Well…it’s done…we said goodbye to the Elliotts today. We are so thankful for all the memories we made together in the last 6 months! A quick recap…I had asked Sheri a while back if they would come over for supper once more (last night). Right away I started thinking about what to cook (milk, egg, & peanut allergies make it an adventureJ). Meat & potato type meals are the easiest. Since we won’t be able to have them here for Christmas, I though why not do turkey dinner & make a surprise mini Christmas for them! I’ve never actually cooked a full turkey dinner because we’re always at one of our parents’ houses on the holidays…so I thought this as a great opportunity to do it! It took a lot longer than I thought it would, but it turned out great…at least no one said it was horribleJ The kids played a bit more together & then we had a few presents under the tree for them. I had bought one little thing for each of their kids…but when our kids found out what we were planning, they all wanted to get presents too! I’m so proud of them for wanting so badly to give…and being willing to spend their own money to do it! All in all it was a great evening! We decided last night not to make the kids (or us!) say goodbye then…just wouldn’t be pleasant when everyone’s tired…the parents included!
This morning we headed over to say goodbye. I keep saying goodbye…but it’s not like it’s forever…but for kids (& me!) it sure feels like a long timeJ Anyways…a friend had offered to take the kids so Lane & Sheri could finish packing everything up…so we headed over to her house. The kids played for a bit & then I said it was time. I was amazed at how easily they all said bye…but I think it doesn’t really seem real to them yet. It’ll be a week or 2 from now when suddenly I have kids coming to me crying because they miss their friends. I am so thankful for Skype right now…that our kids will be able to keep in touch so that it won’t feel like they have to start over again when they see each other in a few years.
After the kids said bye, we stopped at their house so I could say bye to Sheri. I was dreading that…really didn’t want to fall apart on her…I knew we were both feeling it, but were trying to stay strong. We chatted for a bit & I said my bye…wishing I could stay & help her finish packing up & cleaning…but bringing 3 kids in the house wouldn’t help! Shortly after I left, Ben called to let me know he was done work…too cold…so I asked if he would stay home with the kids so I could go. I’m so thankful for that. I spent a couple of hours over there I think…maybe less…just washing windows, floors, cupboards, etc. We didn’t get much chance to talk, but I’m so thankful I could do that for Sheri.
I realized something about myself today that I’d never put together before. Sheri called me to let me know they got to her parent’s safely & we got talking about it a bit. She was so thankful that I went over to help them clean & yet I feel like I was the one who was more blessed by it. You see…I used to have people over for supper & such quite regularly…I LOVE doing that! Since we’ve had Kirby though I haven’t been able to nearly as much…first just having 3 kids stopped me for a while & then by the time he was old enough that I could handle it, then we’d moved into town where we have a lot less room for a table & chairs…plus the kids being older & their friends needing more room to play…plus Ben’s hours…not knowing when he’ll be home makes it hard to invite people over. Anyways…I’ve missed that a lot…I don’t think I realized how much. I thrive when I’m serving people in that way…that’s how God made me. Today when I called Sheri to make sure they weren’t done cleaning yet…she said no…and I told her I was coming over. I didn’t really give her much choiceJ…but she didn’t argue either…and that meant a lot to me! I know that it can be very hard to accept help…but I sooooo appreciated being able to serve someone again…the way Jesus made me to! It was such a reminder to me that when someone offers to help me in some way…to stop thinking about wanting to do it all myself & that if I accept help they’ll think I’m not good enough to do it…and to just say yes & allow them to be blessed!
Now I’m sitting here bawling…I guess the emotions of the day finally catching up to me. It’s so hard…mom’s need to have that good cry too…but we’re trying to be so strong for our kids…we both knew none of them needed us to help them get upsetJ I know you know this Sheri…but I want to make sure everyone knows…that I’m crying because I’m going to miss a very, very dear friend of mine…but not because I hold it against her in any way or would ever attempt to hold her back! I’m so excited for the ministry the Elliotts are going to have in Mexico…and I can’t wait to hear what God’s doing! It’s just one of those things I guess…nothing we can do to change it…but that doesn’t make it easy. Thankfully…oh, so thankfully…God knows just what’s going on. He has prepared us for this…He allowed us…gave us…this 6 months as neighbors. Now as we enter this next journey in our friendship, I’m excited to see what else God has in storeJ
Thank you Lane, Sheri, Alexis, Jemma, & Noah for 6 months of memories…family nights…parks…bike rides…long drawn out Paraguayan style mealsJ…heart to heart talks…being able to walk in to your house without knocking…you truly welcomed us as family. I guess that says it all…we are sisters in Christ…and sisters at heartJ We look forward to not allowing the memories to stop there! They will just take a different form for now…skype visits…email…webkinz…pictures…maybe even a visit if that’s what the Lord has in store! We love you guys & wouldn’t trade the last 6 months for anything! God bless each one of you as you move to Mexico to begin the work that God has for you there! Can’t wait to hear all the stories!
Well, I was going to go back & re-read this to make sure it makes sense, but I don’t think I will…these are the words flowing out of my thoughts & emotions in the last couple of weeks & I just thought I’d share.