November 2021

Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good, for His lovingkindness is everlasting.

Psalm 136:1

November has been very busy for our family. Nearly every weekday is filled with either meetings or errands for Matt, and for me (Noelle); school and managing the household (and all the neighbor children who end up in our yard every afternoon).

Early in the month I had the privilege to speak at a women’s conference with another woman of our foreign staff. I felt very humbled to stand before a church full of women, most very much older than I, and teach on Ephesians 5:22 “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.” I, who could have been the granddaughter of many of them, was to teach them how to submit, most to unbelieving husbands. I taught on humbling yourself in the sight of the Lord, so that He is the one to lift you up. I also shared in many ways the idea that, just as God saw that it was good when His word was carried out at creation, it is also good when we follow His commands today. I think the conference went on well. It has brought me into a season of thankfulness for the gift of womanhood, and God’s calling on me to be a wife and mom.

Perhaps it is a result of my fathers passing, perhaps it is also due to studying for the conference, but the fact has been often on my mind that my role as a wife and mother is more of a calling than a job. When we first came onto the mission field I knew that my primary objective was to keep Matt as free as possible for his daily work, and to care for and teach our kids. It is fairly simple when I write it that way. Being removed from the comfort of culturally-similar parents (our team being the exception) has shown me how much I leaned on the parenting and examples of others whom I look up to, instead of checking everything first by Gods Word. There is great strength in a group of people who believe the same things and work toward the same goals, but when you are removed from that is when your beliefs are really tested. I have not “arrived”, but I have been given great peace in knowing that God called me to be a wife and mom, if not before marriage than certainly now that I am married and have children. The comfort lies in knowing that it is my responsibility to parent lovingly, gently, firmly, sloooowly, and consistently, not because I “have to”, but because that is part of saying “yes” to Gods call on my life. And when Gods word is accomplished, it is good, just like at creation. 

So although we have been busy this month and have strained my comfort levels by pushing our flexible schedule a little too far, and although I feel more lonely than I have in a long time due to missing my fathers funeral and grieving together with my family, I also feel more fulfilled than I think I ever have before. Praise God that He gives us His word and teachings to light the path! 

I have been trying to keep as many things off of Matts plate as possible this month as he hones in on teachers guides through the Old Testament, and as he works hard to get the new Terebinth School of Discipleship campus built. It is also exciting to be one of Matts consultants in this project. I love architecture and design, and I’m thankful for the chance to use one of my many passions for the sake of the Kingdom.

I hope you have enjoyed a more personal style of update from me as a wife and mom. And I hope you enjoy the pictures of some of the things I do in those roles!

Blessings to you in Christ from the Harris family.