Promises are important. Teaching them to little people is important. Modelling the 'keeping of promises' is also important!
The Oxford English Dictionary defines a promise as ...
'a declaration or assurance that one will do something or that a particular thing will happen'
Recently I seem to have been making a lot of promises to Abigail. Ones that I know I can keep ... Ones that I make sure I do. So that she can knows she can trust me in the little things now and when I promise something bigger in the future, she will know that she can continue to trust me.
When we were still living in the States, I made a promise to my family, that I know I will have trouble keeping ... but a promise is a promise and so with their help, I will!
My promise was, not to get involved in anything or volunteer to help in anything for the first six months that we are here in Tanzania.
Does that sound like a strange promise to you? Or one that is easy/hard to keep? Why on earth did I make it, I hear you say! Does it make any sense whatsoever?!!!!
Here are my reasons ...
- Lots of missionary families start out with the best intentions but get involved in too much too quickly ... it's easier to say yes further down the line, than to say no after you've started being involved in something - I have already seen enough things that could fill up all my time and more if I had said yes straight away and we have only been here for 3 weeks! I want a chance to get a good overview of what I can do.
- Some missionary families don't stay the course because some or all of the family members don't settle properly - my primary goal in the first six months is to make sure that we are all really settled and our home really does feel like a home.
- Sometimes missionary families have been known to put their work before their families which doesn't always produce a healthy home life - as we have already moved across the world twice in the last four year I am choosing to put my family first for the time being.
- I had the privilege of being at home during Abigail's early years as my visa in the States wouldn't allow me to work. Now she is at school I want to enjoy that privilege with Naomi too ... they are only young once and I will always cherish the years I have been able to have with them at home. There will still be plenty of things for me to get involved with once Naomi is in school too!
It has already been difficult for me not to step up to fill multiple needs, as that would be the most natural thing for me to do. Areas where I am more than capable of taking a part and many that I used to be involved in when I lived here as a single girl, once upon a time ago, as well! But this time round I am a different person with different responsibilities ... and with a promise to keep to the most important people in my lives!!