Five Minute Friday: The Wound that Never Heals — September 9, 2016

Five Minute Friday: The Wound that Never Heals

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I fractured my tail-bone four years ago during the hours of labor that led to the arrival of one of my greatest joys, a spunky girl who’s always singing but who was, at that time, just a sunny-side up miracle.

As my daughter grew, the pain in my back-side lessened, and I imagined that things back there were healing properly. However, strapped to a stretcher a little over a year later, the pain was back and more intense than ever. I had hurt that tender spot again.

One still-birth and one live-birth later, I’m in a mess of pain most days. We bump along the poorly-made and poorly-cared for streets of Kathmandu, and I wince and bite back the complaints on the tip of my tongue.

I often think, this wound will never heal, as it is constantly chipped at again and again.

As we bumped along on the way back to a hotel today to say good-bye to grandparents headed back to America after a sweet but short visit, my focus was more on the pain in my heart than on the bone that bounced upon the back-seat.

The wound there was big and gaping when we left for Nepal last March. Over-time, it began to heal and was bandaged by Face-time chats and care packages. But with each visit and each goodbye, cracks I thought were long-ago sealed re-emerge.

The TLC delivered is so needed and is medicine for motivation. My heart is certainly more helped than hurt, yet I am left with the somber presence of this thought, “I guess this wound will never heal.”

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And certainly it won’t for the Grandma and Grandpa with 6 grandbabies on 3 continents. I covet your prayers for these heroes of mine and the heavy hearts they are lugging back to America today.

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Five Minute Friday: My Tiny Team — August 20, 2016

Five Minute Friday: My Tiny Team


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We had a team. We had all our support raised, ready to join our friends in India who were working endlessly at getting a fledgling little church off the ground and headed towards independence.

They had gone before us and blazed the trail, learned the ropes, made all the mistakes they could keep us from making ourselves. I remember always joking that they were our test dummies, and I was glad we didn’t have to pioneer the field of New Delhi on our own.

There were some behind us, following the path of fundraising and raising awareness about the need of our field. They would join our team of two families and we would link arms with one heart to reach the country of India. God would work in our midst, and, together, we could see Him doing something there. We had all dreamed together for years. We were just dying to see those dreams manifest in reality on the other side of the world.

417911_10201205177995317_119377220_nBut months trickled by, and as the pages turned on the calendar, we realized what we feared had come to fruition. We weren’t getting entrance into the country we longed to live and minister in.

We were devastated. We found it hard not to question God as he crumpled up our plans and crafted something entirely different. It still looked like a torn apart mess to us, but we trusted it would unfold into a legible, beautiful story one day. We were honored to be a part of it.

But…he sent us somewhere without a team. No one we had any ties to resided in this new (to us) country, Nepal. Not a single family was behind us, aiming to join our side a year or two later.

It was so difficult to say goodbye to the dream of a team and embrace this new role as pioneers for our board. We’ve been so blessed to meet some wonderful new friends here, and truly, we are working together to reach this country with the gospel.

But I miss our team. We had a Bible-inspired name and sweet little babies to grow up together.

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Our team may only have 4 members, but they’re it. My tribe. My co-laborers. I know God will use this tiny team if we stop pining for more members and move forward alone, yet praying that God will add some bodies to the bench.

My kids don’t have ministry experience or much fundraising to speak of, but I believe they are an essential part to this team, and I know God will use Team Taube as we work together here for His glory.

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Who’s on your team? How can we work together to reach the world?
Talk to me in the comment section below!

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Five Minute Friday: HAPPY — August 5, 2016

Five Minute Friday: HAPPY

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We are not public dancers, the Taubes. But we enjoy a little living room dancing every now and then to get the wiggles and giggles out of my little ones. For a couple years, my daughter has preferred the song, “Happy” from the Minions movie to get the jiving juices flowing.

She was happy (and not just because of all.the.presents).

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Happy.

That’s all anyone would have described baby Jo as, and that’s all she ever really was. Unless you robbed her of her fruit snacks, of course.

When we came to Nepal, the sad side emerged more and more. It was quiet and didn’t demand much attention most of the time. It was moody and morose but occasionally erupted in red-faced scream fests.

I figured she was a little bored at home and that the threes were just plain harder than twos which I had heard to be true. By four, I was, honestly, just grasping for anything to help bring the happy back.

I enrolled her in a nearby pre-school. I thought she might be sad to leave the house or scared to get on the bus with kids she didn’t know and who didn’t speak her language.

I was wrong.

