Wednesday, February 25, 2009

So Life Goes On . . .

We talked to the kids last night via Skype. They arrived in Arequipa yesterday and have settled into their "home". They are living with a Peruvian woman and her children for the next three months while they attend language school. It was nice to "see" them over the computer but I have to admit it was quite frustrating as well. Sweet Tyler kept reaching for the screen and I found myself reaching back. So much of a relationship with a baby involves physical touch and babies learn and grow tactically. I know that it's better than what missionary families had in past days, but I have to say I liked it better the way it was for us before, when we could hold him and play with him, tickle and kiss him. Ah well.

I was visiting with a student here at the university I work at. She is a missionary kid who grew up in Africa and just returned to the States to go to school 6 months ago. I was asking her about her relationship with her grandparents. Basically she told me that she never really knew them although the is getting to know her grandma now. Imagine!

She shared with me that she doesn't really feel "at home" here at all and longs to go back to Africa someday - even though her parents now live here. Imagine!

She told me that every single time her grandfather talked to her dad on the phone - every single time for twenty years - he ended his call by asking "Are you coming home yet?" It took twenty years, but they are home now. Imagine!

I am just going to take it one day at a time. And today there are only 1086 days until they are home to stay.

I've kept myself busy this week - I started working outside, cleaning up the yard and my flower beds for spring. We have had 50 degrees and sunshine and lots and lots of wind. Can I just say how hard it is to rake leaves in the wind?

I feel like I have been doing a lot of raking leaves into the wind lately, figuratively speaking. Hmmm....

I got the back yard done inside the fence but we also have property outside the fence that needs raked. And the front yard needs attention too. The flower seeds that I started indoors have all sprouted - except for the Petunias. I'm hoping they just need a little more time. I have 6 trays of 72! If they all do well - I'm going to be in business! Yesterday I planted 4 o'Clocks and Cantebury Bells.

I am also getting ready for our Ladies Retreat this weekend. Our speaker is going to be author, Robin Lee Hatcher, and I am really excited to meet her and hear what she has to share. Our numbers are down this year - the economy has hit our congregation pretty hard. But I feel confident that those whom God wants to be there - will be. It will be good to go away for a few days and focus on something different.

Sweet little Miss Ava Claire has a double ear infection. She was extremely fussy last weekend and running a low-grade fever. After a visit with the Dr. on Monday she is on antibiotics and last night we were at her house and she was very happy! Poor sweetheart. She is still so tiny - 5 months old and 13 pounds. She is very strong however, and jabbers and "talks" more and more. She is holding onto little toys now and grabs hair! I especially love when she grabs my hair and pulls my head down to hers and "kisses" me! I'm sure that's what she is doing! Andrea swears she has heard her say "mama" twice. I remain skeptical about that - but who knows? She loves eating her fruit and cereal - you can't spoon it in fast enough. Jayson and Andrea have two chichuahua's and last night we noticed one was missing. Andrea said "Oh she is upstairs sleeping in Ava's room". Apparently she loves Ava and whenever Ava goes to bed, little Junie goes up and sleeps by her crib. How precious is that?

Life does go on. It's different - and we are adjusting. I don't like it - but I can't change it. So I will just depend on God to get me through. I find myself drawn to the Psalms. David sure had a knack for putting his true feelings into words. I like that he felt close enough to God to tell him how he really felt. I like knowing that God is big enough to handle the way we feel. It's good to know I can be totally honest with Him and tell Him how I feel and He is not threatened by it. It comforts me to know that He knows my heart - He cares - and through it all He is accomplishing His will.

I'm glad He is so much bigger than I am.


Becky said...

Well said, Robin. As always.

nanajobx said...

I am so afarid that like that girl you visited with that my grandchildren will not "really" know me. They will live in Haiti for at LEAST 10 yrs. My only choice is to save $, vacation time and go to them. And not for just a week. That won't be long enough. They will also be speaking creole in the home which means I must learn that because the youngest is only one and that will be his first language. Reading about your walk on this uncharted jounrney is helpful but no less scary.

nikkipolani said...

Ah, Robin. My heart ached for you as I read about your skype session with little Tyler.

I know some missionaries to Kenya whose son (who spent most of his 13 years of life there) only made the "concession" to move to Romania with his parents knowing that some day, he could return home to Kenya.

Dawn said...

Career missionary children never feel quite at home - my nieces and nephew have wanderlust very badly. But they have such amazing life stories.

You said it all in the last paragraph!

Willow said...

Robin, I know I've written before that I was one of those missionaries, the ones in the middle, the child who is gone, the mother whose children don't know their grandparents well. It hurts the ones in the middle too, and it's important that everyone else in the family structure understands that we do what we do because 'Christ constrains us'. Don't let your own feelings get in the way of their love and commitment to their Savior.

My children are 'world Christians'. Sometimes they don't feel at home in the US but then the US isn't their home. They all have wanderlust and big views of the world. It can be a blessing!

A Day In the Life . . . said...

Everytime I am looking forward to something, I am reminded of and tempted to make one of those paper chains we used to make in grade school to count down the days until christmas. . . .you take a link off each day, well, you know, your kids had them. You could always make a 1068 link chain, and take a link off each day . . .or I guess you could put a countdown widget on your blog . . .its probably easier!

Anonymous said...


I know God is pleased with your willingness to be so open and honest with him about your feelings. (And I know you are blessing me also.) I completely get how you are feeling right now. When our kids went back to the field with our 7-week-old grandson was truly the worst day of my life. A friend who looked at our photos from that day said, "You can feel the grief."

I want to encourage you, though, not to let the distance keep you from continuing a strong relationship with Tyler. He knows you already, and there's much you can do to keep up and grow that connection. The POMs who contributed ideas to our book testified to that.

Much love to you,

gail@more than a song said...

I'm glad you got to talk to them and "see" them to know they arrived! It's not the same thing as in person and I still can't imagine how hard it will be but I know you'll make it through. But I think I noticed you said so many days and they'd be home for good, so the good thing in all of it is that they have a definite end time! Good idea to do a countdown maybe.
How fun to have Robin Lee Hatcher as your speaker! You'll have to share it later, with pictures if you get them!