Wrapping up one adventure; preparing for another one!

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Grandaddy w/Shep

Grandaddy w/grandchild #9

   When our 9th grandson was born, my husband and I were blessed to be able to travel to where he was born. Then after about 2 weeks, my husband left for home and I remained in order to work with the staff children during a training session in the bush.

Sweet Togetherness!

Sweet Togetherness!



   On July 5th I wrapped up my ‘back to the bush’ posts about that great adventure entitled, ‘My final adventure-flying home!’  



The land of my dreams.

The land of my dreams.

   And just in time too. For in August, my husband and I will be meeting our son and his family in Scotland.

Why Scotland you may ask?

  Well, it just so happens that next year our son will be studying at the University of Edinburg working on his master’s in linguistics. Therefore, they will be taking care of the details involved in finding a place to live, etc. They will take some of their vacation time to accomplish this.

Now here’s where we get involved!

Our grandson (grandchild number 10) was born back in March. We were not able to travel to visit with him after he was born like we were able to do for his big brother. Therefore, we planned this trip to meet them in Scotland. Not only will we have the delight of seeing our new grandson for the very first time, but we will also get to see his 2 1/2 year old big brother, our son, and our daughter in law.  I have dreamed of traveling to Scotland for years and now thanks to my son’s need to study at the University of Edinburgh, my dream is coming true.

   Now, there’s a verse in Luke 6:38 that pretty much describes how I feel about embarking upon this new adventure:

“Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure–pressed down, shaken together, and running over.

Yep, in about 25 days my husband and mine’s blessing register will go off the scale. 


A Most Unlikely Missionary!


I have endured and I have returned.  My experiences exceeded my expectations.  While I in no way could include a full description of all that I learned and encountered (and continue to learn as I process it all) in one post, it will be my intention to share those encounters as God leads via this blog.  I will follow God’s lead and see what transpires.

The reason I came to Africa!

The reason I came to Africa!

The caption reads true!

I cannot claim to have had lofty ideas about traveling to the dark continent of Africa in order to fulfill a burning desire to bring light to a world overcome with darkness.  (If that was my motivation then I could have stayed put.  We have enough overwhelming darkness right here in America!)

Sorry to disappoint you, but I went to Africa to fulfill a burning desire to hold and spend time with my newborn 9th grandchild (1st child of my only son).  Plain and simple!

But true to His nature, God had plans for this grandmother that would go beyond what I could have ever imagined.  Plans that would set me on a new direction and add a new dimension to my service to Him.  And He would accomplish this by setting in motion 43 years earlier, His plan to call out a young lady of 21 years to completely surrender her life to Him.

My husband has faithfully served the LORD for the past 33 years as a minister of the Gospel.  And like my husband I sought God as to what His call on my life would be and all I could come up with was ‘full time Christian service’.  God wouldn’t be more specific than that and I confess that was a bit frustrating.  For I wanted to know specifics!

But as the years passed and God began unfolding His plan, I discovered that I was to walk as I was given light.  When I gave birth to our first child I was overwhelmed by the full force of the love God had planted in my heart for her.  Then 3 children (2 more daughters and a son) later I found myself happily and totally devoted to the call of motherhood.  I found God leading me to do a variety of things which had at their source the singular call to motherhood.

Yes, I taught school for 15 years, but I went into teaching because it would allow me to be in the same school where my children were already attending.  It would afford me more opportunities to minister to my own children.

As you can see the calling of God on my life is navigated in large part according to the direction God is leading my children.  Therefore, when my 9th grandchild entered this world in the far off land of Africa, would there be any question as to whether or not Nammy would be preparing her traveling bags?  I don’t think so!  Actually, there was this question–When and for how long would I stay?

It has been my experience with God that He has a definite sense of humor.  I obtained an airline ticket last August to spend 2 1/2 months with my son and his family, in particular to spend time and make memories with my brand-new grandson.  When I got to Africa in December, I discovered that I would be teaching the children of a group of missionaries who would be in training out at a location in the bush.  My son, daughter-in-law, and grandson would also be living at the bush camp, so while I would be near them, I would not be exclusively with them.  This came as a shock to me.  (Notice I wrote shock and not surprise. I was in shock folks that’s a lot more intense than being surprised)!  I was not a happy camper.  The following days were intense and I will attempt to begin sharing the details with you in my next post.