She hopped on the bus like it was Grandma’s car with the car seat loaded up and cup-holders full of goldfish crackers.

She played, and sang, and danced and chatted her little English-speaking mouth to death. She came home and crashed on the couch each day. She was exhausted. And happy.

And mom was happy to have her joyful Jo and a house full of laughter again.

Sometimes the hardest decisions we make end up making us the most happy.

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A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones (Prov. 17:22).

What are hard decisions you’ve made that lead to your or your family’s happiness?
I would love to hear from you in the comment section below!

This post is part of Five Minute Friday link up hosted by Kate Motaung. I am enjoying being a part of this writing community and putting together these little posts and getting to know these wonderful people! Join the fun next Thursday night on Twitter!

Just a Tonka Truck — July 27, 2016

Just a Tonka Truck

It was just a Tonka truck. Tucked into a 50 pound duffle bag of garage-sale gathered toddler clothes and toys.

It was thrown under a plane in Cincinnati, in Chicago, and again in Abu-Dabi along with other travelers’ jet-setting necessities and relocating families’ most prized possessions. It arrived in the back of our little Maruti Suzuki bursting with the gifts of doting grandparents finally arriving for a 10 day stay.

The next morning, it spilled out among the spoils spread out upon our marble floor. I nearly gasped at the sight! The previous Christmas, I had placed a Tonka truck on my Amazon wish list, not thinking much how unlikely and inconvenient this request was for a family living in a foreign land.

But leave it to Grandma to fulfill these crazy notions bound by far more than my imagination. She revealed to me that she had searched and even prayed while scavenging yard sales in my home town to find one of these golden vehicles of destructive delight.

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It was just a Tonka truck. But to me, it was so much more. It was a glowing, gleaming expression of an indestructible force- love. Though this tough love is threatened by thousands of miles, it plows and plunders through every obstacle and runs down each hill heaped up by hundreds of hardships.

Its work is HARD, and it is quietly admired by those privileged to behold its wonder. Its work is worth doing. Its work challenges and encourages me, though it is most often done without applause or praise.

Not many volunteer to take part in the cause. Most cringe a little at the mention at such a tedious, difficult task.

It speaks to me of a Savior that gives good gifts, no matter the cost. That toils to soften hard and frozen ground, to love those that are incapable of extending anything worth offering.

And it challenges me to love and give beyond myself. When it’s not quite cute and cozy and capable of being captured in a filtered photograph. I’ll roll up my sleeves and do the hard work of loving other people.

Across seas. Across cultures. Across the dining room table and down the hall.

Across the yellow-tape of my own comfort zone.

So thanks, MiMi, for the Tonka truck. Every time Shep vrooms it around the house or throws it down the stairs, I think of you (usually fondly, less so on the latter act). But mostly, I think of the hard work you’re doing.

And I thank God for a little boy so loved…

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…even if he doesn’t seem to appreciate it like I do.

 

 

Earth-shaken, Fire-forged Love — February 17, 2016

Earth-shaken, Fire-forged Love

Is it too late for a mushy-gushy post? It’s my blog and I do what I want to.

Valentine’s Day has had me reflecting on the love the Lord has so generously blessed me with. First and foremost the unmatched love of Christ in my life is beyond compare to any temporal love that could be shown to me this side of heaven. That, in and of itself, is a totally and completely WORLD-ROCKING concept when I consider how abundantly full my life is in the L-O-V-E department.

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See what I mean?

The mission field has changed me. It has changed my husband. It has changed our marriage. It has changed our love. Our love may not of the Hallmark red-pink splattered fuzzy hearted type, but it is a lot of things less glamorous…but better.

Our love is shoulder-to-shoulder language learning, one of the hardest and most humbling experiences of our lives to date.

It is waking up to an earthquake and falling asleep again feeling safe in his arms.

Long walks stumbling around fallen bricks and our fears for our children growing up in this strange place.

Being led across the busy streets of Kathmandu in complete trust of the man that guides me.

It is sitting at our farmhouse table morning after morning, sipping our hot water (yeah, we quit coffee…and I don’t want to talk about it) and reading the word of God in a language that lights it all up for us.

Our love is my man sneaking out to the laundry room to start a load in the middle of the night while we are graced with power.

Snuggles that start solely for warmth. Cooking love-laced goodies on hot plates. Falling asleep on his shoulder on our millionth taxi ride. Walks with our daughter showing us her “secret places” she is unaware are public knowledge. Sharing our bed with a handsome little man who refused to sleep for the first year of his life. Rushing around in supermarket sweep style a few times a month. Squeezed-in cheesecake dates into our busting-at-the-seams schedule. Crashing into our bed at 8 o’clock after long days and waking up in groans and shared contempt for mornings.

