It is quiet at Shady Acres. I have finished the deposit for church, and Middle Daughter took it to the night deposit box on her way to Oldest Daughter’s house. She is leaving on Wednesday for Chad, Africa, for a short term mission trip with Wycliffe as a teacher for their “VBS for Missionary Kids” program. She will be teaching the toddler class. I love to see her so excited. She honestly feeds and thrives on the travel, the unknown, the opportunities, even the possible dangers. And she loves little kids.
Middle Daughter has always been so careful with her money. Whenever things like this come up, she looks at her savings and estimates whether she can possibly do this without asking anyone for anything. That can be good in terms of running off all the time, but it can be terrible when it comes to accountability. Somehow when you go off with just your own funds, there seems to be a sort of independence that I am not sure is good. So when this came up, we encouraged her to not just “do it myself” but to inform the Brotherhood, and invite them to help.
This morning at church, friends brought independent offerings to be put towards her trip. Cash, tucked in a sweet, sweet card. Checks, given quietly on the side and representing sacrifice, and words of encouragement and promises to pray. I’m not always sure that young people heading out realize just what this represents in terms of the home church. It is a sign that they are willing to invest in, believe in, and pray for this person, and are willing for this person to represent the home church in the situation to which they are heading.
Which reminds me of how Jesus trusts all of us to represent HIM in the places we find ourselves. That gives me reason to wonder why He trusts me, a fallible human, to be Jesus in the world around me. And do I take it seriously enough? And will I be faithful by His Grace to this call on my life? I enjoy living so very much, but I confess that I am almost never excited about travel, the unknowns, and the possible dangers. Just give me the opportunities, and please make them be right out my back door, and I’ll do my best to– well, do my best.
Okay, I’m an old “stick in the mud”. I know it. My family (for sure!) knows this. And I suspect that God knows it, too. He really rattles my cage sometimes. But more often, He gives me more opportunities out my back door than I can really believe, and gives me such joy on the journey. It’s funny. As the days pass and I’m feeling better and better, and the fog of pain medication is drifting away, I am remembering the JOY! That old excitement for what God might be doing next in the chapters of my life is returning. I still have one more knee to do, and I can’t say that I’m altogether excited about that, but I am excited for the opportunities He is going to give me through and beyond that.
Even seeing our girlie head off to Chad gives me joy. We will miss her, and we will be so glad to see her come back, but I love to see our kids being faithful to God’s call on their lives, and it is a reminder that these wonderful people that have come from the love that Certain Man and I have for each other, have never really belonged to us. They’ve only been entrusted for a time. How I handle “letting go” can be a real measure of my trust in the Heavenly Father.
Sometimes I wish I had the connection the angel, Clarence Odbody, had in “It’s a Wonderful Life” where I could just look up and say, “How’m I doin’, Father?” and could get an instant answer. Doesn’t seem to work that way, does it? Sometimes it seems like there is a lot of “muddling” in the business of parenting, and I’ve made more than my share of mistakes in these thirty some years.
This is where I come back to the fact that God loves my kids more than I do. His interest in seeing them safely Home is even more than mine, and while I need to do my part, there is part that I can’t do, part that even God won’t do — unless they let Him. And so, I pray they let Him. I pray that the road I leave behind, though sometimes crooked, and sometimes broken, will still be light on their road to Jesus, and consequently, Heaven.
Lord Jesus. May it be so.