vivo y bien


Let me catch you up to speed!

I’ve written at least 4 blog posts, and clearly I haven’t posted any of them…. I feel like my new norm of life in Latin America has been filled with a lot of processing, and due to all the processing I never felt “ready” to post about it… kinda of weird because I’ve never ever been an internal processor, and yet here I am, internally processing for four months. 🤷🏻‍♀️

This is more than likely going to be a choppy post and I can no longer speak English (or Spanish) because I mix everything up and it comes out as nonsense — if you’re a fellow language learner or misionera, I know you jive with that statement. 

Our first few weeks in Costa Rica were an adjustment — wait, all of our time has been an adjustment. Yet, in each and every annoying or inconvenient moment, there has been some kind of silver lining. I’ll probably say this a 100 times, but if I had to sum of our time here thus far, we’ve truly had really good days with a few bad moments (some of those moments felt like forever, and some were just due to PMS…) but either way, we have witnessed the hand of God in all things and we have had a really wonderful time here in Costa Rica! 

Anyways, I was a bit caught off guard the first couple weeks here in San Jose, mainly because I didn’t expect Betty needing to transition. I figured she was young enough that she wouldn’t have noticed we packed up her short, little life into 2 boxes and moved to a different country. She noticed and in turn she was a bit of a bestia (aka spanish for beast - ever since I learned that vocab word I’ve been waiting for a moment to use it. Thanks Betty!) Therefore, the first couple of weeks of transition meant lots of crying and not sleeping as soundly as her usual.

But truly, two weeks in, she/we adjusted well and got into our new swing of things. 

I’d say the best thing about Costa Rica has been the weather. It’s forever perfect here in my midwest opinion. Never cold and not too hot… and it’s the cure for any and all twinges of homesickness. Sorry to everyone in North America, I think your crap winter was my fault - because anytime I kinda felt homesick, I just asked Alexa what the weather was in Rockford, to which she said, “The weather in Rockford is 900 degrees below zero and snowing”
….and I instantaneously felt better about life, kissed the ground in worship to the Lord and loved Costa Rica all over again. 🌴☀️ #losientonolosiento

Aside from perfect weather, here’s my list of loves about this place:
I really love school - it’s full immersion which makes my head spin around, but it’s  A M A Z I N G.
I really love my profesoras - they’re beautiful, strong, Godly women. And just classy. They make me want to be a babe 60 year old Tica when I grow up. 
I really love our church - it’s diverse and beautiful. It’s simple and effective.
I really, really love the food! - Casados are my fav - basically amazingly seasoned meat with gallo pinto (rice and beans), some delicious veggies and cabbage. And it’s CHEAP.  
I really love the other missionaries here - we’re all different and we’re all called. I look at the individuals around me who sacrificed a lot to live a somewhat inconvenient life for people in a country they don’t know yet, and it makes me feel challenged and reaffirmed all at the same time. I have come to believe that the greatest of missionaries won’t ever be well-known because when they leave, the churches they plant will function beautifully, the kids they help will continue to be educated and taken care of, and people they lead to Jesus will solely depend on Him as their source, not the missionary. So while you will probably never hear or read the names of these individuals, I know that their lives are already famous in heaven. And for that reason I just love them all. 
But OKAY, I know you all want to know the nitty gritty of what I don’t like because really, that’s why your reading this, to hear me complain SO:

I do and don't like the simplified life. Now I love that we don’t have a car, and that we walk most places and that we eat way better. But I’m also super annoyed we don’t have a car and that we have to walk everywhere and carry our groceries home and that I can’t just drive through somewhere and get a cake shake super easily. But I know this is God's progressive sanctification plan for me--stripping things away little by little. IMPORTANT SIDE NOTE: You guys, my whole dream two nights ago took place in a Portillos and was only about burgers and cake shakes!!!!!!!!!! 🍔🍔🍦🍦 I haven’t even dreamt about my family but I’m dreaming about ice cream!….I think this is okay to say because I’m not sure my mom is reading this... 🙈

Everything really does take longer here. Which is cool that Costaricenses (or Latinos in general) really are super patient and more concerned with people than tasks. But also is not cool when I just want to pop in somewhere to accomplish something and it takes more minutes than I think it should. I mainly feel this with riding in an Uber or taking a bus… literally if we get into a car between the times of 4:30-6pm, it’s going to take a million years to go a few blocks…. and I have to self-talk that being stuck in years of traffic is better than being held hostage by ISIS (dramatic I know… but it works) And if you live in Chicago or any major city, I know this is your reality, soooo I’ll stop complaining about this one. 

I hate las cucarachas.. no bright spot, just hate them. There’s one in the shared laundry room that keeps sneaking up on me and I expect that yelling “die in the name of Jesus” should probably kill it eventually. 

I hate feeling stupid. Now this isn’t because other people make me feel stupid, this is just because I speak Spanish at a baby/toddler/held-behind-druggy-kid-in-school level, and it’s frustrating to want to communicate clearly but my communication is anything but clear. I was brave and went to color my hair at a local salon and it was a super hard experience - not because my hair got ruined (thanks for saving it Lord!), but because I went in confidently thinking I could communicate what I wanted (and also with 20 pictures), and then as my stylist proceeded to ask me a dozen additional questions I didn’t understand, I just felt silly and dumb and annoyed and scared (of what my hair was going to turn out like) and just OVERWHELMED. If we ever move back to the States, my ministry is going to be taking Latinas to hair appointments and communicating what they want done because HAIR IS EVERYTHING YOU GUYSSS. 💇🏻‍♀️💇🏼‍♀️💇🏽‍♀️💇🏾‍♀️💇🏿‍♀️

BOTTOM LINE: Our life is really sweet and really good. It’s healthier physically, emotionally and spiritually, it’s purposeful. It’s just great…. or Pura Vida as they say here.  I’m so grateful for how the Lord has continued to show me His kindness and His strong hand in days that have been so great and moments that have been so hard. 

We will be finishing language school here in CR in 92 days and to all of our families, sweet friends and supporters, we appreciate your love towards us.

PS. I do have another blog post more detailed on the people we’ve met here and so look for that soon! 

Until then,