It is joys, hardships, and countless stolen moments of peace among the crazy. The hug that chauffeurs me somewhere else. The kiss that takes away the stress if only for a moment. Romance is something I don’t remember much. But that’s not to say I don’t know love. I know it well. Maybe better than most.

  

I know our love. And I wouldn’t trade it for the love that storybooks and movies are made of. It has been forged in an on-going war to win the world. And it sure sounds romantic when you put it that way, doesn’t it?

And to think…Christ loves me MORE. And this ain’t a fairytale! It’s good and TRUE news our love weathers this place to share.

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Tell me about your earth-shaken, fire-forged love!
I would love to hear your experiences in the comment section below!

 

 

 

Frequently Asked Friday: All About My MKs — February 12, 2016

Frequently Asked Friday: All About My MKs

Seems like all anyone ever wants to talk to me about anymore is my kids! I kinda love that about growing up since I’m not too fascinating but I could talk about my sweet and crazy toddlers all day long! Pull up a seat and grab your coffee…we might be here a while!

This is Jolynn.

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This picture sums her up pretty well. She is always running around pulling stuff out, changing her identity (actual quote: “I not Jolynn… I Batman!”), and causing all kinds of trouble. She is a real firecracker but is pretty go with the flow when it comes to change (major life changes anyway- I wouldn’t suggest giving her peanut butter when she thinks she’s getting Nutella).

Life in Nepal- She settled into Nepal life well, has never made a fuss about us leaving her to go to language school, and has never seemed phased by having a nanny that only speaks Nepali to her.
Language- She understands A LOT of Nepali and follows any and all commands given to her but generally responds in English. She is starting to say phrases like, “Where is this?” “I am fine,”  “I am hungry,” etc. and the bossy gal has perfected, “Don’t do that, little brother!”
Food- She pretty much detests any food that is not PB&J or apples, so she hasn’t branched out into trying any real Nepali food. She will eat wai-wai which is a Nepali staple here similar to Ramen noodles, but she only eats them dry. She just doesn’t know how good they are the real way! YUM!
Social Life-She is not currently enrolled in school but we are exploring that option for her as she will be turning 4 in just 10 days! In our neighborhood, there aren’t any children her age and at times she seems to struggle with boredom and a lack of social interaction. We are praying for a little Nepali friend for her!

This is Shepherd. And no, he doesn’t have any sheep, but we know where to get him some. He’s kinda spoiled like that…

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He might as well be Nepali and everyone around here says as much. We moved here when he was 3 months old so I guess this is all just normal life to this little man!

Life in Nepal- He spends more time immersed in Nepali than English and, much to my dismay, often spends more time with his Nepali momma while his mommy learns this language! I sometimes think he might be surprised when he looks in the mirror and may even wonder who that little white boy is!
Language-Sometimes, when I can’t get him to obey, I say my command in Nepali and get an immediate response! Makes me feel bad for any discipline I may have given out unnecessarily! Oops! He hasn’t started talking yet, but I suspect when he does it will be a mash-up between Nepali and English…Nepalglish???
Food- He’ll pretty much eat anything that slightly resembles food but he does seem to prefer Nepali food (lentils, rice, and all kinds of veggies) and even likes it all a little on the spicy side! He enjoys carrying in the fresh-delivered milk, sweeping with the Nepali style broom, and throws a royal fit when we come in from outside, when his Nepali mommy leaves, and when his Masala Tea runs out!
Social Life- He doesn’t have one, but what one year old does? His sister drives him crazy, and he is a total momma’s boy (Nepali mommy or me…whoever is here!). He can usually be found on one of our hips trying to get a sneak of what’s cooking and will form a special bond with anyone who will sneak him some.

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I remember on the plane coming here, I looked at my sleeping babes and wept over their total oblivion to what was about to happen, to how their lives would change and not resemble many other American childrens’ lives. I worried that they wouldn’t have friends, wouldn’t eat anything, and would be scared of many things we would encounter. And that they would never feel at home anywhere.

Most of my fears have come true, but these precious babies have taught me so much about just enjoying each day and taking whatever comes. Like my husband told me, they don’t know that their life is weird…or hard!  So I try not to clue them in!

I’m so thankful for my American girl and my Nepali boy. I know that they have many challenges down the road as they grow up in a foreign land. I trust that the Lord will enable me to help them face those challenges with the grace and love that has been lavished upon me.

