A year has now passed since Katy and I packed four duffle bags and two carry ons and moved to Guatemala to serve alongside CRI as missionaries. This past year has been life changing in so many different ways and we are so excited for what is ahead while giving all the praise to God.
We have been able to serve alongside teams that have come down during the year, help promote and be involved in the Mimi’s House Education Sponsorship Program, and we started roasting and selling our own coffee. We have made connections and relationships with strangers and reunited with old friends. We have traveled to other parts of the country to serve and been a part of church conferences in our front yard. We have shared meals with many, that included some taco nights and pig roasts. We have shared our testimony, which I found out I can’t do without getting choked up. We pray each and every day to try to be a light for others but to also be aware of our own flaws and be in the constant pursuit of His truth and His teachings.
While reviewing this last year there are a few things that I feel like I want to work on more, along with some goals Katy and I are pursuing. I think its important to asses ourselves at times so we can make small changes for the better.
Learning Spanish has been something I have struggled with. I like to make my share of excuses on why my Spanish is lacking, but at the end of the day I'm not being intentional on trying to learn. Thinking it will all click one day is just wishful thinking. I would like to be able to properly communicate and be able to share with any and everyone I come to meet. I can understand some things but conversationally I have a long way to go and that is why I need to create for myself structure to set aside time and homework to do to be able to learn more.
This past year Katy and I were able to study Spanish at the Spanish Christian Academy for a week in Antigua and stay in an AirBnb (First AirBnB Experience). It was such an incredible week and I learned a lot of the basics that I had forgotten since high school, but it was also a lot of fun for Katy and I to stay in Antigua and do some sightseeing. It was a memory that I will never forget and it produced the workbooks that I will now be using on my own to learn much more.
Something else I would like to work on would be how much time I spend on Social Media. I really don't post often on any social media, but I recently downloaded an app (Quality Time) that shows how much time I spend staring at my phone. It was enough for me to want an immediate change. We all use social media, and I believe it can be an incredible tool to help others and it does some amazing things by connecting people and events. I think everyone uses it differently and I don't think its evil, and for me its more to do with it being on my phone. So my attempt to curve this behavior is to log off more for no other reason than to spend more time in His word, with my wife, my soon to be baby girl, our family and friends, and to read more. This won’t be an easy adjustment. Some social media sites are easier to let go than others. Some we use as our main communication to friends and family in the states, so it will be a process. Our future goal is to log into Facebook about once or twice a month. We will be keeping some social media but our goal is to be aware of how much time were spending on it and logging off the other social media sites that we don't need. We are also in the process of creating a website that will be our main channel to communicate what we are doing, other projects we are working on and where we’ll post pictures and our blogs on.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Looking back at this year something I often did was make long lists, or have a lot of ideas going on in my head at once and I never felt like I was marking anything off. This ultimately made me a bit stressed instead of focusing on one thing and accomplishing it. So my goal for this coming year is to be more focused on what God is telling me to focus on and what is more important and to be less stressed about the little things. Some things that really help me to slow down are to read, exercise, meditate, and pray. We as Christians must always seek Him in our lives and realize that our bodies are temples and we must take care of them to the best of our abilities, whether its physically or mentally. Something Katy and I have recently done has been trying to eat healthier and we both feel and see the changes in doing so. I feel like making those small changes like a diet or taking more time to exercise, rest, and daily prayer can and have made a big difference.
In my year review I would also like to highlight some things that have made this year so special and I will always look back on with a smile. We are so excited for Elizabeth, and putting her nursery together was something I will always remember. Like how the crib didn't come with instructions on how to put it together, or when I was putting the blinds up and the drill kept dying….But it was the end result when I was stepping back and looking into her room, it was perfect in my eyes and knowing that she will be in there soon was the best part. Being close and spending time with Katy’s family has been very special. Family means a lot to both of us so living here while also seeing my side of the family multiple times this year has been amazing. We are truly blessed to have such a loving family and we are so excited for Elizabeth to be here so we can show her that love as well.
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.
1 John 4:7