Wednesday, September 22, 2010


It has seemed like FOREVER since I have posted, oh HAS! The truth is I have been having some really tough days here in good-ole Lima, Peru and I just didn't really want to post a bunch of negative junk on our blog but.... well I think I'm going to anyway.

Let me start off by saying that ALL this is relative and I am a woman, a tired mother of 3 kids, live thousands of miles from family and friends, don't speak the spoken language perfectly or even just really good and well...I miss Sonic. Taking all of this into consideration, I hope you will read this with a grain of salt.

Life here so far has had it's moments but honestly it hasn't been extremely tough. Until....last week. It all started the day I got a note from school telling me that Maddox was having "grandparents day" on Oct.1st. They would be making things for them and having a show etc... When I went to talk to the teacher they gently told me that it would probably be better for Maddox not to come to school that day because most all of the other kids have grandparents and it would just make him feel bad. I understood what they were saying but at this point I was having to picture the teacher fully naked so I wouldn't bust out in tears.
Pretty much from this day forward it has been a downward spiral. Everyday has been filled with circumstances that has more than once a day brought me to tears. For example-

Maddox is going through a TERRIBLE stage. He is just NOT obeying for anything. It's not that he is mean or talks back at all. He just sweetly says "ummm, no" or just doesn't do what we ask of him at all. We have tried EVERYTHING in the book (spanking, not spanking, vinegar, time out, counting, not counting, taking things away, star charts, taking him out on dates for extra attention, blah, blah, blah,) I have a feeling we are just going to have to wait this one out.

Liam is teething and crawling. The combination = him CRYING and me chasing after him ALL day because we have 7 small flights of stairs and bars he can crawl through with NO gates or nets. I know simple solution you say- buy gates and nets. Not that simple. The walls are too far apart for most standard gates. Yeah.

Driving. I've been cut off, yelled/cursed at, had a taxi so mad at me he stopped an entire street of traffic (as I sat there and just LAYED on my horn, real mature I know), stopped by the police (though that was scary, I played them at their own game and they started off yelling at me and getting me prepped for a bribe and by the end they were drawing me a map and sending me sweetly on my way. Two can play at that game boys. Ok, well maybe Liam helped me a little:)
Driving here can quickly turn a terrific day into a "I will RUN your car over just to make a point" kind of day.

Sickness. Our kids have been sicker than EVER since winter has hit in Peru. I mean we had to take Sofia in for an MRI because she had so many headaches that were causing her to throw up, Maddox was on breathing treatments and an inhaler for 15 days and Liam has been on two different antibiotic rounds. They all three have continuous runny noses, coughs etc.... I HATE taking or giving medicine so I've been on a mission to naturally cure my kids for about two weeks now. By next winter we should be much better prepared. Hopefully some of the changes we have made to the boys room will help right now but it's been a continuous and tiring battle so far.

Friends. I miss my friends. My family is a given so we don't need to go there but I truly miss the quick 5 minute phone calls 8 times a day with Holly, the playdates at the Walters, seeing friends at church, dropping by the Groves house, TV night at the Nutts, dinners with the Hawkins, exercise workouts with my girls, swimming at the Roses, did I mention playdates??? Here nothing just comes super easy. I have to strain my brain during a casual dinner so I can catch about 75% of the conversation, play-dates are mostly with nannies, you can't just drop by peoples homes cause they aren't home till around 8pm, I can't call anyone here because I keep running out of minutes and going to church now well.. that brings me to my other paragraph-

Ministry. Ministry is rewarding, fun, exciting, adventurous and also hard, stressful and tiring. I'm just sayin! We host church in our home every Sunday, every other Wed. night (we split this with the team so we only have two months so I can't complain a ton here), English classes every Saturday night, Youth nights once a month, I teach exercise classes Mon, Wed, Friday (yes, this a part of our ministry), we go to 4 hour birthday parties, visit people out on the mountain, Lee does church out on the mountain every Sunday afternoon, we have around 3-4 different couples, groups or youth eat with us every week blah blah blah. I'm NOT saying this to complain or to toot our horn but just to simply give the reader a visual of what a week in our neck of the woods looks like. This doesn't count all the hours Lee spends in meetings, Biblestudies, building houses, planning campaigns, talking, teaching, studying etc.... We have CHOSEN this so let me reiterate that and we LOVE it but just for this post I want to complain so bare with me. IT'S HARD. In ministry so many things cross over into your normal daily routine and vise versa. I mean we might be having a family night and someone pops over to talk because that's the only time they have and next time you know they are eating pizza and watching a movie as a part of our family. Again all of this is great but it's hard trying to balance time. Through all this and hosting church and various things, my respect for my parents and others in ministy has grown TRAMENDOUSLY. I truly miss the days when I just went to church, greeted people, sat down and listen to a sermon (in English), sang songs (in English), went to class, volunteered in the kids classes every once in a while and then left. There is SO much that goes on behind the scenes that you would never think of. Do me a favor and next time your at church thank your preacher, your song leader, the staff, the teachers, the childrens ministers, youth ministers etc... it's not as easy as it might look.

