With all that's going on, we can't help reflect on this passage above that seems so appropriate for this season... "Be still," or as another translation puts it: "let be," or "cease striving," "cease fighting," or "stop." That seems to be the general message we're all getting these days from the government. It's also a message we get often from the Lord. I don't know about you guys, but I recognize that even as we are being told by our governments to "stop moving!" or "stay still!," I'm still tempted to make my days as full of busy work as I can, albeit from home. If I can be really transparent: this is also true just about whenever I feel the Lord calling me to be still... The minute He gives me a chance or command to stop, lean into Him, depend solely on Him, just be with Him...that's when the temptations & distractions are the strongest to "go, go, go."
Exactly two weeks ago things changed pretty drastically here in Peru as we've now been under a pretty strict quarantine & martial law for the past 14 days. On the practical day-to-day experience, it means only 1 member of the family (Nemo! :) leaves the house 2 or 3 times a week to buy food from the local market (see pictures of our local, now "masked" market below); there are military check points on the main roads to arrest anyone not complying with the rules; we have a strict military curfew from sun-down to sun-up; all non-essential shops, stores, restaurants, & social sites have been closed; almost all work (both office-type & manual labor/building) has been paused; all church or social events has been postponed, and all non-emergency travel (domestic & international, including air, water, & land) has been stopped.
It's tempting to see this time as a loss or set-back in "work" and ministry. But, another way we are trying to see it here is as an opportunity! A rare opportunity to slow down and spend more time, not producing or doing, but connecting with & reflecting on our Savior. While this sounds simple, I'm finding it hard to do. In our first 14 days of quarantine here in Peru, admittedly I've thrown myself into doing as much busy work around the house as possible. "There's so much we never have time to do! This is our chance!" - at least that's what my brain tells me. :) Now that our quarantine has been extended by 2 more weeks (at least), I'm hoping to do better in slowing down, heeding the Lord's call to be still, & not letting the need to "do" rob me of the many opportunities to connect with the Lord that we have now that we're house bound. We hope you are finding more time in this global pause to do the same! :)
Adding up our comings & goings from before + these past 2 weeks, we've now officially lived in our "new" house a total of about a month! We have a big yard and lots of gardening activities that have kept us sane: pulling weeds, planting a few small veggie gardens, setting up a compost, and removing huge stumps. It's a huge blessing to be able to go outside without breaking the rules of the quarantine. Plus, it's given us the chance to get a little better settled into our new home. :)
We're also blessed to share our new home with those around us! Before this whole quarantine got underway, we met a local couple who needed a place to stay because of an unplanned pregnancy. They have become such great friends and their baby girl continues to lighten our days with her coos and smiles! It's been great practice for us to be living with a baby! :) They've been working on building a house so they can move into their own place and were almost finished before everything came to a standstill with the quarantine. As much as we don't want to see them go, as soon as this lock down lets up & they can finish building, they plan to move to their new home. In the mean time, we are enjoying having them stay with us!
Speaking of a baby, this week we're finishing up our 22nd week of pregnancy, which means we're officially finishing up our 5th & heading into our 6th month. Only 4 months left before we get to meet this guy or gal! We'll hopefully find out if we're having a boy or girl once all this quarantine business calms down, so for now, we're just calling him/her, "baby." Baby loves to kick & do flips, and especially likes to do these gymnastics at night to keep mom up. ;D We can't wait to meet Baby and can't believe how fast time is flying! Hope you enjoy the baby bump pics from these past few weeks!