Hello and goodbye!

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The Luxury of Having Them Home!

   As I keep up with my son and his family on Facebook, I am happy to see that they are getting that physical and emotional rest they need to prepare them for their next venture. We got to see them a couple of weeks in May, which could only be described as glorious chaos! Since then they have spent time with my daughter in law’s family and are presently spending time at a place that, for them, is also home. Then a week to debrief with their mission organization. Hopefully, in a couple of weeks, I will be traveling there to get in an extra week of time with them. Then in August they will be making their way here to spend their last stateside month with us before they leave the country so my son can work on his master’s degree abroad.

   Being able to pick up a phone and call them, or communicating with them easily via FaceTime, email, etc., I now see as a luxury. For while they were out of the country, our connections weren’t always good and often their internet was down. But not so here in the good ole USA ,and I am grateful beyond words.

   I so look forward to their month long visit in August and, of course, dread the day we will have to say goodbye again. But even then God has given us a lot to look forward to  before they actually have to return to Africa. Visiting them in the country where my son will be studying is definitely something I am making plans for, and my son’s last term is a research semester where they will return home for 3 months to wrap things up. And the fact that they are planning on coming home for Christmas, cheers me up immensely!

The Reality of Saying Goodbye!

   In all this coming and going since my son and daughter in law left home 4 1/2 years ago, God has gently guided me every step of the way! He has empowered me to manage the pain of releasing them to live their lives apart from us without it overwhelming me. I recorded that lesson in a blog I wrote on 10/7/14, Just Keep THAT Door Closed. From that lesson I learned I could choose not to open the door where painful emotions resided. By refusing to open that door, I was choosing to focus on receiving all the grace and mercy God had in store for me as I obediently released my son and his precious family to God’s calling upon their lives. 

   I am discovering that while it still hurts to say goodbye, I know because I’ve experienced it, God has some exciting and extraordinary plans for those of our family who must release, as well as for those who go. And as those plans unfold, we all are blessed beyond what we could have imagined. For when God gives us hard things to do, He faithfully provides rewards along the way that makes the hard thing doable!


Not just another homecoming!

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  My excitement builds as we get closer and closer to April (that’s when I will lay my eyes on  and wrap my arms around my son, daughter in law, and my 3 year & 1 year old grandsons). Plans are in the making and for some of them we are running out of time. I suppose I will probably have to accept that some things just won’t get done. I have a hard time with that but what will be will be. I purpose to  keep my focus on the important stuff!

   A lot of things are racing around in my mind. For you see, my grandsons have never seen most of the people in their family (this is not the land of their birth as it is for their parents), my son and daughter in law have been living in a new land (with new people, new climate, new culture, new friends–most of whom we have never met). I’ve been warned that they will experience what is referred to as reverse culture shock. Sounds ominous doesn’t it!

   I’ve got a feeling we can’t expect just because they are coming home that this will  be just another homecoming, that everyone will just pick up where we left off 4 years ago! For during those 4 years we have moved forward without them and they have moved forward without us. Now our lives will be blended once more (but only temporarily; that’s an adjustment all by itself, sigh). We will all have to make the necessary adjustments, while always being sensitive to what each other’s needs are. But not sure at this point what that is suppose to look like!

   So in order to gain some insight into all of this, I am reading blogs about what this re-entry process (for them and for us) involves and am trying to prepare myself for the little surprises along the way.  We will learn from this (probably by making a few mistakes–I hope it’s only a few) and next time we travel this path we will possess a more realistic perspective about what to expect. So in the meantime,

there’s a verse that has always served me well for occasions such as this:

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.1 Peter 4:8 NIV

We certainly have that in abundance and,  in addition, we have a sufficiency of grace, 

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV

   Therefore we will depend upon Love and Grace to smooth the way before us as we anticipate  this ‘not just another homecoming!’

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