Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Hugs and Tears

Sarah, Benjamin, Olivia. and I are flying to Canada today with the Southwest Children's Chorus.  Aaron and Katherine get the very unglamorous  job of cleaning up after us and finishing the packing.  For the next couple of weeks, I'll be chaperoning a lovely group of choir girls instead of posting on the blog.  But I'll be back once our family reunites in Florida!

Yesterday was a day of goodbyes.  If you ask my children where their "home" is located, some of them will tell you the Solomon Islands, and some of them will tell you Cedar Hill, Texas.  God has planted our hearts in lots of places.  To say thank you, we dropped off chocolate chip cookies at the post office and the library.

Then came the toughest cookie delivery, our favorite coffee shop, White Rhino.  Lots of places may have a barista that makes a great skinny, decaf cinnamel latte when they see you coming.  But how many coffee shops can boast a barista whose parting words are, "I'll be praying for you"?
The last three days have been solid hugs and tears.  My face feels so swollen from all this crying, but not as swollen as my heart.  My final sweet visit of the day came from this precious sister who took home my potted morning glories to welcome the sunshine at her house across town.  They don't have to have their roots ripped out.  When I feel my "roots" being ripped out, it's a good thing.  It means I have loved and shared life and laughter and tears.  Feeling the pain means my heart is still soft and responsive.  And even knowing the pain, the choice to love is soooo worth it.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Goodbye Texas Woman's Daybook

Just for today...Tuesday, June 18
On my bookshelf...or in my case, in my backpack for the plane ride tomorrow, "Unglued" by Lysa Terkeurst.  Thanks, Gayly, for keeping this bibliophile supplied with books!
A heart of thankfulness...for Sonic half price shakes after 8.

And sweet friends with whom we get to share the shakes.

Don't forget to go get your 1/2 price shake all day on June 20, the first day of summer!
Noticing that...Katherine can keep herself entertained through a whole CD of conducting.  Yesterday, she "conducted" tenor arias accompanied by cello and piano.  She told me that it was her husband singing.
Hearing...the music of Camille St. Saens.  Great packing music.
Around the house...friends popping in to say goodbye
Praying...for this sweet young lady as she prepares to head to China to teach English
One of my favorite things...the adults (like Sunday School teachers) God has placed in my children's lives

Pondering these words... "Is eating just a task that we have to get done as fast and 'conveniently' as possible?  Is it something we do only because we have to, like taking medicine or brushing our teeth?  Looking at food that way robs us of one of life's greatest pleasures.  We should not only enjoy and appreciate our food, we should enjoy making it and eating it in the company of others.  Food is not just fuel.  It's also about family and friends and community."  ~Michael Pollan from "The Omnivore's Dilemma"
Crafting in the kitchen...Sarah whipped up some of this over the weekend.  She and I are both wailing laments as we pack up our dishes and appliances and begin enjoying the leftovers in the fridge.

Planning for the week ahead...saying goodbye to Texas and leaving on the Southwest Children's Chorus tour to Canada early in the morning.  This begins seven weeks of "homelessness" before we land in the Solomon Islands on August 6.  Between now and then, we get to hug so many necks!
A peek into my corner of the world...goofy goodbyes are just a little tiny bit easier.

Monday, June 17, 2013

McIntosh Moments

 In January 2006, the first time we met the precious McIntosh family, we were all entering our training with Wycliffe Bible translators.  Our new friends were headed to Papua New Guinea, and we had no idea here God would send us.

We got to see them again briefly before we both left the United States, and then again in Alotau, Papua New Guinea in 2008 on our way to the Pacific Orientation course.

In 2009, Aaron gave me a magnificent birthday present, he bought a ticket for my friend Stacie to fly from Papua New Guinea to the Solomon Islands, and she brought a couple of kids with her to spend a few days with us.

That was the last time we saw them.  And all of us have changed a little bit over the years.  But we could not get enough words and hugs in this weekend when God worked out, in His perfect timing, that our paths would briefly cross again.

Through the very few shared moments we have, God has allowed our hearts to be transparent, and He has rekindled the flame of friendship every time we can sneak in just a few minutes together.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Father's Day

My dad's dad holding me.  My grandpa is still super handsome.

"A man's garden and his children both reflect the amount of weeding done during growing season."  ~Anonymous

My dad took me to work before "Take your daughter to work" day was official.

"The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother."  ~Anonymous

Benjamin with Aaron's paternal grandfather

"It is a wise father that knows his child."  ~William Shakespeare

Aaron and his dad, back when they both had hair

Aaron and I are so blessed to have our fathers and our paternal grandfathers still on this earth for us to enjoy.

Their examples, and the examples of our mothers and grandmothers, too, have helped shape us into the parents we are now.  The ripple effect will continue to grow and influence our children and grandchildren.

I always knew Aaron would be a great daddy, but I had no idea that he would be so in tune with their hearts.  He engages our children at their very core, plays with them in the floor, listens to their struggles, and patiently lives out Deuteronomy 6.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Thoughts from my backyard:

"Be like the bird
That, pausing in her flight
Awhile on boughs too slight,
Feels them give way
Beneath her and yet sings,
Knowing that she hath wings."
~Victor Hugo

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Taking a break from packing...

to cool off, play, and enjoy lunch with some friends from church.

So thankful that we started packing plenty early. 
We've found that our family does better if we leave plenty of time to pack a little, play a little, pack a little, play a little.

Nothing like hamburgers hot off the grill, stimulating conversation, and playing in the water to rejuvenate our brains and get us ready to tackle the sorting and packing again.

Ahhh, now we're ready...

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

This fun couple invited us over last night for great fellowship and one last taste of their world-famous hot fudge sauce.

Our journey to the Solomon Islands actually began in this very room seven years ago as we sat and visited with Lori and KJ and they began to put us in touch with different people in the world of Bible translation.

Even the adults found dessert to be "finger lickin' good"!

We sat and talked late into the night while the kids played outside in the back yard.

Our children had never caught lightening bugs (fun fun in Lavukaleve) before, and their joy and delight was contagious!