For the past few months I have been absolutely the worst at blogging. I created this blog so that I could share my personal experiences being a missionary in Nicaragua. The ups and the downs. The truth.. And sometimes the truth is ugly. It isn't this beautiful picture of perfection. Of thousands of souls being saved, lives being changed, people grasping the true meaning of the gospel, or troops joining forces with us.. Sometimes, all I can come up with to write about is what I feel is too negative to share.
Stuff that is not the bright vision of greatness that I feel our supporters want to hear from us... But that isn't life. I am not perfect. Ryan is not perfect. And all our experiences down here are not going to go according to plan.. We are going to be stressed, we are going to be worried, and we are going to have to get to a place where we can settle back in to the loving arms of Jesus.. And this, this is where we are at.
So with that being said.. I am just going to be honest. I know that my past few blogs I have not been my happy self but I still feel the need to share.. and this is it. I am going to share the good and the bad today. I am going to let you come a little further in to the lives of the Bush family in Nicaragua and share some things I have been struggling with, some things WE have been struggling with.
Loneliness.. Though Ryan and I are both big in to adventures and love just being together more than anything.. This one is hard. Ya know, there are always going to be those days when our family or our best friends are all together and you just want nothing more than to teleport back to the states for a day. For me it is wedding showers, baby showers, and all these big life events that I and my friends are going through and we can not do together. For Ryan it is missing big memphis games with his best friends, playing basketball after work, coaching, owning his own house/car that he can work on. etc. And of course for both of us there are family birthdays, cook outs and camping, death and sickness, new life, changes, and so much more that we wish that we could be there for. This may seem silly to you but I personally will never take it for granted again. I sincerely think I would sell a finger on the black market to get to hug my family's neck right now. As grateful as I am for skype and all the technology that we are now blessed with, I just want to throw my computer after one of our skype/facetime chats. Why can't I just hug my mama and daddy? Another big way we have been feeling loneliness lately is friendship.. It is just so hard to be "the gringos (white people)" down here. No matter what, every day, someone is going to ask us for some sort of support through money. I know you are thinking, "Come on Summer, you are a missionary, you signed up for this".. But just once I would love to be able to go sit at someone's house and not be expected to go buy tip top chicken for everyone there, or to not pay for their third cousins stitches, or to let them borrow our car because they don't want to use their own gas for a church activity. Sometimes it just feels like Ryan and I against Nicaragua, we don't want it to but it does. But God is bigger.
Money.. I have really come to absolutely despise this word. For reasons just listed above. And for it putting such a big separation for us in our work here in Nicaragua. And because of bills. Ugh.. Bills.. Students loans (puke), soon to be hospital bills, and now our renters lease went up at end of April and we can't seem to get it rented back out.. So we are trying to pay our house payment. We have gotten to a point where their is no way that we can work with the budget we set for us last year because we are about to no longer be a family of two and this means more fundraising. Both Ryan and I's least favorite part about mission work is the fundraising. We do not like asking people for money or for help but at this point we have no other option. It is time to start searching for more supporters so that our little family of 3 can stay here. So yeah, money. You stink.
Language.. I hate language barriers.. if someone could just pray that we can all the sudden be fluent that would be awesome :)
The devil.. As you can see he has really found some ways to really distract us. As much as I hate to admit it I think that we can really be found guilty in allowing our "mission" to get in the way of "OUR MISSION" here in Nicaragua. The fundraising and money, the go go go, the finding solutions for all the problems brought to us, the being gone in the heat for all hours of the day has really kept me personally from my true purpose here. Strengthening my light and sharing that light with all of those that I come in contact with. It stinks to admit that mission work has gotten in the way of my personal relationship with God because that sure makes it seem pointless. But sometimes the routine just gets so intense that my personal routines get extremely neglected. I know that God has us here for a reason we just need to focus on following him and finding that purpose.
Some wonderful blessings..
Baby girl.. Sadie Ellen, if only she knew how much I loved her already. There is absolutely nothing in this world that excites me more than feeling her jump or kick inside of me. There is new life growing inside of me that is not only going to look like me but she is going to look like and love with all her heart my favorite person in the entire world. I can't wait to watch her be a daddy's girl. I can't wait to see her smile and to hold her for the first time. I can't wait for her to get to an age where she thinks it is SO cool that she has dual-citizenship and that she is a Ameri-nican :) How fun will that be for her to tell her children and her children's children. "Mom and dad had to drive two hours down bumpy roads, swerving to miss bicyclists and iguanas to get a hospital and for me to be delivered by a spanish speaking doctor". I can't wait to see true Joy on her face for the first time and for her to watch out the window for her daddy to come home. I can't wait to see Ody and Pancho fall in love with her and do everything in their power to protect her because they are such great protectors. I can't wait to hear her sweet little voice say her first prayer. I am just so thrilled to be her mama and even more so thrilled to watch Ryan be here daddy. We are going to go on so many adventures together.
Family.. Man, If Ryan and I were not able to get away for a second and talk to our parents I don't know what we would do. Just this morning my mama cancelled her lunch appointment to talk to me for 3, yes 3, full hours while I had a complete break down. Having an incredible family is certainly not something to complain about but it sure does make it so much harder to be here. We are truly truly blessed by them each and every day and Sadie is going to be so blessed to have them as well.
God.. Boy do I fail him.. Daily. But He sure is ready to pick me right back up. What a blessing it is to have a Father who forgives us, loves us, and uses us even when we feel useless. He cares for us, He provides for us, and He never leaves us. When I feel lonely it is because I choose not to look to him, when I feel stress it is because I choose not to trust in him, and when I feel Satan attacking me it is because I choose not to lean on Him.
Life is going to be fine and we are going to get through this. We desire to be strong christian parents who are full of the spirit and ready take on the world with our little girl so please keep us in your prayers. God can move mountains and we truly feel like we have a few mountains that need to be moved. We need to raise more money so that we feel secure in our stay here, we need to get to a good trusting relationship point with the people we work with, and we need to let God lead us day by day.
I always come back to this verse when I am writing about our experiences here. Such a pleasant reminder.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn, If I settle on the far side of the sea;
even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
Psalm 139: 9-10