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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

This Side of the Water

Things are moving . . . really moving in terms of our relocation to The Philippines.

All home repairs have been accomplished and the house is on the market. Tomorrow, we will be listed on the MLS.  Oh, how I have waited for this day!
My cute little cottage on the beautiful piece of land that I waited years for will belong to someone
else and I am just fine with that.  My prayer is that the new family enjoys this home and fills it with love and memories.  I pray that the spirit of God is present here in the new owners and that they will take good care of my precious neighbor-friends we will leave behind.
But, dang, I have loved this house . . .  I brought home my three newest children to this home.
I prayed many prayers here and cried buckets of tears, both happy and sad. God healed one of my children from tremendous emotional scars within these walls.   We hosted countless friends and loved ones in these rooms and opened God's word with brothers and sisters at the table inside.
Lord, let the new owners, whoever they are, appreciate the beautiful things about this
cozy house . . .

We have given our one-and-only public schooled son his final date to be a student at his beloved school.  April 15th, his birthday, will be his last day there.  It is the day his group "tracks out" for a month and so we find it a practical, logical time for him to close that chapter in his life.
He is lamenting saying good-bye to some of the great friends he has made and I am
not-so-secretly looking forward to having him all to myself again. I have to admit, I sure do miss
that kid when he's gone so many hours each day.
Do missionaries let their children play with guns?  I'll have to check on that.

And it brings to mind some other questions bouncing around in this frenetic brain of mine.
Like, do missionaries have Pearl Jam and Indigo Girls on their ipods?
Do they have teens with tattoos and piercings?
Do they have children with special needs who divide their hearts and make them afraid they are taking too big a leap?
Do they drink wine with their dinner?  Do they dance to non-Christian music? 

Is there a dress, behavior and conduct code we don't understand that immediately disqualifies us from being taken seriously by our peers on the mission field?

I guess we'll find out.   And I don't really think so.

I've been blessed to spend time with other missionaries from The Philippines and found them to come in all shapes, sizes, ideologies and practices. Pentecostal, conservative, liberal, reformed, dresses-only, blues-guitar-playing, no-mixed-swimming, King-James-only-reading, still-deciding-on-some-stuff people who are working out their own salvations with fear and trembling.

Loving Jesus. Serving the poor and agreeing to disagree on some of the finer points.
I've been "sharpened" by them.

And that comforts me.
Because it's so important that we can carry the gospel message far away and keep being "us".
As long as the "us" we are is not in opposition to the CLEARLY WRITTEN mandates in scripture then I think we are on the right track.

The selling has started.
Oldest-son sold his piano  and only-daughter her drum kit and bass guitar.
They will re-purchase the instruments they miss when we arrive abroad and I am gunning for oldest son to replace that keyboard as soon as possible.  I miss hearing him play in the late evenings while I clean up the dinner dishes.
Only-daughter taught herself to play the ukulele yesterday and oldest-son is proficient on the melodica so, we still have plenty of music filling our home but there's nothing like a beautiful piano ballad to get me through that last scrubbing of the worst pot!

Hubby has dissolved his photography business and sold off a good bit of his equipment.

This is all so real and yet, it feels we have a ways to go.

Sometimes I dream we are already there in the heat and busyness of Manila.  I wake up a little disappointed and a tiny bit relieved that it was just a dream.  Because I know there will be some very hard parts.  And we have so much to learn!

Lord, teach us to lose!

 Matthew 16:24-27
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done.

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