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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!

Safari!!!!!!

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Shortly before my husband returned to the States, our son planned an event for us that exceeded all my expectations.  I had read about people doing such things but never dreamed I would ever have the opportunity myself!  So what was it?

Yep, a Safari!

But don’t get any crazy ideas that we marched single file through the jungle while the natives sang (I know, been watching too many Tarzan movies)with a tight grip upon our big ole elephant guns.  Nope, fortunately those days are gone (at least I hope they are) for this was a photo safari.  We just gazed in wonder at these grand animals grazing peacefully without the restraint of metal bars and tiny habitats. It stirred something deep within me to see these animals living in freedom.

There were several of these majestic creatures, all ages.

There were several of these majestic creatures, all ages.

Grace in motion.  Saw 3 of these giraffes.

Grace in motion. Saw 3 of these giraffes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Game park tukals.

Game park tukals.

 

Above is a picture of the dwellings we stayed in at the game park (we stayed overnight).  These tukals were unique because unlike the tukals I had seen and would be living in a few weeks from this time, it had an attached bathroom.  NICE!

 

Our guide spotting elephant herds.

Our guide spotting elephant herds.

Let me back up a minute.  You will be amused, I think to know how our excursion to the game park began.

“You might have laughed at us when we pulled out for not only were the 5 of us Lanes in the truck, we also had 4 men in the back + a goat.  One man was dropped off in a town where he was going to buy some sorghum and tomorrow we will pick him up.  The other guy and goat rode almost all the way to the park.  We dropped them off right as we turned onto the road to the entrance.  The goat rode well, and we did too as long as we kept the windows down!” journal entry 1-10-13

Oh well, when you don’t possess a vehicle you just wait around long enough and someone who has a vehicle will be going where you want to go and you simply hitch a ride (animal/s included).  It’s the way of life there.

After getting to the park, we unpacked our vehicle, loaded our stuff into the tukals, and set off for our (mine and my husbands first) safari.  All I kept saying was “Wow”, for I just couldn’t get over the fact that these zoo animals were roaming around free as a bird.  No cages, no glass walls between us, no zookeepers tending to them, and most impressive to me, unrestricted room to spread out.

Off we go, with the best view in the house, or game reserve!

Off we go, with the best view in the house, or game reserve!

Our evening at the game park was indescribable.  Peaceful beyond description.  After helping my daughter-in-law prepare supper (I’m from the south and that’s what we call it) of super delicious chili, we sat around a fire and visited.

The elders, one American and one African.

The elders, one American and one African.

Great day, tasty supper, sweet fellowship.

Great day, tasty supper, sweet fellowship.

The next day we enjoyed our 2nd safari and saw more cape buffalo, hardy beast, water buck, tiny antelope animals, warthogs, zebras, giraffes, elephants, and there were more just can’t remember their names.  But I’m disappointed to write, we never saw lions.  But that wasn’t from want of trying.  I suppose I’ll have to hope for better luck next time.  And God willing, I’m definitely looking forward to a next time.

 * * * * * * *

God has poured His grace upon me in a variety of ways to make learning how to live so far apart from my son a doable thing for me.  This being a missionary’s mom is certainly a difficult life to live.  So hard, in fact that I couldn’t pull this off without God.  For it is His strength that equips me to make it through these days I now live as a missionary’s mom.

But having the memories of our visit to where my son now lives, goes a long way to keeping my spirits up and my focus on God.  By being there, I saw with my own eyes how contended and at peace with life my son is.  Knowing that my son is loving his life there is all I need to be okay with him being so far away.

 

 

 

Grace makes the hard stuff doable!

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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. 

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