April 14, 2009

here we go again... by the willows #4

We almost forgot the family snapshot yesterday - thanks for your patience, and photo skills karli -

The setting sun was criminal on the eyes, but wonderful for the soul!
The weather forecast shows SNOW for Wednesday - (tax day...and so long farewell, 'our feet are the same", adieu to Calvin day).

Last year on Easter Sunday we posed for one quick shot in this same spot. It was the day Olivia spoke in church after returning from the DR. (i'll try to find and post that one too).

The 2 semi-blurry group shots at the bottom of this blog were taken on the Sundays Olivia & Sean each spoke in church before leaving home to serve. (she in Sep '06 and he exactly 1 year later) These yearly patterns have been totally coincidental.

We knew back in 06 that we could NOT miss the chance for a family picture before O left, and we knew that Sunday would be our chance. We asked O's friend, E, to take several photos of us while we huddled.
What we did not know is how very long it would be before we can ALL be together again in a photo! 9/06 to 4/11 ... potentially over 4 and a half years!

Little did we know as we gathered the kids from around the house and yard 2.5 years ago and briefly paused and smiled for the camera, that our then common COMPLETE circle of loud togetherness would become uncommon from that moment on.

Wow, Ashton was only 6 when Olivia left but will turn 11 right after Calvin returns - Carmen was still in Primary in that first pic but will be well past the driving and dating age by the time we're all home for a dinner and a quick photo again.

Huh? Crazy!

... No wonder parents feel total joy when / if they are finally able to be in a temple with ALL of their children at once.
Our Heavenly parents certainly must long for us ALL to come back home!

~ OK, so Calvin, mijo it's your turn to leave - your chance to help others know of a sure and safe way back home. You'll be reminding them of what they knew before they were born. Most importantly, you'll help them remember their Savior / older brother, who made our heavenly homecoming a possibility.

It makes no sense that a loving Father in heaven would only want or allow a small percentage of His children to benefit from the efforts, sacrifice, light, and example of His son. I'm sure He's anxious for us to spread the word to ALL.

And also Calvin, logic and reason tell me that since you've chosen to leave home and give up your own precious time and hard earned money, it only makes sense to do it well mijo! (You know, like, with all your heart, might, mind, & strength type thing). You must decide to continually OFFER your help to many people and make this time of separation worth it - i know you'll find great ways to share your clear truths.

... Yes, choose to offer / invite many many... not because of numbers on some report your tired Sr comp says the new zone leader is harping on because he wants to impress the mission pres, or "beat" another rival zone, but because everyone deserves the chance to accept or reject your glad message.

Yes, it will be hard when many you meet won't really care to know what you know, - But that's why it's critical to be constantly offering and talking to as many as you can. Many people don't even realize that feeling complete, forgiven, and connected to Deity is a reality - or that it's possible to be certain of the exact way home - complete with how to unlatch any gate, as well as be reunited with loved ones! Instead they've learned to wander around in good neighborhoods until they eventually find a nice house (or religion) that works for them.

Oh, and remember that those reports/statistics also have pure and practical purposes:
- they will help you stay focused.
- the "return and report" principle is of God and promotes growth.
- reports allow leaders to plan and organize their efforts in fulfilling steward ships.

... Thank you Calvin for continually forgiving me.

and thank you for hurrying to earth so soon after Sean - that was genius of you.

yup. you're good at genius.

you are also wise and funny - honest and intense.

you are without guile and anti pretentious.

you are ready to "forget yourself and get to work"

(For cry baby me, the next 6+ months while both Sean & Calvin are gone will be tough - without
being able to hug them, nor lose my cool with either of them, nor have their tech support!
Mom's just can't turn off their kid concern. But I'm glad and grateful they have this time to serve. I want them home - but i know their current choices are worth their sacrifice and mine. ;)

And yet, It must be by 'divine design' that i have Ashton, and now Benjamin! -
They both provide great hugs!
Ben seems tech support capable and
I'll bet Ashton can help me loose my cool every once in awhile so i can keep up my skills ;)

That's all for now.
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Amie said...

I'm so glad you started a blog. That was a great post. Can't wait to hear about your experiences Wednesday and beyond!

Sue said...

That was a great post... You are such a good mom:) We are praying for you and your sweet missionary boys!