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Making memories to share; though far apart!

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Meet Fluflane

 

     Back in March, this woodchuck showed up in our yard. And for some reason, continues to hang around. So far he has been a lone creature. No mate, no kits or cubs, (you can choose) have joined the scene. But everyday, sometime after 5pm he  makes an appearance. As long as we are viewing him from inside our house and through a window we are privileged to get a close up photo. Zoom on my iPhone brings him in even closer. Last weekend, while my two Memphis area granddaughters were visiting, I was hoping he would excite us all by popping out from his burrow but alas, it didn’t happen. Only after I was returning from meeting their mom, did he show up.

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Meet Snuffy

     All was not lost, because you see the little doggy in the photo above? Well, a few days ago he came close to our house looking for food. Apparently, someone just dropped him off in the country (people do that sometime unfortunately) and he has found his way to our place. Problem is he is very skittish. He will run up on the deck, grab a bite of food and run off again as fast as his little legs will carry him. With the coyotes lurking around, this little critter won’t last very long, if we can’t rescue it. It will take time, but every day we put out food and water. It’s our hope that it will come to trust us. Then we will see what happens.

     So, last Saturday, though my granddaughters missed seeing the woodchuck, they did get to see our doggy friend. They even assisted me in laying out some snacks for him to coax him into the house. He did come into the house for the treats but darted out the door before we could close it. He is still a runaway at this point, however. But we will, for his sake, keep trying. 

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     Interesting little fact is this little stray looks just like the pet of my granddaughters who live in Texas. Their dog is what is called a Cheweinnie. Our little stray looks like his twin. I am not in the market for a dog, but apparently a higher power is thinking otherwise.

     The point of this post is that in order to make our missionary grandsons a part of the experience, we gave them the task of naming our new friends. The woodchuck was given the name of Fluflane. The twin to Charlie, is Snuffy. We have taken videos and photos and sent them to all the grandchildren; near and far.

     We have grandchildren in Tennessee, Texas, Florida, and Africa. I have to be deliberate in making memories that we can share. Thanks to technology, this is made possible. 

 

Technology! A gift from God!

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   Today I just want to express to God my gratitude for the technology that makes remaining connected to my son and his precious wife and boys possible. Because of that beautiful satellite, I can hear their voices and see their faces. I can see places where they live and people who are their friends. We can share  birthdays, holidays, and special moments even though we are on separate continents.

   My son can even send me a paper he has written for his university class for me to edit. And considering how grateful I am to be able to be of genuine help to him this is a ‘HUGE’ blessing for me!

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FaceTime is always exciting!

   Today I got a FaceTime opportunity with my son and grandson. I couldn’t help but notice how my youngest grandson is growing in body as well as speech. What fun is was to watch his expressions and listen to his voice (his dad had to act as translator you know).

When I first started writing this blog back in January of 2012, God comforted me with the following thought:

I told someone a few days ago, that when God calls you to do hard things then He builds in special comforts of blessing for you. Ours today was video chatting with our son and daughter in law and sharing this Thanksgiving Day with our 3 daughters and their families. We were all together and even if we weren’t all together under the same roof, we made some sweet memories nevertheless. November 23, 2012

 

  That post was written only 11 months after their initial departure (5 years ago now). We have had numerous comings and goings since then. And God continues to shower us with comforts such as I have just described. Enabling us to do what is still a very hard thing! 

Obedience brings comfort!

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 IMG_0529                The 6 of us

   On January 4, 2012, I was a novice at being a missionary’s mom. My son and daughter in law had just left for their very first assignment as foreign missionaries. And 21 days later my blog post revealed a heart still searching for comfort! 

   I would like to share with you an excerpt from that post:

   When your time comes to release your children for the work God calls them to in a land far away, just know that there are comforts built in to your obedience. In our day we have the comfort of technology that provides us with a lifeline of communication with our children. Through email, Facebook, Twitter, satellite & cell phones, and Skype, we can communicate in a variety of ways. 

   Yes, the technology of our day keeps us connected with our physically distant children. And that is INDEED a comfort! Our daughter in law has given birth to two children after they left and because of technology we were able to see both children within minutes after they were born! And by God’s grace and provision, within a few months afterwards we were able to hold them in our arms! 

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

   With our first grandson, while we were visiting we got to know our son’s fellow co-workers and friends. We even got to go on a safari! That was so surreal. We saw elephants, giraffes, water buffalo, etc. roaming free over the savannah. 

