Gaining Traction

We sat down this week and made a rough sketch of a schedule. It was painful. ðŸ˜ĢI thrive on routine but I’m just rebellious enough to balk at anything more than that.

The loose approach to planning our days wasn’t working, however.

It was beginning to be a lot like having a place for everything but nothing being in its place. Chaos and disorder have been ruling our days and we knew it was long past time to reign it in. So with a pencil and paper we mapped out the flow from rising time right onto bedtime.

So far, so good.

Robbie and Abi are going out to do medical on Sunday’s and Wednesday’s. The hardest part of that is finding people in need of help. (So far they have two people they’re looking in on) Not that they aren’t out there but, in Sukhothai, we don’t see much of the need on prominent display. Also, the language barrier.

Actually, roughly 75% of our struggles here are language related. It’s just so hard to communicate when you can’t communicate.

We’re learning to pray CONSTANTLY for the Spirit to lead in everything we do. Otherwise, we’re wasting our time because we can literally do NOTHING. When we try on our own we end up in a puddle of disaster. Which leads me to an ugly little confession.

Let me preface that confession by saying that I’m only sharing this for the sake of transparency in case someone else praying about heading into the foreign mission field is reading this. Because you need to come armed and with your walls fortified. We didn’t adequately prepare ourselves.

And Robbie and I have watched our marriage take a serious hit since being here.

We’re both drained. We’re tired. We’re overwhelmed. We feel like failures serving no purpose. We’re even scared at times. And God hasn’t determined it best to let us get our feet wet slowly as we would have expected. It’s been full immersion since the moment that plane landed in Chaing Mai and 3/4 of the time we feel like we’re moments from drowning.

The result of that is short-tempers and keen eyes for picking up the flaws in each other.

But also, let me be real … I’m the more irritable, less patient one of us. At least with Robbie. I’m guessing he’s my “safe space” and so while I can generally deal decently with the kids, my tolerance with my husband is sitting right around nil.

Don’t worry, though, because God is definitely not letting me get away with it. He’s keeping me fully convicted that this can’t continue. This morning I confessed and then begged for a repentent heart that would rather die than carry on as we’ve been. We’ve received abundantly wise counsel to get away from the kids at least once a week so we can talk or just hang out like an actual couple.

I think in layman’s terms it would be called a date. A novel, but increasingly foreign, concept for us.

As I was praying last night and this morning, the idea kept coming back to me: Take an hour every morning and go to the park together to walk/run. This would serve a dual purpose.

It would get us a little snippet of time each day to connect one-to-one, but it would also help us be more active. Because we’re both struggling with exhaustion and not taking care of ourselves as we should be due to the demand all around us. And this has been going on for more than a year as we were consumed with preparing to launch.

So this morning, after we had family worship, got the laundry hung and the kids fed, we laced up our shoes and headed out. The park is just up the road from us which makes it super convenient.

We set a goal for reaching 10,000 steps before heading home which should put us somewhere between 4-5 miles. On Tuesday’s and Thursday’s we won’t likely get that much in since we have to hurry back for language class. Today (Tuesday … we’re 12 hours ahead of EST) we only got 6,500 steps which was just under 2 1/2 miles. We did intervals of walking and running, with a heavy emphasis on the walking. 😂 But more importantly, we got to talk.

It was like free therapy.

The former athlete in me, however, wanted a long-term goal to strive for. Not that a healthier constitution and marriage isn’t goal enough, but just a little something fun thrown in there for added motivation seemed appropriate.

Google tells me I’m 8,669 miles from Virginia, which my heart still calls home. My big boys aren’t far from VA and we have so many people we love there along the east coast. So while we’re fully committed to Thailand for the long haul, with no plans for returning to the US to live, it seems like it also might be therapeutic to attempt to walk/run 8669 miles to cover the virtual distance home.

I did the calculations and determined it’s totally doable within the next decade. 😜

Besides, we already checked off 2.64 miles this morning!

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