Rachel is married, and Gus is in college in the US. Ben still lives at home, but he is now enrolled in an excellent bilingual school in our area, and will start attending classes there in January, so he won't be around the house much now. Boo has one foot out the door. She's finishing up some high school studies, but she's been mostly independent in her schooling for years now, and she's traveling quite a bit right now. She just spent a couple of weeks on the north coast, visiting friends at the Loma de Luz Hospital, and now she's in the capital, Tegucigalpa, spending the rest of the holidays with Rachel and Brandy. She takes her school books with her, and manages "homeschooling" on the road!
It's been a challenge for me to adjust to these changes. I'm delighted to find that I still enjoy spending time alone with my husband, and I'm renewing some of my long-lost hobbies, even playing the piano and sketching again. I have less laundry to do, of course, but there are also fewer minions to help with all of the housework, so that's become more work for me. I'm trying to rethink the whole process of keeping house, now that so much has changed.
I also want to be more efficient and purposeful in the part of the ministry work that generally has been my responsibility . . . which is communicating with our friends and supporters. Over the years, I've found this to be a continually changing challenge for me. At first I wrote a monthly newsletter, which went out by email and regular mail. Then we set up a website, and tried to keep that updated, so that people would have access to more info and pictures, in a more up-to-date format.
In 2007 I discovered the blogosphere, and started blogging regularly. The newsletters, became "occasional" instead of "monthly," as it became hard for me to find things to share that I hadn't already posted on the blog. Gradually, instead of newsletters, we substituted short emails, for extremely important news . . . like kidnappings, etc.
Only a few years ago I succumbed to the world of Facebook,
and I haven't been extremely successful at balancing Facebook, blogging, emails, and personal communications. I really have tried, though.
While I'm still struggling with all of that, there are also Twitter (yes, I have a twitter account, but I still don't really know what to do with it) and Google +, and Facetime, and Skype, and Instagram, and . . .
I haven't updated the website in quite a while, because the program I was using became obsolete, and I haven't found the time to learn a new program, so that I can edit the site! I'm getting kind of old and tired . . . and technology is definitely changing faster than I can keep up!
At the same time, Allen pretty regularly takes time to make phone calls and connect with people that way.
I'll be honest here. We work hard at this stuff, and still people remark to us that they haven't heard anything from us in a while! Generally I assume this is because they are only watching one or another of these communications outlets, and our time and energy is being spread between a bunch of them. If a person only reads my emails, or only catches me when one of my FB posts hits their feed, or just reads the blog, I'm sure it looks like we've cut back on communications, because they are only seeing a fraction of what we're putting out there.
In order to help me do my job better, I'd like to ask for your input on this. Tell me where you currently see or hear the most information from us. Tell me which communication method you would most likely see and pay attention to. Is there a different method of communicating that you would like to recommend to me? Give me your honest thoughts on how I can do a better job here - because, really, I can use the help!
Thanks so much for helping me with this!