Monday, October 3, 2011

in {her} shoes...maria

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today's in {her} shoes guest post comes from Maria, a woman whose faith inspires me beyond words.  i've been following her blog, Raising 4 Princesses for a few months and her posts make me smile.  right now, she also has some great giveaways going on, too!

Maria has a beautiful family, lives in some of the most gorgeous scenery around, and a fellow sister in Christ.  and the road she walks is an inspiring one...

Life in my shoes? Well, I'd love you to slip on your flip-flops and come on down to sunny Jamaica! I'm a Missouri born and raised farm girl and honored to be the wife of Prince Charming, from Louisiana. I love my Lord, my handsome husby, my 4 charming little princesses, and life. I miss my family back in the States like CrAzY, but I try to live elbow deep in the exciting adventure that God has for us. I like pretty vintage, feminine things, I Love Lucy, dark chocolate, the sound of the Sea, and my rose bushes.

We moved to the Island of Jamaica in 2009 and started working at an established Baptist Church in a extremely rough and dangerous town. God taught me a lot of faith in Him. Days were filled with dealing with no running water, extreme heat, off and on power...and all around adjusting to life in a concrete home with bars on the windows. When I was younger and dreamed of life in on the mission field, my eyes were full of stars. I knew exactly how it was going to be, what I was going to life was all a perfect plan. Those first few months changed me. I left a lot of star dust on my pillows at night when the only thing I could do is cry to my Lord.

In 2010, another missionary family helped us start Valley Baptist Church.

One of the biggest challenges raising my daughters here, is worrying about their safety in a third world country. In the end you can chose to worry about every little thing or just leave it to God. At first I had lots of concerns about protecting them and about what to do when there is not a good clean American hospital around. After living here, I've learned that God is good. We try NOT to focus on us and the things we do hot water or a/c...or double stuffed oreos {wink}. And you know what? At the end of the day, all those things are trivial. They don't really matter. Helping others is so rewarding and having the love of a good man and companionship of 4 little girls makes me so happy.

My kids think that missionary kids have the coolest job. We are blessed to live about 3 minutes from the beach, and we go regularly to cool off. How many 5 year olds have rode a jet ski on the Caribbean, or had their very own seahorse caught by daddy? My girls go through times when they miss Grandma and Grandpa but Skype is just awesome and we use it all the time. Grandma gets to read them bedtime stories and they get to participate in birthday parties for their cousins.

Something that is truly exciting to me on the mission field is sometimes rough, dirty, inconvenient, unplanned. Why is this exciting? Through experiences like that, I have the opportunity to teach my kids God is real. When you literally have to pray for the food you eat, and when you wake up each morning knowing that He literally protected you through the night, God is more then just a bedtime prayer and a Sunday School story.

I know there are times, when I’ve prayed with my princesses, for God to give us running water today, or “Please, turn the electricity back on.” And shortly after we pray, God answers. What is a richer reward then having my daughter look into my eyes and say, “God heard us, mom.”

I pray that God is real to you. He loves you so much.

Please realize, missionaries are just normal people, well, maybe not normal. But, we're just regular people who get to live in different places. I know that throughout the coming years there will probably be more tears left on my pillow, but I'm raising my daughters to know we serve a real and living God. What more could a mother ask for?

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