Update pt. 1!

It’s been a pretty crazy month over this way! First, two things– we are doing this update in two parts to catch up on May and June. This update will be largely a family/personal update. Secondly, we will also be doing a ‘half a year’ update in the upcoming weeks to take a look at our first six months as a whole being here on the island. If there’s anything you’d like to hear about, please let us know!!!

So backing way up to early May:

In early May we got to host CCF at our house for two consecutive Sundays!  It was such an honor to have the church meeting here in our abode and fellowship together in a full house!  Something we have definitely missed– a full house! (well, fuller than just our four kids, that is 😉 )  Jordan had the chance to teach for three Sundays, as the Grayson’s were enjoying some much deserved rest time in Florida with lots of family. It was really sweet!

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Along with church at our house (and Mothers Day), there  was also the longest power outage we have had on the island!  16 hours of no current made for an interesting after-church cookout. We lost some food in the ordeal, but nothing too major, thankfully.

That weekend was additionally wonderful, though, because my mom was here to share in it with us!! :) We had a really really great time showing Grandma Sue around the island, visiting beaches, going to the movies, out to icecream, collecting treasures on the beach, etc. etc. The kiddos were THRILLED to have her here (and Jordan and I shared in that sentiment!!). She spoiled us rotten, bringing down lots of goodies and washing all my dishes and laundry. :) I am so so thankful that both of our parents have been able to come visit in these early months of being here- both for us, for the kiddos, and for them.

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At the end of my mom’s trip here, two really BIG deal things happened for our family. As I’ve previously eluded to, and mentioned on instagram/facebook, Corban has had a really rough time with the transition. The boy loves people. He thrives on order and structure, routine and rhythms. We turned his world upside down coming here, and we saw some pretty rough days. In an act of desperation, I wrote on a facebook group for moms here on the island asking if anyone knew of ANYTHING I could plug my almost-7 year old into. A friend replied with information for a soccer league, and whoa, let’s talk about an answer to prayer!

2014-06-23_0004Corban left the first game ECSTATIC. He was glowing… telling how he wished every day was Friday, how he couldn’t wait for next week. It was a major turning point for him. He had something that was his, something to look forward to, something with peers, boys his age. Piggy backing off of that, the same friend who told us about the soccer league mentioned needing a new place to live, and wanted to know if anyone had a landlord they could recommend. We have had a fantastic experience with ours, so I sent her his number, and guess what:

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NEW NEIGHBORS!!!! The apartment below us was vacant, and is now filled with the sweetest British family. You guys. Another humungous answered prayer. We have asked people to pray specifically for friends for the kiddos and even that the Lord would bring a family to live in the house below. It has been SO sweet, and I am so excited for the upcoming summer days of kids up and down and in and out. Already, there is the sweetest relationship and they play so well. Holly and Eoin (the parents) are so wonderful, their kiddos (ages 8, 5, and 3) are so much fun, and we are just so thankful. :)

May was also doubly exciting for me because I was keeping a little secret. We had planned many months ago for me to surprise my family and fly home the last weekend of May… the weekend that would have been my little brother’s high school graduation. Without a doubt, we knew the weekend would be hard for my parents, and I really just wanted to be there with them. Also, I had booked a wedding and the couple was wanting an engagement session, so it worked out perfectly for me to be home then and get a little work in while I was there. It was so so so so so sweet. After leaving St. Kitts at 3 pm, kissing my husband and kiddos goodbye, flying to Miami, spending the night in the Chicago airport with a feverish baby, not sleeping a wink, I was picked up by one of my dearest friends from the Indianapolis airport. We slipped to Starbucks and Target and talked a million miles per minute and then drove to Crawfordsville, where I spent some time with my in-laws, who then took me to surprise my mom. Surprise is an understatement— she was SHOCKED!

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It was a really perfect and refreshing few days away. I got a lot of sweet time in with family, got to go to our home church, got to enjoy some good old american food, do a little shopping for those things we can’t find or afford here on the island. We went to what would have been JD’s graduation, and it was so bittersweet. Very hard, but we are so grateful for the way they chose to remember and honor his life. I am so glad I got to be there with my family. We also had a cardiologist appointment that we needed to take care of for Asher (His heart checks out perfectly thus far, PTL), and I had to renew my very very very expired US license so that I could get my license here in St. Kitts. It was jam packed and included an extra day by necessity and then another extra day by way of plane delays, but I am so thankful that we got to do it. SO thankful.

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One of the biggest things, though, was the shift that happened in my heart. I had been so unbearably homesick. Our first few months were so busy, it was easy to ignore. And then the dust settled and it was all real life and it felt very much like grief. Heartbroken, lonely-seeming grief. A death of a life, a culture, expectations… Adjusting to all of the ‘new’ and then mixed in with our kids adjusting and struggling and having such a hard time– there were some pretty dark days for me. BUT! I went to America. I did all the America things. And it was good and fun and sweet. But it wasn’t a cure-all. It wasn’t this so-satisfying-i-never-want-to-leave trip. It was the opposite. Those things were good, but the things, the conveniences and shopping and smooth roads… they were empty. I loved being there, (and especially being with all of the family and friends), but more than that, I missed my husband and kids. I wanted to be with them. I realized, in a way, that ‘home’ is not so much a place. I can make ‘home’ anywhere, if I’m with Jordan and the kids, you know? It was much like that first soccer game was for Corban… a turning point. I couldn’t wait to get back to the island. Granted, we have had lots to look forward to, but it’s been really good to be here. To be back. To WANT to begin to really put down roots. To be READY to REALLY get to work. It feels like the start of a really new season, at last… and I think we are all ready and excited. SO, on that note– I’ll wrap up there. We are still plugging away at the same things- Kids Club, Bible Studies, the Juvenile detention center where Jordan teaches, etc. and we will hit more on those in the next post. But God has really been doing a work on our family, on us as a unit, settling us in, getting our hearts right in being here, and we are so excited for what the next half of this year will hold. Thank you for keeping up with us and praying for our family! We are so thankful!!

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Comments

  1. Peggy Grayson says:

    Thank you for sharing your heart, prayers and blessings! So happy Corbin is doing better.

  2. Roman Mendoza Sr. says:

    Transitioning is pretty challenging. Not easy at first but the Lord is good. So happy for Corban. God bless you all. Praying for you. Roman

  3. Heather Roesner says:

    Thank you for sharing your heart! This is encouraging! We are beginning new chapters here in Indy as well. Getting married is also a “death of life, culture, expectations . . . “. However, our God is bigger and good and we have been so blessed and thankful as well! Serve Jesus!

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