By some curious principle of mathematics the sum of the equation three children multiplied by eight days of sickness equals seventeen children. (Move over, Michelle Duggar.) It’s been a week of alarming fevers and crusted snot on my clothes (not mine) and bellows in the night. Perhaps not my favorite week so far in 2014 (in fact, an onion of a week), but there have been bright spots. Like the moment when I walked in my daughters’ room and found this:

(When I questioned Harriet, she explained that she thought Norah could slide down “the pole” if she needed to exit the top bunk in a hurry. She wanted to demonstrate this idea but I told her I could visualize.)

Speaking of plungers, with the formal educational steps completed (and our learning just beginning!), we have plunged into preparation to be cross-cultural Christian workers. If two things have surprised me about this process they are that there is so very much to it and how full of joy it is. There are difficulties as well, I won’t bore you with them but I am not denying their existence, only saying that those, at least, I was expecting. But in the midst of the details and the challenges I have an increasing sense of privilege that this is my life. I also have an increasing sense that I am not in charge–an “I’m-not-driving-this-boat-but-I’m-sure-glad-I’m-on-it” kind of feeling.

One example: a new friend just happens to be a doctor who has worked overseas and now works for an international health company that assists ex-pats around the world with medical problems. He is able to advise and educate us how to prepare well for life in southeast Asia. “Isn’t it amazing that he just happens to be here?” I said to Alex. Who then said, “Yes, it’s almost like it was meant or something.” It’s almost like my “Father knows what [I] need before [I] ask him” (Matthew 6:8). In fact, that’s it exactly.

That’s a comforting thought in a sick week in January (wait, is it February?) when the to-do list is longer than our days. I keep trying to outgrow them, but to-do lists and calendars hold me together. There are lists everywhere and a weekly calendar of meals and events posted in the kitchen. Today the doctor’s office called to remind me to bring a urine sample to a child’s check-up early Wednesday morning. I of course wrote it on the calendar, not realizing until later that Wednesday’s breakfast now reads: “URINE SAMPLE Cream of Wheat, Fruit.”

One of the things on the bottom of the lists has been this blog. Being forced at last by WordPress, which entity wants me to either renew my space upgrade or forswear new posts, I must now decide about this blog. I’ve been procrastinatively postponing this decision (productively, I hope) for months. I’ve enjoyed this, friends. Whether it fits in to the new life or remains only a part of the old, I’m glad you’ve joined me in this space all these years.

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8 Responses to plunged

  1. Kay Lynn says:

    Oh, please please continue! I don’t even know you, but I just dropped what I was doing to read this post when I saw it in the inbox. It has been so good for me….as I learn this new role of mommy…even if you only post once a month, or once a year, it is a blessing.

  2. Rachel says:

    Bummer Betsy….we just met and I just found your blog! Well, we will just have to catch up in person. But I am sure that I will read older posts!

  3. Caitlin says:

    Oh sure, you can quit blogging. Just as soon as I get in writing your solemn oath to email me kiddie quotes, family updates, book recommendations, recipes, parenting insights, and tales of overseas life say, every other week. Kthanks.

  4. Jess says:

    I have followed you for years…..and I understand if life gets in the way but I will miss it if I don’t get to follow you on this journey God has you on. 🙂 Your sweet words and sweet pictures of your kids always make me smile. 🙂 God bless!

  5. lindasgalvin says:

    Hi Betsy

    Sorry to hear that the children have been unwell and hope they are all soon on the mend

    With regard to continuing your blog – I believe we record our lives in many different ways – through conversations, photographs, diaries, shared memories and even through social media. Some of these ways are helpful to ourselves … and some are helpful to others; whether we are aware of them or not. You have certainly shown you have a natural gift in communicating through your writing, so I hope you continue to find space to do this. However often you choose to do that is up to you, as long as it gives you pleasure to do so. As your ‘readers’ we can only tell you that it gives us pleasure as well to be a part of it.

    God bless

    Linda x

  6. Alissa says:

    Of course, I hope you stick around–your absence would be a genuine loss. But, regardless of what you choose in the days to come, you have given all of us a wonderful gift these last few years. Thank you.

  7. Katy Jack says:

    Dearest Betsy, I am so glad that I am not alone in thinking what a huge shame it will be not to receive your posts. Partly because they are a super way to keep in touch with the dear Kirks now that you aren’t in England anymore, but more so because they are so often so edifying and encouraging. Thank you for all your lovely posts over the years. Lots of love to you all. xx

  8. Peggy says:

    Oh how I love your posts!! You are one of the best writers I know and love!! Please keep writing some how!! Praying for health to return to your home and for continued amazing grace, peace and joy!! Love you!

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