Monday, June 30, 2014

Finishing Up, Saying Goodbye

Dave and I are sitting here in the Charlotte airport after we missed our flight to Chattanooga (was delayed getting out of Chicago). But I'm making the most of it by getting in another blog post!  We'll catch the next flight in a couple of hours.

I don't mind the delay. It gives me a few moments to reflect a bit.

What's it like to wake up at your adult married kids' apartment for the first time? SO sweet!

Lara and I took a leisurely walk in the early morning sunshine to Cermak, their awesome grocery store nearby. Wish I'd had my camera! I felt like I was in a different country as we wandered around looking at so many different items for the hispanic population who shop there...I loved it!
We returned back to their place to be treated to Intelligentsia coffee made by Tyler in his Hario Drip Pot Woodneck.

No, I didn't know what that method was either!

But the results sure were delicious.

Later on, Tyler and Lara made a wonderful breakfast, enjoyed by all of us, including Caleb and Haley who came over as well.

But all the while, I knew the minutes were ticking by. Sigh. It wasn't easy knowing that soon we'd be heading down the stairs and saying goodbye for quite a while. We don't know when we'll see each other again.

I'm feeling overwhelmed with the Lord's goodness though for all the times we've been together this year (and with Claire too). Each time was a blessing and a gift to be savored.

I really can't thank the Lord enough for letting me have that kind of sweet transition into our new time of life...going back to our life and ministry in Czech while all our kids stay in the States.

I'm super proud of them for the kinds of lives that they're leading, and know that there are wonderful days ahead as they move on with their lives, and we move on with ours.

After tender goodbyes with Tyler and Lara, Caleb and Haley drove us to O'Hare airport to catch our flight.

When we landed in the States last October, this car had 115,000 miles on the odometer. It now reads 143,870.

That means we've traveled over 28,000 miles which is more miles than the circumference of the earth, which is 'only' 24,901 miles! Whew. Lots of miles on the road, for sure.

We've been to all four corners of the United States, covering 28 states in eight months.

We've traveled through the amazingly diverse countryside of the States, enjoying it from sea to shining sea.

And best of all, we've seen amazing, wonderful, beloved people everywhere we've been. I'm SO thankful for that.

It was strange and wonderful to be in the back with Haley for just a few more minutes, riding in the car we've lived in traveled in all those months. I think I'll actually miss it a little bit!

Seeing the sign to O'Hare was somewhat surreal knowing that this year of sabbatical is nearly finished.

Remember the Maxwell Coffee ad of long ago, "Good to the last drop"?

That's how I feel as we near our time of departure in a few days. What an incredibly wonderful, rich, beautiful, precious, memorable and meaningful time this year has been for us. We'll treasure the memory of these months for many, many years.

After we hugged Caleb and Haley one last time, we waved goodbye as they drove back into the city to move forward with their lives there, along with Tyler and Lara, and Claire when she returns for school in the fall.

I'm so full of joy for all of them! I'm positive that the Lord has much good in store for them as they all proceed forward with what God has led them to do here in the States.

It's almost time for Dave and I to catch our flight...and return to Czech in just three days for all the good the Lord has in store for us too.

We are so excited to resume our journey of leading the work of Josiah Venture in Central and Eastern Europe, praying for a movement God among the youth there, that finds its home in the local church and transforms society.

I'm deeply thankful for the refreshment of this sabbatical year so that we're ready for all that God has ahead!


  1. Awww! I can just feel all of that! the leaving your kids, the states, even the airports! Thanks for posting that. I'll be praying for these days. And guess what!? I bought Josh the same shirt Dave is wearing in these photos when i was back! Isn't it a great color on them? :)

  2. So much fun to read about all of your travels in the US over the past year, right up until the last moments. It's been quite a year for you and Dave on your sabbatical after serving JV for 20 years. I hope it's not another 20 years before you get a long break again! Maybe you will get a "New Grandmother" break soon!!!