I don’t like car trips. I really don’t. But sometimes God graciously shows me that the things I don’t fancy can be a channel for His blessings. This happened recently as I was stirred out of my highway stare on a recent car trip with my son’s announcement, “This has been the best furlough ever!” He said this as we were speeding along I-90 through the farm lands of Minnesota. My two teenagers began to recount the unique experiences they have had in the past few months as we have been traveling and visiting our supporting churches. They mentioned things like skiing for the first time, ice-skating, getting to drive a 4-wheel, eating real maple syrup in Canada (next to the maple trees), fishing and many more amazing events. Yes, we have loved being welcomed into homes and Wesleyan churches all over the country for so many reasons. To be welcomed joyfully into people’s lives and ministries has been a small taste of heaven.
But what else has surprised me? I have able to soak up along the thousands of miles unbroken family time. Time in the car has been had in large quantities so we have had time to reflect, discuss a wide range of topics, laugh, and see the beautiful U.S. together and up-close. When we are in the midst of the high demands of ministry in Brazil we have to guard family time fiercely because it is so precious and rare. So as I sit in the car to yet another destination these are indeed treasured times especially since our 17 year-old son prepares to head to college this fall. But I hadn’t always understood this gift.
Many months ago, while still in Brazil, I worried about how Hudson, our son, would make the transition to college life academically. I tried to figure out how he could take some university classes and get ready for what was ahead. When I discussed this with him he was quick to point out, “But, Mom, then I couldn’t travel around with you guys.” And he was right. I was anxious to get him ready for studies when he was focused on taking advantage of our last months together as a family.
I have had many people along the way lament over the gypsy life we are living. I always astonish myself when I begin to relate how overwhelmed I have been at how much fun we are having. We absolutely love talking about Brazil, what God is doing there while we get connect with people who love the Kingdom. And along the way we are having tons of new experiences together. Wow! And I wanted to miss this?