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Archive for November, 2010

Family and friends = a blend of colors, frosted with love

I always wanted a real good Christmas story to tell; but I was thinking, maybe Thanksgiving is almost as good…

I think one blessed thing given to youth is a spirit of adventure, excitement and discovery. Thinking and planning years in advance just doesn’t come into the picture. There’s too much to experience and enjoy. When I was a teen, I took life as it came, one day at a time.

When I felt the call to travel to India as a volunteer, I went; I just knew somehow it was the right thing for me (and I ended up calling it home for nearly twelve years, so I’m not about to change my mind).

When I met the man who is now my husband, I just knew somehow he was the right one for me (and I ended up calling him hubby for over seven years, and no, not about to change my mind).

Then there are those things that crop up that I didn’t really see in advance, one main thing being the issues that invariably arise in being married to someone from not only a different country, but all the way across the world. Where do you call home? And how easy is it to reposition that place you call home?

We have proven—over the past six months of paperwork, planning, packing, preparing, traveling, and the last couple of months of being apart and waiting–it’s not that easy.

It probably was easier for me than my husband, who was alone halfway across the world, just waiting, hoping and praying that he would be able to join me and the kids soon.  

There was the morning we were chatting over skype and our four-year-old son had it in his mind that daddy was coming tomorrow. When I tried to explain to him that daddy had not yet gotten his visa, he fell to pieces, in tears, and it took most of the day for him to recover. It was probably nearly as difficult for my husband to take as it was for Allen.

At the same time, it wasn’t always a breeze for me.

There were the numerous times that the moment I was out of sight of our youngest, he would start to cry and shout “mama” because he was afraid I would disappear too. I had to strategically plan things like showers either when Aiden was napping or watching his favorite video. Even then, there were times I had to rush out, soapy and wet, to comfort a crying half-awake toddler…at times like that, I thanked God for bathrobes.

Then there was today, when I told Aiden we were going to pick up daddy at the train station and he ran to the door, saying “daddy, daddy”, and waited there until we were all ready to go. Allen drew a great picture of a colorful airplane and we took it to the station with us. It might have been colder weather than my husband and kids had ever experienced, but there was a certain warmth pervading when he hugged Allen tightly, when Aiden looked closely just to make sure it really was daddy there (and then broke into a huge smile and didn’t stop saying “daddy” again and again until we were in the car driving home together), when Jessica came home from school and was surprised to find her daddy already home, waiting for her.

Today is thanksgiving, and I am truly blessed.

I give thanks for my wonderful, close family—the family that I grew up with, and the family that I have gained.

I give thanks that we will all be together on Thanksgiving—a prayer that seemed almost out of reach, but which was granted by Someone Who cares for us all.

I give thanks for wonderful friends, those whom I have known for years, those whom I have just met, and those whom I have not even met but still have come to love and admire.

I give thanks for love—that amazing bond between family, between friends and most of all, the love of Christ which has carried me across the world and back again, carried me through difficulties and tears, carried me through times of questions or fears, and which has never failed me once.

Love…the greatest force in the universe and the greatest reason to give thanks!

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Blankets and Prayers

My husband is always consistent in saying the Lord’s Prayer with the children each night. I think it’s great, so children have a prayer to remember, in case they ever didn’t know what to say (which seems to be quite often: “Mommy, I don’t know what to pray for”). Our two older children knew it by heart and quote it along with us nightly.

As much as I have attempted to keep on top of everything over the past couple months, without my spouse with me, a few things have fallen through the cracks. I have to admit, although I prayed with the children every night, more often than not, I would forget to say the Lord’s Prayer with them.

After hearing the news on Wednesday evening that he got his visa, we were all thrilled. My daughter jumped up and down in her bed, saying that she knew he would be with us by thanksgiving. Since then, I had been attempting to pray the Lord’s Prayer with them each night, to get back in the habit.

Last night, as usual, I prayed with them before bed, but because my youngest son was acting up, I again forgot to pray the Lord’s Prayer with them before they fell asleep.

As usual, I worked for a little while after the kids fell asleep. The cold got to me before long and I huddled under my covers in hopes of a good night sleep. Every night, one or the other of my kids invariably wakes me up for some reason: bad dream, cold, needs water, needs to snuggle, etc. not to mention my own thoughts trying to keep me awake for as long as possibly possible. A good night’s sleep is hard to come by these days.

I had just drifted off when I heard my son, Allen, ask for his “Lightning McQueen” blanket. I got out of my warm bed, put his favorite “blankie” on top of his other blanket and kissed him goodnight. I quickly got under my covers once more, yet I heard my son talking. It wasn’t just a word or two. He was rambling on about something, but too quietly for me to hear his words from my bed. I got up and bent down next to my little boy to hear what he was saying…

“…but deliver us from evil, for Thine is the Kingdom and the power and the glory forever, in Jesus name, amen.”

I looked at him. His eyes were closed. He had fallen asleep once more, but not before remembering to pray. I knew our sleep would be sweet.

 

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