So. Much. Anger.

Man, since we’ve been back on American soil, I can’t get over how much angrier people are. I don’t even like getting on Facebook anymore- it’s depressing and a little ridiculous. I get that everyone has opinions and that is fine, but since when did it become okay to shame anyone who believes differently than you? I think I prefer the old Facebook when people would bore you with posting about what they ate for dinner.

I guess it’s the sense of entitlement that’s getting to me. After living and doing missions overseas for so many years, it’s hard to not be judgmental of how spoiled Americans have become. Compared to countless other countries, the U.S. is blessed beyond belief. It just seems like rather than being grateful for our freedom, we feel the need to protest anyone and anything that we don’t agree with.

Anyway, I don’t want to rant and add to the noise, so that’s all I’ll say about that. Since being back, I’ve been thinking about how to respond to all the anger. I’ll be honest, sometimes I’d love to just post all my opinions on Facebook and tell the world what they should believe, but clearly that’s not working for anyone. So I keep wondering, how does a follower of Christ respond to all of this? Because honestly, I know a lot of people that claim to be Christians that aren’t acting all that much like Jesus when it comes to politics.

So far I’ve come to two conclusions on how I want to respond. First, continually try to create a culture of honor. Honor Jesus and honor others. Respect those in authority and those that have different opinions that me- even if they haven’t really earned that respect. Second, live out my faith. Rather than spouting off useless opinions and trying to be heard, be proactive in making a change. If I’m shouting about being pro-life, but I’m not willing to do anything to help pregnant women or kids in high-risk situations, somewhere there is a disconnect. If I’m screaming about the immigration ban, but I’m unwilling to support teams working on the ground in countries with countless refugees, somewhere there is a disconnect.

Basically, try to spend my time being the remedy instead of just talking about it.

I definitely don’t have it all figured out, but I do know that I want to look more like Jesus and pursue things that are close to God’s heart. Surely that will speak far louder than any Facebook rant ever could.

Image Credit: NY Daily News

 

 

 

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Costa Ricans vs. Cold Weather

Seeing as the average annual temperature in Costa Rica is between 70-80 degrees, it’s no wonder the Ticos have a bit of a warped concept of cold weather. Here are some of my favorite examples:

  1. It is incredibly common to see a baby wearing fleece pajamas, wrapped in fleece blankets, and wearing a cotton hat on days that it is 75 degrees.
  2. Hats, gloves, and coats on children and adults alike are more than acceptable for any temperature under 65 degrees.
  3. Children shouldn’t go barefoot because it is incredibly unhealthy for them to walk on “cold” tile floors.
  4. You should never change a baby out of their pajamas when they first wake up because their body needs time to adjust to the morning “chill.”

Taking these things into consideration, naturally there was some concern as to how Albin, Mariah, and our dogs were going to adjust to the winter weather. I mean, in CR Mariah was pretty used to running around half-naked and barefoot (until sundown of course) and our dogs would shiver indoors if it was anything below 60 degrees outdoors.

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First snow!

We get asked all. the. time. from people how everyone is adjusting to Ohio winters. The answer: we should all thank God I’m not from Minnesota.

My favorite quote from Albin about the cold so far has been, “It goes straight through your pants and right to your bones.” Yes Albin, yes it does.

Mariah seemed unaffected at first, but is clearly annoyed by the amount of clothing she is required to wear these days. She has also been known to hang out by the heat vents.  In regards to snow, she was impressed at first until she actually went outside. Ten minutes later she was back in the house crying about her hands being cold.

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Just hanging around the heat vent

The dogs? Well I think they hate us. They mainly hang out in front of a space heater.

The irony? I’ve become the biggest wimp of them all. I’m always cold. Go figure.

The good news is that God knows and has blessed us with some really mild weather for January. Clearly in His mercy, He knew we’d need some unseasonably warm days to give us hope that we can survive in this frozen tundra bahaha.

So here’s to hot chocolate, heat vents, and warmer mittens for Mariah. May we all come out hardier on the other side ;).

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Warming our buns…

 

So many answers…

Just a quick update because A LOT has happened in the last week. God has been showing off these last few days which is giving us a lot of peace.

  • Saturday we were able to meet the beautiful family that J will go to live with. I was pretty anxious, but we were so surprised to find out that they weren’t complete strangers! They actually went to high school with Albin  :). So not only were they a wonderful family, but we’ll also be able to keep in regular contact with them to know how our sweet baby is doing. He will go to live with them this Saturday, but we have so much peace now. I LOVE seeing God’s hand.
  • There was some confusion about when we would be able to fly home because of a check we needed from Al’s employer. We heard from HR and were given the green light for them to deposit into his account rather than him needing to go and pick up the check…which means we will be able to fly home in time for some family events we really wanted to be home for.
  • Since we had the green light from work, I started seriously looking for flights. I’ve been searching for the last couple months and was anticipating to pay around $1000 for all three of us to fly home. I prayed in the morning that God would make it incredibly obvious which day we should fly and later that day I found a great flight that was half as much. I spent $540 for all three of us to fly home. Just huge.
  • As a lot of you know, we’re still in the process of selling our house. We really want to sell it before we leave, but we also felt like we should buy our tickets for September- so we bought our tickets in faith that God will sell our house in His perfect time. We hadn’t heard much over the last few weeks, but in the last four days we have had four showings (two of those with the same family because they wanted to see it again!). No one has made an offer yet, but we know at least two of those families were extremely interested, so please pray that they would make an offer so we can close on the house by mid-September.

In short, this week has been encouraging and peace-giving. Even in regards to selling our our furniture and finding a dog flight kennel for cheap (which is not easy in CR), God has been aligning this thing for us in incredible ways. There was never any doubt that God was guiding this process, but it is doubly- exciting when He shows off.

So that’s where we’re at. We have about a month to finish everything up and say goodbye. Obviously there are a lot of mixed feelings, but man, its a relief to know a Sovereign God has it all in His hands.