Saturday, June 19, 2010

One More Sleep...

Hello friends! I have one more night at home before I begin my life changing experience of India. I was praying this morning and realizing that this is not the first life long dream that has taken many years to come to fruition. My little girls were 22+ years of longing. Traveling as a missionary overseas became my passion at the same time that adopting Asian children did. Both of these passions began the summer after my freshman year in college. Interesting...! I have a really long "prep time", don't 'cha think? If you know me you can understand why God takes His time with me. I am filled with anticipation and excitement at this point. I am finally an official, albeit temporary, foreign missionary!!!! is really just sinking in. Use me as an encouragement if you can...don't give up on the dreams God places in your heart. He may accomplish them yet!

As I awoke this morning I had an awareness, as I do anytime I travel, that I may not be coming back. Things happen and we lose people. Something could happen to me on this trip or something could happen to someone I love while I am gone. That is the truth. I was filled with this truth this morning as I began my time of prayer. I surrendered again to my God all that I love here on this earth. I am acutely aware that He has blessed me abundantly and I don't ever want to take that for granted. I want to always remember that this life is temporary and I need to hold onto people, circumstances and possessions loosely. So I had some "releasing time" this morning. I am a bit controlling so it took some time. The truth is, I am still letting go. Anyway, it had been a long week and David was finally home and I was in the middle of getting ready to leave. Ironic I know. I asked David to bathe the girls for me. Ellie girl was not happy with that. She misses her daddy when he is gone, but there is always an adjustment time with her. She is a momma's girl(and I do love that)so to appease her I told her if she would let her daddy bathe her I would read them a book before bed. She acquiesced. I know the moms reading this post will understand that by the end of a very long day I am often so "done" that it is hard to get the little ones in bed with a kiss, much less a book, but last night I climbed into Davie's bed with my girls and had a precious time. Ellie picked her Easter Knock Knock joke book that she received for her birthday from our fellow adoptive family, the Venn's, and the laughter began. Each of the girls took turns saying the "who's there?" part of the joke. Fun times...or as our Japanese student, Takuro, would say, "Big Fun!". Then Davie picked a book about Gilbert the Gopher. As I began to read I gave the characters horrible southern accents. The girls laughed. Then I gave this one girl an accent that Davie corrected. She said, "Mom, she is supposed to have a nice voice." To which I replied in a whispery sultry southern voice, "like this?" and the hysterics ensued. We laughed and laughed. One of my favorite things in this life is watching Davie get really tickled. She has the most delightful belly laugh and her mouth covers her face and her eyes disappear. It was a precious time. I tell you that because while it hurts to leave my girls and go to India I KNOW it is the right thing to do, regardless of whether I come back or not. I tell you that because I want to stop and pause and give thanks to the God who made laughter and little girls and momma's to enjoy one another and to remember that the precious time I had with my little ones last night did not cost me a DIME! Do I think I will be back? OF COURSE! Do I realize the possibilities and remember that life is temporary? OF COURSE! Relationships are all we have in this life and in the next. They are the only riches we will take to Heaven with us.

My mind is full of the preciousness of life this morning. In the last week I have been able to join with some friends several times to visit a precious woman in her last stages of cancer. We have laughed together, sung songs of the faith, prayed and given thanks for her life. Sharon and Dale have been committed, faithful members of the church we attend for many many years. This last year we were in a couples small group together and we got to know each other on a much deeper level, sharing our struggles and joys. Spending time in the room with a person who will soon be on her way to the next life has a profound impact on me. The chances are that I won't see Sharon again on this earth. It has been an honor to be with her here and I will look forward to seeing her again there. Westwood folks, can't you just see Sharon at the gates as a greeter???? Love that thought!!!

Trusting God is the only way to release those we love. Believing with all of my heart in Heaven makes all the risks I take in this life worth it. Not testing God, but trusting Him and the promises of His word. So, I head to India with great anticipation that God is doing a good thing and with an acute awareness that He is in complete control. He is good. Everything He does is right. He has my best interest and the interests of those I love in mind in all He allows. I love that His truth has penetrated to the depths of my soul and gives me His peace.

"The Lord bless you, and keep you; the Lord make His face shine on you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His countenance on you, and give you peace." (Numbers 6:24-26)
Jackie Sue

p.s. here is a link to follow the trip of the entire Hopechest India team and to receive prayer requests, see photos and all sorts of stuff.
p.s.s. Eddie, you are the best! I love you with all my being. Thank you for letting my dreams come true and for always being here to pick up my messes. There is no one like you in the whole world. We are a blessed family to have you as our leader. My heart is full. Happy Father's Day!!!!

and for fun...


Anonymous said...

So eloquently put, as only you, my dear friend can! I will be praying for you, thinking about you and sending you love & strength!! I can't wait to hear all about your trip upon your return!!

Love & Blessing,


Suzanne said...

Dear Jackie,
I'm praying for you and I am so excited for you. God already has this trip mapped out and I can't wait to hear how He meets you every step of the way.
Thank you for sharing another journey with us.

Glad to hear your family is doing so incredibly beautiful they are.

and Cate

Anonymous said...

I just saved you in my "favorites" so I can come here at the end of each day (no pressure to blog every day!)
Each morning when I'm talking to Jesus I promise to pray for you and for the clan while you are away.
Godspeed dear friend!

Anonymous said...

oops! I forgot to sign my name,

Brandi said...

Whatever - I disagree with Lisa - MAJOR pressure to blog every day :-) hehe Sounds like you guys will actually have good internet connection which makes me happy!

can't WAIT! SO excited for you. Love you. Enjoy my sweet friends too :-)


Valarie Daly said...

Great post. Glad for the precious time with Davie and Elsie last night that GOD blessed you with! I will be anxiously waiting for your daily posts :-) feeling the pressure yet??? Enjoy every moment of each day (the good and the bad) I am excited about this journey that GOD has called you too! Know you are loved so much!

Anonymous said...

As you may know by now, Mom is singing with the angels in Heaven. Thank you so much for spending time with her. We were singing hymns (I finally remembered to bring the hymnal) and holding her hand just before she fell into the arms of Jesus. I know she is up there watching you and cheering you on in Heaven while you are ministering to others. I hope you are eternally blessed on this trip. With much love!
Dianna Mason