Mommy Guilt — September 17, 2013

Mommy Guilt

I’m about the share my biggest battle on deputation with you. It’s not sleep deprivation, lengthy drives, financial struggles, or excessive carb-consumption (though at times, all of these wear on me!). It’s Mommy Guilt.

All of those little things about deputation not only have an affect on my life but also on the precious life of my toddler. At times, I begin to feel guilty about the long hours in the car, the 100th french fry (or 4th chocolate chip cookie) of the day, or the fact that she has worn the same thing for 3 days in a row and has had the same 5 toys to play with for an entire month. I get frustrated by our lack of schedule and bedtime that fluctuates by 1-3 hours which sometimes results in the following:IMG_0291

Thanks to my informative friend but victimizing enemy, Facebook, I see mommies doing activities I had hoped to experience with Jolynn this summer, teaching new things in creative ways in their home, purchasing new play items to stimulate and entertain their children and creating healthy, yummy lunches. As I peruse these displays of mommy perfection, the scum rises to the surface. Jealousy (there it is again). Guilt.

So maybe my child hasn’t had milk in her sippy cup for a few days, and has watched the same episode of Veggie Tales 16 times in a row. But this mommy needs to forget Facebook and focus on what my sweet girl does get to experience. She has fun, meets new friends, and learns everywhere we go. She gets to see her grandparents, great-grandparents, and other extended family on a much more regular basis due to our frequent travels.And not only that, but she gets to be with her Daddy a whole lot! We sure are lucky ladies to spend so much time with Daddy!

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She is loved by many people in many states. People all over the US have her picture on their fridge and pray for her by name. I would venture to say that she has had more hugs, snuggles, and kisses than the average kid, too. She plays with brand new (to her) toys and meets new friends in different nurseries 3 times a week. Many people give her gifts to keep her looking spiffy and staying entertained.

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She is learning to sit in church and will soon be learning from the Bible! She has become extremely sociable and will go to anyone. The most common thing we hear about Jolynn is, “She never meets a stranger!” With each person comes laughs, learning, and love.

If I think on the right things, I can see that truly, my girl is a blessed baby, and I am one blessed missionary mama!

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Where has July gone? — July 30, 2013

Where has July gone?

July has not been a good blogging month which is both a good and a bad thing. Good because we have been busy with meetings and bad because I feel like there has been so much on my mind I would love to share but haven’t had the time to sit down at the computer!

I have time now because my husband is mowing the lawn at 11 p.m. Yes, our life is CRAZY, but I wouldn’t want it any other way! Not that I wouldn’t rather have my hubby in the bed with me at this late hour! Our neighbors would probably prefer that, too. I think they are probably just happy our lawn is finally being mowed after a month away! It must just be the grace of God that they don’t call the city on us!

We have had some wonderful time with family, encouraging meetings, a couple of date nights, and restful times here and there. We have also had all-night drives, grief-induced tension, daunting home repairs, and a pitifully sick baby. God has lead us all the way, and we’ve made it through a month away from home we thought would never end! It feels just so wonderful to be back in our home, in our own beds, and with our little nuclear family. Looking forward to the night-night snuggles, tickle-fights, and giggle-fests to come! 

Also, a new box of prayer cards greeted us upon arrival at the Spot Road Spot. Please let me know if you would like an updated prayer card. I would be more than happy to send one your way!

Here is the picture we chose. I’d say it’s an improvement on Jo’s 4-month-mean-muggin’ picture, wouldn’t you?

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Salt Run Bible Camp — July 16, 2013

Salt Run Bible Camp

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Last week, Paul and I were given the wonderful opportunity to spend a week at Salt Run Bible camp in Brilliant, OH! It was a small camp, comprised of what was once a school house, two concrete cabins, a living space for youth workers, a large field, and outhouses. The youth workers lovingly referred to the lifestyle of Salt Run Bible Camp as “rustic.” We had a BLAST right along with the campers, and while Salt Run may not have the amenities of The Wilds, Fort Bluff, or other more modern camps, it had things that are truly the heart of a successful Bible camp.

