Shannon Falls, August 2012

Friday, September 7, 2012

Shark Bite and Scripture

There are many days when I long to blog, but I feel I have nothing to say. Seriously. Nothing. Tomorrow will mark the 3 month mark of our move to Canada. I suppose adjusting has been fairly easy (compared to other missionaries who have moved to some serious foreign lands. Though to hear all the accents here you just might think you've entered Asia or Europe!). But I'm off task. My point is that a majority of people speak English, stores are comparable (though prices are not!), we do know some folks here (even if they aren't very nearby) get the idea. Other transitions have been rough. We have literally had visitors, our summer interns, in our lives and home since we arrived. When Christopher and Shannon left this past Monday, it was time to really find out who we are as a family of three in metro-Vancouver. Sounds easy with parks everywhere and a clubhouse with activities, right? It's more difficult than one might think. And it led to the first days since we've been here that I, deep in my very core, missed our friends (no offense, family) from "home." Maybe it's because I've had more time to think on it this week. Hmmm...

Wednesday was the first fall Parent/Tot Connect at the clubhouse. Yeah, so Hayden and I were the only ones who showed. My heart was heavy. I needed to talk to a woman. Any woman. (Does that sound weird?) Hayden and I went to the park instead. With school back in session, the park was filled with mommies and nannies with young, young children. Sidenote: Any time we meet people, the first question they ask (after "How old is he?") is if Hayden is in school anywhere (preschool) because he's 3. I work with Hayden daily, but sometimes I feel judged because we aren't spending that money to put him in school. I have worked full-time since Hayden was 4 months old. While, yes, I did get summers and holidays off, it's not like having every day to invest in him and create and be with him. There are days I wish he was in school, but for the most part, I'm loving getting to teach him. I just sincerely hope I'm doing the best thing for him. Education is so tight here that kids voluntarily take summer school and tutor for hours after school. It was pulling teeth to get kids to tutoring last year! Maybe next year will be different in some areas that will allow him to attend PreK 4, but if not, I'll just treasure these days. He begs to do school each morning. Hayden was not only just a bit older than the majority of kids at the "green park" as he calls it, he was a full head taller! So his playing sometimes means he's beating smaller children up (unintentionally). Plus, he's still learning how to interact and such. It wasn't a bad time, I just felt alone. Everyone else was grouped up and the one group of mothers we approached told Hayden he couldn't play with their kids' toys. Ouch. It hurt me more than it did him.

Thursday we went back to the same park for him to enjoy the sand volleyball court and sprinklers while we still have sunshine. Rainy days are ahead, friends. He interacted and played well (maybe I should stay out of the picture more) with some kids, but we had to leave just as I was close to getting into some good conversations with the children's parents. I'm still learning how to introduce myself and exchange phone numbers (though my next paragraph explains how Hayden solved that for me today!).

So now to today and the reason for "Shark Bite and Scripture." I'll try to be succint in my storytelling. We met some new friends today---families from Poland. They were very nice and shared toys with Hayden. I think one mother and I will make plans to get together again soon. Her son, Michael, let Hayden play with his awesome shark. After a while, a mother and older daughter (my age) got into the pool. I looked up from one side of the pool to see Hayden attacking them (playfully) with the shark. They were so cool about it. The daughter, Kaitlyn, really played along. The first complete thought Hayden got out to her after "biting" her with the shark was, "Hey, hey. 'As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.'" (No, I have not coached him to say that to strangers, either. Thank you, God, for a brilliant son who probably gets why we're here more than I give him credit for!) That led to a discussion on his knowing Scripture, Kaitlyn asking where we go to church, me explaining here and motioning to the complex, and her saying, "Oh, are you church planters?" I.was.shocked. She admitted that she wouldn't know anything about church planters except that her pastor is doing a series on that currently. We had a great discussion. We exchanged numbers and will likely get together for a game night. She was totally cool in Hayden coming over to play Guitar Hero.

After the week I've had, I have been praying every night for friends. I haven't had to go out of my way to make new friends in quite some time. I never changed schools growing up, so college was the first for that. and then the second time was when David and I moved to Southaven after we were married. I just thank God for connections today: I didn't want to work out this morning, but since David and Hayden were both still sleeping, I got my butt up and got it moving. As I was returning home, I passed the mom and son of a family we met at Christopher and Shannon's farewell party. We had a nice discussion outside. Touching base was good; she's so friendly and in the same boat we are having just moved here. Then we met Kaitlyn as well as Michael's family at the pool. Forming relationships here has been the most difficult for me. I hope today is a sign of days to come!


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