It's past time for me to update you all about the ladies that visited last week! Thank you all for your pr*yrs! Yes, they are already gone and so didn't stay as long as I expected; I thought perhaps they would be here a full week or even two, but they decided that three days was enough and so last Thursday was our final day together.
We had a wonderful time! There were two ladies, a young married woman expecting her first child and then an older woman who has a four year old daughter. They came eager to help me with housework, but I was a bit reluctant to let them spend much time doing cleaning when the real purpose for their visit was to talk through things as well as observe our family ways together and family life. But they were happiest if I gave them a simple job to do and we could talk at the same time.
The younger woman was very open to all that I had to say, particularly about helping a young infant to get on a good routine. I extolled the benefits of routine to her: helping to stabilize the baby's hunger and sleep patterns, helping to ensure that her milk supply was adequate, giving her a more predictable life so she could have time to take care of her husband and her home, etc. We had some good discussions. Occasionally the older woman would chime in with, "But that's not how we do it here!" On the whole, though, they were both quite receptive.
I was really touched, when, the second day, they came back with a list of questions that they had been talking through and wanted to ask me. These ranged from "How can I improve my relationship with my husband?" and "When do you start teaching your child about the Bi.ble?" to "How do I deal with my husband's father, who lives with us?" and "Do you have a schedule for cleaning your home?" It was really great to be able to talk through some of these things together!
My children did quite well during the three days of Mommy being very occupied. Although of course, they provided some examples for discipline as well! I will confess that the second day, after having spoken the local language for about five hours, my brain was absolutely mush and I felt so tired that I let the girls watch a movie as soon as the ladies left at 5pm. I try not to let there be too many movies, especially as a "babysitter" . . . but that was an occasion that called for it! I was wiped out!
I am thankful for my Treo which has an electronic dictionary on it--I used it so much during the three days of talking with them! I would get myself going and going and then get stuck at a point where I knew the word I wanted in English, but didn't know the local word. A quick moment typing in a few letters and then suddenly, understanding! It was wonderful.
So in the end, we had a really great time together. It was less awkward than I expected, having them around, and I was glad that we got as many opportunities to talk as we did. The ladies slipped out on Thursday before lunch and bought me a beautiful arrangement of roses and carnations, how thoughtful! We had another excellent conversation Thursday afternoon while my girls were sleeping and as they prepared to leave, we spent some time praying together. It was really a sweet time and I was touched that they both initiated giving me big hugs with tears as they left, since hugging is not so common in this culture.
At the beginning of our time together, I told John that I was expecting the L to do great things, because I didn't really know what the ladies were looking for or how exactly I was going to help them. And that's just what HE did! Apparently, they were blessed just by observing our family life, the way we do things, the way we talk with and train our children, and how we act in our homes. They were blessed, and I was thankful to be a part of it. PTL!