Monday, September 8, 2008

And the World Gets Bigger.....

It didn't take long at all. The girls are starting to bounce out of the trauma of all things high school and get into a routine. Their alternating daily schedule of A/B days seems more complicated than college but they are doing it and starting to come home with goofy stories. How it blesses my heart and brings tears to my eyes when I drop them off in the morning and they walk towards the academic building side by side giggling....sometimes with arms draped over each others shoulders.
I know that they will be just fine.

At the same time I was getting them ready for this new part of growing up, God was asking me to let go even more. Let me explain....


Our church has been working with another church in Kampala,Uganda for the past few years and they have recently asked for us to send a short term missions group their way in December. Pippin has always thought it would be an incredible experience to participate with a missions outreach and has told me for a good 5 years now that Africa is the place that really calls to her heart.

You can imagine the things that hit me as I thought it all through. I wrestled with vague pieces of information that I had heard on the news about Africa.....violence, disease, and malnutrition to name a few. I knew for a fact that things can happen anywhere. The girls can get hurt jumping on the trampoline in our backyard much less be halfway around the world. I can't protect them from everything. My life long job has been to equip them. But the other voice in my head was laughing at me, telling me I was a fool to entertain the idea of sending my young 17 year old naive girl into THAT. I fought panic for quite a while.

Then, through a series of amazing circumstances, the pastor of the Kampala church was in town and we were able to get together for a meeting. He answered many questions for me about the area and what the team will be encountering.
Civil unrest? Absolutely not. That is much further north.
Wild and fierce animals? No, there will be no safari side trips.

The clincher for me was when a friend prayed with me for guidance and peace about the whole idea. She shared with me a picture that came into her mind while we were praying. It was a picture of a beautiful little bird in a nest looking out at the world around. This little bird, always respectful and attentive, flapped her wings and said, "How about now Mama? Am I ready to try and fly now?"

That picture was not shared as a tool of manipulation. (It is okay if you believe different than I do.) For me, I believe that God can speak to us in visions and that vision went right through to my heart. Instantly I wanted to cry out, "What more do you want from me? I have done everything you asked. I schooled them like you wanted. Now I am sending them to school and trusting You to care for them even though there will be times when I know they will be hurt and uncomfortable because it is part of growing. How much more do you want me to let go?!"

As soon as I thought it, I knew the answer. He can't guide them if I don't fully let go. He can't protect them and shape them if I don't take my hand off of the steering wheel.

So, my Pippin is signed up to go on the missions trip to Uganda for 2 weeks in December. Now that I have let go, I am actually excited for her. She is going to learn and see so much. It will be a life altering experience.

The next few months will be a lot of preparation as she gets a handle on school and works ahead in her studies. There are lots of things to think about with supplies to be packed and clothes to be made. Paying for the trip will be a daunting task since we have nothing extra to play with. Pippin and I are working up a sponsorship letter to send out to family and friends and we know that if God wants this then He will provide the means.

Kampala, Uganda, Africa......I never would have thought it part of our happenings.

I am so excited!


David at Authorblog recommended this post for Post of the Day. How it blesses me when I sit here at the keyboard to bear my heart and others are blessed by my ramblings.

25 comments:

  1. Ouch, Ouganda, Kampala, Africa, I don' think I would be happy, even if God asked me to do so, in my imagination it would be the last place in the world where Iwould like my little girl to go.
    But... let's see, I did just that, I let my own sweet little girl go and leave the house forever, at the end of the world (but I knew this world, and she was 21) for her to live with the man she loved, with almost no money, and gosh, she had difficult times for sure, and God didn't asked me anything, she managed well, very well, she is happy now, and I would have been a very bad mother to keep her with me, to forbid her to go.
    So you're right, you do well, and Pippin will be thankfull to you to let her do the big trip.

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  2. wow..what a wonderful family, mother and girls to be doing this..! Will be praying for you. Thanks for your visit ..the wattle tree has fluffy yellow flowers in answer to your question ..quite small round balls...I am sure you would know it...

    Annie

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  3. Kitem...thank you for walking in my shoes and understanding. We watch our children grow up and experience so many things that shape their lives. They get those experiences and character because of what they walk thru more than what we protect them from. It is never easy is it.

    Annie....I am sorry if I worded things in a misleading way. It is only my Pippin girl that is going on the trip. I sort of envy her and wish I could go as well but the timing is not right for me.
    Thank you for explaining the wattle tree.

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  4. Wow - how exciting. It is probably how my family felt when we told we were going to PNG to live!!! My daughter actually asked me about her taking an exchange to San Fransisco and i felt exactly the same way as you did!!! But we have to let them go and we hold our breath until they return. The worries of being a parent don't lessen over the years they stetch -across the world.

