SO I have started reading through the Bible with a guy I want to disciple and invest in, love on, and see reach his fullness in Christ (more on that – intentional discipleship – in another post). So I was reading Genesis 1 and it hit me…God by design, in the very beginning put in time to rest.
The answer to the question on what on Earth has the Edmonds family been up to recently….The answer is resting.
For the past two weeks Madeline has been off school – Easter break so she has been around.
And we just got back from our vacation to San Pedro! AWESOME (more on that down further). But first….
How is The Lord Teaching Me?
Rest. God designed rest and rest is good. Rest doesn’t necessarily mean sleeping. Rest means breathing. God spent his creation time talking. “God said” and “God called” are repeated over and over again during the account of creation. On the seventh day, God rested and took time to breathe in (Note: I am not debating the theological statement that God needed to rest. I am simply stating that God designed rest into Creation).
I saw this and thought to myself…How do I do at rest? Then I listed to a KILLER podcast from Andy Stanley on ways that he and his wife Sandra systematically add rest into their lives. His wife famously said “The days are long but the years are short” And we feel like that often too. The days with our small kids seem LONG but the years are VERY short. For example, Elijah is already 9 months…WHAT!!!
Anyway, He said that he and his wife established two principles of life for their family and they were:
- Enjoy being together when the kids are gone.
- Live our life so the children want to be with us (parents) and with each other (siblings) even when they have the freedom to do otherwise.
He was saying that he wanted him and his wife to really enjoy their time together when the kids are gone because even though it’s impossible for me to see now, the kids will be gone and then it is just me and Amy. So we have to do things now to enjoy our time together so that when the kids are gone we are still enjoying each other.
Recently, I realized I was working too many nights at home. I would sit down and after the kids go to bed, start answering emails, reviewing trips, staffing, etc. And God rested….
So for the past few weeks, instead of that, we have been sitting at night and playing games….Rumikube, Sequence, Farkle, etc. It is important to note that so far I am CRUSHING these games at night!!! We have also compromised on what we watch on TV (mostly Amy compromising). But Monday we watch WWE (when it’s not Bachelor or Bachelorette season). And other times we watch an HGTV show! Amy is even in to wrestling some….well almost!
Secondly, Amy and I wanted to make sure that our kids enjoyed being around us so much that they wanted to do that more often (even when they are older have the opportunity to do other things).
So it’s small things in life that our kids like right now, going outside to water the followers and spraying each other (and MOMMY) with the hose, making and playing in mud puddles and the rain, flying poorly built kites. Right now my kids want me to be present. And honestly that is the HARDEST thing in the world with working from home.
But on the 7th day God rested….
So now I try to start work around 7AM each day and at about 3:30pm. I shut it down. I go see the kids and we just act goofy. If there is anything else that needs to get done for work, it waits until Amy is in bed and I have had some strong coffee and I’ll work into the night. But for now, I need the rest and to breathe in each day and my kids need me present!
The importance of a Sabbath – I was always doing something every day that was related to work. Sometimes it was support raising. Other times in was blogging. Other times it was just checking email. So now one day a week, I have a Sabbath. It is a day to do NOTHING as it relates to work. No texts. No Emails. No blogs. Nothing. Just me, my God, and my family! Praise God for rest on the Sabbath.
We don’t have it all together. And our lives are passing through seasons (all too quickly, I may add) but it was important to build margin and rest into my and our days daily, weekly, and each season….And on the 7th day, God rested.
And now onto Vacation…..
Vacation was awesome! Through a series of nothing short of God-things, we discovered the YWAM DTS on San Pedro was offering missionaries a place to come for furlough! After a few correspondence, they insisted we come for about a week. So we packed our things and headed to the Island of San Pedro / Ambergis Caye.
At the DTS, which sat directly on the water, all of our meals were provided for (HUGE BLESSING), and we stayed in a casista with a king bed and 4 bunk beds. It was PERFECT, small but PERFECT.
Each morning, the kids and I would wake up and we would walk along the beach to pick up sea-shells (of which now we have way too many in our house). After breakfast, Madeline, Jojo and I would go to the pool (Yes the place even had a pool!!). And we SWAM!
As it turns out, Madeline LOVES the pool. She LOVES water! She spent quite literally 7-8 hours a day inside of the pool, splashing around.
