Tuesday, August 14, 2012

letter to the missionary's wife

A few months ago, I wrote a letter to a young girl
 who is very, very much like a sister to me.
She and her husband are traveling on deputation
 raising money to move to the
 mountains of some far off place as missionaries.
Since then,
 the Lord has been bringing the letter back to my mind,
 so I decided to share it.
  Maybe {just, maybe} there's another young missionary lady out there who needs it.
(edited briefly to keep private things 
that were only meant for her eyes)
to my beautiful sis_______________,
first off, I’m so very proud of you.
Not many women have the faith to follow their man’s adventures.
  Yes, it takes a lot of faith.
 But, many women don’t have men like us! {wink}
  Being a missionary’s wife is not for the faint-hearted or delicate.
  You have to be willing to “bite your tongue”,
 especially when the situations don’t make sense
 or don’t balance out on paper.
  And those seriously painful times
 when you miss loved ones so far away.
I take this out on my kids.
  I randomly hold them, squeeze them,
 grab them as they walk by and spin them around.
  It’s so nice to touch family.
  My worst times are always around family’s birthdays,
 or when someone back home has a baby.
 {I hurt inside}.
  I want to hold that new little family member in my arms.
I don’t even want to start on the challenges of deputation!
Many of us missionary’s wives feel like we have to
 “play the perfect wife”.
It is a game, a production.
  The best actors and actresses win the role.
I’m convinced of it. 
No one {!!!}... can be smiling and bright-eyed
 every Church service {cocked eyebrow}
Yet, the missionary’s wife is!
Even though she’s ticked off at her husband
 and the baby just screamed the last 11 hours in the carseat.
She has to act humble, gracious, 
and oh, so submissive when she doesn’t always feel like it.
Because everyone is watching her.
Let those days mold you and teach you.
Find joy in the experiences and hold tight to that joy.
There will be trials but purpose to look for the things
 that makes you smile
(a sunset, a child's smile, a dark chocolate bar)
 and not let the grumpy old storm clouds hide your sunshine.

One thing I always stress to other ladies is
 the need to show genuine joy.
If you’re always faking it, your kids will know.
I don’t want my girls to see a fake mommy.
If I feel like singing....I sing.
If I feel like kicking the dog...
I chase him around the yard till I’m cooled off.
Good thing I have a fast dog.  {grin}
One of the greatest gifts we can give our kids
 is the knowledge that a life serving the Lord is fun and happy.
And that man of yours?
  What’s the greatest gift you can give him?
Well, I’d start off with....he needs a lot of {whistle}.
But you already know that!
  There are a lot of woman prowling around looking for the
exact type of man who gets in your bed each night.
  Give him a reason to come home.
  Make his home happy and comfortable to him.
  Realistically my home is rarely all clean.  Very rarely.
  With 4 little kids, a big house, homeschooling, and church responsibilities
 it’s just impractical to have it all.
  Find out what’s important to him...a nice supper, a clean front room, happy quiet kids {haha},
 or your bedroom always picked up and inviting.
  When you narrow this down, make that your priority.
You have to hold your man tight and no matter what happens,
 let him know that you’ll always {always} be there for him.
Again, I’m so proud of you, 

Just a note to Whom it may concern:    
Dear, Annonymous, Occasionally, when I write a piece about how grateful I am to be a missionary’s wife or how wonderful it is to serve the Lord here.  There is a certain anonymous unhappy person who sends me "anonymous" emails telling me how much I brag about being a missionary or rub it in that they' don't get to do what I do.   Please don't be ugly like that.  

21 comments:

Jessica Duarte Lima said...

This is such a beautiful letter! Thank-you so much for sharing! It's so true!!!!! Thank-you!

Daniel Gardner said...

I love your blog! And I love that you shared this with all of us:-) Thank you for showing us your heart. Your posts always challenge me to pray harder for missionaries and serve better where I am.

~Missy

*The greatest critics are the ones who don't do the work *

Kathryn Ferguson Griffin said...

What a beautiful letter! You are a strong, courageous woman being a missionary! Stout-Hearted! Thank you for sharing this. Would love it if you would share this at my Make it Pretty Monday party at The Dedicated House. http://thededicatedhouse.blogspot.com/2012/08/make-it-pretty-monday-week-10.html I may have a missionary or two in the making who might read my blog. Hope to see you at the bash! Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

Taylin said...

