Two of my people were gone all last week.
Matthew and Renae spent a week in Haiti. They met up with a team and helped out on a church building project.
They arrived home over the weekend, very tired and with lots of stories and adventures and pictures.
I was very glad they could take this trip and also quite happy, happy to have them back.
They did some sleeping and catching up yesterday and we looked at pictures and listened and shared and general catch up.
We’ve read books and read online and seen pictures and heard a few speakers talk about their visits or mission trips to other countries. We’ve talked to friends that have been places and talked to a few people that have lived in other countries.
It becomes that much closer though, when it is “my people” going on the trip and having the experience. I can tell it’s definitely just different to actually have been there. I haven’t, but I feel a bit like I have, through them. Part of my heart went with them and they were never far from my thoughts and prayers. Seeing their pictures and hearing them speak about some of the people makes it so much more “real.”
We’ve sponsored Compassion children over the years and there is a connection with sending letters and seeing pictures of them.
Yet, somehow it just becomes, I don’t know, more 3-D, when I see a picture of Matthew, with the man he taught to weld, or see a picture of the girls who cooked and washed dishes beside Renae. To have Renae point out children in the pictures and tells me their names.
For a period of time and space, they lived and worked with each other and made an impression on each other’s lives.
And there’s just no way for Matthew and Renae to fully relay the experience to us. We can look at the pictures, but they don’t share the dust and noise and smells and sensory part of it with us.
I love pictures, but they never fully capture a moment completely. The best picture out there, still does not truly radiate the magnificent beauty of that gorgeous sunset or ocean wave or even the flip side, when conditions aren’t beautiful or nice.
Renae made some new friends. There were a couple other girls from the states, very close to her age, who were on the team helping, too. I am just thankful for this opportunity for her.
Last week I read about an accident and the death of a blog/IG friend’s sister’s husband. She said words to this effect, “I went to bed and said a prayer for him. I rolled over and went to sleep fully expecting him to be there in the morning.” And then he wasn’t.
It hit me hard, because I was praying for my husband every night as I went to bed and hoping and expecting he would arrive home safely. My heart hurts for this wife and her children. We know we’re not promised tomorrow, but yet we must LIVE and live with hope. I’m thankful that this women knows Jesus and loves Him fully and is leaning hard on Him. I found myself reflecting on it all and rolling it all around and realizing that God is faithful. So faithful. I was reminded again that God WILL take care of me, even when disaster strikes.
While the other half of us were in Haiti, Tucker and I had a rather relaxing sequence of days. We were able to stay tucked inside a good bit.Suited me just dandy! We had two days that the temps crept up to 50’s and 60 and then it got cold.
I had made a list of projects and things I wanted to work on while M & R were gone. I did get several things done! Thankful! Each week I feel a little stronger and that is another very thankful thing.
Tucker helped me and we did some closet reorganizing and rearranging.
For an early birthday gift for Tucker, I subscribed him to the Odyssey Adventure Club online. It gives you access to all sorts of Odyssey Adventures. I thought with his Dad and sister gone, it would be a great time for him to try this out. It did work out well. Particularly, with cold weather and more inside time. And that fact about DAD GONE, so no Dad to hang out with and no Dad needing his help.
Tucker listened to Odyssey online anyway, but now with unlimited stories, we had lots of Odyssey happening. I started to feel like that when we sat down to eat a meal, Whit would probably be there pulling up a chair. And I would run up the stairs and expect to find Eugene curled up in a chair with a book. Once or twice, I was pretty sure I heard Connie banging around in the basement and I though perhaps I caught a glimpse of Katrina, too. Thankfully, Bart didn’t seem to be nearby, although once or twice I heard his sneaky laugh and raspy voice.
I get some seriously good chuckles out of some of the Odyssey happenings. Real life with a touch of humor and some exaggeration always brings about the best, relatable stories!
Tucker checked to make sure the doors were locked at night, emptied the humidifier and a few other chores that Dad put him in charge of as “the man of the house.” 🙂
There were special things about just T & I hanging out, but it sure is nice to have our others back!!!