The traditional 'waiting for the surprise that daddy brings home from his trips' pose. This pose is made when the daddy who just returned home digs through his suitcases to pull out the little treasures that he showers his children (and wife) with. Treasures like boxes of mac & cheese. Treasures like an Old Navy halloween t-shirt (Lauren). Treasures like an itunes card (Ryan). Treasures like the first season of Grey's Anatomy (me!). Simple fun gifts that make it easier to let daddy go away the next time. Ha! ...that was a joke, just in case you wondered.
This is just one of our 'traveling' traditions. Through the years we have, through trial and error, discovered different ways to make the parting and the coming home memorable. There is always a similar few days prior to the trip, getting ready and such, and then there are the days of 'reentry' on return.
One of my favourite 'traditions' is going out to breakfast with my husband. Since jet lag is always part of the reentry period, we go on the first day that he wakes up early enough for that morning meal. And that was this morning. So after we dropped the kids to school, he took me out to a lovely breakfast at Robins Nest in Lucan, a village over from ours. They make one of the top three best scones in all of Ireland, in my humble opinion. If you don't get there early enough (not early according to American standards), then they're all gone. Tea & scones... a perfect Irish morning. It was so good to sit across from my husband, and hear about his trip and all that God is doing in his heart.
And as I listened to him this morning, I was reminded of merciful grace. A friend spoke those words to me recently. Such beautiful words. And they are made even more beautiful by God, who embodies them. And who bestows that merciful grace on us so freely and abundantly. That is the God I am learning to know anew.
And so... now that Rod is back, I'm going on a little getaway! This weekend is actually quite a gift to me. I am leaving tomorrow noon with two girlfriends for our second annual trek down to Cork to attend the Guinness Jazz Festival. So excited! We've been planning and looking forward to this weekend for quite some time, and here it is. Special friends, incredible music, great energy and atmosphere, delicious food... and time to just 'be' together. Like I said before, a gift.
And Rod and the kids? Well, they'll be just grand. It's only a few days and besides, there are traditions to be looked forward to when I come home!
26 October 2006
24 October 2006
Sorry for shouting, but I just wanted to say it outloud... we've missed him and it will be good to have him home. Oh, and the kids are quite excited, not only because he's almost home, but because I'm taking them out of school early to go collect him at the airport. Way to pick a flight, dad!
19 October 2006
I was reminded of that yesterday when meeting with my friend. We hadn't seen each other for awhile, both having had significant things happen during our time apart. So we spent most of the morning sharing the depth of our hearts with each other. She then shared with me a passage of Scripture that she has been dwelling on lately. Mark 5:21-43. Jairus and his dying 12 year old daughter. The woman with chronic bleeding. I won't go into detail here about our conversation, partly because I'm still processing it. But as we talked I was reminded again of God's sovereignty. His bigger picture. My limited view. That He excels at bringing life. That death is no hindrance to Him. That nothing is impossible. And that each moment we wait, He has a purpose for us in that moment. And He interweaves our lives in ways we can't always see. And He says, "Dawn, do not be afraid any longer, only believe".
I was reminded of Him. Thank you, my friend.
18 October 2006
I'm tired. For some reason, I've been so tired recently. Maybe because Rod's gone and it's just me? It could be, but I'm not usually this tired when he's gone. Maybe because last week I was up very, very late for many nights in a row? Yes, that might have something to do with it. And there's lots of sick people around too. And I seem to be battling that as well. So maybe all of the above. Wanted to write a real fabulous blog (not sure about what, but I'd figure it out...), but I can't seem to find the energy. So instead I thought I'd just connect and say hello, all the same.
I'm leaving in a few minutes to meet a friend at Starbucks. Thinking that yes, that will perk me up. A friend, encouraging conversation and a double shot. Did you know that Starbucks just came to Ireland quite recently? They haven't even been here a year yet. Makes me a bit sad actually. There's some great little coffee places here that are unique, individual. And Starbucks is too... um, American. However, now that it's here, I won't complain. It used to be if we ever got homesick, we'd head for McDonalds. But honestly, McDonalds doesn't do it for me. If I didn't have kids, you'd probably never catch me there. But Starbucks, now I'm thinking that's a much better cure for homesickness.