1. Passionate Youth Workers
Those responsible for running this camp were in love with Jesus and in love with these kids. This could be seen through their hard work, attention to detail, interaction with the kids, well-prepared lessons, and obvious concern for the spiritual condition of their teenagers.
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2. Great students
It was definitely an interesting mix of kids from every kind of background, lifestyle, and spiritual state. Though there were many differences that could have posed a challenge to the daily activities and overall spirit of the camp, I saw very little of the things that are common in a group of teenagers. There was little, if any, drama, “camp dating,” cliques, complaining, gossip, or name-calling. Nearly all of the students had great attitudes and participated in all activities enthusiastically, having good, clean fun together, engaging in worship, and listening intently to the preaching of God’s Word.
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3. Awesome Preaching
I know, he is my husband, and I have a biased opinion, but my husband is a fantastic preacher! I heard him preach 12 times throughout the week and just stood amazed at the content he draws from the Word of God and his ability to make it interesting and applicable to any group of people. Not only did he preach wonderful messages, but he also spent time with the kids, participating in their group activities, and talking with many of them one-on-one.DSC_0373

4. Decisions for the Lord
Faithful workers, tender hearts, and challenging preaching led to many decisions for Christ. Many were challenged to “put God back on the throne,” giving Him the glory and honor He deserves and allowing Him to use their lives in any way He chooses. Additionally, Paul challenged the teenagers of the great need of the gospel around the world and the impact we can have on it if we submit our lives and plans to him. He had a Volunteer pledge (the same one Paul signed at OG camp 10 years ago) available to those students who desired to make a commitment to pursue full-time missions, and we were thrilled to see 7 students take and sign this pledge. We are praying that God would hold them to their commitments and find them faithfully serving on the foreign field years from now but ministering and living for Him each day until then.

I learned a lot, too, from the workers, students, and handsome preacher and was so blessed to be used where we are right now. Sometimes, it feels like we are waiting to get to India to “do something” for Him, but I know that as we fully submit to Him and trust Him to get us there, He will use us where we’re at.

I believe our time at Salt Run was truly a divine appointment. We are not veteran missionaries, and my husband is not an evangelist, but for some reason, God allowed Salt Run Bible camp to invite us to share our hearts with them, and we couldn’t be more thankful that He did!

All Things Added — June 25, 2013

All Things Added

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you (Matt. 6:33).

At times, I have felt a little silly about how much I don’t know about India, the country to which our family feels lead. For months, we prayed that the Lord would send laborers to India to fill the great need for the gospel among its millions of inhabitants. I don’t think I ever really thought the family to be sent would be the Taube family. However, when it came down to make a decision and begin raising our support, it was a no-brainer. God had put India on our hearts, and it was there to stay! Here is an excerpt from my blog the morning after announcing our plans to begin deputation to reach the country of India:

Last night, during the teachers/workers meeting at Vision Baptist Church, my dear husband wrote me a little note. This is not an unusual occurrence in any given church service or meeting, but this was a very special note.

It read,”Pastor asked me if we wanted to announce that we are going to India tonight.”

replied, “Up to you, babe.”

“Are you 100% in?” Quite a weighty question for note-passing, wouldn’t you say?

After a shorter pause than I would have anticipated, I quickly scrawled, “YES!”

I have to be honest, at this point I knew little to nothing about this country to which we had dedicated our future. In fact, I just about Googled myself to death the night before our first meeting because I was nervous that someone would ask me a question I couldn’t answer and my cover would be blown. I had just about blindly surrendered to serve in a country I was totally clueless about, and I was a little embarrassed about it.

But I felt a peace I couldn’t begin to describe, and aside from the self-consciousness of my ignorance, I really didn’t care that I was so clueless. I had surrendered my life to Christ, and I had submitted myself to my husband. When I told God I would follow Him anywhere I meant it, and I told my husband the same! A few days ago, we returned from our survey trip to New Delhi. I am overwhelmed just thinking about how God answered many questions and provided peace for many concerns during the short time we were able to spend in the country.

Despite my ignorance I have found the promise in Matthew 6:33 to be absolutely true! I’m thankful for my husband’s wisdom as he lead me to seek God’s plan for our lives and trust Him to take care of our needs as we did.

It’s not perfect, of course, and it would have never been my first choice based on the few things I had heard about it in the States. Maybe it’s the comforting peace of knowing we are following the Lord in our lives or maybe it really is just because many things about India really “rock”, but I am feeling great about moving here in the near future! It could also be that the Roberts are doing an awesome job and making it look easy, but I guess we will find out soon enough and have a great example to follow when we do!

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Getting Used to India — June 17, 2013

Getting Used to India

Well, we have been in India since Tuesday night, June 11! It’s definitely been an interesting and eye-opening experience! I’m not shocked that things are different; I had prepared myself for that. But the reality  of actually seeing all of these things and being personally affected by them is a whole other story!

