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Rejoicing though far apart on Thanksgiving!

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   Any missionary family deals with this all too familiar fact of life. While other families gather round to celebrate Thanksgiving with the classic turkey and dressing, pumpkin pie, green bean casserole, banana spice cake (a family tradition for 3 generations in my family), sweet potato casserole, or whatever unique recipes are considered traditional, families of our missionaries celebrate Thanksgiving defined more by the country of their residence than tradition.

   Because our missionary children are likely living in a country that doesn’t mark the last Thursday in November as Thanksgiving, our missionary children will often have to modify the dishes of their celebration and the manner in which they celebrate. What is available or not available in the country where they live will determine the menu of the day and setting aside a non-holiday day as a holiday may not be so convenient. 

   The circumstances of their country of residence will also determine the guest list. Expatriates like themselves or fellow missionary families will likely gather together to make their own and unique Thanksgiving celebration.

   But then again, they may find themselves enjoying a cozy Thanksgiving dinner with just their own small family. That is the situation this year with my son and his family. My daughter in law, who by the way is a fantastic cook, is planning a traditional feast using fresh pumpkin for her pumpkin pie. Bless her!

   It’s not easy celebrating Thanksgiving far apart but it’s what we have to do. And this year, yet another one of our four children (along with her family) won’t be able to join us. But this is our reality! So we will all be careful to focus on the abundant blessings we have to be grateful for this Thanksgiving, as we celebrate apart from each other. (Our enemy, Satan, would have us focus on our separation, but we are wise to his fiery dart tactics.)

Therefore, we will video chat as much as possible, enjoying the day to the fullest! Always remembering that

This is the day the Lord has made;
We will rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24 (NKJV)

BIRTHDAY HUGS AND KISSES ACROSS THE MILES. . .

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Happy Birthday my little man!
Happy Birthday my little man!

My grandson turns two today.

My trial in all this is not being able to be with him on this happy day.

 My blessing is that I got to video chat with him this morning,

  and without being prompted he called me by my grandmother’s name. We gave each other hugs and kisses, played peek a boo, and he even tried to feed me some of the cereal he was eating–all thanks to this wonderful invention called Facetime!

   All along I have prayed that God would make up for the distance between us by blessing our relationship with a closeness that would transcend the distance. Happy moments like we enjoyed today, inspire me to believe that is indeed God’s plan!

   So I will resist, by God’s grace, the temptation (fiery dart*) to feel sorry for myself at being so far away from my little guy on his birthday!

(What good would that do anyway? It’s a fiery dart meant to make me miserable and create a burden for my son and his family. Nope, that’s just not going to happen!).

   Instead, I will reject such thoughts and replace it with the ‘Truth thought’ of rejoicing that his parents love God and are willing to be obedient to His call upon their lives and make the most of every bit of communication that God blesses us with.

My heart is full of joy and there’s simply no room for anything else! 

*For more on fiery darts check out my blog:

http://fierydarts.wordpress.com

or my book entitled:

Fiery Darts: Satan’s Weapon of Choice.

You can order it from my fiery dart blog. Blessings!

Back to the Bush: Eyes to see the beauty!

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A view from bush camp!

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Bush Camp

     I stood gazing upon the landscape laid out before me.  A landscape that in my personal opinion left a lot to be desired. Dry and sandy riverbeds with sparse muddy puddles left me feeling deprived. I longed for the tall proud oaks and abundant broadleaf trees of my homeland–thorn trees called Acacia trees, and cactus trees held no allurement for me. The absence of lush green grass that you could run barefoot through was disappointing. Instead, sturdy shoes were required when walking about in the dry yellowish grass that grows in the savannah; for stickers and undesirable creatures call these grasses home.

      Admittedly the breeze was pleasant most often, but there were times when about all it accomplished was to stir up the dust, making our daily lives anything but pleasant. 

     While the sun made wearing a hat mandatory, shade of any kind provided relief. However, wildfires (almost a daily event), caused by the burning sun on the dry grass or by humans, kept the air scented with smoke.  And, oh yeah, not the pleasing fragrance like that of an oak fire but more like the foul smell of  locust wood. 

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Yet, my reality of bush camp, I discovered, was peculiar only to me. For instances, read the list below of how one of my friends described his reality.

-good food

-beautiful landscape

-little to no stress

-good fellowship

-lots of time with God

-time to learn and be equipped to serve God

-time with family

     Come on folks, can you see the obvious here?  I was so focused on my disappointments that I was critically blinded to the beauty and blessings that were all around me. I allowed fiery dart thinking to cast a veil over my sight, thus preventing me from seeing the beauty and wonder that my friend was blessed to see. The following verse stings me a bit!

 

Hear this, you foolish and senseless people. They have eyes, but they don’t see. They have ears, but they don’t hear. Jeremiah 5:21

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Lounging by a cactus tree!                     While I can’t say I was as opened as my friend was to the beauty around us, I did have my moments!

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