Saturday, July 26, 2008

Faces to come home to

I have lived with 4 families in the last 2 years! It hit me the other day: in Wales, there will be no more sippy cups in the dishwasher (gosh, I hope we have a dishwasher...), no more dirty diapers, no french braids to do before church, no little tiny flip flops next to mine...I will miss that.

Words cannot describe the amount of learning that has taken place as a result of amazing hospitality shown, Biblical Femininity lived out in very practical (and wonderfully different) ways, late night conversations, questions about kids, making meals, cleaning, or our Awesome King and His unfathomable ways.

In my "in between" year in Va, I continued to pray that in the next year, God would train me in being a wife and mom. I realize now, training in these areas will never be complete-- but HOW CREATIVE of our LORD to answer my requests in this way! Each living situation has been so different- each family operates in a unique way. All striving to honor and glorify God.

When I do an "overview" of what I've learned in my time with each family, certain emotions, words, conversations, and jokes stick out in my mind.

With the Vanlues- NEW MERCY. Julie and I spoke of it regularly...well, SPEAK of it regularly; the conversation continues. How amazing it is. How much we need it. Ah, fresh every morning. Specific for my day. I was so affected by the way Julie not only opened her room to me, but her closet, her bathroom, her jewelry, her clothes (you know, ones that were too big for her)...I call her my 1/2 sister. And from Cissy, what sticks out is YOUR WALK. Always encouraging me not to look at others or compare myself with them, but to be diligent and faithful to what God is calling ME specifically to do in any given situation.

With Jeremy and Kristen- COMFORT. Their house has always felt like home-- I think it does to everyone. There's a peace that's there; its amazing. Kristen has helped me "calm down" in a lot of ways. My mom has noted that, and so loves Kristen. Her integrity is beyond commendable. Katelyn, Hallye, and McKenzie have a way of making me feel so incredibly loved when I'm with them. What a joy.

With Kyle and Taraleigh- REFUGE. They willingly took me in when they were in a very difficult season of life. Their urgency to serve this day, it baffles me. I want to live my life like they live theirs. I am so excited to see what their kids will be like in 10 years. Jacob already has something so unique and mature about him- he grows like a weed. (That's a good thing- like, I mean, quickly.) Brianna is so responsive and LOVES being a girl but also knows how to serve her brothers well when playing with them. And Joey, he's just so stinkin cute.

With Meghann and Steve- PRAYER. I've lived with them for the longest period of time (almost a year!) so the list here could be very long, but because this area has affected my life so significantly, I will stick to this one. Every time I ask for counsel, they are so faithful to ask me if I've prayed about the decision first. Or else, their counsel, is to pray about it. Always. Never do they forget. This, then, releases me from my tendency to "people please". They ask first what I think, and what I feel like God is showing me, and then they answer with the wisdom they have. In the last year, I've made quite a few "bigger" kinds of decisions-- one of them being going to Wales. Because of their encouragement in this, I've begun to learn how to better listen to God's voice and make decisions- oh, this will serve me for the rest of my life!

So thank you, families of mine, for your love, care and support- for your counsel, listening ears, and encouragement. I have been so blessed by you. I trust that your observations will serve Ivy and Katherine this year. =)


Kat said...

oh. i think you are worrying prematuring about not having babies in the house this coming year.

remember you've not met me yet.
or lived in the same household. :)

i can totally do the whole sippy cup thing, and you are welcome to french braid my hair before church.... i may pass on the diapers though.

i can't tell you how wonderful it is to have made a final decision regarding flights. and i am very excited to be joining you and peter 's flight from IAD to LONDON. :)

Steph said...

Okay, I like Kat already! =) Kat, you may want to reconsider the diaper thing...I think it would really bless Jage. Just kidding! ;)

Lindsay said...

O-M-G (valley girl voice)! I LOVE Kat as well! She is going to be so good for you Jage.

The VanLue Family Zoo said...

Yes, we are very humbled by your encouragement! I believe God has grand things in store for you this next year my friend! You just can't come home with a funky accent:) We're so very excited for you!!