If I’m their Mom in America, in Nepal, or on Mars, I am truly, truly blessed!

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Tell me about your MKs- Missionary Kids and Mommy’s Kids alike!
I would love to hear your experiences in the comment section below!

 

An Open Letter to the Baby I was Scared to Love — December 6, 2015

An Open Letter to the Baby I was Scared to Love

Little One,

You’re not so little anymore. You’re finding your way around this house, running into everything, and filling the air with the funniest little growl sounds.

You’re constantly covered in bumps and bruises, smiles and kisses. You are so loved.

But, I’ll be honest, I was afraid to love you. When I learned of your presence in the womb that held your brother Ezra, I was flooded with conflicting emotions of joy, grief, and fear. We were moving on from our loss, accepting the void in our family but asking God to fill it with another pair of precious wrinkly feet.

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I never felt sure that you’d find your way into my arms. I took medicine, I rested, I prayed like I’ve never prayed before. And I trusted…with bated breath and a heart that could barely stand it…I trusted.

“God, make him kick.” I pleaded on many desperate nights after a day or two of you taking a vacation from assuring me of your thriving inside of me. And you would give the teensiest little punch and go back to your unsurpassed laziness lounging in the comfort of your mommy. Growing into a world-ready babe is hard work.

The doctor gave your big body the boot on December 5, 2014. I told your daddy he could go get some pizza while we waited for you to get ready. But you decided you were finally gonna get a move on, and I had to call him to come back before his first bite.

At 12:30 pm, I felt like I finally breathed as they put you in my arms and I heard the sweetest cry I’ve ever heard. As soon as they put you on my chest, you grabbed my finger. “Wow! Look how big his hands are,” Daddy and I exclaimed in near-perfect unison.

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Though you’re the tangible source of my healing, I can’t give you all the credit. Because the God who gives every perfect gift gave me you. And long before you were waking me up night after night, He had made room in my heart for the little guy with the giant hands which were used to play with my hair while taking his feeds.

You won’t reach for Christ with those hands, but I hope that you will embrace His when He reaches down for you. I want nothing more than for you to experience the love and kindness that I can’t give you this side of heaven. I will never be everything you need, but I will strive to point you to the One that is.

And when our family is whole again, we will sing His praises for all He has done for all eternity!

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Dream big, love big, little one. Thanks for filling my arms and mending my heart. I love chasing you around our home but am seriously considering making you wear a helmet from now on.

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With more love than you’ll ever know,
Mommy

 

 

 

The Myth of “Me” Time — November 15, 2015

The Myth of “Me” Time

I have found that “me” time, deemed necessary by some, is most often unattainable.

Read any mommy blog (except the ones suggesting swaddling and smelling your babies at all times), and you’ll see this concept. But in reality…

My day starts with a 3 year old smacking me or “whispering”. “Mom, is it 6 time yet?” It never is. After several attempts at getting this early bird to stay in her room until the appointed time, I drag myself out of bed regretting that I didn’t shower before she got up, as I promised myself I would.

Breakfast or toast. The propane crisis has made me lazy in terms of food preparation. We coax our feisty gal to eat before bouncing off to the next activity.

The morning goes on much like this with a near-1-year-old thrown in about an hour later. Feeding, bathing, bed-making,.. The nanny comes, and my kids are so excited. I feel a little jealous but thankful that we have found someone so wonderful.

We walk a mile, get a taxi, and I fall asleep on the way to meet our tutor at a coffee shop where we study for 3 hours before walking home. At the door I am greeted by Paul’s evening tutor, a reminder that it’s me and the kids from here on out. I visualize myself putting my “game face” on, whatever that is.

The nanny asks if she can leave. Can I say no? She gives the kids hugs and kisses, and I reluctantly let her go.

Keep the kids busy. Limit screen time. Prepare and serve dinner. Get the kids to bed at a decent hour. Keep the peace.

I collapse on the couch at 7:15. A little behind schedule but feeling pretty proud to have pulled it off myself without having to send out an SOS. Paul takes his tutor home while I clean up the kitchen. He returns, ready for a snack.

For a second I thought I might have a minute to myself. Maybe finish that cold cup of coffee and that blog post I started reading 4 days ago.

Snack fixed. Blankets pulled out. Date night on the couch has commenced. This only lasts for a half hour until we can’t keep our eyes open a moment longer.

