Going back and moving forward

David said to me just today, “3 more days and it’ll be February”. “WHAT?” I responded, “How is that possible? Weren’t we just in the States last week?”

No is the answer to that question, that was over 3 weeks ago!

We had the sweet privilege of returning to the States for Christmas this year. It’s the first Christmas since we were on the field that we’ve gone back. When they discovered that Mack’s cancer was inoperable back in September they asked that both kids come back to Atlanta with all the grandkids and celebrate big time this year! And so we did! An incredibly gracious group of people provided the resources for us to do so! God continues to blow me away with His provision for our family.

We ate more than we should have. We laughed non stop. We loved on each other in spoken and unspoken ways, and I am profoundly grateful that we had this time. We also got to get up to Mt Juliet to spend just a couple of days with my family, and were equally grateful for that time to kiss faces, and hug necks.

6 years abroad, and physical affection is not something I take for granted. When those whom I love are physically within my grasp, I take advantage of every opportunity to get my hands on them. And then I store up every one of those touches, and kisses in the recesses of my heart, because I know there will be a time, not so long from now, that I will need to recall those precious moments. The sweet memories will not be nearly as gratifying as the real thing, but they will be enough, and I am learning to live with that.

Christmas was magical this year. I can remember, often, during those 2 1/2 weeks, consciously slowing down, looking around and taking mental snapshots. I wanted to remember everything, and everyone, just as they were in that moment.

I don’t take those moments for granted any more either. They are precious. And I want to be intentional about remembering them.

Fast-forward 3 weeks, and we’re getting ready to head into February. The students are back in school, finishing up exams and getting ready to start a new semester.

Our bible study is just finishing James this week, and next week we’ll begin Romans. The kids are all bringing their favorite verse or principle from James to discuss this week, and what in their lives will change because of it! I’m excited to hear them!

We are seeing more and more with each passing week these kid’s relationships with the Lord deepening, broadening, becoming richer and sweeter. It’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. If you’ve never had the chance to walk with new, young believers, do it!!! They will broaden, deepen, and enrich your own love for the Father in ways you couldn’t have dreamt of!

Pray for them as we begin Romans. It will be the first time for many of them to study it. It will also be the first time for David teaching it in Italian. SO, really, just prayers all around!!!

We are incredibly excited as we move into a new semester, studying old promises that are as life giving today as they were when they were written a couple thousand years ago!!



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