Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Doing Life Together

Last week we spent three days in Chattanooga, visiting with some of our precious family.

Judah Patty, 20 months old

For centuries, missionaries left their families and crossed lands and oceans in order to serve the Lord. They often didn't see or talk to their dear ones for years at a time; some never returned from the mission field but stayed their entire lives there.

We live in an age today where that is not our reality, and I'm so thankful for that! However, I don't take for granted these kinds of family "meet-ups", where we get to spend a few meaningful days together.

When we only have a few days, we make the most of them and pack in a lot of memory making, like a trip downtown to some fun water canals that kids can wade in!

Since it was a rare perfect summer day (meaning, low humidity in the south!), we chose to walk over the Chattanooga bridge in search of something special.

Brave Lara, carrying Asher in his baby wrap despite the heat!
When we chanced upon someone who looked like they wouldn't mind taking a photo, we grabbed it! While the rest of us knew to get our smiles on, Judah wasn't all that impressed by our makeshift photographer.

Quite ready for refreshment, we found Clumpies Ice Cream on the other side of the bridge, and that made us all feel better.

Can I just say ... if you are EVER in Chattanooga, it is definitely worth a stop at this ice cream shop. I'm truly not kidding when I say, "I think it's the best ice cream I've ever had!" A scoop of espresso chocolate chunk made my day. Wish I'd had two scoops. ๐Ÿ˜‰

We headed back over the bridge, and later on that evening went over to Lara's parent's house for dinner and some more time with the family.

Papa had the magic touch with Asher, holding him for at least an hour in that position!

The next morning, while Dave and Tyler went out to breakfast with a team headed out here to do a JV English camp, I went to have breakfast with Lara and the boys.

Nothing like those sweet faces to make my day! Yes ... it's even better than that ice cream from the day before! ๐Ÿ˜

We had a leisurely day, as if we had no where else to be for the afternoon.

I loved going out in the yard with Judah and having him give me a tour of his daddy's garden (which unfortunately, those photos are on Dave's phone so don't have any to post here!).

We went with the family to their favorite park, and played along with Judah on the various apparatus, giving Papa and Judah some time on the swings together.  ๐Ÿ˜‚

But all too soon it was time to say goodbye and head to Atlanta so we'd be there for our morning flight back to Czech.

My heart was so filled up from our days with Tyler, Lara, Judah and Asher, and I soaked it in all the way.

The gift of the Lord to me, despite being a missionary who lives on the other side of the ocean, is that it won't be long before this sweet family is living near us as they begin their missionary years with Josiah Venture. I am altogether thankful for this blessing headed our way. It's kind of surreal, actually, to think that they will live just thirty minutes away someday in the not too distant future!

"Thanks Tyler and Lara for hosting us with yummy food, delicious coffee, fresh baked bread and a peek into your world as a family right now. We can't wait to have you on our side of the ocean and do life together here!"

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