The Salter family is not moving, but our blog is! For the past few weeks we have been working on a whole new look and site for our blogging. So, as we say goodbye to Salter Seasons, we say hello to Planning in Pencil.
There are not many things in life I dislike more than "confrontational moments." Those are the moments in life where a difficult conversation simply cannot be avoided. I recently experienced a "confrontational moment." Here is how it ended: Me: "Eski ou compran?" Do you understand? Other: "Wi, mwen compran..." Yes I understand... Conversation concludes and I turn to leave Other (under breath): "Men, mwen pa renmen li." But, I don't like it. Although the conversation was brief, and there are no hard feelings between myself and the other party, those final mumbled words have played over and over in my head.
But, I don't like it...
How often in the quietness of my heart do I say, "Yes, I understand..." to my Lord, and then gently whisper, "But, I don't like it..." What does it do to the heart of our Lord when He pours blessing after blessing in our lives, and our response is a simple..."Yes, I see what you are doing...but, I don't like it." Oh how ugly my prideful heart can be. I can look and see the goodness of the Lord all around and even in the midst of it all, find myself discontent whispering quietly..."But, I don't like it." I know there are many areas in my life I am missing the goodness and blessing of my Lord because it does not quite follow suite with what I think "I would really like..." Matthew 7 and Luke 11 are clear reminders that our Father knows how to give good gifts to His children. James 1:17 says, "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." Not only is my Father the giver of good and perfect gifts, He will ALWAYS be. Have you ever seen a child at their birthday party tear into a gift, only to look up and say, "But, I really wanted ________." What does this response do to the heart of the giver of that good gift?! How prideful I am when I secretly say, "But, God...I really wanted it to be like this..." James 4:6, "...God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble." Francis Chan's wife recently spoke about James 4:6 and took time to describe the term "Oppose." Did you know, it means to actively fight against something? My heavenly father is actively against the proud... All of my "I don't like it..." moments are ultimately a result of pride. Please do not misunderstand, our Father knows our thoughts before we think them. It is before Him and Him alone I can bare all of me...my likes and my dislikes. I am His child, covered in the blood of His son, and it is in that, I am able to stand confidently. However, when He opens my eyes to see my prideful heart and my "I don't like it's..." my prayer needs to become, "Lord help me humble my heart..." It is then with a humble heart His grace is unleashed. His mercies are new and He is actively ready to change my perspectives.
When tempted to put down the gift and say, "But, I don't like it..." may we recognize our Father, the giver of all good and perfect gifts and humble ourselves to follow His plan. Lord help me to say, "Yes, I understand..." and leave the rest up to you.
Sparkly Green Earrings, by Melanie Shankle was a gift my mom gave me a few months ago. To be honest, I was not too excited to start the book and simply felt like there were other things I should be doing with my time besides reading a memoir written by someone I had never even heard of. However, simply a few pages into the book my opinion changed drastically. The book begins when Melanie and her husband first discover they are pregnant. Each chapter is full of highs and lows, laughter, and life lessons. There are so many things from this book I know I will use as I begin my personal adventure into the world of motherhood. It is definitely a book I believe I will revisit again.
As a girl who loves to hear the thoughts and life lessons the Lord is teaching others, and of course loves to laugh and relax, this book hit the spot for me. Ladies, definitely consider picking it up for a light summer read regardless of the season of life you may find yourself in. In case you don't believe me, here is what Beth Moore has to say about it: "Profoundly insightful, witty and relatable...Relish this ride-- you won't be sorry you took it!" --Beth Moore Much love and happy reading to you!
1. New Playground- Gassaway Baptist Church of West Virginia has been serving here at Baptist Haiti Mission for the past two weeks. Several of the team members had served with BHM in the past, after their first visit they began to dream of ways they could help improve the work of BHM in a practical way. Their decision...build Noah's Ark!
Families, friends, schools, and orphanages visit the mission on a regular basis because our property is open to the public. The Gassaway group desired to build a large play area for the community that would also provide an opportunity to share the Gospel. The Ark is the result of this dream. We are so excited about the relationships that will be developed from this project. True confession, as momma to be I am stoked to think about our child having a place to play one day! Thanks Gassaway!
2. Graduations- My time teaching English with the local kindergarten has come to a close due to summer vacation. Although I miss seeing the kids each week, I'm alright having a few more minutes of "down time". A few weekends ago the school hosted a graduation for the kiddos. In true Haiti fashion, it started an hour late, and lasted quite a few hours. I confess, I snuck out early, but still managed to share my excitement with the teachers and kiddos and get a few cute pictures in the process.
This is one of a few hundred Christian schools connected with our ministry here in Haiti. The kids who attend these schools are exposed to the truth of the Gospel each and everyday. What a gift it is to be a part of such Gospel centered work.
3. Parent Projects- Trey's parents have been visiting us over the past week, and you know what that means, projects are in full swing. For many months Trey has been working on developing a patio area above where our water cisterns sit. Ty and Terri have been a huge help this week adding several finishing touches...
Ty's favorite spot is the porch swing. My handy husband built the swing a few months ago and we are definitely putting it to use.
