After our dinner cruise on the Nile River – probably one of the most unforgettable moments of my life – we stayed over in a nearby town with a missionary couple of some friends of my son and daughter-in-law’s.  This couple lived in a sufficient and charming home with two lovely daughters.  I always find it interesting how as Christians you can meet other Christians for the very first time and feel an immediate bond with them.

After enjoying a tasty breakfast and catching up on our email and facebook posts (one of the last opportunities we would have for such activity for quite awhile), we set off for a quaint mountain lodge (a mountain top retreat unspoiled and seemingly hidden away from the rest of the world).

I am a mountain girl at heart, so I was in my element around the happy little  stream that  trickled through the lodge property.  Got my toes wet as is my custom whenever I spy a clear running mountain stream:

Wet feet!

Sipi Lodge

This is the building that housed the restaurant which served some pretty impressive and tasty meals for us during our stay.  Located beside the eating area was a reading/visiting area where we went to visit and relax.  We affectionally called it The Hobbit room b/c it was just that cozy.  Here’s my husband and grandson spending some quiet time together.  Well, maybe not so quiet for the little guy looks like he’s crying.

Grandaddy w/Shep

Grandaddy w/Shep

The cottage hidden by the trees is where we stayed.  We could sit on the back porch (you can see it peeking out from the trees) and have a full view of that beautiful waterfall just beyond.

Our hideaway!

Our hideaway!

There's two!

There’s two!

The above view reveals two waterfalls.  This photo was taken at a different angle from the cottage porch.

Baby on the outside!

Baby on the outside!

On a trip to this lodge before our grandson was born, our daughter-in-law had a picture made in this very spot.  So when she returned after he was born she had another picture taken with baby on the outside!

Here I am with my son after hiking with a guide all the way to the top of the waterfalls.  It was a strenuous hike but well worth it for the memories we made.

On top of the world!

On top of the world!

So what’s my take on all of this?

As I think back over the days I spent trying to prepare myself to deal with having a son living on another continent, I took to heart the thought that God would bless us for our sacrifice.  It didn’t make the pain go away, of course, but that kind of thinking made it more bearable.

So above you see the visual representation of those blessings.  Not only was it a happy time that we packed with memories, those memories continued to sustain us after we returned home.

If you would ask me, which would you rather have–experiences in exotic places with my son or memories with him here at home?  Of course, what mom wouldn’t rather have her children close by.  

BUT that is not what God called my son to do!  The temptations to ponder thoughts contrary to what is reality for us are destructive and would place a burden on all relationships concerned.  

So what do I do instead?

I choose to submit to God’s will and thank Him for a son who loves Him with all his heart and desires to live in the center of His will, and for a daughter-in-law who feels the same way.  When God called my son to missions, He had already begun preparing my heart for the sacrifices it would require of me. Over and over again I have found God’s grace to be sufficient.

Not only have I found peace in all of this, I have experienced more joy than I could imagine.  I know that there will be much to enjoy in the future and God’s grace will continue to be sufficient making the separation that is reality for us doable.