So, let me pause here and bring this post to a stopping place.  I will pick up next time with what transpired thereafter.  (It ain’t pretty!)

See ya soon,

Snake in the Schoolhouse!

Snake in the Schoolhouse!

Being Anxious=Crossing Bridges Before You Get to Them!

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My son and daughter-in-law are back in the capital and we are communicating online again.  About every 6 weeks they make this 2-day journey so between those times we get to talk on our cell phones (which works sometimes and sometimes it doesn’t).  I was especially excited b/c their post on the family blog was enhanced by pictures of my beautiful daughter-in-law’s ever expanding baby bump.  My son’s smile in those pictures communicates a new dad who is eager to take on the daddy role!  My daughter-in-law is glowing.  She surely seems to have a grasp of the wonder of becoming a mother.

My days are now filled with the anticipation of my new grandson’s birth and eventually getting on that plane to travel 27 hours so I can hold him in my arms.  Lots of details to work out  b/c we still have to apply for visa’s, get shots, and gather all the Christmas stuff we want to take plus goodies for our grandson and his parents.  (Not sure how much room we will have to take personal items for ourselves! Oh well,)  Daily I pray for God’s help in working out all those details and that we would not overlook any important ones.

Sometimes I feel that I have no idea of how it’s going to be for my husband and I to make this trip, spend glorious time with our loved ones, then have to eventually return home.  I anticipate (more like dread) that parting time.  But I’m learning that trying to cross a bridge before you get to it is pretty foolish.  Not only that, but it spoils the time we have to enjoy in preparing for our journey at present.  But God, understanding the temptation I would have in worrying about tomorrow, gives me the following verses:

“So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will take care of itself.”  Matthew 6:34 (NIV)

So how do I not worry about tomorrow?  Please read the following:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  Philippines 4:6-7 (NIV)

Therefore, between now and then, I will do my best at focusing on and being obedient to what God has called me; trusting Him to take care of the future and depending on Him to help me cross those bridges when (and only when) I get to them.

I say to myself–

Okay, Janet, take a deep breath, relax, and keep your focus!  God has always been faithful in your past; He will continue to be faithful in your present, and your future as well.  With God’s help, I can do this thing!

So to anyone preparing or hoping to make a journey to visit your loved ones on their mission field, I think the best advice would be to focus on the above verses.  He really has the hard part, doesn’t He?  But after all, He’s God; I think he can handle this one:)

It’s a boy!

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Come Thanksgiving, I’m becoming a grandmother for the 9th time and with his birth that will make

3 grandsons and 6 granddaughters for the Lane clan!

Carrying on the family name is a big deal here in America and with the birth of Bobby & Maridith’s baby boy the Lane name will be carried into the next generation!  But KNOW that if they had of been having a little girl, the joy would have been just as intent!

Sometimes, things happen in such a way that you kind of have an idea of what’s coming!

Such was the case (for me, anyway) when it was announced that we were going to be grandparents again.  You see, Maridith’s grandfather passed away a few weeks after she and Bobby left for Africa.  Maridith and her grandfather were very close.  In the last few weeks of his life he had a dream.  In that dream he saw Maridith’s first child:

a boy with a head full of black hair and with blue eyes. 

Now remember, Maridith at the time of her dear grandfather’s dream had not even conceived a child.  But I firmly believe that considering how close those two were God desired to give Pop Pop a blessing and allowed him to see his great grandchild while he was still on this earth.  That’s why I felt all along Maridith was going to have a baby boy!

Special Delivery!

Having a grand baby born so very far away from you tends to dampen the thrill and excitement of such a wonderful event.  In the following blogs, I share some of my struggles concerning this. But as difficult as it was then, I share this blog to encourage your hearts to know that there is much to enjoy and have fun with as we await the birth of our grandson.

