We are now beginning our second month of a five month visit to the U.S. I’m never sure what to call this time. Combined with the fact that emotional extremes occasionally surface (i.e. “I want this time to be over yesterday,” “I wish it could last indefinitely”) some of the many terms “furlough,” “home assignment,” or “home leave” only further confuse me. Be that as it may, I focus on maximizing the moments throughout each day. Rest. Visit. Travel. Write. Exercise. Play. Study. Speak. Share. Explain. Show. Organize & Plan for tomorrow, next week, next month and ultimately our return to Uganda.
We took the first month “off” to rest and focus on the family over the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. And then the traveling began.
|Josh and Toby. Former neighbors, still good friends.|
|Bonus visit as Josh lives very close to the Blickensderfer's where we stayed in Pueblo. The kids didn't want to say good-bye!!!|
|jumping on the Blick's trampoline|
|Sheldon Hoover, The Britton's and the Wood's|
This week the kids have had the grandparents to themselves (including swimming, art and guitar classes, the rodeo, a dog show and a coin show!!!) while Geoff and I in California for another speaking engagement. We landed in Los Angeles and were able to spend a full day with Bela in her hospital palace with her nurse attendants who dote over her. A quick and enjoyable overnight visit to Geoff’s sister Lisa followed by more quick visits with some dear, long-time friends in Vallejo filled Tuesday and Wednesday. Thursday was career day at St. Patrick’s-St. Vincent’s, Geoff’s alma mater. Not only did Geoff have the privilege of talking to three different groups of current students, but also caught up with long-time friends as well as interacting with some interesting new people. With career day finished, we took off for the City--SAN FRANCISCO!!--our favorite in the world. The weather was awesome and we walked ALL OVER in the sunshine and explored some areas that would have been boring for the kids, but fun for us.
Enjoy some photos of our San Francisco gustatory adventure that still give us a smile!
Along the N. Cal to S. Cal route I caught a momentary glimpse of a billboard, “Better Has No Finish Line.” It was too much of a flash for me to know what was being advertised or promoted, but it got me thinking. The positive perspective, of course, being that there is always room for improvement. Never give up. Keep pressing on. Cowboy up. And in less cliche and more spiritual terms, our relationship with our Father God is in a progressive state of daily change. We can never fully know Him, but that should not deter us from continual seeking. We never “arrive” at perfection, but that should not inhibit us from desiring to reach each day for His best for us. We will always be consistently moving toward inward renewal though our bodies are pushing daily toward ultimate deterioration. Yes, in all the above respects, such a billboard message was encouraging. But, on the negative side, it speaks of never having enough. Keeping up with the Joneses. The grass is always greener. Just a little bit more. If I can just get this “xxxxx”, I’ll be happy. If I can lose more/gain more weight. yada yada yada.
So much of the positive bent is what we want, so much of the negative bent is where we live. Ouch.
Being in the U.S. has been relaxing and refreshing, but also disappointing. Bombarded with the insatiable drive for more so permeates this society and can get very tiring. Not only for us “foreigners,” but for those deeply entrenched in it--aware or unaware. Fighting to maintain a “minimal materialistic” view is tough, honestly. After driving through the beautiful vineyard areas along the California coast, we thought we’d venture online for a gander at what it might cost to someday live on and run a vineyard. HAH! that was some piece of financial reality!
And so, I’m thankful for the drive to move with God’s plans, His best, His desires and to live governed by His wisdom. May I never be more set on or more focused on anything more than on HIS WAY.