April 2012 Plattner Family Update
Our parenting skills need some serious help! It is not uncommon for us to get to the end of our day absolutely beside ourselves. And, by “beside ourselves,” we literally mean that we can clearly see ourselves in two distinct ways. The Bible calls it spirit and flesh, but for the sake of this conversation, we will call it good parent and bad parent, or proactive and reactive, or loving and angry. After awhile, this tension continues to beat us up and we end up in the black and blue of depression. Over the past month, the contrast between our bad parenting and the perfect parenting of God as our heavenly father has become increasingly clear. When the bad parent rears its ugly head, we crumble in need of grace. Then, in the light of that grace, we a get renewed glimpse of our Father’s love for us. It is in understanding this love that we stand in awe knowing that our behavior towards Him is not far from the behavior in our children that sends us into bipolar mode. We know His love for us is consistent, compassionate, and faithful. We have been wrestling through these thoughts in prayer this month. In new ways, we have sensed the Father’s love and in spite of the ugliness of “bad parent,” we know His Fatherly care shaping us into His image.
April has been a monumental month, an intense month. April started with us moving to Montego Bay for a week. Our sending church was arriving for a week of ministry. They were here for the first week of April and it was a blessed week. The group was great and we spent the entirety of our time ministering at a local home for the infirmed. The ministry consisted of some heavy construction, some maintenance work, a lot of singing, and most importantly, simply loving the residents. The fellowship was sweet. The nursing home was ecstatic for the work that was completed and the residents really appreciated all of the love and attention.
After saying goodbye to the Leo team, we moved back up to Knockpatrick. We were still in the middle of a serious ride on the emotional roller coaster as we dealt with the hangover from the Leo team. But, the ride wasn’t over because that Sunday was Easter, a day of celebration. Then, on Easter Sunday evening, we had a farewell dinner as a team with the Huber family. On the next Tuesday, we said our final goodbyes as the Huber family moved back to the states. This turned the roller coaster ride into high gear as we will miss them so much. We have done a lot of life together with the Huber family over the past few years and it has been hard to see them move. But, at the same time, we trust God’s plan for their family and know that our relationship will continue over the miles.
The rest of the month, the roller coaster slowed down. We had a little bit of down time before we welcomed a team from Florida. We were blessed by the work and friendship of a team from Seffner Christian Academy. As the team wrapped up their work, we were graced by a visit from Keri’s parents. The time with Grandpa and Grandma Kaeb was great. We enjoyed hosting them for a few days at our apartment before we went together on a little vacation. As we have stated before, the distance between Grandparents and Grandkids continues to be one of our biggest struggles. But, at the same time, we have clearly witnessed God’s grace in closing that gap for our kids as we have witnessed their deep love and connection to their grandparents.
Throughout the month of April, we have really committed our plans to the Lord in prayer. This summer looks like it will be a time of transition. We are praying about moving out of our small apartment and we are asking the Lord to show us the way. We are trusting Him as our faithful Father as we do not know if this means a simple move into town or a big move into a different ministry. Thank you for praying with us and for your love and support.