Author Archive for monteapril b.

It’s Summer Time

It’s summer time, and the days are overcast, cool, breezy, and just a little bit more relaxed. I am thankful for the natural air conditioner given by God during these first few summer days and am full of anticipation of the coming scorching sweltering heat soon to arrive. That summer heat must be braced for with reinforcements and supplies stockpiled at the ready. You know the kind I’m talking about…the inflatable backyard pool, water guns, spray bottles, popsicles, smoothie blender, ice cube trays, large pitchers of cold drinks, and as many fans as possible. Since we do not have a home air conditioner, this is what is takes to remain sane during the short season of extreme heat. That is what it takes….to make life bearable. In other areas of life it takes some soul-searching, thoughtful preparations to not just survive, but also make life bearable, enjoyable, livable, and wonderful. I want to find purpose, unity, organization, reason, and beauty in life, and it is not found inside of me naturally, it is found in knowing Jesus Christ. Our blog is back on the air…live…after a very long hiatus….we are bracing for the heat, ready, prepared, and even excited about what is to come.

Are We Home Yet?

“Thank you for flying with Jet Blue. If this is home, we welcome you. If not then safe journey to wherever you’re traveling.” These parting words from the pilot on a recent flight in America reminded me that even though I arrived at my destination, I wasn’t really home yet.

We have spent five years living overseas and the moving, packing, flying, and transitioning have never gotten easier. The saying hello and good-bye only gets harder. Our job makes us feel like permanent travelers. And, traveling with children is always a FUN adventure! Stephen enjoyed singing for all the passengers (above). When we first moved to Hungary, one of our children asked with a trembling voice at bedtime, “Where is home?” I explained that home is wherever we are – together. Home is not the location, the house, the rooms, the stuff….it is the “us.” Our home is our family, and that means wherever we are, we can be home. But the truth is that we really are just travelers in this life…on a journey to our real eternal home with God in Heaven. There is a longing to be in that perfect place, a longing that this earthly home doesn’t fully satisfy. How can we long for a home that we have never seen? Because it isn’t about the location, the home, the rooms, the stuff…it is about the “us” – that perfect relationship we have with God. A longing to be fully at rest and in union with our Father. We enjoyed our time at home in America. Everyone in Florida, Texas, and everywhere in between were so wonderful to us. The time really did go by so fast. But for now, we are back at home in Hungary, and time is not slowing down.

“Wherever you are, be all there! Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God.” – Jim Ellliot

Life in America

So, what’s so different about living in America? Many people have been asking us that question. After living three years in Hungary, we are readjusting to life back in the States. We’ve been here 3 months already, and by far the best thing has been reconnecting with our family and friends. We have also had fun watching the children react to all the “new” things in this culture, and I’ve had a few laughs at myself too. Here’s a quick run down of some differences:

– how to flush an American toilet,
– grocery carts that don’t require a deposit. (In Hungary, they require a 100 forint deposit)
– free condiments and free drink refills at restaurants,
– the churches are so HUGE here, so large, so many resources, so many people, so many staff,
– comments like this, “Mom, everyone speaks English here!” and “Do we have to show our passports in Texas?”
– dealing with the American healthcare system, UGH!
– trying to figure out how to pay in the check-out line, “Which button do I push?”
– enjoying having someone bag my groceries after check-out & take them to my car!
– having to cut coupons in order to save money at the store (a necessary evil which I never liked)
– sudden craving for Krispy Kreme
– introducing the kids to things like Dairy Queen, Pop Tarts, Doritos, etc..
– and having trouble making decisions in the grocery store…there are too many choices
– people leave their shoes on inside the house

It is so automatic now to remove our shoes when we come into a house that we can’t stop doing it no matter where we are! We had to explain to our children that here it’s not rude to leave shoes on inside the house! I know, these are just tiny differences, but what we really have experienced is the sameness – the same love for Christ and the same need for Christ is evident everywhere we go. And that is what life is all about!

Fun Fall Festivities

Recently we attended a Sunday service at which five Hungarian Baptist churches joined together for worship. It was a really special time to see these five churches together in one place. There was even a bouncy house, face painting and crafts for the children. The girls (above) are pretty princesses, puppies, and butterflies, while the boys (below) are fierce wild animals!

The children’s school held a fall festival with games and loads of candy. Our two grade schoolers were the baker and the princess. Kind of reminds me of a scene from Despereaux.

I absolutely love the fall leaves! And I am so glad I get to witness the beauty of such splendid colors…..and watch the kids play in them!

Dear Mother-to-Be

Dear Mother-to-be,

Four times I have been pregnant. Four times I carried a child nine months inside my body. And four times I had a c-section. I did not plan the pregnancies, nor could I control the outcome, but I was eager to become a mom. During each pregnancy I looked forward to the routine sonograms to watch the beating heart, tiny arms and legs kicking and punching, and even the occasional thumb-sucking. During the waiting and anticipation I really didn’t like surprises, as any woman understands. Maybe your pregnancy was a surprise, or maybe there was a surprise in the sonogram.

You may have just discovered that there is something wrong with your pre-born baby through a sonogram or blood test. Whenever you receive such news it isn’t easy to understand and the shock will resonate for a long time. It is difficult to accept….how could this be possible? What went wrong? Whose fault is this? That “something wrong” really means that there is something your child has that will make them very different from other children. Five months into one of my pregnancies I learned that something was very different. My genetic counselor offered abortion as a perfectly normal choice. Abortion had never crossed my mind, but now I understood the choice that women must make. One must consciously and unselfishly choose to keep the baby, and even pray that the baby survives the pregnancy. No one wants to be called selfish, after all, we all have rights….? It is no easy decision to sacrifice our plans, our money, our lifestyle, our career, our time, or our comfort to accept something different into our lives. You will forever be walking down a different path, and what is normal for others will not be for you.

Please understand the doctors and genetic counselors are simply doing their job, but they cannot possibly, accurately predict the outcome of any single pregnancy nor the degree of challenges your child will face. Sonograms and lab tests should not be relied on for making a decision regarding the life of your child. It is your child.

I am glad I did not have an abortion. I cannot imagine life without my beautiful daughter. Regardless of how many doctor visits, medical tests, treatments, difficulties, and emotional trauma that we have been through, she has made this world a better place. She is a normal girl with an extraordinary intelligence, endless affection, and passionate personality. Really….abortion a normal choice???? Consider what you might be missing if you choose to end the baby’s life.

A Mom full of joy and peace