Friday, August 15, 2008

Humble Ramblings

Day 2 of my foray into blogging, and I have to say I am a smidgen proud of my self. Confession: I am technologically challenged. No, really. Sure, I can surf the net, photoshop (from my work in a photo studio), and I am addicted to email, but a blog?! Inwardly I feel like a computer geek- and I like it.

Since Josh and I continue to wait for our assignment, there is little yet to say about the details of our trip. I know there has been so much that God has done up to this point, even some things that I am aware of, but I think they'll just tumble out spontaneously amidst my humble ramblings. Besides, the life of a future missionary is filled with more than just missions; therefore, I implore to to humor me and I'll try not to bore you.

Last night I was blessed to be able to hang out with some of my favorite kids in the world. You have to understand that "babysitting" to me is really code for "get paid to play with kids who hug and cuddle and think you're amazing because you can fix their toy." We'll keep that between us, though, or I'll have to start getting real jobs. I have nannied all through my college career, and after my second family moved away this spring, I was without a position for the first time in 4 years. I love, relish, cherish times like last night. Josh and I had 12 kids in our wedding party- yep, you read that right. In spite of the fact that we both have huge families, we weren't related to a single one. They were simply children who have leeched on to our hearts to the extent that if they weren't an integral part of our wedding, it just wouldn't be right.

We have been praying since the first day we really felt called to Africa that we will be able to leave the kids at the end. I would adopt them all, but having several million children would be frowned upon, and how could I choose between them? To be perfectly honest, I don't really understand my deep love of children. I am passionate about caring for and serving them, but it doesn't seem logical.

Take, for example, the Lovewells. There children are Sweetpea (age 7), Buddy (age 4 1/2) and Little One (7 months). I have babysat the kids since Sweetpea was 2 and Buddy was 6 months. In that time I have changed countless diapers, been puked on at least once by all of the kids, given time-outs, dealt with screaming, crying, and bickering, and have often driven 3 hours round trip just to see this family. But it's all worth it- slobbery kisses, hand-colored projects, "I love you," our overnight parties, bedtime stories, and seeing (and hearing) their excitement when walking through the front door are priceless.

Sometimes I fear becoming a mother someday. Don't get me wrong: I believe parenthood is the highest calling, and I can't wait to have kids. But sometimes I wonder, since I love these kids so much, and think they're brilliant, talented, beautiful, polite, kind, and fabulous, how will my children ever measure up? How can I possibly love other children as much as these? Their parents are so kind, always saying how my husband and I are godsends and like family (which I of course love to hear :)). What they really don't understand is what a blessing they've all been to us. When I was at my first college, it was one of the most stressful and depressing times of my life. Then, out of the blue, God brought us together. Every week, I would drive home just to see them. I found peace and comfort in their presence (not to mention in my marathon talks with their mom), only to realize children bring me closer into God's presence.

When Josh and I move to Africa, I anticipate a great sense of grief from being away from family and friends. The longest I have ever been away from home is 3 months, and I would be perfectly satisfied with that. However, I know even now that the people I will miss the most are "my kids." They grow so fast; after a year Sweetpea will have written a book, Princess will be in post-secondary education, Buddy will be training for the Olympics, and Little One will run the UN (maybe she can whip it into shape). I guess my greatest fear, deep down, is that they will forget me. I pray the love I've shown them will sustain itself until we return, because they are indelibly imprinted on my heart


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