It is easy to love the people far away. It is not always easy to love those close to us. It is easier to give a cup of rice to relieve hunger than to relieve the loneliness and pain of someone unloved in our own home. Bring love into your home for this is where our love for each other must start. -Mother Teresa

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Day....well, it is 4 days until she leaves

Yes, I took a short break from blogging daily and like all new habits, it was easily pushed aside for a day and then another day....and then for a week or so.

I have no idea how many days she has been here now. I could count it up but what is the point?


That is today's number. Four more days together because she flies out early Monday.

We have started our good-bye with friends and extended family. We have started to make the final purchases. We have started to eat the special (AKA junk) food, she loves without asking her to take bites of the food we know she doesn't like.

We cross days off of the calendar. It helps her (and us) to keep things in perspective. First, when we were all new to each other and homesickness crept in at bedtime. And now, when it makes us all sad and reminds us to make the most of our time together.

Calendar on the fridge. She also keeps one in the special welcome notebook we made for her.

I will catch you guys up. Maybe later on today. (Maybe not.)  I haven't forgotten!

There is still time if you want to drop her a card in the mail. She checks the mail EVERY day. She LOVES mail. Thank you to those of you who have sent mail and little gifts. She has enjoyed every single one!!!

Last night she skyped with her other host family. (The family she stayed with over Christmas.) It was great fun and it would not be an exaggeration to say that she was glowing with the attention and love. Listening and seeing them love and miss her was an amazing blessing for me. This little girl is deep in the hearts of lots of people. I can't imagine what God has in store for her!

Skyping with her Southern California family.

Last night she was beyond wound up after the Skype even though it was after 10pm here. We gave her a little time tear apart the house and start 27 things...Then it was time for everyone to go to bed. We are met with less resistance and have to issue fewer reminders, which just goes to show what an easy routine we have all fallen into. As usual, Michael, Nan, Nastya, and I held hands to pray. We always ask, "Do you want to pray, Nastya? Will you pray in (her language but I say it in her language unintentionally butchering it so much she laughs but no longer bothers to correct me)?"

She always shakes her head "no" so when she did it tonight Michael just started to pray. She interrupted him and said, "NO! In English!" And then she prayed in English. It was pretty much word for word the simple prayer that Jo says but it was beautiful to this momma's ears!

I am heading off on a rabbit trail so stick with me....I will bring you back to the main path and wrap up this post. I promise!

We have been asked by New Horizons to participate in the Cardboard Promises. You help your child pick a verse that is a promise to them. Essentially a verse (think blessing or promise) that you can pray for them and they can claim for themselves. (Here is a link to watch the Christmas Hosting Cardboard Promises' Video. Click HERE.) Michael and I have a few in mind but didn't have one that was "IT." This skyping which led to this confident (but hyperactive!) person reminded me of this:

Jeremiah 29
11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. 13 You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.

Verse 11 is pretty well-known and memorized. In fact, each of our girls have a "life verse" which would be similar to the cardboard promise given to them by their namesakes. Jeremiah 29:11 is Jo's. But check out verse 12! "...Pray to me and I will hear you...." She prayed in her third language, thousands of miles from her home...and she was heard not just by us but by her Heavenly Father. No matter where or how even when her SoCal Family or us can't be there. She has someone to hear her. 

Back off the rabbit trail....

The Skype was a blessing but it was also a serious reminder of her upcoming departure. Please pray for her and us. It is a great thing to love to someone and be loved. Yet all this loving each other and enjoying spending time with each other has a makes "good bye" difficult! 

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