   When we got to hold our second grandson, who was 5 months old at the time, we were in Edinburgh, Scotland!! You see, our son was preparing to enter the University of Edinburgh the next year. Therefore, during his vacation time, he made plans to go there to finalize enrollment details. And because we hadn’t seen our grandson yet, And because I have dreamed for years of going to Scotland, we combined all this into a two week vacation! We got a van and visited not only Edinburgh but the Isle of Arran and Larkhall, where dear friends of ours lived, as well. 

   You might ask me, “Wouldn’t you give all that up to have them close at home?” And my answer would be, “Yes.” 

   But I wasn’t given that option! I had to deal with the plate in front of me! Therefore, I turned to God, for only He had the strength that I desperately needed to get me through overwhelming separation anxiety. 

The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might He increases strength. . .  Isaiah 40:31

   So here I am, four years later, with a heart full of gratefulness to God for the strength He provided me through His comfort. By accepting God’s will for my son and obediently releasing him to carry out that will, I have been comforted by the balm of provisions our loving heavenly Father has provided far beyond my expectations.

CELEBRATING TOGETHER ACROSS THE MILES!

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I can see his face, I can hear his voice. I can be content with this!

I can see his face, I can hear his voice. I can be content with this!

   Thanks to current technology, our Christmas visit with our son was the highlight of our celebration! Living so far apart would lend itself to a severe disconnect if it wasn’t for the technology God has inspired and provided. Words fail me when attempting to express my gratefulness to God for this. But I bet you can imagine it!

Our son and his dad have always enjoyed a good talk. Something they still get to do.

Our son and his dad have always enjoyed a good talk. Something they still get to do.

   I have always loved to listen while these two guys are chatting with each other. It does my heart good to hear them discuss and share the events that are occurring in their lives. Their conversations are always spiced with laughter which helps to lift the burden that accompanies separation.

Together and sharing; a treasured moment. Brought a few tears.

Together and sharing; a treasured moment.–brought a few tears.

   Yes, he cried when he first started talking to his sisters and, of course, they followed suite. They finally were able to get to a lighter moment and the smiles and laughter ensued. Moments like these, my children making memories and enjoying being siblings, are the highlight of my days. 

 

Brother in laws have a lot in common; makes for the best of support.

Brother in laws have a lot in common; makes for the best of support.

   The guys got to have a rare together time. Even though it is rare and all to brief, the fact that they are eager to communicate whenever they can always makes for a celebration.

Shortly after this we got the phone call. They whipped around and went to yelling out hello's.

Shortly after this we got the phone call. They whipped around and went to yelling out hello’s.

 

   These young ones are learning a lot about praying as they faithfully pray for God’s ‘impenetrable protection’ (yep, that’s the words they use) around their uncle, aunt, and cousins. 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MY SON!

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Celebrating birthdays with thousands of miles between me and my child isn’t one of my favorite things to do.  It takes quite the adjustment to accept this reality, but because it is reality then I must find a way to accept it.  Wishing it wasn’t so, changes nothing and evening makes it harder to deal with.

So, I choose to focus on the positive things about this very special day.  Here are just a few:

I am proud and grateful to have a son that loves the LORD

I am grateful for the abundance of memories I have with him.

I am grateful for the relationship my son has with his sisters and they with him

I am thankful for the great relationship my son has with his dad

I am grateful for my daughter-in-law; for my son needed a woman like her

And, of course, I’m humbled and thankful for the relationship my son and I have

I’m so grateful to know that thousands of people are praying for my son on his birthday

And, oh yeah, thank you God for the technology that keeps my son and I close

That’s only a few of the positive thoughts I have on this very special day.  If you have such a son or daughter as mine, then you have ever as much to rejoice over as I do.  I hope you will continue to pray for me and my family as we make adjustments to this new life God has called us to.  But you know something?  I hope you aren’t feeling sorry for us, in fact there’s much about this life as a missionary’s family that is exciting and appealing.   It’s a matter of focus or perspective, really.  I’m planning on a trip to the country where my son and daughter-in-law live and that’s pretty exciting.  Hopefully, I’ll get to work alongside my son when I do visit and join him as he ministers to those he has been called to. How satisfying it is to be an instrument of God’s will in making Christ known to those who need Him.

So, happy birthday, my son and know I love you, I miss you, and I have tremendous peace that you are where you are, doing what you are doing!  I’ll be there in a few months and the anticipation of that is thrilling…

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