Four years have come and gone…

14910360_10154432188876049_3162929517421510045_nWe recently past our four year anniversary of living in Honduras. When I look at photos from the beginning it amazes me how much our kids have grown in that time. There have been a lot of highlights which I will share about soon as there is much to love about this beloved country we call home.  I know I have posted before about the things I love about this country, and I realize some of these things will be a repeat, but sometimes we need reminding, especially now as we are transitioning back in. Transitioning is never an easy thing.6857b-5apxweg6t6adkoje7uwpxp345ggarwxupfzzkohm8w0

But first…

We recently were in Canada for about seven weeks. I think all of us struggled with the thought of going back “home”. Dreaded it even.   It wasn’t that we didn’t want to see friends and family…for sure we did, but the reality is that things change and what we once knew as our reality is not so much reality anymore, but a memory. Then there is overwhelming feeling of walking into a grocery store and the vast amount of options and new products that are out there. Sure, we can find what we need here for the most part…but the selection is limited. Also it was very hard leaving behind our sweet puppy Abby knowing we would be gone so long.

As most people know, I love to walk. I enjoyed my freedom in Canada. I enjoyed the freedom of being able to walk where I want, when I want, carrying my phone or purse and wearing jewelry.  Even at night in the dark.  It was pretty safe…especially at Braeside camp, where I once heard a preacher this summer call it the safest place on earth.  Although I will admit it took me a little while not to be cautious of every person I didn’t know that approached, only because that is so instilled in me now.

 

Another thing that seemed strange to us now was how long day light hours last. When we were in Alberta, the sun didn’t go down til almost 11pm. Weird. Here it is dark shortly after 6pm. And then we are in the house, not venturing out much after that.

It was amazing seeing family and friends and having our eldest son stay with us while we were in Ontario. It was so hard leaving him behind. Especially when he was crying telling me he didn’t want us to go.  I wanted to sob like a baby but I held it in while silently crying on the inside.  Even now when I think about him being there I get that painful lump in my throat.

One thing is for sure, I definitely slept better and undisturbed in Canada. I woke up feeling well rested. We live on a very busy road here, so in Canada it was pretty quiet at night. There was no traffic, no blaring horns, no gunshots or fire crackers being set off all hours of the night. There were no roosters crowing or dogs barking in the distance.

Anyway…What’s so great about Honduras?

  1. Well for one thing, it’s a very beautiful country. I love the mountains. Everywhere I look I see beauty.
  2. Then there is the climate. Pretty much perfect temperatures all year ‘round.
  3. The Food. Oh my goodness ,the food is one thing we certainly missed while in Canada. Baleadas, pupusas, enchiladas, chizmol, tostadas, tres leche, horchata and  coconut pop.
  4. I love that my children have other missionary friends to hang out with. Just today they are at the movies with some other Mk’s. The have MK retreats too, which is an awesome time for them to connect with other kids their age who are going through some of the same stuff that kids in Canada or the States may not relate to.13510828_1715338352040572_7208862430621336307_n
  5. We live less than an hour away from this amazing hiking trail that leads to a 50 foot water fall. The kids and Dale love to jump off of it into the water below. I love the hike but will pass on jumping.13439037_10154103652371049_976713089924802400_n
  6. I love that we can get in the car and drive about 7 hours to the ocean and be in Trujillo.  You may just see a cow or two or three wandering on the beach. It’s our favorite vacation spot and not too expensive either. It’s  a time of rest for us and a break from the busy pace of the city. The place we stay at is owned by Canadians so that is a real plus.
  7. Ladies Bible study in English, and the annual Women of Purpose retreat. A true blessing. Soul Care. Oh, and the home group we belong to on Thursday nights. It is a family home group  for parents and their teens.  It’s a highlight of my week and something we do as a family.
  8. The people…I love the people in Honduras. I love the neighbourhood that I walk in and the people I have come to know just from walking my dog. For the most part people are friendly and warm, and I love to chat with them, even in my not so perfect Spanish.
  9. I love buying my produce from the guy who pulls up his truck down the road from us.  The back of his truck is just loaded to the brim with fresh fruit and sometimes veggies. I love that I can buy only one egg at a time if I need to at the Pulperia or two panadols (Tylenol) at a time if that is all I need.  I love that if I only want one little yogurt container I can buy just one… not necessary an entire flat.
  10. Christmas eve. This is the night that we pull our mattresses out to our balcony and sleep outside. It is amazing sleeping outdoors while the sky is a lit with fireworks everywhere til the wee hours of the morning. It’s a new tradition we began our first Christmas here and one our kids look forward to each year . We have also continued our annual tradition of new pj’s under the pillows.  We’ve done this since the kids came into our home and it’s something they also anticipate each year.Last year I even shipped a pair of to my parents in Canada to give to Jake on Christmas eve. 15665659_10154609817746049_4062272152010751394_n

So there you have it…just a few of our highlights of living life in a latino culture. A culture we have come to love and enjoy.

