Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Hang Gliding and Holding On

Today I was sitting at my computer, working on our newsletter contacts before we head back to Thailand when in walked my granddaughter Sydrah. She has the week off from school so is spending it with us. My husband and I are trying to get in as much time with her as possible--holding on to that contact that we will miss in the future.

She had spent the last half an hour in the other room working on some sort of craft. She asked for paper and tape--then for crayons. I heard her cutting with scissors and then towards the end she came into the dining room and took a few toothpicks from the toothpick holder beside the table where I was working. I was curious. What WAS she doing in there?

A few minutes later she walked into the room with her finished creative work: a paper hang glider complete with a little paper person taped to the straps under the glider. She had also taped three toothpicks to one wing as control sticks. She sailed it proudly to me and around the room.

"Ooooo, a hang glider," I say. "That's cool. What made you think of making that?"

"Hmm. I don't know. Just me," she says matter-of-factly.

"With even a little person flying under it. Is that you?" I ask.

"No, it's you," she says and then she turns the corner and is gone.

I am hit by questions: Is that how she sees me? Brave enough and young enough to be a hang gliding grandma? A grandma that loves life enough to try such an extreme sport? That would take up the challenge? Well, if it is. then that makes me warm and happy inside. She has felt my love for adventure, for not necessarily following the norm, and for being my unique, quirky, even weird self.

Yes my beautiful granddaughter. It is how I want you to see me--thinking and living outside the box and facing the challenges of what that means whether here in Canada or on the other side of the world. And even though you may not understand now why your Papa and I are moving to a country far, far away, and you won't see us as much, I pray you will understand our hearts and the calling God has put within us to go and help those who don't know Jesus, who don't have God's Words of love written in their language. I pray that in your sadness, God will give you an understanding beyond your years to realize the importance of sharing God's love to all.

I love you my granddaughter and will hold on to you in my heart. And please know that even though I am excited about the future and new adventure, I am also sad to leave you behind. It will be one of the hardest things I will ever have to do.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015


This past weekend my husband and I decided it was time to clean up, purge, re-organize our basement. It has become a dumping ground not just for us but for our children as well. After all, we're the only ones that have space.

Well, soon we won't have space--5 months from now, in fact, when we leave this place and move back to Thailand. So, we are re-arranging the basement to make a storage room while we are gone. What a challenge!

I used the word, "purge." The word is defined as: "to rid (someone) of an unwanted feeling, memory, or condition, typically giving a sense of cathartic release." Is that what I am doing? Am I purging? Well, I am ridding myself of the unwanted condition of a mess in the basement. But I have NO desire to rid myself of the feelings and memories found in my basement, not just from the last five years but from years of memories found in photo albums, in items from Thailand or the Philippines sitting on shelves or hanging on walls, in totes full of our children's lives. I never want to be purged from that. I WANT to keep those memories and feelings. No, I want to be purged from the unwanted, bad things, not the good things.
(Above images: Kids being silly in a photo booth; James' 4th grade Science project)

Funny--that's exactly what God calls us to do in our faith-lives. In Romans 12:2 He says, "Do not be conformed to this present world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may test and approve what is the will of God—what is good and well-pleasing and perfect." He asks us to get rid of the old junk and renew our minds. To keep what is good and well-pleasing and perfect but throw out the junk. Sorting through stuff in the basement has given me a fresh understanding of what that means. And it doesn't just happen all at once. Oh yes, some things are easily tossed with a twist of the wrist. Other things like writings and papers, require sifting through, require perseverance. It is the same in our lives. Perseverance in purging can be painstaking but it is worth it. The beautiful thing is, God is not absent in and through it all. His presence is a promise of hope. So whether it's purging physical junk or purging spiritual junk, He is with us. Realizing that just makes me love Him more.

And now I must get back to my basement--to enjoy the good feelings, memories, items, and throw out the useless, hindering junk.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Go to "Ten Things"

Want to know 10 things that a TCA has to think about when moving from one culture to another? Then go to my "Ten Things" tab that I posted on yesterday. :)