Monday, February 27, 2017

Grandkids are the best

There's a fresh dusting of snow on the trees outside our window. I grew up in Winnipeg so God maxed me on snow early. I don't miss cold weather - and never care to see another flake. We live on a hill in Seattle, a non-walking suburb. The nearest grocer is over a mile away. Visiting friends means driving. The hills, iced under the snow, are a challenge to drive on. We slip and slide around all the others who don't know how to drive on the slopes. We have 3 appointments today that we can't move.

"Can't" is relative - I'm actually hoping for rain to swish away all the snow. (Just admitting it: "I've hated winter for about the last 20 years." No surprise to those who know me.)

Monday, February 20, 2017
We drive into Jakarta with our friend Josue. After the driver drops us at the airport hotel, he takes J to our friends David and Paula, where he's overnighting. Tomorrow he'll meet the IESJakarta team and make some new connections for his coaching dreams.

It's a long day of travel from morning to night. Two flights. Our son Timothy picks us up for the ride to our Seattle home. Brrrr. We get into the basement suite and it's coooold. The concrete floors haven't had heat on them for months. We have feather blankets under the sofabed. I pull them out - one for under us and our quilts on top. We drop off to sleep in the wee hours after unpacking.

Time to think about the days ahead. We go through our calendar. And we meet our grandkids again. They look at us a few times before they cling to us. How we've missed them!

The pantry is stocked in the basement with canned and dry goods. We buy fresh and frozen groceries at Trader Joes. Ah, what a variety of tastes that we recognize and have missed. Ravioli. Sausage. Yellow potatoes. Fresh washed salads. Plump asparagus. (Oh, so many kinds of vegetables!) Crisp apples. Frozen mango bars. And a frozen TJ pizza for an impulse or late-night supper down the road.

It's Thursday morning! Girlfriend day. We meet at Third Place Books, which is the refreshment for my spiritual life and lets me speak heart-to-heart with others. (They speak English. Woohoo!)

I stop in at the bookstore. English books galore. Shelf after shelf. Aisle after aisle. What unbelievable luxury for this addicted reader.

One last stop - an outlet store. I wander the store as recreation. I'm not a shopper. But I recognize the products and know what they're for. I can imagine using them - and leave almost empty-handed because it's seeing and knowing that I've craved today.

In the evening, we're at Canyon Creek. They interview us about what we're doing. And Brandon's talk speaks to my heart. I'll hear it 3X more Sunday morning - he's a compelling speaker and his words stay with me - when God sends us, he goes before and provides the way.

We drive up to Mt Vernon to lunch with my parents. Ah, to wrap arms around each other in a big hug. The portions are huge at Red Robin - W has to finish mine. He heads off to the boat and friends night - while I rewrite a syllabus and do some other writing. I haven't started on the book edit on my desk. I watch a movie and am up until 2:30am. Jet lag.

And I wake at 12:45pm. What? I check my watch. Check my phone. Check the computer clock. Yup - earplugs worked better than a magic pill and I feel rested.

W comes back with food poisoning. He staggers through the day - while I clean and set up house.

The kids and I go to the park. All three walk all the way - I push the stroller there and 3-yr-old Levi pushes it home. His big sister (5) gets a bit impatient as he weaves along the side of the road. I'm just keeping my eyes on the little feet of almost-two-yr-old Isaac, who tries to put them onto the main street more than once.

Kinsey and I gather moss and feathers for our moss tray when we get back to the house.

A lovely day among friends at Canyon Creek. They encourage us and Brandon's talk - even 3 more takes - is just what I need to hear. On this trip, I've asked God to open my heart to instruction, to fill me up for the trip home when we give of ourselves. The young staff takes us to lunch: Thai food. Yum for heart, soul, and body.

And the kids are waiting at home. We call the missing two - one is away, but the other settles into the conversation with jokes and tech. Ah - boys! We eat dessert and then a few appetizers later in the day. By evening, we're tired but happy. W's stomach has settled and he's getting his energy back.

Read more:
*The word of the Lord is upright, and all his work is done in faithfulness. Psalm 33:4
Jesus says, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.” Matthew 5:17
And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. Romans 8:2 ESV
Moravian Prayers: Unchanging God, thank you for wanting to be in relationship with us. As we see you in history, and in our lives, we gain new insights. May our faith be strengthened as we see clearly your desire to bring us closer to you, and to each other, in love. Amen.

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