Friday, August 17, 2007

Sweet, Sweet Family Time

Recently, we took a small vacation with my entire family. All of us got to be together, all husbands, all babies, all sisters and my parents. We spent a few days on a lake. A BIG thank you to the Martins for blessing us with the use of their home. I'm sure that your house serves as the back drop for many vacation pictures on many peoples' refrigerators! Thank you, thank you!!

We played lots of games - Settlers, darts, ping-pong, Catch Phrase, In a Pickle, and card games. We jet-skied and bobbed in the lake. We laid out in the sun, and we ate A LOT of food! We had girl talk time, which after 45 minutes, was interupted every 5 minutes by one of our husbands peeking in the door asking when we'd be done. They just can't live without us. It was still a productive girl talk time. We made a few very important decisions... ; ) It was over all too quickly. I feel like I needed at least one more day.

Matt always teases me because my sisters and I often say, "But it could be the last time!" or "It'll be the last time for a long time!" This time we could truly say it'll be the last time we'll all be together for a LONG time. Lord-willing, Sally and Jon and Jude will be leaving in a few months to move overseas for a few years. Amy's furlough is over at the end of September so she could be off again to travel the world, and of course, Kaye, Scott, Grace and baby Birdie2 live a few states away. Mom and Dad are still rock solid in where they are and Matt, Chloe, and I aren't moving anywhere anytime soon.

It still hurts to know that my very best friends are, or will soon be, the farthest away. I can't even think about it without tearing up. It is not a hurt of someone leaving, but of part of me being torn away. Though a person can make new friends and have very close relationships, it's hard to replace someone who has been in your life from the very beginning, someone you know inside and out, someone you can be honest with and expect honesty in return on a level that you don't often get with even your closest friends. Someone who will expect righteousness from you, not just because it is right but because she knows beyond a doubt that you are capable of it because she has seen you through the course of your life, through your ups and downs and ins and outs, and she has seen you rise and fall and rise again. She is someone who scratches your back and caresses your arms and plays with your hair knowing you need that loving touch without feeling awkward and not expecting it in return because she knows sometimes you just NEED. To have friends whom I can trust and rely on, who will fight for me in prayer and will call me out when I am wrong, to have sisters who will love me unconditionally and will accept my differences because they know their own, who will wait patiently while I try to get my life back in line with the Word, who will encourage, who will cry, who will clean my wounds and shower me with love; to have these in my life... God has revealed Himself to me. I can see Him clearly, WHO He is, because of who my dear sisters are. Thank you, Lord. I can see now why You have blessed me so richly; You want me to know You.

I love you, my family, no matter where you are. My cup overflows...


Jules & Vern said...

My sweet Mary, how beautifully expressed!! Tears fill my eyes. I'm trying to put off my feelings until the time get closer for Jon, Sally & Jude to leave. "Enjoy today" is what I tell myself. Sometimes that works...
Love you, Mama

Scott and Kaye Birdsell said...

You can't do that... you can't make me cry while looking at the internet. Scott makes fun of me when I do that.

It's all so true though.

"It is not a hurt of someone leaving, but of part of me being torn away."

That's it, that's how I feel. Thanks for putting into words what I can't seem to express.

My heart goes with each of you girls (and your babies).

Love, KK

Sally said...

My heart. It hurts.

But at the same time, somehow, it feels so good.

Cause I know you go with me. That you'll still call, you'll still write, you still love as much as you can through the computer.

And when I come home, we'll greet each other with a long, suga filled hug.

But I hear it's harder to be left behind than to leave.

So I pray for your hearts.

And just plan on loving...loving LOTS...from afar.

Although our relationships will be different, I know they will last.

I love you so much. And that's precisely why it much.

Beautifully said.

Scott and Kaye Birdsell said...

I believe you should share some pictures from your time with Sal and Jude!

Can't wait!

Kevin, Margaret, and Caroline said...

Hey, how's SA treating you guys? It's too bad that you aren't in Houston anymore. Maybe we can catch you the next time you are in town.