J is not a little kid anymore. The way he thinks and jokes and approaches things indicate a new level of cognition. When we were flying north at the beginning of summer, he and I were watching the movie on the plane. Listening to him laugh and recognize what was going on was such fun. It wasn’t an adult movie but it wasn’t a little kid cartoon. My little man is growing up! J is so good with his sister and it brings me much joy to watch him interact with her. He helps her when things are hard. He teaches her all kinds of new things. He plays with her and allows her to join him in his “big kid” adventures. He reads to her and prays with her and for her. He still has such a sweet heart and is our lover. In our travels he is affected most deeply saying goodbye to people. It has been a hard lesson this summer in learning that we cannot have it all in life. He has had to learn that our choices always mean when we pick one thing we exclude the other. This has been a challenge for J when he is really missing a certain friend or relative. He hates saying goodbye but is learning that in order to see friends/family he will have to be apart from others. This has broken my heart helping him learn this, as I too hate not having it all when it comes to people and places I love. However, I have seen him begin to understand this and embrace the transitions with joy and anticipation even in the midst of sadness at goodbyes.
Then there is E…boy that girl challenges all things in me! She is vivacious and full of life. She has come out of her shell tremendously in all of our travel and yet she still chooses when she wants to engage with those around us. She is smart, funny, quick as can be at sassy one-liners, and has no idea that she is 3 years younger than J and can’t do certain things. Despite a very rough start to the summer with a head injury, she hasn’t slowed down a bit. She is loving every second with her cousins and old friends but is now old enough to miss her friends back in GA. Her grasp of time is coming along and counting down to the next leg of the journey is getting easier. She has recently started to pray and some of her prayers are a kick! Recently she prayed (very seriously) “Dear God, even though my daddy has lots of countries left to go to please help him come home here to Grandpa’s very quick. And please help Grandpa to come home quick even though he is out watering the fire (my dad fights forest fires in the summer). And God please help us when we are drinking out of straws not to choke and have water come out our noses.” I love that she is slowly learning that God really wants to interact in all our day-to-day life. I have no idea what happened to make her pray about the straw/choking thing but whatever it was she felt compelled to talk to God about it!
As for me, I’m learning so much about grace this summer. I’ll try to post about a book I read recently and the implications it is having in my life. I’m trying to not take the moment so seriously and to enjoy the process of daily life-with kids, on road trips, visiting partners, speaking in churches, hauling kids luggage and car seats through airports, waiting for the tow truck with a friend as she and her son and my son were in a car accident, riding in the ambulance while being transferred from one ER to a bigger hospital with my baby girl, talking on the phone with friends I miss far away and beyond. The bottom line is I’m a sinner whose only hope at any good thing is the transforming power of Jesus in my life. I am so thankful for that and pray it continues to permeate all of me in all circumstances!
We are loving our summer and all the fun and challenges it is bringing-we hope you too are enjoying yours! After all, we are all journeying together through life!