Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Soccer and Re-Entry

Jackson's first day of soccer was this week. I'm not sure how I feel about it yet. I never played soccer and I never played any sport until I was older, so it feels a little weird. I'm sure in a few weeks I'll get the hang of being a soccer mom (yikes) and it will be fun. One thing I am very, very sure of is that parenting on the sidelines is going to be a refining experience.

He was do darn cute. But he would not want you to tell him that.

This is my daughter plotting her badness.

This morning I accidentally called his uniform a soccer outfit. Oops.

Annabeth begging for attention.

Forget this! Me and my stroller are out.

Jackson is in the entry level of this soccer league and it only requires one hour a week. They get instruction for the first 30 minutes and then scrimmage for the next 30 minutes. He was thoroughly worn out after practice, which is a hard thing to accomplish with this boy!

Today Annabeth is wearing the dress I bought her at the airport in Guatemala. She was sitting in the toy basket when I took this.

Speaking of Guatemala, I want offer a very heartfelt thank you for your support during our trip. You efforts to pray, encourage, comment, tweet, link, write to your sponsor kids, and sponsor new ones were amazing. It means the world to me and to all of us who were there. I'm confident that your efforts will bear fruit in the lives of many children. May God be glorified!

The night before we came home, Shaun and Patricia gave us some advice for re-entry. Every single thing they said about what it would be like to come home was right. I cried pretty much all day Monday. I was here but my thoughts were elsewhere. My heart hurt so badly. There's also something complicated about having a life-altering experience with people who are not in your everyday life and do not live anywhere close to you. I was feeling very alone. Then my sister called me and we talked for nearly an hour about our trips. That helped a ton. I know that re-acclimating to regular life will take a bit of time, but I don't want my regular life back.


Sunni said...

Wow! I logged on to blogger at the right time. I needed some soccer talk. My daughter starts next week and I am a nervous wreck. I never did sports, either. I'm glad to hear that it got some of Jackson's energy out. That is a huge hope of mine, as well. Can't wait to see how his season goes.

Ken Summerlin said...

Thank you for investing your time and talent to go to Guatemala with Compassion and blog your experience. I enjoyed reading the different perspectives from the 4 of you on the same experience and sharing what you learned from them. I encouraged others to follow your blogs and compiled a short list of what I learned from you on my blog today.


Ashley Beth said...

Our boys are nearly the exact same age and mine just started soccer too! We just focus on kicking the ball in the right direction on those pint-sized fields. Goals are just a big bonus (we don't even have goalies at this age). Have fun with it, I'm sure Jackson will!

I was just wondering the other day after reading your Guatemala posts what it would be like to come back to your "real life" in America. I imagine it's difficult and hard to process. I will pray for your heart and for God to continue to be glorified. Blessings to you today, Amanda!

Sitesx6 said...

I loved your Compassion posts.

I went to Hait this summer with Samaritan's Purse, to work on a mobile medical clinic. This was my first mission trip. I felt the same way you seem to be feeling, when I had re-entry back home. I felt spaced out for 3 days after I got home, I cried, I didn't sleep well, I couldn't function well, and my heart and thoughts were constantly with Haiti. They still are, but I'm much better, 5 weeks out.

Thanks for going. If you are like me, you want to remember, and you want the changes you feel to stay with you, that is part of the re-entry process, I think, to figure out how to live out the changes you feel now. :)

Kelly in Michigan

Lauren said...

He has got to be the cutest Soccer player I have ever seen!!!!! :)
Praying for you as you re-adjust!!!

Lindsee said...

Did you know I played soccer when I was 5? I was about as attentive to it as Annabeth was just watching. So pitiful. Then I got pneumonia half way through the season and was done! It was a funny experience to say the least. Jackson is so cute in his "outfit". :)

Also, re-entry is a huge thing. A lady I used to work with now works with Pioneers ministry working with people who've just returned from a trip. It's so tough. I'm praying for you still!

Sister Lynn said...

There is something so darling about a sweaty-headed littelboy!

I have been praying for you - I know this time of transition will be difficult. Thank you for being willing to let your life be changed and by doing so changing ours as well.
The Church is edified and God is glorified!
blessings, Sister Lynn

Lisa-Jo Baker said...

Oh my heart - too much cuteness!!