4/8/12 – Focusing on the joy to come

4/18 – Abundant Life Indeed – Even though miles apart

I knew my son was going to call me when they found out their baby’s gender.  Therefore, this was an eagerly anticipated call.  On the day he was to call, I was in my truck and excitedly pulled over when I heard his ring tone.  But you know what?  He didn’t tell me.  Though he did know!  All he said was, “When are you going to be home?”  I had a couple of errands to finish so I told him in about 2 hours.  He said to call him when I got home.  SO, I finished that errand asap and headed for home.

When I got home, I called him and he asked if there was anything there waiting for me, like a package or something.  I looked on the front porch–no item!  I looked on the deck–no item!  After my unprofitable search, he said that maybe it wouldn’t be there till after 3:00 pm, so I should call him back after that time.

Well 3:00 came and went and nothing had happened.

Around 3:55 I finally had to leave to work in VBS at my church.  I was already late b/c it takes at least 10 minutes to get there and I had to be there by 4:00 pm.  As I was traveling down my driveway, I was met by a man in a van.  He seemed a bit frustrated for he wasn’t sure where he was.  I assured him that he had the right place and the right person.  With that he said, “Then I have something for you.”

He got out of his van, went to the back seat and pulled out a vase of flowers. (See below)

What a sweet way to find out, “It’s a Boy!”

As soon as I could see what this kind gentleman had in his hands, I buried my head in my hands and started crying.  The poor gentleman didn’t know what to think and very tenderly laid his hand on my shoulder and said, “Are you all right mam?”  I assured him that my tears were tears of joy and that my son and daughter-in-law were missionaries in Africa and were expecting their first child–this was their way of telling me they were having a boy!

As soon as I could, I called Bobby (it was around midnight there) to tell him I had received the flowers/announcement.  I thanked him for making this moment so special for me.  He told me it had been Maridith’s idea which is so characteristic of her sensitivity.


The next day while I was outside, I noticed a white van making its way down my driveway.  The driver sat in the van a few minutes and my curiosity was beginning to get the best of me.  When he got out of his van, I could see that he was carrying a vase of flowers.  They were mostly blue flowers!  He asked me if I was Mrs. Lane to which I responded in the affirmative.  Then he handed me the vase.  You can see it below:

Two vases? Is it twins? 

I’m still not sure what the mix up was, but I do know Maridith is only having one boy.  I was a little more in control when I received the 2nd vase of flowers for I had spent my joyful tears the day before. But receiving two vases only increased the joy and the memories.

* * * *

I share this to encourage those of you who may have such an event to announce to family back home-especially to the grandparents.  Even though you may be miles apart, and even though the grandparents may be expecting to hear such news, go the extra mile like my daughter-in-law did to make that moment special for them.  Sure I would have been overjoyed to have had Bobby tell me the news over the phone, but having those flowers delivered made it special beyond words for me.






Abundant Life Indeed – Even though miles apart!


As God would have it, I am adjusting to being a long-distance grandmother.  Not saying I like it, just learning how to deal with it.  After the initial punch in the gut that my new grand baby is going to be born in a land far away, God has had mercy on me and is providing me with the grace I desperately need to accept this.

Sending my son off to this far away land is especially hard for me and now adding to an already hard situation is the fact that his sweet wife is expecting their first child.  Why is this so hard?  Well, several reasons. My son and I are close and over recent years, we have shared many memories and many heart-to-hearts.  He is my only son and came along at a time when I had given up on having a boy.  My husband and I had been abundantly blessed with 3 wonderful (in every way) daughters.  So when I realized that my cup was full to overflowing, I was able to release my desire for a son to God and peace reigned in my heart. Shortly, thereafter, we found out a 4th baby was on its way!  Honestly, I thought I was going to have another girl for I felt that was why God had conditioned me to release my desire to have a son!  Sometimes, God’s ways are past finding out! (Romans 11:33)

Raising Bobby has always been an adventure; not just for me, but for his dad and his sisters as well.  An adventure that has been downright challenging but a whole lot of fun at the same time!  When my son was 10 years of age, we moved to the family farm.  So during some very formative years, he had the privilege of growing up in an environment that reinforced a lot of what we were teaching him in our home.

