Plane Coffee Mom

Chatting about Mission Aviation over coffee

Category: My Story (Page 1 of 3)

Reflections on 25 Years Together

Maybe I wasn’t very smart when I got married– after all, I wasn’t even 20 years old. I have, however, been incredibly blessed. Honestly, I had no idea what I was getting into. Like everyone else in the world, I had no clue how life would turn out. In my case, things have turned out a million times better than I ever imagined!

We celebrated 25 years of marriage last month. This weekend we are blessed by a few days home alone together as both our sons are elsewhere. These opportunities to reflect have reminded me how blessed I am. They have made me fall in love all over again. I’ve been nearly giddy at the opportunity to spend time with Garry. I’ve been amazed at where our sons are, and how little we really had to do with it.

On the other hand, I’ve been humbled at the realization of how different life could be. Those times when I’ve been upset and I could have allowed the anger to grow. The times Garry has forgiven me when he had every right to hold a grudge. The times I’ve been disappointed and could have kept blaming him for how things were. The times I’ve failed my husband and he has chosen to love me anyway. The ways my parenting skills have fallen short and Garry’s have filled the gaps. The ways we have both failed and yet God’s grace has redeemed what we deserved to lose.

Beyond reflecting on success and failure, I’ve enjoyed pondering the journey we’ve taken thus far. The early years of marriage when we were just two adults, free to choose how to spend our time after work. Trips across the USA and Venezuela, by car and plane and bus. Endless dreaming and planning, hard work and relaxing. The joy at the arrival of our first son and the surprise at how he changed our lives. Finding that God was so much more than we’d imagined and that obedience was sometimes costly. The joy of another son being added to our family and surprise at how life changed yet again. New countries and new experiences. Traveling the world together and staying home with the boys while Garry travelled. New friends and growing friendships. Experiencing God in everyday life and finding a relationship with Him that continues to change and grow and surprise us. Chaos and adjustment. New wisdom and continued growth. Experiences beyond our wildest dreams and sometimes pain greater than we knew existed.

My perception of the world and its size has changed dramatically. My thoughts on other people have been shaken to the core and re-organized. My relationship with God has been turned upside down. My value on family and friends has grown. My circle of friends stretches across the globe.

And the more I think about it, the more I realize that Garry has been near the center of most of these changes. Knowing him, living with him, has changed me. He has chosen the higher way and the better option again and again. He has chosen to grow continually. He has chosen to take this journey with me, and I am one blessed woman who is anticipating the next 25 years with excitement and joy.

Potential and Destiny

I’ve been going through a book called The Cure with a couple friends. The book has been good, and the last chapter in particular caught my attention. The authors talk about the difference between potential and destiny: potential being what we can accomplish with our talents, hard work, and dedication and destiny being what God has in mind to accomplish through us. In fact, this chapter came in the middle of various other conversations and information that also focused on similar thoughts. And when the same thing comes up again and again, I have to think about what God may be saying.

img_3514I’ve been pondering this thought in relation to right now and in relation to the past. Right now we are facing some changes as the house we’re renting is on the market. Reaching for our potential begs me to look at every available option, to make lists of what we need and want, and to focus on finding a perfect place to live. Walking in God’s destiny, or focusing on His destiny for me, calls me to quiet trust and patience. It seeks God and spends time asking Him for the perfect house. It scours ads and networks with friends with calm assurance that the house is there and it will come to light clearly. Destiny allows me to continue focusing on the people and tasks that God is calling me to instead of being consumed by the current issues.

As I reflect on the past, many of the same things apply. Do I interpret my past in terms of destiny, what God was calling me to, or in terms of potential, how my efforts and talents have paid off? Do I try to figure out whether I could have done better? Do I take credit for where God has brought me, or do I give Him credit?  I have been humbled by consciously interpreting the past in light of destiny, how God has brought about the impossible through normal, needy people. And it’s not just my past, it’s the past of my parents and my children. It’s being reminded that we are but a small part in an epic tale that God is writing, being amazed that we have a part in this epic tale.

