Faces that have affected our hearts

T-4 days til take off. It’s 11:05pm Wednesday night. Scott is at our house touching up paint, fixing a lock with a broken-off key still inside, sorting and packing.

I’m at the Laws’, our friends who have so generously let us live here while they’re away. Kids asleep, and here in the dining room, my computer screen is the only light. Our favorite lullabye CD & the beep of a washing machine that’s done are playing in my ears.

My friend, Kathryn, likened preparing for a move to climbing a mountain. You keep think you’re almost there, to the summit. But you aren’t, yet.

It’s been body-tiring. Who knew how much stuff we had? Sorting. Giving away. Selling. Life admin tasks. Scott’s pulled neck muscle (better but not totally dissipated).

Praises: The very last thing to sell sold tonight. There have been signs of stress of transition but no wailing on the grocery store floor. For me or the kids. Lizzy & Joshua haven’t had severe melt downs I was sure would go with this season, even though there’s been mild ones. Scott’s been amazing at leading us. Friends have given us incredible tips about how to transition in emotionally-healthy ways. We’ve had wonderful (albeit often teary) goodbyes.

It’s so late and the logical thing to do would be to click on my heating blanket and cocoon myself into a dreamy sleep, my thankful heart wants to pause and remember. (And document for the future blog-book I hope to print.)

Here are some faces of the last weeks we’ve had to say goodbye to, that go with the lives that have marked our time here in Australia:

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The Laws (James, Jane & Ava): It’s so surreal to be full circle–staying in your home as we prepare to move back to the U.S. It seems just yesterday that Scott and I stayed with you (Oct ’12?) for a 2-week “vision trip” to see if we sensed God calling our family to move to Australia to serve for 2 years. We count you as dear, dear friends.

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The post-dinner Bentley/Law biker princess party

Screen shot 2016-07-06 at 10.49.54 PM.pngKeira–next door neighbor and kinder (preschool) buddy

Screen shot 2016-07-06 at 10.52.04 PM.pngMelissa, Siberian-hat-wearing Liam, Kiera, Lizzy, Joshua walking into school

Screen shot 2016-07-06 at 10.50.08 PM.pngLizzy’s BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) teachers, Pat, Judy & Jenny

Screen shot 2016-07-06 at 10.51.52 PM.pngThe Graces (Aimee & Michael) and us, looking like we only have one child among us instead of six.

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Lizzy & Amelia–one of the missing Grace kiddos

Screen shot 2016-07-06 at 10.52.36 PMLoved these Jazzercise at Glen Iris ladies!

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Angie–an answer to prayer for a best friend for Lizzy at her new school this year. Who knew Joshua would love Angie almost as much as Lizzy?
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The Eating House will miss our monthly catch-up/talk-til-I’m-almost-hoarse fests. But not nearly as much as I’ll miss them. I love you, my kindred spirit, Cathie. Until the skyped cheesecake.

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Hannah & Tom–you’re part of our family and always will be.

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Hannah–if you steal our post-dinner dance party for your wedding we won’t be surprised.

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Joshua’s kinder buddy, Elijah, and his sister/Lizzy’s look-up-to friend, Kayla.

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Pastor Brian & Christine–you are a big reason I have no mascara left in this picture. I’ll be the podcast stalker of your sermons. Thank you for pointing me to Jesus and what He’s already done. Over and over. Whenever I hear someone refer to the Psalms, I’ll forever think of you and “The Sams”–how I’ll miss your Irish tongue!

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And…now…he’s ready to take a picture.

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Joshua’s little Columbian amigo (and recent Aussie citizen!), Isai.

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HOPE! You are such a picture of Jesus’ joy, displayed on a face. Thank you for loving my kids and showing them Jesus.

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Alyssa, Wes & Reuben (we missed you, Steve!)–who’ve become my Aussie sister/family.

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The cooking club girls (Melissa, Candice, Alyssa, Kathryn & Jane)–so glad you said yes to the American who wanted to go deeper (and learn to cook better). Our monthly times were feasts on more than one level.

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Jane–I knew I wanted to be your friend when I showed up at your MOPS. Your care and initiation with new women within arms’ length of you drew me to you.

Screen shot 2016-07-06 at 11.33.19 PM.pngGrant, Chris, & James — we’d take you with us if your wives wouldn’t disapprove. Thank you for being such great friends to my husband!

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Chris & Eleni: you shouted (treated us to, including Joshua in my belly) dinner at Grill’d almost 4 years ago, then we went back to your house and sat outside for what seemed like hours–surrounded by twinkling fairy lights–and knew we wanted to be your friends. Our kids love you now. Thanks for loving them and giving us one more date night in the city last week. We will miss you, our fun American-Aussie couple!

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This family. Grant & Kathryn, you’ve been God’s incredible provision for our family: coffee-loving friends, mentors, encouragers. Grant: we’ve told you, but let us say again–your counsel to us and love for us after the miscarriage was paramount and life-changing in how we walked that road of grief with the Lord. And not lastly, your kids have modeled to our kids how to love younger kids so well that they clung to sweet, last-minute gifts from your kids, clutched in their hands as we drove home, likely with minds reliving the nerf gun game and pretend camping trip. Dinner with you tonight fed our heart and tummies. We love you.

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It’s bittersweet to have had to say goodbye in installments to these friends, sending them one by one to the States (of all places!), with Thearith being the most recent to hug goodbye. We miss our Fridays with you!

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One thought on “Faces that have affected our hearts

  1. mdflynn July 7, 2016 / 1:39 am

    Looking forward to having you back in Orlando!

    Daryl

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