Friday, January 23, 2009



I usually like it.

I like knowing someones being 'for real" and I like being "for real".

But the truth of the matter is that sometimes it hurts.

Transparent is what I'm being today, and always....good or bad.

So it's with a very heavy heart that I open up to you today.

This morning Trinity, my 4 year old that never stops talking began a conversation with me. (Nothing unusual there) I was busy catching up on blogs, checking email and drinking coffee so I only caught bits and pieces of what she was saying plus she was talking threw a mouth stuffed with cinnamon toast crunch (or at least that's what the cereal resembles).

Careful to nod occasionally and "uh, huh" her now and then, she rattled on.

She told me all about her horrible cough and about her brother wasting his cereal. She asked for the 694
th time when was it going to be her Mommy/Daughter day like Lib got last weekend. She told me that she really likes the fresh orange juice I make and wishes that our trees had oranges all year 'round. ---Then she said this.....

"Liberty told me stories about God last night in bed. She told me about when the bad guys said Jesus was a liar, but he wasn't mom... the bad guys just didn't like Jesus. I'm glad Liberty told me those stories mom cause I was starting to forget about God."

It was right about then that she had my complete, undivided attention. It was also right about then that I felt like a freight train ran into my stomach.

Talk about conviction.

These are the things missionaries deal with. If a missionary family is blessed to have a church to attend and there's actually a Sunday school time for the kids, it's normally in another language. And if that missionary mom (we're talking about me here) doesn't do her job at home of telling her preschooler bible stories in English, then the said preschooler will apparently forget what she's been taught. ----Ouch..

I had to turn away from her, walk to the sink, wash dishes and compose myself. All the while crying silently out to my Lord for forgiveness.

After blowing my nose 40 times, we talked about Adam and Eve, the three Hebrew boys and Joseph's coat of many colors. We found audible bible stories online that she listened to while I finished cleaning the kitchen.

Folks....transparency hurts. Missionary life is not all glamor and we face trials raising our children just like you. My job of wife and mother is the most important..... and I've been off track.

Pray for me.


Anonymous said...

Cuts right to the heart. You're not alone.

We've been at our church for just over a year and my kids have asked if we can go to service at another church. Uhm, their father's the pastor. I probably shouldn't admit that online, but it's truth.

It's hard to balance ministry and your family's spiritual needs.

Nina in Portugal said...

Yeah, Fringegirl, you're right. We get "ministered" out sometimes and don't notice the ministering needed on the home front. There's a very delicate balance and it's so easy to get lop-sided.

BUTLER said...

I feel the same way at times,
Just like this past sunday Jim had to preach at a church,And the kids did'nt want to miss our church
not bacause of him just nothing like your home church.(you know)
But the thing is I can't get on to them because at times I feel the same way.Yes I love my husband & will support him but sometimes you can't help the way you feel.

I love you so much Ms Nina ,you are doing a great job. praying for you.

p.s Is it wrong to love your church that much?

Butler said...

P.S.S Wish you was home so we could talk,you always give it to me straight.

Tabatha said...

Thank you, Nina for being open and honest. But, then, you've always been that way. I needed to "hear" your convicting words too, because even just being a mom, so many other duties can get in the way and I become so busy, that I forget the business God placed in my heart, first and foremost - my children, and then all those around me.

Praying for you, as always, but in a more specific way today! Love you!

Walker said...

I grew up Methodist but did not returned to church until our daughter was 14. It saved us in every possible way. Our daughter heard God's call to ministry at 16 and was ordained at 25. I think your daughter is doing just fine and so are you. And thanks for your blog, it is a real blessing.

Tammy said...

Thank you. I needed that, too.

Dani Joy said...

From our little family in Spain to your little family in Portugal starting little churches, my heart goes out to you, understands, and empethizes. The most important thing is that you spent the time going over it all in English for her and listened. It brought tears to my eyes and really touched me in a mommy sort of way. Thanks for sharing.

Nina in Portugal said...

Ms. Rebekah,
No! It's not wrong for you to love your church that much. It would be wrong to NOT love your church that much!

I'm so happy for you and Bro. Jim and the kids. Living Waters is the perfect church for you. So many precious folks there that we miss terribly.

Melissa Wertz said...

{{{{Hugs}}}} I will keep you in my prayers. As we study missionaries in GA's, this is a side we never see. May I print it off and read it to the girls? I teach 'Tweens'. They would probably understand this. I may have to change it up just a little. But it is something we, stateside, never think about. We see your children on the street corners passing out tracks, handing out water and other refreshments, etc. Help leading the singing, etc.

Every MK feature of the month/week's pray request usually is "pray for my parents ministry to the "area" (stateside or foriegn mission field) and their relationship with the people as they plant new churches..." and it rarely changes.

Now we know more specifically how to pray for you. :-)

Steph at The Red Clay Diaries said...

Transparency is definitely a good thing!

I had never thought about that particular missionary struggle, but it makes perfect sense.

And I bet the more kids you have, the more difficult it becomes.

What's most important is that your heart was soft enough to hear God's voice on this. Now you can remedy it.

Starla said...

I'll remember you in prayer. One thing that I know because it happens to me sometimes. Don't let the devil rub this in your face, because he will do anything to get you down.

Nina in Portugal said...

Absolutely...use whatever you need.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mrs. Nina,
I thank you for your words today. God used what you had to say to pierce straight to my heart. I am a missionary mom to three little children (ages five and under). I am guuiillttyy of this exact issue. I have purposed anew in my heart to live as unto the Lord, not only as a missionary to others, but as a missionary in my own home. May God bless you for your humility and your willing spirit to be used by Him to minister to others, even when it is painful or embarrassing to do so.
A missionary momma in Panama

Anonymous said...

Oh so true. My daughter is blessed to go to a Christian school and enjoys a great Sunday school, but she takes all her cues about prayer and loving God from me. She prays the way I pray and so I can totally understand your conviction.

God is good! You are in my prayers. (And now my daughter's prayers, too) :-)

mtalley said...

We started a children's program here for that very reason. Our kids were then able to invite their friends to come and before we knew it we had about 8-10 kids coming to a weekly children's Bible club. Amazing how God works.

Sandy Sellers said...

Thank you for the post. I needed it. It was just what I needed to hear. On the deputaion trail lots of churches dismiss Sunday School in order to hear the "Missionary". Well my children have heard the missionary presentaion about 90 times now. They can almost say it by heart.

I keep saying, "When we get to the field, I will get things normal again. Well, I need to get some things back to normal now.

Thanks again for your post.

Anonymous said...

I am so thankful that God gave my son such a wonderful wife and mother for his children. Being open to the Holy Spirit in the "small" matters of daily life is exactly what God wants from us.

I did not measure up to the standard of being my children's teacher in the home and I have regretted it daily. By God's grace I pray I can have some impact on my Grandchildren.

I am praying for you and all my precious babies.

Love, Nanny

Pilar Stark said...

Yeah girl, I am with you. But not only the kids but also the parents. Matthew does a better job than me on having "children class" at home since our work just started and we don't have Sunday School. I need to listen to preaching tapes often because I need to keep our little one quiet and don't get much of the preaching time. I guess that is probably one of the things that I will enjoy the most while on furlough. Kids classes and preaching :)
Where did you find the stories? Would you mind sharing the link?

Tori said...

Wow Nina,
I can sure relate to this one. Actually I could have used this post about 8 years ago. There are so many things that get pushed aside and forgotten about in the hustle to got "missionary" work done.
In reality, our mission is to our family first then the the world. If we loose our children we have lost the war!

Thanks for being transparent, I needed it!