And as wonderful as it was to raise my children on a farm, it sort of had an adverse affect on me eventually.  For you see, Bobby, for years, felt God was preparing him to become a farmer and that made perfect sense to me.  It gave me such peace in my heart to think that I would not have to worry about him moving off someday, but would have the joy and comfort of him being always nearby.  But that was not to be.  For when Bobby was a senior in high school, about to take up the responsibilities of farming, it was made clear to me that he was not to have that opportunity.  I had to break the news to him and he took it in stride.  His acceptance to this turn of events was my model to trust God to keep Bobby in the center of His will; even though events weren’t working out as we had expected.

After that time in my son’s life, God set him on a completely different course–working for a local industry while being heavily involved in youth work at our church filled up my son’s life.  Then while taking classes at a local community college he met and became friends with a family who would prove to be major figures in his future (his future wife’s family).  This relationship introduced him to an out of state Christian camp where he eventually went to work and live.

After that initial move, life for us became a series of goings and comings.  From camp, to hiking the Appalachain Trail, to 2 years in South America, then marriage, followed by graduation from college for both of them, leading them to replant their lives in Africa. All along the way, God empowered and enabled me to release my son to His care and keeping.  No easy task, let me tell you, but a task that by God’s grace was doable.

I think that one of the reasons I have found the strength to release my son has to do with God allowing 2 of my daughters and their 5 children to live only a few minutes drive from my home.  While my other daughter lives way off in Florida, I have had the privilege to visit her several times.  Unlike my son, we are able to email and video chat often which makes up for a lot.

So when I’m asked if I find it hard to deal with my son, daughter-in-law, and now grand baby being so far away, I have to say, “Yes.”  And for all of the reasons which I have shared with you in this post.  But like my son learned several years ago, I have learned to take things like this in stride.  When God calls your child to serve Him on the foreign mission field know that is going to require sacrifice.  But also know that when God places that calling on your life then He will equip you to be able to make those sacrifices.  Oh, it won’t be easy.  In fact, my adjustment has been characterized by a flood of tears, accompanied by an ache in my heart that I have found a way to live with, but a willingness to do what God has called me to do.  My heart is full of peace and as God continues to amaze me in how He provides ways to maintain that close connection I have with my son, I find that I can praise Him for the calling He has placed on my son and daughter-in-law’s lives.  They and we,their families, have an abundant life indeed!

Focusing on the joy to come!

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Recently my husband and I got a call from Bobby to share the anticipated news that Maridith was pregnant!  Of course, we were excited!  My screams of delight weren’t that hard to read.

Yet after hanging up the phone, the realities that will accompany my 9th grandchild’s birth began to sink in, and my ecstatic joy slipped away only to be replaced with an increasing sadness .   Unlike my other 8 grandchildren, this baby would be born  thousands of miles away from me.  Though my husband and I are forming  plans  to be there after  our 9th grandchild’s birth, our visit will be comparatively short then we’ll return home and who knows when we will see him or her again.  The cold reality that I will not be able to enjoy watching my grandbaby grow up, or make memories with him or her instigated a growing sadness.  This child will not know me!  Thus the relationship I now treasure with my other 8 grandbabies will not be likely with my 9th.  How can I bear this?

The next morning Kathy called and we talked a little about Bobby’s news.  She and I talked about the sacrifices we all would be making with this baby’s birth.  She was tender and compassionate and allowed me to have my feelings and express them.  It was a very healing conversation.

Kathy expressed some thoughts that became strong incentives in handling my onset of sadness.  One, in particular, was that we would pray for God to  allow Bobby’s child and I to be close in spite of the great distance between us.  That was an encouraging thought; one that infused my heart with hope.

Kathy encouraged me to believe that though there is pain right now the day would come  when I would know great joy. (I’ve taken this journey already when Bobby & Maridith left so I know this is how it plays out.)  I shouldn’t try to imagine what the particulars might be but just focus on what I know to be true:  That joy follows pain!

It makes so much sense to remember that the by-products of focusing on what I might miss out on will  only produce more heartache and intensify my pain.  Focusing on the joy this new life will bring, ensures peace, and intensify my joy.  I choose to focus on the joy–the joy that’s already known, and the joy that is to come.  The following verses from Philippians 4:7-8 addressees the benefits of such a focus:

4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

 8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

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