

Here I am scrubbing unmentionable stuff... on my hands and knees... and the 3 year old reaches over my shoulder.  She proudly displays her hands and arms completely covered with sparkling red glitter. "I just love pixie dust, mom."  Her genuine wonder of her shimmering arms knocked me off guard.

She saw beauty.
She saw ....pixie dust.
I saw a huge mess most likely involving a glob of glue, possibly on my living room rug.
Then I looked harder and saw the wonder in her eyes.

How many times have I missed {a moment} with my children and only dwelled on the work involved in cleaning up.  Cleaning up their childhood.  More then I wish to recall this has been the case.  Little finger and little minds create messes, that's just a fact.

So we went to the school desk to play some more with the pixie dust.

"what is it, mom?"
"um....a strawberry?"
"nope, guess again."
"um...a hippopotumus?"
"nope, guess again"
"um...a birthday cake?"
"mom, look harder.  It's a broken rocket ship."
"oh, I see it now"
one of the greatest gifts you can give your children {and yourself} is to play with them.  I encourage my children to dream and imagine.   Even though that usually involves a mess and more work for mom it's worth it.  Years from now you'll be so glad you did.  You want your children to remember you as that kind of a mom, not an exhausted, frazzled mess of anger.  So as you are "cleaning up their childhood" remember that it is their....childhood.  Make it wonderful.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

a Royal Ball for all the fair maidens

I'm sure you read it in the social papers.  There was a royal ball in the Wesley estate recently. All the fair maidens of the land were in attendance.  Rose and Chickaletta all dressed and ready for the ball.  There was a banquet blanket set, complete with plastic teacups filled with only the finest chicken mesh.
 Jane came dressed as Sleeping Beauty.
 After awhile Rose did a dress change and turned into a mermaid,
 complete with ribbons around her ankles.
Yes, chickens have learned something new today!
 Chickaletta did pretty well in her ball gown
 until she realized there were roses on the front.
Suddenly, she was very hungry.
"Party's over...I'm outta here." Chickalleta

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

catching flowers

Two little monkeys sitting in a hammock.  
Eating green cupcakes out of rubber dishes with feet.
Giggles and sunshine.
Wonderful way to pass a day.

Eden loves catching butterflies and is really good at it.  Brynlee isn't as quick.

The frustrated {sad} little voice said, 
"I can't catch lizards!
I can't catch butterflies!
I can't catch frogs!
But, I can"
I love my sweet gifts of rugged looking flowers.
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