I’m letting you see me…Nina…first thing in the morning.

….ugliness, stinky breath, bead head and fuzzy slippers….the whole 9 yards.

This week started off terribly.

I sent my Mom and email on Monday. I just let it all out. ‘Stress’ isn’t even the word to describe what I was/am feeling. She wrote back these words…”Wow, how do I respond to this?”

I wasn’t really expecting her to respond, I just needed her to know. I just needed someone to know. Someone who doesn’t see the daily struggles of this missionary mom.

We right back to supporters frequently. Not always are our updates read. That’s ok. At least we try. But there will be a church that drops our support for lack of communication….cause that’s what happens to missionaries.

Not all of living in a fairly tropical region of Europe is all fun and games. It’s not nearly as glamorous as we might make it look. We don’t share with you necessarily, the difficulties we face on a daily basis. Why? I really don’t know why? Maybe we (missionaries in general) are scared. If we seem like we struggle more than we succeed, the support checks will stop coming. And trust me, that’s not an easy pill to swallow. Churches want missionaries with ‘big numbers’, not missionaries that spend an hour and a half on the phone (like my husband is doing right now) trying to find a pediatrician to carry our son to. Because, unless you’ve lived in our shoes, you wouldn’t understand. – Seems like it’s all about “SUPPORT” with a missionary, huh? Well, you try to be in a foreign country completely relying on others for the livelihood of your family. I know…I know…”Nina, where is your faith?” – Well, my faith is in Whom it should be and I’m praying the same for those that decide whether or not that check will be sent.

Monday I was ready to run ‘home’ crying….and ‘home’ wasn’t the yellow house in the northern Portuguese village…it was Alabama, USA.

Mama Fit

Then 2 days later my Dog died. (Just calling him my ‘dog’ seems so inadequate. There should be another, more superior word to call a pet like Major. Cause, ‘dog’ just doesn’t get it.) Two days of non stop crying and worrying over his sick body….sort of made me forget the struggles I was facing a few days earlier. Major represented more to me than just a faithful companion, although that he was. My Mom is a dog lover, so having/getting a dog myself and seeing how much they come to mean to their owners made me feel closer to my doggy-loving Mom. And my Dad, well, I have pictures of my dad holding me as a baby with his black Lab beside him. So the joys I had with Major, I shared with my Dad who also understands how very cool they can be. Major made me feel closer to home.

Weird missionary chick….I know.

But whatever helps, right?

I’m being included, out of respect, in the email circulation of my family trying to organize the when, where and who of the family Thanksgiving dinner. When it will be, where it will be, and who will attend. I can tell you 7 that won’t be attending.

I warned you….seeing me this morning wasn’t going to be pretty.

  • maria jorge

    I’m very sorry for your loss and feel your pain. It’s like a horrible dream, I’ve been there. There will be a day where you will be able to remember Major with happiness and I’m sure he will be happy in his afterlife.

    • Nina

      Thanks Maria Jorge for your thoughts and kind words about our Major and for your comments lately. Forgive me, but have we met? – Nina

  • Betty

    Awe Nina,all i can say is i will keep you in my prayers!! Big ((hug))

    • Nina

      Thanks Betty. Hope you are well.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tabita.roose Tabita Roose

    Nina parece que está memso em baixo. Sinto muito pena para ti. Eu sei que nem sempre é fácil viver num outro país. Nós tentamos adaptar-nós mas mesmo assim nunca vamos sentir-nós totalemente ‘ home’.
    Viver dependente dos ‘gifts’ também não é fácil. Precisas de muito fé , e é isso que Deus quer de todos nós. That we all depend on him in everything.
    Uma vida como missionários nem sempre é fácil 🙂 Mas não esqueces que Ele está convosco. Ora muito Nina e mantem o fé que tens em Deus e Ele vai te ajudar passar pelo neste tempo difícil. Mesmo quando não sabes mais o que orar, Ele vê a sua coração 🙂

    Do mesmo modo também o Espírito nos ajuda na fraqueza; porque não sabemos o que havemos de pedir como convém, mas o Espírito mesmo intercede por nós com gemidos inexprimíveis
    Romanos 8:26

    Espero que vais sentir te melhor rápido. Deus te amo e nós também :)))

    Deuteronômio 31:8 – O SENHOR, pois, é aquele que vai adiante de ti; ele será contigo, não te deixará, nem te desamparará; não temas, nem te espantes.

