Friday, January 31, 2014

Why I'm not returning to Zambia this year

One question I have heard a lot this year is....are you going back to Zambia this year?


Followed by why not?

Well that's where the question gets hard. My short answer is I don't really know why. 
I really wish I had a better answer but I don't.

When I first started thinking about returning to Zambia this year I had a plan for my family and that was that we would be expanding our family.  So I would take a year off of going to Zambia.  My plan wasn't going exactly how I planned it but when the directors of Nurses for Africa asked if I wanted to lead again this year I asked for a deadline for an answer. I wanted to pray about it and really I tried to bargain with God. 
So ok my deadline mid October....while talking to God I said ok God if I'm pregnant I obviously don't go if I'm not pregnant by then I go. So I spent a lot of time in prayer and I had a little nudge from God I needed to make a decision.  Pregnant or not pregnant my decision to return could not be based on a pregnancy.  I knew I wasn't supposed to return this year so with that I called and let one of the directors know I would not be going back this year but I really want to return some day. It wasn't an easy decision but I felt a huge sense of peace and knew it was the right decision. 

Then the very next day I found out I was pregnant.  Which just confirmed my decision that this is what God wanted, this was God's plan. 4 weeks later I ended up in extreme pain doubled over and being rushed to the doctor to confirm that my pregnancy was ectopic and that I needed surgery that day to remove the child I was carrying inside me. Ultrasound confirmed the diagnosis and our child did not have a heartbeat. 
November and December was a mess of emotions. I had a lot of Anger, I had a lot of why God's, and a lot of tears. My plan was ruined, I had a plan! So then it was well am I supposed to go back to Zambia?  I mean now I really have no reason not to return but even in my anger and emotions I heard God. "Your decision was not made based on a pregnancy it was based on my plan for your life"

And here I am January has brought a lot of peace and I know God has a plan for our lives and a reason I'm not returning to Zambia. So I wait,  wait for God's plan which I have faith will be so much better then mine!!

This isn't an easy post to write and some people might feel like I'm crazy for sharing too much information I'm a pretty open person so ask questions if you want:).  But I really felt like God's was there watching over me during this time and by sharing this it might help someone else have the same peace I have knowing God is always there even in the hard times.

Jeremiah 29:11
"For I know the plans I have for you" declares the Lord.


Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Sowers Family 2013

Our Christmas Newsletter and update on our family. We have enjoyed receiving everyone's Christmas cards this year and keeping in touch with friends.

Brandon- The head guy, the leader of our family. Brandon is still working for the FSA in butler county. We had a challenging October while the government was on furlough unsure of what was to come. Brandon continued to provide for our family after being able to get his CDL and pick up side jobs working for Sinclair elevator and other farmers. Brandon is a hard worker as he continues to work weekends driving semi in addition to his FSA job and having pigs here at our house. He enjoys spending time with his family and having the girls help him on the farm. Brandon has also grown an "Epic" beard this year making him famous and better known as Yukon.

Nicole- I made a big change this year by quitting my job at Covenant.  It was a hard decision but what was best for our family.  I continue to work in the ER once a week in Waverly and every 3rd weekend as a "House Supervisor"/resource nurse. I've enjoyed my new role and set schedule.  Along with this job I also serve lunch at times at Teagan's school,  drive the bus (also got my CDL:), and school janitor, and tutor for 6-7 year olds at our homeschooling group that Teagan and Harper attend on Tuesday's. I also was able to return to Zambia for my second year. Zambia feels like a second home to me.

Teagan (5)-Started Kindergarten at Timothy Christian school.  She's enjoyed going to school M-W-F and being home with mom on the other days. She is an excellent reader and loves to be with friends. Teagan continues to take Horse Lessons and loves to ride. She also just picked up piano lessons and really enjoying it.

Harper (4)- Oh Harper is our energetic keep you on your toes kid. Harper struggled at first having big sister gone a few days a week but is starting to enjoy being the oldest and has matured a lot in the last couple months. Harper is doing great at our homeschooling group and is eager to keep learning.  Harper's favorites this year at school are the solar system and geography.  She also began gymnastics this year which has been excellent outlet for all that energy!!

Blakely (3)- To say she's obsessed with horses is an understatement.  So much we decided to have her start taking lessons this fall. She is a great listener for her teacher and is constantly saying "wide around" and "woah". Blakely also isn't afraid to talk to anyone and be prepared she LOVES to talk and tell stories.  (She's a lot like her mamma ;)

We've had our challenges this year which I'm sure others have too. But reflecting back over 2013 we have been incredibly blessed. God continues to provide for our needs and show his love for us.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Furlough Day #15

Currently Brandon is furloughed by the federal government,  his work is considered "non-essential". A lot of this makes me angry,  scared,  and anxious.

The media makes me mad, there is no such thing as non-bias journalism. Please report the facts not your opinion and quite frankly I think your way off on your opinion!!