I’ve had time to adjust, and I’m realizing that, while it will be challenging, I can get used to all of these things. 

I can get used to having a “Revolving Door” as Autumn refers to hers.

I can get used to always being the passenger and never the driver.

I can get used to living in a heavily populated area.

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I can get used to only being able to call my family at certain times of the day and not just when I feel like chatting.

I can get used to wearing clothes that aren’t necessarily “my style” (learning to love it!).

I can get used to eating a mostly vegetarian diet that is heavy in spice (I already have! I love the food here!).

I can get used to extremes in weather: the heat, the humidity…even the monsoons.

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I can get used to people ALWAYS being around (maybe).

I can get used to the stares and unwarranted attention.

I can even get used to monkeys in the street (Varanasi).

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What I can’t get get used to, however, is that the masses of people I push my way through are nearly ALL lost. The majority have never even had a chance to hear the gospel I’ve grown up with. I pray that this will be the one thing I will never become accustomed to.

I can’t get comfortable living here and getting by on broken English without constantly being aware of the great need of the gospel in the country that will become my home. The reality of the void of the gospel in this country has to be the fire that fuels me to learn (language, culture, etc) and grow so that we may be able to plant churches, train leaders, and give God ample room to do an amazing work among the Indian people.

I’m not gonna lie, it’s going to be hard to return to the United States. Not that I just love the way of life here because I don’t (yet). It will be easy to return to my normal American way of life, but in just this short time, I’ve been challenged to want to be here. I want to learn the language (like YESTERDAY!) and culture, and I want to get started in the ministry as soon as possible. My last post was about how much I love deputation, and I do, but I’d like it to hurry up and be over so we can come back to India and get started on what we believe the Lord would have us to do! I’ll TRY to be patient…

I’m so thankful to have been given the opportunity to come on this trip and to see all that I have seen. Please pray with me that we, collectively as believers, would never get used to the need of the gospel around us. In the US, in India, or wherever the Lord takes us.

Back to Business — June 5, 2013

Back to Business

2 posts in 1 day! This is the first and only time this will happen!

In some ways, I have that feeling that I have at the beginning of every month, “How can it possibly be June already?” But then, I think about my little boy’s birthday, and that feels like it has been much more than 3 weeks. Not because I don’t miss him (I do) or because it doesn’t still hurt (it does), but because we have just been off of our normal crazy routine!

We took some time off (May 15-27) to mourn our loss, rest, and recover. We then spent a wonderful week at Fort Bluff for the OG Camp! I have to admit, I was not looking forward to the long days with an off-schedule baby, but the Lord really used this week with our missionary friends to bless and encourage us. Even better than that, we saw 5 teenagers/college students accept Jesus Christ as their Savior and dozens of others commit their lives to service to the Lord! We are excited to see how God will use these sold-out students to reach the needy world with the gospel!

We spent Friday night and Saturday morning/afternoon with our families in Middletown. I was also blessed to have breakfast with a sweet friend, Dawn Swope, who has been such a wonderful example to me through my “formative years” (do I sound like a Psych major?) and beyond! 

Saturday night, we arrived in Laurel, IN and had dinner with Pastor Jordan and his sweet wife! They were such a blessing to our family and had a wonderful way with Jolynn! You know, people do some awesome things to be a blessing to us on deputation, but nothing touches my heart more than new friends just loving on my baby girl!

Sunday was our first day back to our normal deputation routine. First Baptist Church in Laurel was a great place to start! FBC was a church that was outgrowing their building and doing some awesome things to reach out to their community! We were so encouraged by their people and left with an awesome feeling, “This is where we belong.” Not that church, although it was a great place to be, but on the road, raising our support to get to India!

Sunday night, we attended our meeting at Crossroads Baptist in Indianapolis. It was awesome to show up at a church that had been bringing our names to the Lord in prayer for weeks prior to our arrival. They helped us carry the burden of the loss of our child before we had even met them! They continued to bless and encourage us throughout the night, and we left, knowing we had to get on our way, but wishing we could spend more time with these sweet people.

This week, we have been hanging out in Anderson, IN at a prophets chamber at Grace Baptist Church. We are thankful for a comfortable place to stay and so touched that a church that hasn’t even met us would allow us to use their mission house! Paul is back to work making phone calls all day, and Jo and I are trying to keep ourselves occupied in the meantime.