Last but not least, the WEATHER. Oh my goodness. I can honestly say that if I had experienced the last 5 months before moving here I might have made a case for choosing somewhere else to live. Lee has talked to several missionaries and foreigners that live here and they say the gloominess here is not something you mess around with. If you can leave out of the city for a few weeks during the winter months it can seriously make a huge difference. I NEVER thought that not seeing the sun for so long could affect me the way it has but it has. No doubt. Again next winter the Fletcher family will be a lot better prepared for whats to come.

There are a lot of things that this week have just slapped me in the face and have brought me to my knees. There are also A LOT of things that I am grateful for so please don't think that I'm being ungrateful because I'm not. I realize that we are EXTREMELY blessed, I get that smack dab in my face every time I drive just a few minutes from my house but it doesn't mean that some days being a missionary here is just plain tough.

I could specifically use prayers for God to lift my spirits and if possible, quickly. Please pray that God brings out the sun in it's most literal sense so I can feel the sun shine on my face and feel lifted. Pray that my kids can start to live healthier and that as a mom I have the wisdom to figure out how to help them. Pray that God brings us in more contact with Peruvians and that God specifically helps me communicate with the friends I have already. Pray for my language learning to grow. Pray that I can balance my time better and no when to say no.

Thanks for being a part of the journey with us, good, bad and ugly. Today might be considered an "ugly" post but I am looking outside the window and the sun is coming out so I know things are already looking up. Missing all of you and love you lots


Katie said...

Sending you lots and lots of love, Steph. I'm going through my own sort of culture shock after moving to Boston and job hunting, and having very few friends. I know it's not the same as being in a foreign country with 3 kids...but still...I hear ya on the loneliness bit.

Praying that your day starts looking up. Love from your old neighbors! xoxo

emily anna said...

Praying that you will feel as much love as you are pouring out. You and Lee are truely showing the kids how to be like Christ! Love y'all.

mom said...

You "realness" is what makes you an incredible woman. I love you Steph and can't wait to get there...I'll bring the ole paddle with me (just kiddng, Maddox) Thank you for sharing your heart.
Love you!!

Holly said...

Ditto to Patti's honesty comment. That is what makes you so unique and a women that so many of us can learn from! I miss our quick, multiple phone calls too!!! Do you think I'll fit in your mom's bag? Ha, not right now for sure! Working on Lee and Ryan's Ever Fat program:) Love you tons!!!!

Bob and Suzetta said...

Steph - we miss you, we love you, we're praying for you. A LOT.

Alisa said...

Aww. Hang in there. Sending you some hugs from France. :) I'd offer to let you guys come on over here for a break, but the gloominess is about the same here.

Vanessa said...

Love you Steph!!!!!! Praying for you....not just right now, but daily.

Kim W. said...

I love reading your blog, and some of my favorite posts are when you write about your thoughts, just like this. I can just hear you talking as I read. Sure miss seeing you here and there, and hope you feel the love from all your friends and family back here. Proud of ya, girly.

Cuatro-Mom said...

So this is a BLAH, reply, completely irrelevant:) Andi texted me yesterday and said in the WG alumni paper there is a pic of me, you, Missy and the Frisco Bell from Turkey Day back in 97.....OMGoodness!!! I bet we look fab;)

Rocío said...

Hola amiga, creo que la neblina y los malos momentos se pueden superar cundo se tiene una linda familia y gente que te quiere aunque no sean tus amigos de toda la vida. "SI SE PUEDE".

The Dixons said...

I totally hear you! I don't know whether to laugh or cry reading your blog!! You are not alone--I have debated writing about similar things, and appreciate that you did! I think I may feel my own blog post bubbling up. . . :)

Sarah said...

Thank you for this post. We are moving to Lima in January with our 4 kids- my husband sent me your blog (he has been emailing with your husband). So much of what you write is what I fear most (driving being high on the list), but I want to know the reality of living in Lima. We are so excited, but also so scared of the unknowns and loss of our culture. So, as odd as it may seem this post comforts me and lets me know that others have walked this road before us and that we won't be alone.