 

 

 

There is this girl named Elisa…

I can’t stop thinking about that day not so long ago when the horrible words were spoken to my precious teenaged daughter. I’m still reeling in shock, and yes anger. My heart still hurts for her. In an instant the happy, fun atmosphere in the room changed to an atmosphere wrought with tension. Oh, the pain that my daughter felt in that moment. I am sure it is a moment she will never forget.  As long as she lives, it will forever be etched in her memory.  Words have a way of doing that, bringing life or death the moment they are spoken. “You’re not good enough” The comment had something to do with the fact that she was no longer on her medication.

 

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How could someone say such an awful thing? In front of us, her family, no less. Dale and I rose to her defense and said at the same time, “You can’t say that to her!” And Elisa flew to her room in tears. Moments later she bolted from the cottage, her middle finger in the air, yelling as she went slamming the door behind her. She was hurt deeply and that was her reaction to the anguish going on inside.

 

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It was devastating.  Ever since she was diagnosed with A.D.D and dyslexia years ago, she has fought the stigma of being “different.” She has wrestled with the thoughts of not being good enough, not being smart enough. She has resisted medication and for years it was a battle getting her to take it, often times she only pretended to swallow. She so desperately wanted to prove that she could manage without pills. In the last couple of years, because we were tired of arguing with her to take them, we relented. She stopped taking the medication and we waited to see what would happen. For years she struggled with reading. She hated it actually and would only stick to reading books that were too young for her because that was her reading level. That broke my heart because I have always loved reading and I knew it would open up a whole new world for her if only she could read. Pretty much every subject in school was a challenge. She hated being labeled A.D.D. girl.

 

 


But you know what? We have seen her flourish! We asked some of her teachers if they noticed a change in her since not taking her pills and anyone we asked said “No.”
We have seen her blossom to become the outgoing, friendly, confident young woman she is today. Her school is amazing and she has been given the tools that she needs to be successful and to be organized in her school work. (Her room is another story though…haha.) And she is so smart! Her grades are in the 90’s and there is at least one class where she had a grade of 100.

 

 


Elisa is beautiful, inside and out. She is wonderful with children.  She is compassionate. She is bubbly and so full of life. When teams come to Honduras she makes people feel right at home and they love her! She is friendly. Enthusiastic. She now LOVES to read. She enjoys it so much she has read entire series more than one time. The Maze Runner series is an example of this. She is so talented and good at things like painting. She enjoys cooking too but not one to follow by the book.

 

 


Afterwards, once things calmed down a little, Elisa and I went for a walk. She didn’t want to go back to the cottage. (Although Jake and I did help her back into the cottage through a window later on.) She told me that she was finally getting to the place where she felt confident, she had risen above the stigma of A.D.D, and then that had to happen. It caused her to doubt who she is and threw her former insecurities in her face, those former voices that shouted and told her she wasn’t good enough. But then she also said something profound ..
“ I just wanted to tell that person that I am made in the image of God, so I AM good enough”

 

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And that she is. While it is true the Bible says none of us are righteous…and therefore none of us are good enough, hear me out for a minute. You see, God doesn’t use perfect people. We don’t have to become a certain way for Him to be able to work through us or accomplish something great. He can use as we are in our brokenness and with our flaws. He can use our personalities, our little quirks for his glory and to reach others for him.
It is encouraging to know that in the Bible God did not just use people who the world would see as being without fault or “perfect”. Many of them were broken and flawed and would have been labeled in one way or another by their society. Here are just a few…
Noah was a drunk, Rahab was a prostitute, Moses stuttered, and David was a murderer. Jonah was a coward who ran away. God even spoke through a donkey!

 

2 Corinthians 12: 9
My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness. So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses , so that the power of Christ can work through me.
And as for God’s thoughts about us…
Psalm 139:17, 18
How precious are your thoughts about me, Oh God. They cannot be numbered. I can’t even count them, they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!
Psalm 139:13, 14
You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.

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