And these thoughts give me deep hope for the future and grow my faith that God is creating something beautiful. Following Him leads me to His perfect destiny for me. Seeking Him is always the best option, obedience always key. I may not understand how this particular part of the path has meaning, but in God’s economy it is important. It may be that hidden in today’s mundane tasks is opportunity of eternal significance.

Dissecting today

These days feel wearing. New, yet familiar. The wondering, the rush, the chaos. The early mornings and long conversations. The expectancy and the dread. The intertwining of lives and the utter aloneness. Right now the crisis is simply about a place to live and a paperwork dilemma. There are enough supporting stresses and questions to make life feel unstable. These days pull me back to other days.

img_0745Checking in on the radio as the sun peeked over the horizon. News that there was a medical emergency. The dew soaking my bare toes as I went to tell Garry what was happening. Rushing when I headed back inside to get him breakfast and whatever else he needed for the trip. The radio static alerting the boys to a change of plans. Their young faces wide-eyed as they emerged from their bedrooms still half asleep but in need of an explanation. Kevin adjusting his hat as he squared his shoulders and headed out the door to help Garry fuel and load. Kaleb doing his best to lighten the mood as he ran between the hangar and the house carrying bundles in his still-small hands and repeating the message he was supposed to pass on.

A friend visiting from Canada, our time with her shortened when we got a call from friends that their son had a brain tumor. A long drive to the hospital, meeting white-faced parents in the hallway, looking into the scared eyes of siblings, and chasing down food in a still-new city. Doctors and options and near-hysteria. Cold hotel rooms and short nights. Coffee from the best places in town. Long conversations that allowed us all to avoid the issues at hand. Tears as we discussed the realities they were facing. Quick conversations with the boys and our visitor, making sure all was ok at home.

House-hunting in various countries. Run-down apartments and weather-beaten houses. Tiny yards and empty swimming pools. Compounds and complexes. Mobile trailers and abandoned dorms. Security options and neighborhood questions. New friends and adjusting expectations. Carrying babies on the house hunts and then following teens as they surveyed possible homes.

Suddenly, this place is neither scary nor new. It is the familiar reworked. It’s a scene in a book. It’s the unfolding of a story. It’s called life and this demands faith.

Friends, friction, and prayer

I’ve heard that more people leave mission aviation because of problems with other people than for any other reason. I’ve seen it. I’ve experienced it.  Generally, the friction between my friends and me seems resolvable: there are godly ways to discuss, forgive, and move on. I am ok with agreeing to disagree. I don’t mind if they don’t like all my choices or I sometimes think they could have done better. All in all, when the problem is mine, I feel I have options on how to resolve it. The harder thing is when my friends have friction with one another.

IMG_2841 You know, when one friend quits talking to another friend or shares how upset they are with another’s actions. When friends have issues with other friends. When people’s children struggle. Often I can see both sides of the story, though sometimes I would naturally side with one or the other. But what can I do about their friction? How do I handle their relationships with one another when I value my relationship with both of them?

I’ve had cause to ponder these things, and my pondering have led me back to prayer. Not the prayers we grind out because they’re smart to say, nor the prayers that we utter when we’re at the end of our rope, but the prayers of faith spoken as a powerful weapon, the weapon we believe best suited to the current situation. Often the prayers of faith come only with the passing of time and running out of other options first.

Prayers that come from a deep-seated faith that God wants to answer are always the best option. These prayers are rooted in the promises and commandments of God. It’s these kinds of prayers that change situations while changing us. And it is these kinds of prayers that I find most effective when praying for friends who are experiencing friction. So, while I often take the long way around or the winding path, I find that this is a place where I find resolution and comfort when friends are walking through friction with one another.

This has been my journey, where has yours taken you?

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