Today is my forty-first birthday (not anymore by the time I post this) so I have been reflecting a bit. First of all, it was a wonderful birthday. Will is in Lima, car shopping, but the kids were up by 6:15, ready to wish me happy birthday with homemade cards. After thanking them, I told them I wanted to go back to bed. I heard some clanging around in the kitchen and drowsily decided to ignore it. They made me breakfast in bed and came in to see me while I was “resting” at least four times. We had a three new friends come by to wish me a happy day and many people sent Facebook messages. My dad called in the morning and I wasn’t even sure we could receive US calls, so that was a nice surprise. We went on a long beautiful walk with Inka. We made cinnamon rolls. We watched Cars in the parents’ bed at the end of the day. It was super nice.
I mention what the kids and I did all day because I feel like God has been reminding me again what an important job I have in being their mom. I’m not saying our kids are going to solve all the world’s problems, but to Will and I they are pretty remarkable and they are worth all the investing we do. We had the director of the new Diospi Suyana school over for lunch the other day. (On a side note, he was wonderfully overqualified, which seems to be a pattern with many of the missionaries here.) He mentioned that although he will be the director of the school, he will of course teach several hours a day also. He said, “I am a teacher, one hundred percent.” Since we were talking about my teaching at the school as well, I heard it in a sort-of conspiratorial “You know how we teachers are, you can’t keep us out of the classroom” way, and my reaction was, “I like teaching, but that doesn’t describe me.”
Over the course of the afternoon I thought, “You know what, I am an ama de casa cien por cien.” Ama de casa just means housewife, or even “house master” in Spanish, but I like how the word makes me think of the verb “amar,” to love. I am a house lover. That is not very liberated or PC, but I have decided to embrace it. I am baking bread, perfecting pizza, constantly washing clothes, dreaming of decorating, o.k., no more silly alliterations. I have decided to take this big ol’ beautiful house in my arms and squeeze. I admit that there are voices in my head about having more of a ministry in town, about getting involved in other things, about having a “healthy” view of our family, or sometimes just flat-out feeling like the tedious tasks are a waste of time. But God knows that I am trying to do what He says and that I will listen if He asks something different of me. My favorite ama de casa, my mom, made a huge difference from right there in her kitchen, so I have to believe that being a middle-aged, (literally) stay-at-home wife and mom is important (or if not the task itself, the obedience is). I pray that Will and the kids will be able to receive that my being a wholehearted ama de casa means that I love each of them.
With God’s help, I shall embrace Peru, embrace rural living, embrace the beauty, embrace the hardships, embrace the doctor’s wife role, embrace the rainy season.
Why am I telling you all this? I am a woman and we often like to process out loud, yes. But also I feel like someone out there may need an encouragement to look around at the place that God has placed them and decide to embrace it, to just throw themselves into it and not feel guilty that they are not doing something else. God loves you and He loves the time and place that He has for you.
Acts 17:26-28 “From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’”
I love how these verses say that God put us in certain places so that we might seek Him and find that He is not far away. I pray that for all of us in the coming year.