Sunday, February 25, 2018

The Hardest Little Things

“It’s the little things…” She said. A friend and I were talking about holidays recently and the conversation drifted slightly in another direction as she asked me, “Don’t you find it’s the little things that you miss the most?”

She went on to say “ I mean, I do miss my family at Christmas time, birthdays and all that…but when it’s big things like that, I feel like I can sort of prepare myself. But sometimes you can be blindsided when you remember something suddenly.”

She went to give the example of how she, her sister and mom would have their annual tradition of going out for breakfast and shopping on Black Friday in the US. She was reminded of this as she was standing outside the gate to our center’s store waiting for it to open for our version of Black Friday. It is the one time that the store is open on a Saturday. There are seasonal items, specially ordered, on display, the store is decorated and there is Christmas music playing.

She said she almost cried standing there, remembering and being sad to miss out by doing what God has called her to.

We all have those little things…and much like the question “Where are you from?” the longer you live and work overseas the more difficult it becomes to answer… "What is hardest about living there?”

One Question we get asked especially by folks really interested in our lives during furlough is: “What is the hardest thing about living there.”

The answer shifts, sometimes daily.

I can tell you something that, for me, is always hard. That twinge my heart makes and brings a lump to my throat, and sets my eyes glistening…

When I see memories on facebook pop up reminding me of memories our kids have shared with cousins, and grandparents…

It does make me sad that my kids miss out on birthdays, and holidays with family…but what I feel is more of a sacrifice in our obedience to God are the camping trips, woodworking projects with Granddad, swimming in their cousin’s pool, growing up with their cousins…
Thanksgiving at Oregon coast with Liz's family
Snow with cousins in Portland
Swinging with Granddad
Getting ready for a canoe ride with Granddad
Riding bike with uncle Jonathan
Playdough with Sasa (grandma Rodman)
Christmas cookies with Grandma Debbie
video games with cousins at Thanksgiving
Snuggling with uncle Justin's dogs..Billy and....
Beach trip with Evan's family
Trip to the redwoods with Grandpa Robin just a few months after Liam was born
Grandpa Robin entertaining Liam on a long car ride after a camping trip together

It is certainly little sacrifice, little suffering in comparison to many. But it is still sacrifice and still suffering and I have to pray each day for the willingness to continue under God’s will. In doing so, it breaks my heart a little…but it also strengthens it as we draw closer to Him and the finish line.

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