Tuesday, we went to Fort Wayne and spent time with my friend from college, Ronae Cleland and her precious little red-headed boy, Josiah. Paul set up his “office” at McDonalds, and made phone calls there, while we took the babies to the splash pad and hung out the whole day! We then had dinner with Ronae and her husband Chris who were just such a blessing to us! One of the perks of traveling like we do, for sure, is getting to see “long lost friends!”

Tonight, we have a meeting at Cornerstone Baptist in Indianapolis. We are excited to meet its members who we know will be a blessing and encouragement to us as are all those we meet on the deputation trail.

I know some people pity us for how much we travel and are away from home, but I think it’s pretty awesome! We are in three different churches a week, and each church does different things to be a blessing to us; at least 3 times a week, we have people pouring into us and loving and encouraging our family. Can’t imagine many things that could be better than that!

I’m going to India! — May 23, 2013

I’m going to India!

When we found out that I was pregnant with Ezra, we were a little disappointed by one thing alone: I wouldn’t be able to go on our survey trip to India. We came to this conclusion based on my last pregnancy in which I was sick 24/7 and had a hard time accomplishing even small tasks. We figured that a 17 hour flight and 9.5 hour time difference as well as temperatures above 100 degrees would do me in.

At orientation at the beginning of May, however, Bro. Austin Gardner encouraged me to go to India whether it be now or later…AND I decided NOW was best! My morning sickness was tolerable, and I had the second trimester energy I never seemed to find last time around. PLUS: I only needed to seek care for one child and did not currently have a nursing baby to provide sustenance for.

When we returned home from orientation, Paul began the process of applying for my visa. He had the paperwork completed and was going to send it out on Tuesday the 14th. However, that day was also our ultrasound appointment where we found out that our sweet baby was no longer living in the womb. The process was halted as I went into labor and was resumed a few days later.

We praise the Lord that even though this process was started late and halted for a bit, we were able to buy a ticket for the same flight that Paul had booked for himself, and I just heard yesterday that my visa was approved by the consulate and is on its way to our house! Pray with us that it’s not “too much too soon” and that my physical recovery will be entirely complete when we leave June 10th.

It really is a dream come true to go to India with my husband, to finally see the country the Lord has put on our hearts, and to see my sweet friend Autumn who, I’m sure, has very much to teach me from her first few months on the field!

New Delhi, here we come!

May may be crazy! — May 1, 2013

May may be crazy!

…And it just may be the best month of all!

It’s May already? Wait, what? Well, I believe my calendar, my phone, and my computer, I guess, but I’m still finding it hard to fathom that it could possibly be May 1!

May will be an exciting month for us! For starters, we are spending this weekend with my grandparents and aunt and uncle in Ooletewah, TN. The weather sounds like it is not going to cooperate with all of our plans, but I am looking forward to some R&R with family!

Next week, we have Vision Baptist Missions Orientation! This will be our third awesome week spent just with our missionary friends/family learning and growing together as we talk about missions, marriage, family, etc. and get to know each other a little bit better while we’re at it!

On Tuesday, the 14th we will find out if our next baby is a little boy or another little girl! Paul is hoping for another girl, but I am secretly pulling for a boy! Whatever it is has already been decided, and we will be thrilled either way! Last time, I had the mother’s intuition about what gender my baby would be, but this time I have no clue! What do you think?

After a trip to Ohio for some meetings and family time, we will head to Fort Bluff, TN for the Our Generation Camp! This is such an exciting week of sharing our love for the Word and the world with teens and college students with an interest in missions! Not to mention, the camp is BEAUTIFUL, and we have lots of fun!

Here there, and everywhere, we will find time for Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night meetings (with the exception of orientation and camp week)! Needless to say, it is going to be a busy, tiring, EXCITING month! We will have 4…MAYBE 5 days home this month. Sound crazy? It is! But, this month, at least, I wouldn’t have it any other way! Can’t wait to update on all the awesome things God has for us this crazy month of May!

A most exciting anniversary — April 13, 2013

A most exciting anniversary

The anniversary: Wednesday, April 10 was our anniversary, but since it was a Wednesday, and we are good little missionaries, we attended Mt. Verd Baptist Church in Athens, TN. Our meeting in Gatlinburg had canceled, but we had plans to stay with friends from a supporting church in the area, so we dropped in at this great church! It was a wonderful visit, and a great way to spend our anniversary- listening to the love of my life preach his burden for the country of India and for lost souls around the world. Ahh..I just fall in love all over again!