AND…there were only two small incidents when Jojo or Madeline went all the way under the water in the deep end without their floats on and without daddy watching…(oops!). Let’s just say, my heart has never beat so fast than when I was swimming Michael Phelps style to get them out of the pool!
Anyway, while all this was going on mommy was taking a nap with Elijah (And on the 7th day…..).
After lunch we switched, mommy swam with Madeline and the boys napped (YES!).
The whole 6 or so days we were there was sooo awesome! It was just the refreshment we needed after a busy end to the spring season.
If you are looking for a vacation spot in Belize and you don’t just want to stay at our house, then San Pedro / Ambergis Caye is a great spot. The town is a little too busy for my liking but the water is blue blue blue and the facilities and resorts are top notch. Amy and I are looking forward to going back in August….now only if we could get a babysitter? Any takers?
Other Family Updates:
Work – We have since returned from vacation and I have started working again, setting up for summer. Our final trips have just finished for the spring. Last Saturday, our good friend Leah stopped by to discuss the last trip she led to Orangewalk Belize. She then proceeded to share about a miracle of a woman receiving her sight on the trip. Leah summarizes the story on her blog here (And The Blind Shall Receive Their Sight). Stories like these from the spring are why we as a family are so blessed to get to do what we do…God’s kingdom coming down to earth!
Madeline– Madeline is still out of school. She returns on Monday! On Friday, good friend Marion Blease is coming over to braid Madeline’s hair because she wants beads in it for school on Monday!
Amy – is working on extending the garden. Currently, we are harvesting Okra and tomatoes, and started to use some basil. I have been cooking more now that we have ingredients I like to use (bad excuse I know). But the garden is expanding into watermelon, yellow squash, and (hopefully) corn and sunflowers in a couple of weeks! It is awesome to watch Amy (and Madeline) work together with the plants!
Jojo – is POTTY TRAINED! He slept the past two nights without a diaper at all and the bed WAS DRY!!! PRAISE GOD. (still working on Madeline)
Elijah – FINALLY CUT HIS FIRST TOOTH. It only took 9 months! Goodness, at this rate, he may have all his teeth by 12.
Community – I (Josh) was able to spend Monday, Easter Holiday here in Belize, with Pastor Mark, his kids and his in-laws at the river in Cayo! It was a great time of fellowship and fun!
Community Update 2 – I saw one of the guys I was playing basketball with named “Beard” on Sunday after the Easter Egg Hunt at church. I asked what was going on at the bball court (it looked like a lot of activity). Beard then told me about the basketball tournament that night and league starting. I helped him carry some stuff from church over there, but then forgot about it (sort of). Anyway, as the kids and I were leaving church, we passed someone on a bike and he stopped to ask me if I wanted to play. I said of course! And we played 2 games on Sunday and have another game tonight. Note: picture an outdoor And 1 mix tape atmosphere, where there is a guy screaming into a microphone and clowning any and everyone. Now picture that I am the only white person and get my fair share of clowned…..it’s awesome! I can’t wait until I catch lighting in a bottle and light up this league for about 6 3-pointers one night!
Praises / Prayer Requests
- Family perseverance – I travel to Minnesota for our staff spring meetings on Sunday. Pray for Amy and the kids that they will persevere.
- Spring Praises – Praise God. We had a great SPRING in Belize. Celebrate miracles, chains broken, and people meeting the Lord!
- Community – Pray that this basketball league is an opportunity for me to learn the names and stories of some of the men in the village.
- Praise – God sent Jesus to die on the cross and He defeated the grave! Praise God for over-coming Death and completing his rescue plan!
- Praise – Our family was able to be a small part of our friends Jacob and Anna adopting their son Eric from Belize. It was a blessing for us to serve them in some small way. You could read about their Belizean adoption journey here . Join me to praying for their transition at home and being a family.
- Great Expectations – I am expecting God to do great things over this summer here in Belize and in all of our locations. Be in prayer that God would reveal more of his glory to us through our experiences this summer. Be in prayer that 500 people will come to meet Jesus this summer!
Thank you for loving us. Thank you for praying for rest for our family. Thank you for partnering with us in the Gospel. You are a blessing to our family and a blessing to the Lord’s kingdom. Our prayer for you all is that you see God’s example of rest from creation and begin to carve out rest in your own life. Shut off the phone, get outside, sit in an eno, and just rest. Let our Lord fill you up as you breathe in.