Marc and Charity said...

Bless you! I know things are a bit different- but re-entry is always tough, not matter where you've been. That is exactly how I feel about life in America after living elsewhere- I never want my old life back. praying for you.

Elizabeth said...

Welcome home! AB looks darling in her little dress. Brynne has started collecting dresses just like that when she visits Spanish speaking countries for...someday. They are precious.

Ann Voskamp @Holy Experience said...

Oh Amanda...

Annabeth looks beautiful in her dress -- I could just see her in it when you picked it out ---and she looks even more radiant in it than I had imagined!

I get the feeling alone, Amanda. Malakai whispered to Levi yesterday, "Why does Mom keep crying?" I wish all of us, you and Lisa-Jo and Lindsey and Patricia and Shaun and Dustin could process together... Maybe we do, a bit, through our blogs, us reaching out to each other.

I am so grateful that you have Melissa, who has experienced all of this firsthand in India... you are blessed, Amanda...

And He walks with us... with all of us.

I keep clinging --- giving thanks that we all pilgrimage together and He leads us on -- into a life that will be realer than whatever the life was we were living before.

Yes, Amanda --- I pray we never go back to "regular" life again! Beautifully expressed!

One foot in front of the other --- out into a new way of living...

All's grace,

Kristin said...

Love you, Amanda. Thank you for sharing your journey and your heart with us. Trusting the Lord will open the next door soon for Him to walk your shoes through.

Kristen said...

You will always have some of your heart in Guatemala I am sure. I have been thinking about your sweet reunion with your family this week.

Jackson looks adorable and I laughed outloud about the "outfit" because I would have said same thing.

Ellery asked to play soccer this year and Nathan quickly said no...not ready to give up saturday mornings. your league sounds much more do-able. we will stick with ballet for now i suppose.

Stacy said...

I want you to know that because of the things you wrote about in Guatemala about Compassion brought tears to my eyes and sometimes full out ugly crying. It breaks my heart and makes me realize my need for Christ and how much my $38.00 does for our two children in Dominican Republic. I sat down and wrote to them, because I realized how much it would mean to them. Thank you for letting me see that!

debra parker said...

i remember re-entry after my first trip to Haiti. i also traveled with no one that was in my daily life. that is hard but, the aftermath of that is sweet, sweet friendships. many of us have now adopted together.

Bobbie said...

You'll be a great soccer Mom! I also think Annabeth won't stay still too long to watch a soccer game! She's absolutely adorable, even while plotting her badness :)!! I agree with Sister Lynn--sweaty-headed little boys are darling. (Don't tell Jackson we said that!!)

I'm so glad you have your Mom & Melissa to talk with after a trip like this. You blessed so many children AND all of us on this blog and the LPM blog. Your encouragement means a lot.

Kara Akins said...

I have done a mission trip or two where I had so much trouble adjusting to regualr life. Now I'm working w/ impoverished local kids and it is a whole different experience. Their need is always at our front door. Their problems are also our problems and it requires so much perseverence, wisdom and balance. I have never felt more "poured out" in my entire life. At the same time I have never felt closer to the heart beat of God.

Congrats to Jackson on his soccer! Go Jackson!!!

Deidre said...

Oh, Amanda - he is so cute! When my girls leave for their games on Saturdays (they are 8 and 5), I always say, "Have the best time!!" and they always finish get into the car after the game and say, "We had the best time". I told my husband with the ages they were if they ever said it wasn't fun, we're outta here. Puts it all into perspective.

I have enjoyed reading about your trip.
We sponsor 2 children as a result of the Compassion bloggers' trips. We were fortunate to be able to find children with the exact same birthdays as my children. That common thing has been a blessing to us as we prepare for their birthdays. Thanks for going and being Jesus' hands and feet.

Dionna said...

When I came back from Panama I was so unmotivated. Why sweep the floor? Why dust? Does it really matter in the long run? It just seemed so unimportant. All I wanted to do was impact people. I suppose a little of that has stayed with me - some has faded as time makes it do. But I long to go on the field again and be reminded of my purpose in life. My blessings. And then come home and try to somehow get others to understand, and to act.

Angela said...

