Monday, October 10, 2016

Month by Month: 8

So... on to catching up this blog.

It's weird going back and looking at pictures from two years ago. In this photo, Elizabeth was about 8 months old. I blinked and she became a lively and vivacious 2-year old with long, strawberry-blond hair!

I chose this picture because of the story behind it. I just got back from the 2016 Connections conference for missionary women in Brazil. It is such a blessing to be able to attend this conference every two years (see my post here about why it is so important), and it certainly would not be possible without the support of my husband. Two years ago, I decided at the last minute to go to the conference since Elizabeth had stopped breastfeeding about two months before. Rusty took this photo of her while I was away at the conference, and when I saw it pop up in my Photo Stream while in Brazil, I did a double take and then I burst out laughing. If you look closely, you'll see that she is wearing a backwards onesie (the keyhole closure should be in the back), and polkadot tights. And her expression in this photo is almost like, "C'mon, Dad."

When I questioned Rusty about her outfit after I got back from Brazil, he told me he had to wrestle with her for 10 minutes just to get her into the onesie, and then he realized it was on backwards, but he was so frustrated he didn't want to change it. And as far as the bottoms, he chose the tights because they looked warm and "they matched." All things considered, I suppose there are worse things that could happen to a baby than to be stuck in a weird outfit for a day. I just see it as evidence that my husband cares enough about me to make sure I get this time away every two years, even if it means solo-parenting for a week!

Back to Elizabeth. She started sitting unsupported at around 8 months. And once she was doing that, I let her start self-feeding. She loved pushing the Cheerios or chunks of banana around on her tray! Also, another big milestone was finally moving her out of her little baby cradle (which you see in the picture) and into a crib. It was kind of bittersweet to pack the cradle away one final time. She used it the longest of any of our babies, but once she was rolling over and sitting up, it was time for something bigger with taller sides. I don't plan to get rid of the cradle -- it's too sentimental for that, but I'll have to come up with another use for it now. Maybe I'll use it to store quilts or something -- until the grandbabies start arriving, ha ha!

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Blogging Again

It's been a year and a half since I updated this blog. I have thought so many times about getting back into it, but the longer I go without updating, the more and more overwhelming it becomes to me. But I'm tired of continually putting it off. Tired of waiting for the time when I'm caught up on everything else in life, because that time will never come. I'll never be caught up. There will always be some project looming on the horizon that I feel like I HAVE to take care of before I can write and blog again.

I have a tendency to procrastinate on some things because I build them up in my mind to be these huge projects that are going to take me SO LONG to do. On Sunday, I sat down to write a family newsletter. I was sure I had written one back in May, but when I went looking for it, I didn't find it. Guess I didn't write one in May. The last one I wrote was in February. Seven months ago. Oops. Now, we've been busy. Just recapping the past seven months reminded me of how busy we've been, how many things have happened in our family and ministry. And so, forgetting to write a newsletter is understandable. Except that I didn't really forget. It's been one of those things in the back of my mind this entire time. I know it's undone. I know I'm behind, and it nags at me. But I make it out to be this big job that's going to take all this time, time I don't have right now, and so I put it off and put it off and make excuses.

I wrote the newsletter in a couple of hours on Sunday evening. I would have finished it completely, except that I couldn't get my computer connected to the Internet, so I was unable to download a couple of pictures I needed to plug in. So, I finished it last night and I emailed it out this afternoon. Now, I've been busy the last seven months. But not so busy that I couldn't have found a couple of hours to write a newsletter and send it out. I tell myself I don't have time. But the honest truth is that time is not the problem. Procrastinating on a task I perceive as unpleasant is the problem.

What am I trying to say? This blog has become something I am procrastinating on. Not because I perceive it as unpleasant. I used to enjoy blogging. I used to get a lot of satisfaction out of it. I still see it as something enjoyable, even though it is also a practical way to keep in touch with those who care about us and our ministry. But "catching up" feels like a bigger and bigger job the further and further behind I fall. That's why I'm procrastinating.

I am at a missionary women's retreat in Brazil this week. We are spending a lot of time in silence and solitude. We are reflecting on many things and trying to listen to God's voice. I personally am trying to figure out how I can recover some of my joy, and I know that part of that involves carving out time for those things that bring me satisfaction and fulfillment on a deep level. So I made it my goal to start writing and blogging again.

And even if I never "catch up," at least if I'm doing it regularly, I'm no longer procrastinating, right?