4. Baby Update- We are halfway through week 15 of pregnancy and going strong. Our last doctors appointment went great and we are excited about all that is in store. Grandma Salter (still searching for a name for baby to call her) and Trey found some fun baby fabric for our little one...
And, we recently received a baby crib that was used by another missionary family. It's pretty bizarre to have this in our house, even if right now it is simply used for storage and balancing my hair straightener when I get ready every morning. Nevertheless, it is one step closer to having baby here with us!
After almost 2 years in Haiti, I have become an exercise DVD guru. No more gym visits, zumba classes, or walks in the park. But, who needs that when you have DVD's? I remember watching my Granny do exercise DVD's as a young girl, I always thought she looked quite silly. Little did I know, I'd be using them "religiously" years down the road. I've done my fair share of Jillian Michaels, Women's Fitness, and even Zumba (thanks to a great Christmas gift from the hubs). Now, in the midst of pregnancy, I am discovering a whole new world of DVD's...my favorite so far:
I don't care what anyone says, Denise Austin has been around in the world of work-out DVD's FOREVER, so she must be doing something right. Although she may not be taking me through boot camp every day, she is becoming my pregnancy coach in the world of fitness.
After busy days, lots of fast talking in Haitian Creole, and taking care of a variety of tasks, it's nice to release and zone out to the "dreamy" voice of Denise (as described by Kilee Bidwell.)
My goal in this, our first pregnancy, is to maintain my physical condition as best as possible. I want to take care of myself and baby. And...Trey also wants me to keep happy so my daily exercise is a MUST for those positive endorphins.
There will be plenty of time for boot camps once baby arrives, or perhaps being a mom will be boot camp enough! If any of you have any other DVD's or must do activities in the world of becoming a mom, please let me know.
Our pregnancy journey has been quite the experience, thus far. We are currently passed the 1st trimester and enjoying the stage that many refer to as the "Pregnancy Honeymoon." My physical woes have decreased tremendously and the little baby bump has officially chosen to make an appearance. It has been a tremendous blessing over the past few weeks to hear from several friends and family and talk about our excitement over baby Salter. My favorite word from the States concerning baby to be actually happened today when we received the mail. I had a sweet note from my Aunt Susan informing me that my cousin Grace's Sunday School class was asked to draw a picture of a family member and write an interesting fact to go along with that person. Grace chose me...
I was so flattered when I heard that she chose me. But, wait...what in the world would she pick as an interesting fact about me?!
A Pregnet Missonary...that's me!
I could not help but laugh out loud. These past several weeks have indeed been quite interesting for me as we are navigating the road to parenthood, and doing that in a 3rd world country. I know our journey will continue to hold many interesting moments and that our Father is walking with us, controlling all, every step of the way.
It is a delight to my heart, to know the Lord has called me for this special time to be a pregnant missionary, and that is indeed an interesting fact.
Thanks for the picture Grace, it is definitely going on our refrigerator!
In my inbox this morning I was greeted with a precious message from Heather; mother of 6, dear friend to my family, and a sister in the faith. Her words were full of encouragement and have stuck with me throughout the day.
"...You may be a mother many times over but you will never BECOME a mother again. I pray that you capture this in your heart...be still. Know that He is God..."
There are many stages of becoming the Lord allows His children to experience. I clearly remember a few other key becoming stages in my life. Becoming a college student, becoming a wife, becoming a missionary in Haiti. The movie, Becoming Jane, a story written about life events that led to the development of author, Jane Austen has always been quite intriguing to me. Although I am intrigued by this movie, I must confess I have not yet watched the movie. I prefer girly films like Father of the Bride, the accents and quick speaking in movies like Pride & Prejudice tend to make me quite sleepy.
What would it be like to have a movie made about all of our times of Becoming? Would we be surprised by certain parts of our lives that made the movie, which led us to who we are today? Or perhaps we would be surprised by those moments we thought were huge in our process of becoming, but it turns out they didn't matter after all. What a gift it is to look back and see the events in life that led us to different places of becoming. But, oh how easy it is to miss the moment when we are in the midst of those transitional stages, our becoming stages.
Heather is not the first, nor will she be the last mother who shares with me how necessary it is to embrace this special time of Becoming Mom... It is my desire that the Lord would work in my heart to heed the wise words He is giving others to speak into my life. I hope to learn what it means to take advantage of the time I have to Be Still, just me and the Lord and the precious life forming inside me. Instead of feeling like I must go go go because once baby comes everything will change. I hope to embrace each moment of pregnancy. Growing and expanding out of my favorite skirts and t-shirts. Tiny gifts of baby towels and onesies. Yes okay, even the heartburn and fatigue can be embraced. I remember being in children's church many moons ago and my teacher told me he had something to show the class. He had a surprise. This surprise was something we had never seen before, and something we would never see again. As we sat on the edge of our tiny little chairs he pulled out a peanut from his pocket and cracked it open. He removed the tiny nut from its shell and explained that this was the first time anyone had ever seen this nut. Then, before we realized what happened he threw the nut into his mouth, chewed, and swallowed. No one would ever see the peanut again! We are each in a spot we have never been before and we will never be there again. How are you doing in your time of becoming?
Psalm 46:10 "Be still (cease striving), know that I am God."