I lament that I didn’t have the instagram worthy Bible study/coffee time that seems like it would be so refreshing. Listening to the audio Bible in the shower was nice. Maybe tomorrow I will at least get to read at the breakfast table.

Another day in the books. Another day closer to beginning our ministry here. As the selfish ache reminds me it’s there, I remind myself…

My heart isn’t knit closer to my husband in “me” moments. My children don’t feel my love surround them in “me’ moments. Memories and ministries are not composed of “me” moments. Some day, I will have lots of “me” moments and I will long for the days I had so many things keeping me from them. 

IMG_0717Have you felt dissatisfied by your lack of personal time?
I would love to hear your experiences in the comment section below!

From High-school Hallways to the Front-lines of Missions: A Love Story of Sorts — November 11, 2015

From High-school Hallways to the Front-lines of Missions: A Love Story of Sorts

I have found that my husband is everything I thought he would be when we got to the mission field.

He is a fierce picture of perseverance and God’s grace to me and my family. Every day, I see him pore over his Nepali Bible, searching for truths in a strange text. He prepares for sermons he is not yet required to preach. He begs God for opportunities to preach in Nepali and for unbelievers with listening ears. He is not deterred by language goof-ups or unkind words hurled by ill-meaning passers by. He never forgets why we are here, and when I start to lose my focus, he is quick to remind me.

While this man is certainly not without fault, I see God’s grace all over him. God plucked up a 14 year old boy, saved him, and placed a big dream in his heart many years ago. A couple years after, He sparked a friendship with a red-headed young girl. She wanted to serve God too but wasn’t sure what that meant for her. But the Lord knew.

He knew that these two kids would grow into a love that made no sense in the context of high-school. We both loved God more. We were ready to part ways if our relationship did not align with His will for our lives. Thankfully, God allowed us to see the potential of our partnership together, remain pure in our pursuits, and follow the path God had laid out for us.

In our 10 years together, I have watched this boy grow into an amazing man of God. I see God working in his life as he passionately pursues Him which is so comforting to see this in the man that leads my family. Stronger and more enduring than his love for me, his zeal for Christ has stood the test of time and trial. His love for the Lord compels Him to deeply love our family while taking us to the regions beyond to declare His Great Love among the nations.

To me, He will always be my best friend with big dreams, and I’ll always be his lovestruck girlfriend cheering him on. What a privilege I have to help make these dreams a reality and watch them unfold before his wonder-filled eyes!

The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand (Psalm 37:23-24).

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Does your love story and marriage show evidence of God’s grace in your life?
I would love to hear your experiences in the comment section below!

Flexibility and Feelings of Children — November 8, 2015

Flexibility and Feelings of Children

I have found that kids are flexible, but they have feelings. Most days, my daughter doesn’t know where we are and doesn’t care. She plays with her Nepali nanny, watches her shows, and terrorizes her brother. From any perspective, she has adjusted well.  While she doesn’t often mention missing her grandparents or friends in America, she hasn’t been unaffected by boredom and loneliness. She even worries about everyone hating her, noting how the few kids she knows shoo her away with stuck out tongues.

We can’t make kids her age materialize out of thin air. Should we get her a dog (something we swore we would NEVER do)? Send her to school? Put her in an extra-curricular class? There is no obvious solution, and due to the blockade, doing any of these things at the moment is impossible.

We can’t protect her from all the hurt in this world. While it is difficult, she needs to learn that people can be mean, but we need to love them like Jesus. “Not everyone will like you, baby, and that’s ok. We are different here. We are here to tell people about Jesus, and some people don’t like that.” She nods like she understands.

It is hard not to feel like we have stripped her of her friends and all the fun experiences in America. I flash back to weeping on the plane looking at my sweet sleeping babe. “She doesn’t even know that her little world is about to turn upside down.”

I am thankful for her flexibility, and praise God for the good days. On the trying days, I beg Him for wisdom. These missionary and mommy worlds often collide, and my daughter is found in the debris. I can shield and protect her, keep her to myself, and never let her experience this country. Or I can allow these experiences, however painful, to shape and mold her into who God wants her to be.

I pray that we can point her to Christ, and that she will trust Him with her life. For then, she will have a friend that sticks closer than a brother. For now, I pray that He will make me a good steward of her sometimes fragile feelings. To use her flexibility to her advantage to fall in love with this country and these wonderful people. To teach her to use her feelings to sympathize with the hurting and lead others to the great Comforter. I can already tell I’m gonna be on my knees a lot over this girl!

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Have you dealt with loneliness with your children?
I would love to hear your experiences in the comment section below!

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