I'm scared,  I look at our country and just can't believe where we are at.  The scary part to me is that there is a vote, we voted to be controlled by our government (well i didn't,  but obviously many people did).  The people want the government to control their medical care, their food, their families, etc. When did we go from limited government power to here you control of it??!! When did we become such a divided country?  There will be no middle grounds there is only a winner and a loser in this government shutdown. We have seen no compromise from imo a particular's their way or no way! (That's scary stuff)

And I'm anxious!  Brandon is the provider in our house. He makes around 80 percent of our income.  He is now on his 3rd week of no pay. Senate has not passed the bill the back pay them. We don't have any idea when this will all end!! I like to plan, I like to know what's going to happen next, and I hate surprises.

With all this anger, being scared, and anxiety I just keep turning to God. Knowing God will provide for our needs, our family will eat, we will have shelter,  and heat in the winter.  God comforts me.

There have been days ok really moments in each day that the anxiety creeps up, I get a little crazy,  a little obsessed,  look at too much news, and I lose trust in God. But I can see God at work......

I'm thankful it is harvest time which provides Brandon with some work. I am thankful for friends who have been more then willing to find hours for Brandon to drive semi and haul grian or to work in the field. I'm thankful Brandon has his CDL. I'm thankful Brandon is willing to work so hard for our family because he loves us.  I'm thankful my parents have been so willing to help, they've watched the girls when Brandon and I both worked on the weekend,  they gave us extra food, they've listened when I'm frustrated or just need to talk. I'm thankful for our church who have been supportive and praying.  I'm thankful that some day I will be able to read about this in the history books. I'm thankful we had a great harvest this year in our garden. I'm thankful we had a tree full of pears, I'm thankful that friends have had way too many apples on their trees and have been willing to share. I'm thankful for the amazing weather we have had this fall.  I'm thankful for my 3 little blessings. The list could just go on and on. Even in the hardest of times we have so much to be thankful for!!

For now I need to focus on the good,  not the bad and leave the rest up to God.

Joshua 1:9

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

First Day of Kindergarten!

Teagan started Kindergarten today! It's hard to believe she is already 5 and starting school.  Brandon and I have prayed a lot over the last year on making a decision of sending Teagan to school and what is the best fit for HER.

We are really excited to have her at Timothy Christian School. Her kindergarten class is only 5 kids and she only goes Monday, Wednesday,  Friday.  They started the morning with chapel and I love that God is the center of their education. 

Teagan did great,  I didn't get a goodbye or anything. She was ready to go, ready to learn, and I'm sure she will have a great day!!!

Harper didn't handle it so well...there were a lot of tears, a lot of when is TT coming home, is she on the bus yet?, and it is only 10:30. Luckily it's a short day :)

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Sink or Swim

My girls won't be on the swim team anytime soon or probably ever but swim lessons are going much better then last year.

We made the decision to not do group lessons this year because my children were traumatized by the forcing of jumping off the diving board last year. They want nothing to do with being near the deep end and for right now that's fine with me.
This week we are doing private lessons with a high schooler the girls know from church.  It has gone so much better and the girls are becoming more comfortable in the water. 

The girls might be scared of the diving board but put them on all the rides at Arnold's Park and they aren't scared of anything! 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Random facts about my trip in Africa

I showered 2 times in 10 days.

I got zapped both times I showered, electric current I felt to my toes. (It hurt!)

Both showers were very cold!

We lost electricity one night and packed meds in the dark.

The best meal we had was in Susu at the feeding point after we served the kids on kids day. They make some good chicken!

Nothing seems to go as planned while you are in Africa.

The Kwacha is easier now that they dropped 3 zeros, the pound still confuses me!

I dislike London. 

Leading a team is hard yet rewarding.  I had an awesome team!

I am bad about being a back seat driver!  Even 4 rows back, at times you just have to close your eyes!

Spider's eat bugs so don't kill them.

Ant Lion's really bite and it hurts!

I am getting old I was worn out after running one lap of the field with the nursery age kids!

Teaching kids games in a different language is hard. But they did love the hokey pokey :)

When Chipolopolo plays you don't actually have to be watching the game you know when they score by the hollering and cheering.  Plus the adorable little boys running down the dirt road screaming Zambia Zambia!! Football aka Soccer is very exciting :)

Saying goodbye is hard.  I have cried a lot!

I love Zambia! I love Susu! I can't wait to return!

Care Worker appreciation

One of my favorite days of the week is Care Worker appreciation day. The care workers are the leaders in the village they walk the paths daily,  they know exactly who is sick, which children are orphaned,  who the most vulnerable are and what the needs are. They don't get paid to care for their community, there are no rewards,  they just have hearts of gold and really care about the village of Susu.

We get to treat them one day. It's a special day and there is lots of food,  and a fun game of bingo.  They come dressed in there very best and we all have a great time. We build closer relationships with them. We also sing and dance praising God for the work he has done throughout the week.

I love seeing the smiles on their face and how they light up when they win a game of bingo :)

At the end of the day it was hard to say goodbye.  I talked with pastor Sanday and told him to not forget me that if I don't return next year I will be back in Susu some day. I hope I can start supporting Susu more and continue to build relationships.  As far as what next year holds only God knows for sure.