“Why have I come all this way just to deal with the ordinary?”
Recently I was watching a TV show, a reality show in which women from England go and spend about a month in a tribal location somewhere in the world to see what it is like. In one episode, the woman was surprised to find that people’s lives in a rural village in Mexico consisted of many of the ordinary things people’s lives back home consisted of– making food, washing, caring for children, eating, working, and talking. As she noticed this, she asked herself, “Why have I come all this way just to deal with the ordinary?” I don’t know what she expected to find. Maybe she thought every day would be full of adventurous experiences. Maybe she thought she would be different there.
I don’t know what most people think missionaries’ lives consist of. Maybe they think every day is a grand adventure. Maybe they think once missionaries go overseas they turn into some kind of super Christians. Maybe when some of you picture our lives, you picture us running through the jungle, scaling waterfalls, eating strange foods, swinging on vines, and coming home to have an invigorating time with the Lord every day. Sometimes it is that, and I sure am thankful for the adventures we’ve had and the way the Lord has grown us, but mostly our lives are full of… well…the ordinary.
Today I resisted the urge to hit snooze for the second…ok the third…time, got up, made coffee, and had my quiet time. Then I fed my kids cereal, let them watch a cartoon, and homeschooled Ty. I sent the kids outside, planned the rest of the week’s homeschooling lessons, and then went out and ran around with a foam sword and played good guys vs. bad guys with my kids and their friends. I fed them lunch, got them down for their naps, cleaned the house, did the dishes, and sat down at my computer to write. Today Matt woke up, went for a run, did the laundry, and headed off to work. There he talked with his new coworkers, watched his coworkers do a plumbing project as he learned how, and will likely spend the afternoon hammering in nails or something like that. Utterly ordinary.
I mentioned in our last letter that our roles are changing a bit now. I am done teaching at the school here, and will start being “just” a stay-at-home-mom for the first time in my life. The missionary center near here had a desperate need for someone to help out with construction and maintenance there, so Matt volunteered to help out. These aren’t the exciting roles we are looking forward to having someday, but we know that even when we are in a tribe, most of our days will be filled with the ordinary. So, we need to learn how to serve the Lord in the mundane as well as the adventurous. That’s what He calls us to– just this moment by moment following His leading, loving those around us, and telling everyone we can about Him.
We are thankful for this time. I am thankful for some extra time with my kids while they are small. Matt is thankful he can fill a role that will help keep the missionary center running, and ultimately help keep tribal missionaries in their remote locations to do ministry. Meanwhile we are getting to know our coworkers the Hernandezes, and we are praying for God to bring another family to join us soon. We are also asking the Lord to be at work in our hearts, preparing us for how He will use us in the future, and opening up our eyes to how He wants us to serve Him today.
We serve a God who does miracles, who changes people’s hearts, who is everyone’s only hope for an eternity in heaven. He is a God who speaks, who leads us, and who has a grand plan that is unfolding from every one of our ordinary days woven together. So, why have we come all this way just to deal with the ordinary? Because we serve an extraordinary God.
Till all know,
Matt, Karissa, Ty, and Wyck
So glad I get to do life with this guy. We celebrated 9 years of marriage last month!
Wyck’s goal each day is to make our lives more exciting. He is turning into such a crazy little boy!
– That we can serve God wholeheartedly each day
– That God would be guiding our steps
– That God will provide an awesome family for us to partner with
– Karissa is enjoying being home with the kids
– We are done with our team strategy statement for now