You know, they say a picture is worth a thousand words. All our pictures from this furlough are still on my memory card. As we were driving the other day, I was looking through them. And I found myself smiling the entire time. What I do not have time or ability to write about...the stories, memories, feeling... those pictures say it all.
I’ve met so many young mothers (well, younger than I am...I’m still young, right? :) ), and with many have had the privilege and joy of sharing some time talking together. We’ve talked about very real feelings...tired or better exhausted, overwhelmed, survival mode, being joyful, doubts, fears. My encouragement to them:
Be not weary in well doing, for in due season ye shall reap if ye faint not!
The joy of the Lord is my strength.
Spend time each and every day with the Lord in His Word and prayer!! Make it your number one priority more necessary than your daily food.
Enjoy each day! Even those days...no, years...of feeling like you are just surviving...diapers, cleaning, discipline, playing, cooking, laundry, it never ends...have fun! Sing, laugh, tickle, love, do something or many things fun and even goofy each day to keep everyone smiling! :)
And something that one of my dear friends told me recently has rung so true through my thoughts ever since:
The days are long but the years are short.
It does go by so fast! A day in the van with 12 children driving feels like forever. But looking over pictures taken from just a year ago, and I can’t believe how much they’ve grown! Look at pictures from 3 years ago, and I get teary eyed remembering.
Oh, the Lord is so good! What a precious gift each day is that He gives! And today is going to be the best day ever. Just like yesterday was! :)
Friday afternoon, we arrived at the Millers house. And I think my children were contemplating letting Daddy and I finish furlough ourselves and letting them stay there a couple months :) What a wonderful, fun, sweet family who love the Lord and love each other. They have 7 children. They adopted one of their beautiful girls from China. They have one boy that is as full of energy and speed as my Nehemiah (which of course, made me very relaxed knowing that we wouldn’t scare them too much :) ), and just the most sweet 16 year old daughter who gave her entire afternoon and next morning to spend with all the children. They are getting ready to adopt 2 more dear boys from Africa here soon, too!
What did we do there? Well, we visited (until 2 am!), I got caught up on all my laundry (again!!), we ate, and then played...a go cart, trampoline, swings, toys, books, power wheels, horses, goats, chickens, ducks, dogs, a cow. It was so much fun!
My favorite part of furlough is being with people! Whether it is my family in the van or with a church or with dear friends in their home...we LOVE getting to know others better and hearing and seeing what the Lord has done or is doing in their lives.
Yesterday, Daniel spoke at Fundamental Baptist Church in Irving, TX. It is always so good to be in the house of the Lord each Sunday. I met a dear young lady ( hi Barrie!) who drove well over and hour to come meet us who is preparing to give her life to serve the Lord on the mission field too. We got to eat real Texas BBQ after the service. In the evening, Daniel wasn’t scheduled to speak, so we attended another Baptist church we found and a dear family there took us all out to McDonalds! The children enjoyed meeting their children and playing at the play place together. On the way home, we were in the most incredible thunder storm! After not really seeing any rain for over 2 years, this was VERY exciting! :)
And today, well, once everyone gets up and going, Daniel is going to fix the trailer, I’ll probably work on some more laundry, and then we are going to spend a couple more days/nights with another friend that I can’t wait to meet!
The Lord is so faithful and so good!