I love your letter!! I am not a missionary wife but, I am a wife and mommy . . . it spoke to me in many ways. Thank you so, so very much for sharing it!
-Taylin
(Don't let "Anonymous" bother you. Keep writing the way you do . . . real life! Love your blog!)

Heidi B said...

Such a great post, Maria! Many good lessons for all wives and mothers! Thank you!

♥ Amy said...

Beautiful and wise, Maria. Thank you for sharing. ♥

Jen said...

What a treasure!

Heather Lowe said...

Thank you for "keeping it real". (The deputaion part made me laugh)And, I needed reminded about a few of these things. Lovely letter!

Luba said...

Thank you for sharing the beautiful letter! :-)

MrsJohn said...

Beautifully written, Maria! Your letter was full of truth, truths that even those of us who've been doing it for a little while need to remember! I especially appreciated the part about finding out the things that are most important to your hubby and taking care of those first...area I'm working on since I've recently discovered I can't do it all {note the sarcasm :)}
Have a lovely day!
Patty

Daniel and Jaynee Lockwood and Family said...

I love it, Maria! So true :) When we were on deputation, about 9 years ago (wow!), I was pregnant with our 8th and our first 7 were ages 7 and under. Miles and miles and miles in the van, morning sick, a different house/bed/floor every night. But the older children that remember have so many good memories of that time and so do I.
I remember Daniel was scheduled to speak one Sunday morning. Before he spoke, our oldest 5 children got up to sing. They had a few mic stands with mics set up to mic the kid's singing and in the middle of the song one child felt his sibling was hogging too much of the mic they were sharing, so he pushed her a bit. Then she pushed back a bit harder, and then he hit her!!!
I wanted to sink into a hole and disappear (no pride there, huh?!). After the service, as we stood in the foyer to greet/talk with the people, some ladies came up to us and said, "We are SO glad you came! The message, your heart for the lost, your dear family...but MOST of all, we were so blessed just seeing your children are just normal children like all of ours. That was just so refreshing!"
That church has been faithfully supporting us ever since and what a blessing they have been to us through their love!
Since that day, through deputation and furlough, we've had half the children overtired/disaster-pieces upon arriving at a church, we've had mommy and child throwing up in the parking lot, we've had to drive all day/night for 2 days to get to a church because of vehicle problems and upon arriving, we were quite the sight as was our van...door opens up, three kids and a half dozen McDonalds hamburger wrappers/pieces tumble to the ground...and oh so much more.
And I have found that while as being in the Lord's service, we always want to do our best for Him and be full of His grace and joy, missionaries are just like everyone else. And people connect with you so much more and we are often times so much moer able to minister to others when they know that. :)

Jessi said...

Thanks for sharing some good reminders! :)

Caroline said...

What wonderful advice for all women, no matter the path they chosen (or has been chosen for them). You are in my prayers!

Seaweed and Raine said...

You know, Maria, that is true for any woman. And it's great advice. Thank you for the reminder. :)

Virginia said...

We'll said Maria! I know God is guiding you in each post that you write....

Jolene said...

Thank you for sharing your heart. Another beautiful post, Maria!

And for "anonymous" - Proverbs 26:4 is the verse I have had to remind myself of after a couple of unnecessary comments recently. Definitely not easy! {They're just jealous, sister. You're doing a great job!}

Angie said...

Good post for us to be reminded of. Good verse to rememeber too when the critics raise their voices.

Tinyla said...

Thanks for sharing Maria! I am going to print this, put it in my "special" folder and pull it out when I or someone I know needs it. - Tinyla

The Woodfords said...

Loved this, Maria, thank you for sharing!! I appreciated Jaynee's comment too about the "normal" kids - great to know some people appreciate that - ha ha!!

Hope you're feeling well!
Love in Him,
Steph

Kate said...

Love it. True. Real. Honest. Good.

All Things Beautiful said...

I love this letter. I love that your being so real and true. I can't stand fake. It drives me batty. All the advice you gave this young "sister" is so good. I found myself nodding my head in agreement. Thanks for sharing.

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