Oh and I also want to say thanks for your comments. So fun to hear from all of you who've written! I don't know if it's proper blog etiquette to respond to the comments in the comment section. I wonder if whoever I respond to ever comes back to read the response! So... I've added an 'email me' spot on our profile page. Please feel free to say hello there as well. Of course you all know I'm a fabulous responder to emails. So on top of things, me!! ha... Okay, so maybe it's not my forte. But I'm always growing and who knows, you might even receive a response! We could take a poll and see how many emails Dawn can respond to. Or maybe not. Anyway, all of that to say, thanks for your words. It's so very fun to hear from you. Amazing isn't it, how many people God brings into our lives over the years, to love us and bring growth and change. I am so thankful for all of you...
So hey, how's that for a tired post? Not much depth, but can't always have that, now can we? So what I've learned today, is that all I need to do is just start typing and see what comes out! There's always something in me waiting to be said...
13 October 2006
If you know anything about our daughter, you know that her chosen apparel is any type of trousers and shirt. Shorts, long trousers, jeans, long sleeve shirt, short sleeved, etc. And always, always the ubiquitous cap. Now, the cap changes per outfit, but most often it's her NY Yankees cap (it was given to us... yes, I'd rather her wear a Dodgers cap) or her 'Oliver' cap. Which she so named because it looks like what Oliver Twist would wear.
Which leads to costumes. At any point that she possibly can, she's also in costume. Oliver Twist, Peter Pan, any type of animal, a Ninja, David the shepherd boy (her most recent... she even made her own harp), etc. Basically whatever strikes her fancy at that given time. She is very creative and resourceful. I have become aware that she sees a picture in her mind of what she wants her costume to look like and then she goes after it. With whatever she can find. She's always after me to find 'another' white shirt that she can draw on.
Now, if you've paid attention you will have noticed that not once did I mention a dress, a blouse, a skirt or a princess or ballerina get-up. Not her thing. She once upon a time would get all dolled up for a date with daddy. Dress and tights and handbag and maybe even a crown. But I haven't seen that happen for awhile.
You also need to know that I'm not complaining here. Our Lauren is an absolute delight. I am so thankful for the gift of my daughter, and all that she is, and so enjoy the process (on most days...) of watching her 'becoming', as she grows in the discovering of who God made her to be. A life long process, as I can attest to!!
So we come to yesterday. The kids had just arrived home from school and went upstairs to change out of their uniforms. (Lauren's school now allows the girls to wear trousers. But prior to that, I got three years of her in a pinafore!) I was heading downstairs when I heard Lauren from her room. "Mom, don't come in, I've got a surprise for you." So I waited downstairs. And a few minutes later, who should appear but this beautiful young girl. In a jean skirt, a pink top and pink socks with her long hair hanging loose on her shoulders. (did I mention that pink is not a favourite of hers and that she wears her hair most often in a ponytail?) Not a sight I see everyday! She had the biggest grin on her face... we found a hairband for her hair (I do buy them periodically thinking she might wear one?) and she said to me, "Do you think Ryan will like it?".
Ryan was waiting for us outside, as we were going to the shops. Lauren walked out the door and his jaw hung open. 'You look so nice' he said. Big grin from her again. He probably told her that three more times on our way to the shops. So cute... Of course, I told her she was beautiful as well. But I tell her that all the time, regardless what she is wearing.
So today I wondered, is there a change in the air? I was thinking about it this morning, as I stepped over a pile of clothes on our landing waiting to be laundered. All of a sudden, it hit me. She didn't have any trousers to wear! They were all in the pile at my feet...
So my guess is, there isn't a change in the air. Which is absolutely fine with me. I treasure my unique girl. I love giving her the freedom to choose what she wants to wear, whether it matches or not. But it was a sweet moment in time, and a joy to hear Ryan's encouragement of her as she ventured into new territory.
However, I'm thinking I might not do the laundry this weekend... who knows what she might show up in next!
09 October 2006
So funny, I have no idea who, if anyone other than my mom, is reading this... But I have to pretend someone's reading it, otherwise I might find something else to do with my time! Oh and since we're on the topic... did you know you can comment and say hello and such? You don't have to be a blogger type person, you just have to put your name down (or you can be anonymous) and then say something nice, or witty or intelligent or absolutely pointless, it matters not. It's just an encouragement to me, the blogger girl. So now that we've got that out of the way...
