Chill'n on Del and Arielle's roof

Chill’n on Del and Arielle’s roof

Today marks the 3rd Sunday we have been away from our church, Trinity Community Church… you know who you are and we miss you!

We are all from the same class at the MTC

We are all in the same class at the MTC, and are now in West together

Our Welcome Party/ e2 meeting

Our Welcome Party/ e2 meeting

Yesterday we went (got our own transportation, and rode a bus) to “The Mission” where all the missionaries came to have a welcome party for us, we had a Senegalese meal, we shared a little about ourselves and they prayed for us.  We also got the chance to meet some people we hadn’t met yet.  A friend who I hadn’t seen in a while, said to me “I’m so sorry for your loss”  and all of the sudden I remember wow, I just lost a baby… it feels like that was months ago and like we’re in a completely different world!!  It’s just a reminder that things take time and processing doesn’t happen all at once, God will continue to be faithful, I know there will be times of sadness and disappointment in the baby area of my life, but right now I feel numb to that pain.

Riding in a car rapid (rapeed)

Riding in a car rapid (rapeed)

I was challenged by our nanny Anna, she decided to write down all the things that she is thankful for, she defiantly included the thinks that are different or she doesn’t like, but she chose to write down what she as grateful for, so I want to do the same.

We have been here for just a week and a half… why does it feel like a whole month?!  So much… so much to take in, so much to experience.  I wish I could just take you here with me for a day, so that you might experience this with me.  There are moments (or hours) where I miss my friends, I miss going to Cracker Barrel with Krista and joking around while we walk around Marshalls, I miss sitting with Cherie and talking about life, I miss taking the kids to Grandma’s and watching them love on all their aunt’s cousins, Grandma and Grandpa.  I miss seeing Ava excited to hang out with her church friends.  I miss those relationships most.  Out of life in America I miss the relationships, I miss the Dewitt’s and the way they feel like family, I miss our small group, I miss our church friends, conversations with Callie about life, hugs from Ashley and squeezing Lyla’s cheeks,  Jelly and her sass, Nieves and her big heart, Sara Schroll’s smile, sweet Audrey, Kricket and her mom’s amazing advice, Hilda’s sweet hugs for my girls, Patty’s encouragement, the worship team’s leading in worship, Kim’s sweet words and hugs… I know I’m missing people in this, I just want our church to know we love you and your relationship with us is important and we miss you!!  This is the hardest part about having an incredible support base is that it really sucks to leave, I felt the same way when we left California.  Oh what sweet days those will be in Heaven when we will all be together, I wonder what that will look like?

I attempted to make eclairs with pistachio pudding, the eclairs didn't rise and the pudding didn't act like I wanted, but they were still tasty

I attempted to make eclairs with pistachio pudding, the eclairs didn’t rise and the pudding didn’t act like I wanted, but they were still tasty

So things I’m thankful for:  My brother Del, sister in law Arielle and their 3 boys live in Senegal too.  We came to a completely new country and place, and we have family, seriously how rare is that?  We have been spending days and days together.  (And it still doesn’t feel like enough).  Today we invited them over for lunch after church and we spend several hours together cooking and sweating in the kitchen, eating, talking, cleaning, kids playing, more cleaning… it is wonderful…. I love it!!  It is so special that they are here, and it is special for them that we are here.  They have lived here for a couple years and we are walking into their world, and at the same time it is becoming our world too.  I love that they were the ones to show us some different things for the first time, like driving and walking down the streets for the first time, going to Market, boutique, grocery store, so on and so forth we will always have that!  I love that in the middle of life being hard and different we can come together and just be together, we can pray together… IN AFRICA!!  These moments feel like dreams come true.  This is probably the biggest thing we are thankful for right now!

Arielle and I cooking together in the kitchen :)

Arielle and I cooking together in the kitchen 🙂

I am thankful that I’m learning who to cook here.  I am thankful my kids sleep even through the heat and mosquito nets, I am thankful their heat rash is going away.  I am thankful for filtered water, for bleach and soap.  I am so so thankful for some of the kitchen items I brought in our container to make my kitchen feel more like home.  I am thankful for my patient husband who is willing to do anything for me, who is willing to go out on the street and make a complete fool of himself looking for the items that we need, I’m thankful for his adventurous heart and willingness to try and do new things.  I am thankful for a nanny and school teacher for my girls.  I am thankful fans, and running water (most of the time), and the ability to take a cold shower every night.  I am thankful for Doo-doo and Sophie, on the corner of our street who talk to us every time we walk by, even though we don’t speak a lick of french yet.  I’m thankful for the guy across the street who sells us fruit and is gracious with our lack of french, not everyone is so gracious.

bath time

bath time

I’m thankful to the Lord for keeping us safe, and sustaining us, I am thankful that we feel more at home in our apartment.  I am thankful to be starting french this Wednesday.  I am thankful that we are here and that we are experiencing this.  Life has been hard, and I was ready for a different kind of hard.  We have been looking forward to this time for a long time and honestly I really do relish the fact that we’re here and it’s finally happening.  As we have parted with good friendships in Florida we look forward to the friendships that await us here and what that looks like.  I am excited to come back to the states and talk about my friends here, I know that it will look different and will be different, but that is what excites me most about being here, the relationships… which is probably why I’m so excited to learn french so that I might be able to develop those.

Please pray for Anna as she starts teaching Kindergarten tomorrow and has the girls to herself, this is a big job.  Pray that she would feel at home and comfortable with our family, she is going through double culture shock, Africa, AND our family.

Eating our first Senagalese meal with our maid Martin

Eating our first Senagalese meal with our maid