    Beijinhos grandes and I´m realy sorry for your lost.

    Tabita

    • Nina

      Muito obrigada minha linda amiga! Vou estar bem, eu sei. Deus é fiel em tudo. Obrigada pelos orações e pensamentos. Beijinhos

  • http://www.facebook.com/robtaunya.lanham Rob-Taunya Lanham

    Praying for you Ms. Nina and your family! I can only imagine the week you have had. We just got a puppy in June, and she’s the sweetest dog, and the thought of losing her would be hard. I have been there before, and do not want to do it again, but I know it will happen eventually. It still does not make it easy at all. As for faith, HE is increasing it daily, though you may not “feel” it daily. I have been there, though not on foreign shores, feeling much like you are today. And really the only thing I know to say is….Psalm 18:30-32…HIS way is PERFECT! Whether I love it, like it, or maybe some days hate it, whether I agree with it or not, He is God and knows what’s best for you and me. I pray He will give you all that you NEED today, in every way! Your work is not in vain! He loves you so very much, and I do too! Hugs! Taunya

    • Nina

      I miss you Ms. Taunya and our talks over coffee. I’d love a bowl of your chicken wild rice soup right now. And I can’t make pumpkin rolls without visualizing that big house you lived in and had the fall festival at years ago. God is faithful. I know. I will be ok. I know. But some days are so hard. Thank you precious friend, you mean a lot to me.

  • http://www.thedomesticfringe.wordpress.com FringeGirl

    I hate that you lost Major, and another little part of home with him. I love that you shared this though.

    I despise the whole missionary support battle. I so wish I had a good answer to the problem, but it happens to every missionary I know. I wish we (as in the churches in the states who have finances) would just support missionaries for big, giant chunks of support, so the missionaries wouldn’t have to worry about losing $100 here and another $50 here, over and over again. Honestly, it drives me crazy.

    And I wish somehow we could get ourselves to a better financial place in order to support ourselves and missionaries, because right now we’re doing a bad job of supporting ourselves.

    I am praying for you and I wish there was something more I could do. I wish I could just come visit and hang out for a while and do some fun stuff with you.

    I know we’ve never actually met outside blogland, but I love you and your family and hate that you’re struggling over there. Thank you for going and for being faithful.
    ~FringeGirl

    • http://cbcpm.net Nina

      FringeGirl,

      What a hoot we’d be together….You with your nasally northern accent….me with my redneck southern drawl…..Ha! We’d make a great vlog together! We’ll certainly do that when you come visit! 😉

      The whole missionary support battle is stinky to say the least. There just seems like there should be an easier solution. It’s one of the main reasons missionaries leave the field….sigh….who knows? ~ I’m leaving it in His hands. It’s all safe with Him.

      Tricia, I know that God is in control of it all….stress filled days, raising 5 children in a culture that I don’t much agree with, losing my dog, support level decreases, heath struggles…..my life, in this respect, isn’t any different than the average Joe. This I know. It’s just that sometimes I don’t think some folks realize the struggles we have, because we feel we have to write updates that only tell the good things.

      And I guess today, well, today I was ready to let it all out.

      Thanks for your friendship….your family is special to me.

  • maria jorge

    No Nina, we have never met but I’ve been following your blog for quite some time. Keep it up.

    • http://cbcpm.net Nina

      Thanks Maria! If you live in the northern Portugal, we should get together for a cup of coffee. I’d love to meet you personally. Have a great weekend!

  • Brigitta

    I love you thank you for this raw post, it’s refreshing and encouraging to me ( I know that sounds crazy ) I wish I could be there to give you a hug and ask what I can do to help, I hope today is at least a lil better and I pray that the God of all comfort will give you a special peace for today. ((hug))

    • http://cbcpm.net Nina

      Thank so much sweet Brigitta! Yes, today has gotten some better. Sweet encouraging comments (like yours!) has certainly helped brighten my day. I will consider myself hugged….and if you’d just say an extra prayer for me today, well, then you will have done all I could ever ask you to do! Love you…stay sweet….Nina

  • http://anitasstateofgrace.blogspot.com/ Anita

    Nina, my heart goes out to you on your loss. I have felt the loss of a beloved pet and know how much it hurts. I can’t imagine the pain if I were away from my family on the mission field. I wish I could be there to give you a hug, but since I can’t just know I am sending prayers for God’s comfort.