The date: Thursday, we planned to go out on a date. My friend Brandy Phillips took off work to watch Jolynn for us (and even let her kids stay home from school to play with her!). We went to Maryville and had the most perfect day together! On the drive home, we chatted, hand-in-hand until this tired pregnant lady fell asleep (I know, I know…I’m a pretty lame date!)! Well, I woke up outside of the car, on the ground, with a stranger in my face telling me to stop screaming. How did I get here?

*The accident: From what I gather from my husband and other more coherent sources, this is my best estimation of what happened: We were stopped at a stop light in Madisonville, maybe 20 minutes from the Phillips house. The light had just turned green, and Paul had let off of the brake when we were struck from behind by a large work truck reported to have been traveling between 50 and 60 mph. Apparently, Paul was not able to see it coming, because the woman in the car that was previously behind us had moved to the emergency lane as she saw the truck rapidly approaching. After the collision, our car traveled about 20 feet before Paul was able to bring it to a stop.

The aftermath: Our front doors were jammed by our back doors being pushed over them, so Paul had to push his way out of the car. He was able to jerk my door open, and, much to the paramedics’ dismay, he pulled me out of the car and into the grass (my hero!). Many witnesses came to our aid, and one had called the police as they saw the wreck about to happen! I am told that I was in a state of shock, screaming and awake, but I have no recollection of the events rather than snapshots of the stranger telling me to calm down and the ceiling of our moving ambulance.

From our injuries and observation of the car, it appears that Paul hit his head on his side window but remained in his seat. My seat, which was slightly reclined at the time of the accident, had broken and relocated to the back seat (my seat nearly on top of Jolynn’s seat, so we are thankful she was not in the car at the time of the accident). I remained strapped in by my seat belt, and the majority of my injuries were incurred by my seat belt and by my being snapped back into the backseat.
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The others involved: The driver of truck fled the scene and was arrested just a mile or two down the road. Prior to the accident, the police had been called about this driver’s reckless driving, so they were already in pursuit when the accident occurred. The driver has been arrested and held in jail. This is all we know at this time. We will hear soon if the driver was insured.

The ambulance: We were taken to the trauma center at the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville, about 45 minutes away from the scene of the accident. I was slowly coming out of my shocked state but remained very confused and scared. I kept asking, “Am I pregnant? Am I pregnant?” I was given an IV and we tried to remain calm as we waited to arrive. Paul called Bro. Austin Gardner to get the word out about our accident. We know that within minutes prayers were being sent up for us from all over the world! What a comfort that was to us!

The treatment: We finally arrived at the hospital, and had to wait strapped to our stretchers for what seemed like an eternity for rooms to open up. We were finally taken to separate rooms, and administered CT scans and Xrays. Everything came back clear for the both of us! Even more amazing, my ultrasound showed a healthy, thriving baby! Its heart rate was a little high from the stress but I was told that it was nothing to be worried about. Praise the Lord! We were released at about 9 pm. I went out on a wheelchair so it wouldn’t take us until the next day to get to the Phillips’ car, but I was walking much better the next morning.

The visitors: Our wonderful missionary friends, Kevin Hall and Jeremy Hall got to the hospital within two hours of the time of the accident! I’m pretty sure they literally dropped everything and came as quickly as possible! Our friends, the Phillips, who had Jolynn had been called by the detective and had done the same. They arrived soon after the Hall brothers, and I was just so happy to see my sweet girl! She cried for mommy and wanted in my bed, but I still had my neck brace on and an IV in. It broke my heart to not be able to hold her, and it was the first time I was tempted to cry all day! Thankfully, I did get to hold her after the brace was removed.

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The Phillips took us back to their house and took great care of us until they returned us to Paul’s brother Jake to take us home the next day!

The recovery: We are happy to be recovering at home. We are sore but still so amazed that we are doing as well as we are! My parents are on their way down to help us with Jolynn and enable us to get the rest we need. Paul will still be traveling to our meeting in Chattanooga tomorrow, and I will be attending Vision with my family.

The One who spared us: We are so in awe of our great God and His hand of protection over our family! Even the tow trucker said he had never seen anything like our accident and was shocked that we were not seriously injured! Truly a testimony of an amazing God! All glory to Him for his goodness and watch care over His children! I am so thankful to be given more days to serve Him and to make His name great!

 

*this post may need to be updated Monday when we receive our police report.

 

 

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