    Hope she has a ball!!!

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  5. just make sure pippin as a good mosquito net plus get her injections and medication start now. my son-in-law just came back today from Uganda where he was the main speaker at two three day conferences plus quest speaker with the first lady of Uganda.most of his team were under 25years old.hundreds came to the Lord and great healings. thank you Jesus.why don,t you go with her next time.you will see a change in her when she comes back.a chip off the old block.she as a good grounding.i thank Jesus for her.

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  6. Jules...you are right letting go is hard no matter where it is our children want to go. San Fransisco would be a scary place too with all the people and unknowns. Obviously you did good though and your daughter is so grateful. Thank you for relating and understanding.

    Alan...Pippin was really encouraged by the facts you shared of your son-in-law's trip. And a mosquito net, that is not on our list of thing to get but I will have to ask. Thank you.

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  7. A short term missions trip can be a catalyst for really good changes in a Christian's life. I never thought about what God might be doing in the life of a parent of a short term missionary. You've shed some good light on this subject for me. I'm looking forward to hear updates.

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  8. Follow the call of the heart.

    Always.

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  9. Craver....I will be keeping you updated as the time gets closer. Thanks for the smiles.

    David...Indeed, thinking too much just makes things more confusing.

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  10. My daughter also has a big heart for Africa...it is her dream to open an orphanage someday. She is saving her money for a trip in January and at first my heart was unsettled then I reminded myself that she will be in the most capable and loving hands...He has trusted me to raise my children, now I have to trust Him. This will be a wonderful, wonderful experience for your daughter.

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  11. Joni....what you havve shared here pulls at my heart. We seem to have more and more in common each day. What part of Africa does your daughter want to go to? Yes I often must remind myself that God doesn't give us children to keep forever. He only puts them in our care to love and nurture. But He is the author of their destinies.

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  12. Hi! I came over from David's blog.
    As I was reading your post, it brought to my mind how when I had to send my son into the unknown, God gave me the story of Moses and how his mother trusted God when she put her infant in a basket in a snake infested river. Yes, God does take care of his own.
    Blessings from Wyoming,
    Jo

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  13. Jules...Congrats on the honor of Blog of the Day! Yup....God lent us our children for just a short while. It is our job to give them wings and let them soar. You are doing just that!!
    I bet God is smiling!

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  14. Jo...hi there and welcome. I am so glad you came by. Thank you for sharing the stories that God gave you. I just taught on Sunday about Moses and that basket but I hadn't put the idea with my own situation. Thank you.

    Carol...thank you for the smiles tonight. I can feel your hug al lthe way over here.

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  15. jules, you are am awesome mother, carrying your genes around with her, how could your dear daughter fail to make anything but a huge and lasting impact on her visit?

    It is SO, SO hard to trust and to let go - I really do know this. She will return all the richer for it, you know this.

    I have been to Africa twice, there is much to be done there. It is heart warming to know you've raised such a caring and compassionate child.

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  16. Shrinky... thank you for your kind and generous words of encouragement.
    You have been to Africa twice? Where have you visited and were you there for business or pleasure?

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  17. Hi my daughter and her husband would love to tell you all about Uganda,and any tips that he as. plus photos of the last trip. just e-mail her at www.WomenWales@sky.com pray it will of use for you and your daughter. my daughter Sara and her husbands name is Rev. Derry Flay.

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  18. Our good friend Pod gave me an invitation to your blog. It is interesting and very informative. I am sure that the mission trip to Uganda will be a great learning experience and exciting for your Pippin. We'll call that God calling.

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  19. David has such good taste ..

    Thanks for visiting ..

    You write beautifully.

    :-Daryl

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  20. Alan...I tried the email you gave me but it bounced back undeliverable. If your family is interested in sharing, maybe they could grab my email from my profile.

    Mae...I am so glad you came by for a visit. Glad you enjoyed looking around too. That blesses me. I agree. I call it God's calling as well.

    Daryl...Welcome. I am glad you came over for a chat. Smiles to you. Thank you for the compliment.

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  21. Thanks for coming over to visit me; it meant a lot to me! Come back anytime!
    Jo

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  22. I'm so glad that you are thinking about letting her go...she could be into so much more scary excursions that this one seems tame by comparison! And look who's her minder, God Himself!!!
    Good job, Jules...hugs
    Sandi

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  23. jules My daughter as your email address.but it would be easier if you could ask all those thinks that you may have and will anser anthing that may be wondering about. also would send you photo's of the last trip which was last week.this email will go to them first. CTFMWales@aol.com pray this helps.

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