I love his soccer outfit too! ha

I did get my compassion girl some stickers and a new coloring book. She is such a sweet little girl. I loved reading about your trip. I would love to one day go to Ethiopia to meet "Greta". (That is what we call her because we don't know how to pronounce her name! ;0

I will be praying for you! Thanks for going, I hope thousands get sponsored. It really is such a blessing to be apart of!!

Bev Brandon @ The Fray said...

My daughter came back after 3 years in remote villages in Thailand. Sooo hard! No matter if you are there or here, Psam 66:2 to this one I look and that would be you. Last verse in Ezeiel, your place right here is named "The LORD is there." Your boy is so last son's 4-year-old soccer pic sits on my desk---he just left for college. Blink! Your boy is precious!

Kari said...

All I can say is that your trip, and the way you wrote about it, was amazing!

You made me feel like I was there through the stories you wrote.

The stories made my heart hurt and my stomach upset and yet at the same time I loved reading about your JOY! I can only imagine how you felt and continue to! I will never forget those vultures.

You are a such a caring woman Amanda -thanks for sharing your life! It is truly inspirational!

Good luck with soccer season! I am a soccer mom too!

Lindsey Nobles said...

Jackson looks so much like you. His eyes are beaming in that soccer outfit. I miss you. I feel your pain. Re-acclimating is impossible. You fight to feel normal, and at the same time don't want to feel normal at all.

Marla Taviano said...

Nina started soccer for the first time too. Her older sisters are really good. I'm not sure she's going to follow suit. :)

And I'm soooo glad you have Melissa and that missions trip connection. Such a huge blessing.

After Cambodia, I don't want my regular life back either. And I love how God keeps moving and moving and pretty much guaranteeing that I couldn't get it back if I tried.

I love you much.

Spicy Magnolia said...

Plotting...oh, I understand the plotting! A various assortment of facial expressions and even grunts accompanies Brennan's plotting.

The only thing about being a soccer mom that I am digging my heals into the ground resisting is the minivan. Nooo minivan!

There's no doubt about it: Jackson is cute in his 'outfit'! :)

Yes, re-entry is hard. You are changed, and I pray that the Lord helps you communicate to your family all that you experienced and what is on your heart. He has an amazing way of doing that. I have more to express...mostly excitement about all the Lord is doing in your heart even though it's hard and painful...but I feel like I'd just ramble. But know that I continue to pray for you! Love to you!

Psalm 126:5-6
5Those who sow in tears shall reap with joyful shouting.
He who goes to and fro weeping, carrying his bag of seed,
Shall indeed come again with a shout of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.

Kelli said...

Praying for God to make your "regular" life a changed one! :)

You are such an inspiration.

Anna said...

First of all, your kids are adorable. Secondly, I just came your way through your comment on Lauren Chandler's blog, and I am happy to have found your blog... I love the title and the design! It's so exciting that you went on the Guatemala trip. I love Compassion bloggers and I hope that you are resettling into home life smoothly.

Fran said...

Thinking about you and the "re-entry" part of it all and saying a prayer over you this morning.

Be blessed.

Angie @ Flibbertigibberish said...

Amanda, thank you for your sharing your tender heart while in Guatemala and since your return. I'm thankful you have Melissa and your trip mates to relate to now that you're back and trying to process it all. I can only imagine that God is relishing the fact that you've come back changed. What a waste if you were able to pop back into normal life unaffected by the contrast of your world here and the one you visited!

Also, how darn cute is soccer star Jackson?! My oldest daughter started soccer last fall and I thought she was the cutest thing ever. But like you, I had no prior soccer experience and made a major soccer mom faux pas - I blogged about it and you'll get a kick (no pun intended) out of this:

Kim Safina said...

NOthing like a boy in his uniform!

I was blessed to raise 2 boys well, actually "3" if you count my husband! Laughing Out Loud!

Now, I am blessed to attend more soccer games and watch my darling little nephew, William kick that ball around.

Why do boys always SMELL LIKE WET DOGS before,during and after sporting events???

Love you!!

Molly said...

He is so handsome! Yikes - you called it an 'outfit,' that is hilarious! My brother and his wife have learned to be side-line parents and I do know that my brother has been refined.
The bottom line seems to be take it in stride. Its a game, its not their life, have fun - it's about the kids. So glad he got to wear himself out, so precious!