Thursday, June 7, 2012


Well hello there!  This is Liz.  How fun that we all have a new place to hang out and share the nitty gritty of missionary life, huh?  When I stumbled across Missionary Mom's about two years ago I was thrilled.  I lived in a very little town in Northern Michigan and we were in the process of raising our support to move to Latin America.  The community around us had no understanding of cross cultural living, but as we say in Costa Rica "Gracias a Dios" for the internet!

And now, we have this new place, Missionary Moms' Companion.  I am so excited and a bit humbled by the fact I get to hang out here, write some and get to know you all better.  We've only been overseas for about a year and currently we are in the States, getting ready for the birth of our third baby (ekkk! Yeah, in like two and a half weeks!)

Here's something else you should know about me. I am a looser.  There, I said it. I am not always the sort of mom I want to be for my kids.  I am not always the sort of wife my husband needs either.  And there are days when I am a lousy friend, daughter, sister, and worker.  And I am sure that I offended countless people this last year as I adapted to Costa Rica, trying to muddle my way through Spanish.

That's the simple truth of it.  And when I pretend differently, it puts me in a really bad place.  Because then I work harder to try and hid the fact that I am a loser.  And the fact of the matter is, we are all losers.  We all fall short in every sort of way everyday.  That is a given.  And if I am resting on what others think of me and my spotless house, and perfect kids and amazing cross cultural  skills, then I am going to be a constant ball of mess and anxiety, because at some point, that facade is going to come crashing down.  No matter how hard I work at it.  And that facade might just crumble at a family photo shoot you were given for being a great mom.  Oh you guys, I have never been so embarrassed!  Sometime I have to show you the photos!

But, if instead, I freely admit that I can't do it all and that the only good I have is what has come from God, well, then, there is freedom in that.  That was the case when Christ loved me enough to die for me. He is patient and kind towards me and my mess of a life.  And He sees me as I will be someday, grown up into the woman that He created me to be.

If I am constantly trying to hide the messy parts of my life and think "well, if I just work harder at this, I would be better,"  that doesn't leave room for the Holy Spirit in my life.  But if instead I cooperate with the Holy Spirit's work in my life, He will change me.  After all, it's the Fruit of the Spirit, not the fruit of Liz that is important.

So.  Sometimes I say the wrong thing culturally (like the time I said a bit too loudly, "I just want to go to bed!" when the doorbell rang.  And yes, the visitors spoke English!)  And sometimes my floors need some attention (like everyday during dry season), and sometimes my kids need more attention than I give them.  And every single day I fall short of the mark.  But God is working on me every single day too.   He loves me now, and He loves me enough to grow me into the woman He made me to be. Who probably will still have messy floors in this life, but who will hopefully be more like her Savior too.

Now, please tell me I am not the only one!  How do you work through the being "on display" as a missionary?  What keeps you close to the Truth about what God says about us, that yes, we fall short of the mark, but He loves us and grows us into what we already are?


  1. You're not the only one! I've only been on the field for six months. So at this point I still enjoy all the visitors, but I am a homebody, and love to be home.

  2. You are not alone! I totally get this, and I'm living in Central America too (El Salvador). It seems like everyone is always staring at me and my gringo kids who are usually acting up in the grocery check-out line, restaurant, doctor's office, whatever. But your Spanish will get better and you will adapt...after 2 1/2 years I am a lot more comfortable in my life, and a lot more okay with being a "loser" too.

  3. I think I feel more "on display" when we're in the US than when we're in the UK. I'm also a homebody... so I'd much prefer to be at home. In times when I feel on display, I find myself seeking God more for strength and grace.

  4. GRACE, GRACE, GRACE! We all need it. I love being a part of a Bible study group here in Tanzania where we women try to extend grace to each other and encourage one another to good works. I'm thankful to have this blog too where we can do the same. It doesn't mean we don't seek to yield more and more to the Holy Spirit so we can have His fruit in our lives. It just means that we recognize that the only way we can live this Christian life is to live in God's abundant grace and then to extend that grace to others.

    1. So very very true Tammy!! And there is such freedom in that, isn't there? I am so glad you have a group of women around you of like mind!! So refreshing!