This gratitude list thing is kind of magical.
My list, this morning, will be SUPER easy. I feel overjoyed. I'll share why in a minute.
Okay, as promised, here is my list of gratitude for this morning (easy, breezy):
|My siblings and me|
- Family - my brother and his family are in town. I picked them up from the airport on Saturday evening and they spent the night here. We spent Sunday afternoon at my oldest brother's home having a barbecue. Most of us were there. Yesterday, we went to the beach together--three brothers, their families and me and my kids (the Warden had to work--it's go time in the world of a school administrator). It was so great to be around them all.
- Being wanted - I thought, after spending so much of their vacation time with us, they'd want to have just some our-own-family time. This morning I got a phone call. My brother said they'd meet us at a certain exit on the freeway. It wasn't a question of did we want to go or anything. It was a "we'll meet you." I LOVED this. This was the happiest thing I could have heard. He WANTS us to be there. Oh, how I love to be wanted. With a big family, that is a rare occurrence--something that hasn't happened in a long time.
- Missions - We received #1's email a day late. The town she's in was experiencing some flooding, so she and her companion spent their P-Day indoors. It was great that she was able to get out and write us. In the email, she mentioned "struggles." I will share here what I shared on Facebook. I figure there are people who read my blog who aren't my Facebook friends, and I think people need to know this fact. For those of you who are my Facebook friends, forgive me for the repeat:
A friend just wrote to me about receiving an email from #1. He mentioned "struggles" that she'd mentioned. I love #1's honestly and frankness, but for those who haven't served a mission and see those happy, smiling missionaries out there, this might come as a surprise--that they struggle. Here's what I shared with him....
"Love it! So glad she wrote back to you. Thank you for writing to her. Every missionary goes through a rather brutal tough patch in the beginning. She is no exception, so I'm sure your email was a HUGE lift for her--knowing that there's someone else out there rooting for her. Thanks...."
Having served a mission, I know how tough those first few months can be as you adapt to the job at hand. She is definitely having to step outside her comfort zone day in and day out. Learning a new language, adapting to a new culture and weather conditions all hit you at the same time.
I have no doubt she'll come through with flying colors, but she, like every missionary out there, has to learn to look past herself and her own needs and learn to fill the needs of those around her. So different from the life of most 19-year-olds out there.
She isn't unusual. She's just like every missionary you meet on the street. That's what they go to do--
struggle, stretch, and serve.
struggle, stretch, and serve.
I have shared with her many times as she was growing up just what that was all about. I didn't want her to get the impressing that a mission was all sunshine and roses. You only ever hear the missionaries who have returned home tell you all the wonderful experiences they've had, so you get the impression that that's all that happens. It's not. It's totally different when you're actually living it. The successes come, but not without a lot of struggle and sacrifice.
She will struggle, and it will be great. That means she's not holed up in her apartment reading books. She's actually out there living it and doing it and pushing herself and reaching out and seeking to serve. YAY!!!
Although I hate to read that she's struggling, that really ends up being the happiest news of the day.
I will post her latest email later today. For now, I've got to get ready to go to the lake. I'm wanted there. YIPPEEEE!