We arrived in Thailand and dove right into our time at conference connecting with friends spread throughout Asia and making new friends. The kids LOVED the children’s program and asked to go every day, morning and afternoon! It was a challenging and refreshing time for us. (and praise the Lord, we were all relatively healthy this year!!!)
After conference we moved to the Juniper Tree in Chiang Mai to spend one week resting and soaking up some vitamin D before heading back to the below freezing temps of Harbin!
Jon organized a group cannonball jump. (our kids didn’t participate…)
Eden and her friend Aiden, just a few days older than her
Jon took a group of the kids here in Thailand around the place we’re staying and they took pictures of all the fun plants and bugs they found.
The Father provided one day of absolutely gorgeous weather for us to get outside and enjoy Riverbanks Zoo while in Columbia!
As we finally have time to sit and reflect it’s hard to sum up our visit to the US in January. I think the best word is that we were blessed. We were exhausted at first and it was a whirlwind at times, but we were blessed. We were so thankful for sweet time with family and friends. We were so encouraged by the interest and support of our work in China. We were so loved by the hospitality and generosity of so many! We were indeed blessed.
Here are a few special pictures from our time with family and friends.
We have got one smart little girl on our hands. Here’s the latest…
At conference the kids have a VBS program and this year they were learning about what it means to be a disciple of Jesus. The other night LG went potty and I was changing Eden’s diaper. “Mommy, come wipe me!!!!!!!!!!” LG shouted from the bathroom (we’re still working on this with #2…..) “I can’t right now Lydda Grace, I’m busy changing Eden’s diaper,” I replied.
“Mommy, disciples of Jesus are never too busy for people!” Lydda Grace quipped. At least she’s retaining what she learned, right?
At the place we’re staying right now there is a prayer garden. Yesterday afternoon LG, Eden and I were walking back from the pool and LG asked to go to the prayer garden. I told her we would go a little bit later but that right then we were going to our room to put Eden down for a nap. “Oh Mommy,” LG sighed, “what’s more important- Eden’s nap, or teaching me to pray?” (for the record LG and Daddy had a date to the prayer garden this morning and had a sweet time together!)
We were by the pool. Wade said, “I want to go home.” I paused… “Do you mean home like our China home or home like the tree house?” (We’re staying at a place in Thailand right now with little cabins on stilts and he calls it the tree house.) “The tree house,” Wade replied.
Another example. “Where are you from?” a lady asked Lydda Grace. LG gave her a blank look for a moment- and if you know my eldest daughter you’ll know she is rarely speechless. Finally she replied, “I’m American, but I live in Harbin.” (we then go on to explain that Harbin is in China and what we’re doing there….)
These are not atypical conversations for our kids. In the past year in a half we have moved around A LOT…. SC to Colorado, to Beijing for a month and then to Apt. #1 in Harbin. Then we moved to Apt. #2 in Harbin and then to Beijing for another 6 weeks for Eden to be born, at which time we lived in two different apartments. We went back to Harbin only to leave a few months later for a visit to the US where we stayed at 5 different places and then on to Thailand where we have stayed at two places. We’re anticipating yet another move this summer.
I often find myself doubting… the little voice inside nags…. “this can’t be good for the kids… this sense of rootlessness is bad…. kids need consistency….” and on and on it berates me. So I stop, and I pray to drive that voice away, because while there is some truth in what the voice says, it’s not Truth with a capital T.
Shouldn’t all who believe be restless and rootless? Grounded not in an earthly place but in our hope of our eternal heavenly home?
I’m thankful that our kids seem to settle into “home” wherever we are, they are resilient and flexible and just happy to be with mom and dad. And while I sometimes grieve the fact that they do not have the concept of “home” that I had at their age, I rejoice that they are experiencing first-hand the truth that this world is not our home.
Now that we have Eden, I often find myself referring to Lydda Grace and Wade as my big kids. So thankful for time together with them. Ran across this picture from when we went to watch snow sculpture building and wanted to post.