I was so thankful that we were not out too late Saturday as often is the case when flying internationally. I have rarely returned from such a trip and not been completely exhausted. This Sunday would be our last and we did have a few goodbyes to say. We were sad to discover that our Sunday school teacher was home sick, but we enjoyed Jim’s Sunday school class as they were starting a new study on forgiveness. You can never spend too much time on forgiveness. It is one of the hardest things to do and the book from their new study is called “Forgive and Forget” by Lewis B. Smedes. I have a few things in my life that I feel like I have completely forgiven, but for the sake of protecting myself and my children I have not forgotten (although I don’t think about it much unless there will be exposure to this person) I am curious as to what the book will say about forgetting, and what it exactly means by it.
It seemed more awkward than usual telling people that we were leaving and goodbye because we had not been there for two weeks to give people time to process the fact. Between visiting Micheal and Kristen, and the snow storm last week with Church being canceled there was just no way to warn people. Eve’s sundayschool teachers said bye a couple of times to her. We enjoyed the service on Delighting in Christ. Emphasizing that our relationship with God must never take the back seat, as I have had several things on my heart lately. This was a good reminder to let go and let God. If I keep my focus on him he will work out the details and I won’t miss his direction. I think we as Christians overthink obedience. It says over and over again in the Bible that God values obedience more than sacrifice so we stress about missing God’s direction, what is from him and what is not. Will we miss it, have we already missed it? We need to just forget about searching out our own way and seek to draw close to him. He will direct our path.
After church we gathered up our kids and cemented our sushi making dinner plans with Bryan and Jessie, said a few more goodbyes and then headed out to the car. Pastor Bill caught us as we were loading the kids in the car and asked us what day would be good to do lunch this week. Tuesday was the only day, but then it was suggested that we do Sunday lunch at one of their favorite restaurants called Tip Top specializing in Greek and Italian food. The parking lot was completely full and there was quite a crowd in the entry way, so we were excited to find out that our wait for a large group was only going to be 10 minutes. It has been a while since we have had Greek food so we were in heaven, and the company was even better. I love to have time to talk to other nurses and the pastor’s wife Lori is a pediatric nurse. Pediatric nurses amaze me as that is one of the few areas I feel the least capable of. We talked about life, our travels, and NNU (Northwest Nazarene University). The kids were more antsy than usual and all over the place once they had finished their meal. Most of the time I am very glad that they are confident and bold in all social situations, but occasionally I wish they were at least slightly reserved and self conscious (well not really), I guess it probably is a patients and respect issue that we need to work on. We were so thankful for the opportunity to get to know Pastor Bill and Lori better as well as for the delicious lunch. I keep waiting for the goodbyes to get easier, but we have yet to go to a place that we would not want to go back to if given the chance. This makes it extra hard when people ask if we will come back, or just forget about our next assignment and stay. They prayed a blessing for us in our parting that we are most appreciative of. Thank you for the blessing, and the blessing of being in your congregation I hope that we have also been a blessing to you.
After lunch we went home and watched a movie that Hannah had purchased this last week. The prequel and sequel to “The Little Mermaid” and then we rested a short time while the kids played in the snow. Around 6:00pm we gathered up our sushi supplies and headed to Bryan and Jessie’s house. They moved here from Hilo so our sushi and musubi night was kind of a tribute to our common adventures. We found their place easy enough and got the rice going in the rice cooker. The kids made themselves at home since Bryan and Jessie have a play room even though they do not yet have children. Jessie let the kids take turns attempting to play her student flute and several other woodwind instruments that she had. They also liked the pool table and the tubs of beanie babies. When the rice was finished we took turns making different kinds of sushi rolls and some spam was fried up for musubi. The kids were extra hyper and excited as they all love sushi and getting to make it themselves was just too exciting.
After our sushi we had mochi for dessert. We played Banana Grams and Story dice and had a blast. I didn’t get many good photos from the night as we were busy enjoying the company. It was near 10:00pm and time to go. We will for sure keep in contact and hopefully our paths will cross again. On the way home the kids exclaimed how wonderful a day it had been and how thankful they are for this experience to come to the east coast. It will definately be hard to leave but we remain thankful and humbled by the opportunities we have been given these last few years to meet all kinds of amazing people and be witness to some of the best parts of God’s amazing creation.