So, my dear husband has gone across the sea. We got him to the airport yesterday morning quite early and he, I'm guessing (no news is good news?), has landed safe and sound in Georgia. He is traveling for a few weeks to different states and meeting with different people, family, college GEMK's, etc. It exhausts him, but he loves it. At the end of his trip he and a friend are going to Colorado to a John Eldridge 'Wild at Heart' boot camp. This is something he is deeply looking forward to. Will you pray for him the weekend of the 19th-22nd October? For God's work in his heart... Thank you.
The kids and I make our time when daddy's gone 'fun'. We play. Of course we still do the dishes and homework, etc., but you get the point. Last night it began in earnest with a group of people over to watch football (americano). I haven't watched that sport for over 7 plus years, but we just recently got a special channel that has football periodically, so of course we'll open our home to our AFFF ('American football' fanatic friends). Lauren was so funny. She kept asking when the match would be over. And Ryan, who is that bit older and has a better grasp on both cultures, kept correcting her, as he does, saying, 'Lauren... it's a GAME!'. And from my perspective, those games went on and on and on, until the wee hours of the morning. But, being a people person, I love having everyone over. So it's a fair trade. 'Cept I'm a tired girl today. Which is probably why this post is so rambling...
Thursday morning past I had the priviledge of taking Kristy (another new arrival with her husband Brandon) to Powerscourt Estate in Enniskerry. It's one of my favourite places on the island (there are so many favourite places here...) and a delightful place to take a coffee and scone or have their gorgeous salads for lunch. It is such a transition to leave home, family, friends, things that are known and dearly loved in the States and come to a complete unknown. So many emotions hit at moments unexpected... And that is why I said it was my priviledge. That she would not only accompany me, but share the struggle, joy, laughter and tears of the journey she's on. I remember when I first arrived in Ireland, having coffee with a woman who had gone before me, and just crying. What a comfort it was to say out loud that I was struggling. God has created us to need each other...
Holly, who I mentioned in the last post, just phoned to say that she just drove all by herself for the first time! Which can be quite intimidating, what with the narrow roads, roundabouts, hedgerows and the steering wheel on the right side of the car. A big step taken. She also recently found an apartment nearby in Maynooth. A beautiful apartment that she is delighting in as a gift from God. I love to watch Him give gifts to His children.
Speaking of gifts, you are a gift to us. Your friendship, support and encouragement over the years means more than you can know. And your prayers... someday we will see the vastness of how God interweaves all these things together. How He uses us to touch one another and draw us closer to Him. Thanks for reading...
02 October 2006
but a rich one. This past Saturday we attended the bi-annual Evangelical Alliance Ireland (EAI) conference in Dublin. It is a wonderful joining together of people from all over Ireland who, as we daily walk out our lives, desire to see God bring change to this nation. The beauty of that big vision is that it begins in relationship. Matt Kingsley, one of our co-workers, has written a brilliant blog about the conference, also including a few pictures. I thought I would refer you to his site to get a fuller glimpse into the day.
One of my favourite parts of the day is being with people I don't get to see on a regular basis. I am reminded of all the people I love on this island. All the people who have touched my life in the last 7 plus years we have made this our home. And how truly blessed I am. Oh, and the worship. The music. Always a highlight. There's the regular instruments with the added bonus of the harp, uilleann pipes, tin whistle, Bodhrán, etc. Truly Irish. During one set a Congolese church, that meets here in Ireland, shared their worship music with us. They rocked the house! And then there were the Cork lads... enough said.
We've greatly enjoyed having Holly live with us this past week as she begins a new season of her life in Ireland. She has been a co-worker for over four years, but previously resided in Linz, Austria. It's quite hilarious hearing her get her words all mixed up. She isn't only adjusting to the Irish verbage, she's trying to shed her excellent German as well. We've had a good few laughs. She and I spent the day in Dublin last week going to the American Embassy, looking for mobile phones, etc. And of course, had to pose with the phones in hand. Very helpful in choosing the proper phone! Ha...
Holly took the train into town this morning, to once again make a visit to the Embassy (a long story...). While she's in town, I'm at home minding a sweet, albeit sick, Lauren. Of course, she's feeling a bit better at the moment and finding staying at home slightly boring. And that's not a bad thing. Makes for 'faking' sick less often!
Yesterday while playing 'Pretty, Pretty Princess'. She won.
Today writing her book. Mommy painting her toenails next.
Tomorrow at school...