    • http://cbcpm.net Nina

      Thank so much Anita! I will consider myself hugged! My day has brightened some. I really appreciate you taking the time to send me these encouraging words. Have a great weekend!

  • Joanna

    Hey Nina, Just read your blog and was sitting here trying to think about what I could say that would help you today, so I started praying and asking God to help you, to give you strength and grace. Wish I could give you a hug and tell you everything is gonna be ok. God will comfort you and I know that you know that. And it’s ok for you to tell us how you feel. I am so thankful that we have missionary families like yours who are willing to move to foreign fields and work. I’m sorry that I haven’t written to you more, but if it will help you, I will try to write sometimes. If I can help in any way, please let me know. And I am so sorry that you lost your dog, Major. I know that we can become really attached to them. I will be praying for you and I hope you feel better today. Love Ya! Thanks so much for being one of our Missionary families!

    • http://cbcpm.net Nina

      Ms. Joanna….It’s us that’s grateful to be one of your missionaries! Thank you for giving us the opportunity to be an outreach of Grace Ind. Baptist Church! Your words have encouraged my heart, so thank you for taking the time to comment. I know God is in control and I know that I will be just fine….cause my God is Faithful. It’s just that some days I feel all alone, very far away, and I need to tell the world….”Don’t forget about me please!”

      So I guess that’s what i did this morning!

      Thanks again…hugs for your precious family and all those grandbabies!
      😉

  • http://www.lawhons.blogspot.com Liz

    Awe, Nina, so sorry. I think missionaries, like everybody else, have trial and struggles just like everybody else does. After all, you’re just humans trying to get through this thing called life to the best of your ability while serving the Saviour in the way in which he has called you. Life is real, and sometimes messy. Praying for you!!

    • http://cbcpm.net Nina

      Yes mam, Liz! You are right! I’m just a normal person and my struggles are the same, in most aspects, as the next guy. The problem today was that I felt so far away, and no one new I needed an extra prayer. Guess I felt it necessary to tell all of blogland! 😉

      Hope you’re doing well…it’s been a while…

  • wanda williams

    Nina, I know your hurting which makes me hurt. You know there’s nothing I would like better than to have you, Michael, and my babies live right down the road from me. It’s no fun watching them growing up in pictures. But as much as it hurts I rather you be where God has called you to be. Your such a strong woman and I admire you! And you know HE will take care of you. Im praying for you! Go find Michael.. tell him to give you a tight hug and that hug is from me! I gave Terry that hug you told me to and he just smiled and said… from Nina? I love you so much!
    ~Mom~

    • http://cbcpm.net Nina

      I love you too Mom! Thanks for putting up with me.

  • Stacie Cranford

    Ms. Nina,
    I am so sorry to hear about Major. I am truly sorry for your loss. I know how you feel about him. My cat Stuffing was my best friend. He was there for me when my ” friends” forsook me. He loved me all the time. He stayed by my side during my miscarriage of my first baby until my husband could get home to me. I still miss him. I haven’t slept soundly since he left me. I guess I got used to him sleeping with me. I had him 10 years.
    I know how hard it can be living in a foreign country, being so far away from family. Although I was a child, I remember how stressful it was on my parents. Some of my friends left early back to the States because their parents split up. I don’t pretend to know what it’s like to be a missionary and the struggles and stresses that you face. I don’t know any magic words to say that will make you feel better and take it all away. I wish I did 🙁 All I know is that you guys are the strongest family I know, and the sweetest. 🙂 I pray God gives you extra hugs and kisses and gives you that sweet peace that only He can give. I love you guys!

  • http://cbcpm.net Nina

    Thank you sweet Stacie! Your words have certainly encouraged me! (But about the strongest, sweetest family part… Michael and I giggled….and said, “she must not know many families!” 😉 I’m just teasing you…thank you for saying that. I know I will be just fine. Not because of anything that I can do, but because of who HE is! He is faithful and He’s promised to take care of me. I just needed to vent a little today. So, thanks for listening and thanks for caring. Love you…hug that precious family of yours.

  • maria jorge

    I’d love a cup of coffee and a chat with you but I’m several hundred kilometers away. Maybe someday on a eventual trip up north i’ll drop by.

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