Wednesday, October 30, 2019

A Young Couple Long Ago and a Future Plan

And so we come to the post where I need to tell you something. Over the course of the last year, the Lord has been steadily (and gradually, more clearly/loudly) telling us that our job here in Turkey is done. It's time to go home. I will admit there were some days and times over the years that I wanted to go home. But during those times, I had no indication whatsoever that it was God telling me it was time. I was just scared. Or homesick. Or down. Or whatever. But, now...after 17 years of living in Turkey and 6 years of living in Singapore before that...God is most certainly telling us that it is time to hand this baton of leadership to the next person. There are no bad things driving us away, just His still, small, but unmistakeable voice. His sheep know His voice.

Throughout this whole process, the Lord has really only said one thing to me personally. He said, "When it's time to go, I will tell Ross." And so for over a year, I have just prayed and waited. I was not certain if "time to go" meant soon or years down the road. But allowing the Lord to lead our family through my husband has been the dearest blessing to me. I have seen the destruction of marriages and families because wives do not allow their husbands to lead. They stay in the driver's seat, impatient and frustrated, all the while saying, "My husband is the head of our home." and yet their actions and words do not line up with this mantra. I so want the Lord's full blessing, and so I decided adopt the attitude "Be still and know that I am God."

I really can't begin to describe the fullness that is in my heart right now. To wait on God's timing and His words to us have meant that we've experienced blessing upon blessing. Slowly, the process began to unfold when God spoke to my husband last summer, then again last fall. In the winter, he ventured to tell me what was happening. In the early spring, he released it over to the Lord's control. In the summer, God was confirming over and over. It's overwhelming to think that the God of the universe is speaking to our little situation.

And so, this school year 2019-20 will be our last here. Because this is the Lord's doing, we are waiting on His direction. Thank you for reading about my adventures in Turkey and for the many words of encouragement you've given me over the years. I count myself very blessed.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Twinkle's Graduation

It's such a strange feeling, isn't it, for those who have done this? Your heart is so full of joy and pride in this little girl (or boy) all grown up and accomplished. This is what God gave you to do...raise them up. But also equally full of that relentless ache that it all went so fast. This is how I would describe Twinkle's graduation night. I felt the same way with Firstborn. But for her, it was "the first," and we felt so ready to launch her. This just felt a little like sand finding its way into the cracks and lines of my fingers, slipping away. This truly marked for me the years of launching my kids and how everything was about to change.

We set up a display board for Twinkle. It turned out so beautiful with her #9 jersey, worn for all her years 7th-12th, photos, her art.

Her graduating class was an unusual one, in that many of these kids stayed together at our school from elementary years on. They were truly unique in that way.

Big Ben paused to write a note to this sister he loves so much.

CC made his way to the stage, ready to begin the ceremony.

We begin with the junior class entering with lit candles to introduce the seniors who will follow. Miss Middler got to introduce her sister's class.

And then she came in. The smile says it all. I made it! I did it! She worked hard for those honor cords, which, at our school involves community service, GPA, and passing AP exams.

Her own papa handed her the diploma she worked so hard for.

And of course, when it's your dad, you get an extra hug.

Her speech was precious, full of gratitude and pointing others to the Lord.

It was a special night indeed. Many of these kids I have known since they had braces and pigtails. I was so proud to say I got to teach them in 11th grade, drive them home from late night tournament arrivals, bake them goodies, and check their essays, even after I was no longer their teacher.

We are so proud of you, Twinkle! You won't understand how much until you have a little blonde girl of your own, walking across that stage. We love you!

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