Family ties

I cannot even begin to express the joy we feel and the blessings we receive as we open our home to visitors, especially those who are here to adopt. We have made some lifelong friends and we have received way more than we have given…in our humble opinions.

From time to time, we even are given books that have had special meaning to the donors. Once read, the visitors didn’t necessarily want to carry the weight back to the States…particularly when they’ve added children and THEIR things to the return trip.

One such book is Radical Together by David Platt. As most of my regular readers know, Jim and I read Scripture, another book, and pray together each morning. I highly encourage this beginning to your day…it literally keeps you on the same page!

One chapter in and I was already reduced to tears. The author challenges us to rethink our priorities, as individuals, as families, and as church bodies. He questions whether we’ve put EVERYTHING on the table and have let God direct our finances, ministries, families. And oftentimes it is GOOD things that are getting in the way of His best.

I suddenly found myself picturing Abraham and Isaac. Putting EVERYTHING on the altar. And then I saw myself and my heart concerning Milan and Lydian, our two new grandsons. How do you give them up? I realize that some would say that we’ve sacrificed a lot simply by moving to Ukraine, but I would have to disagree. We have received so much more than money could ever buy. We may have forgone some luxuries…okay, lots of luxuries…but are those things really missed? Not really. Except when we want to purchase more than we can carry…a car would be nice at those times. Or during the extreme heat of the summers here…air conditioning would be refreshing.

But do I need to also consider visiting my children and grandchildren less often? Oh, Lord, please don’t let it be so. Once a year isn’t too often, is it? Thankfully we enjoy skype so we do get to see them change and grow. But to not see them in person during these early years would be so very hard. My heroes are those missionaries from the past who moved to potentially NEVER return to their home countries.

I know it. I’m a spoiled missionary. I have a lovely flat, an adoring husband, and fabulous children…and now grandchildren. We belong to a church family that preaches the Truth. We’re supported by churches and individuals who see our work as valuable to the Kingdom. We have friends here, both nationals and expats, who would do anything to help us if we needed it. We have prayer warriors reminding the Lord of our work and needs. We have personal access to the throne room of the King!

And yet, I want more. Selfishly. I want more time with my precious family. My heart aches when we part.

Yes, I get over it. We have so much to do here that it doesn’t take long for my days to fill. And I truly love what I am doing here…

But, honestly, in those quiet moments I miss family and my friends in America. (I almost wrote ‘at home’ rather than ‘in America’ but there is no doubt that ‘home’ is here.)

Pray for me as I come to your minds. Pray that I will not put my family before God…that HE will always be my first love. And recalling that HE gave me my family to love and to cherish. What a gift! May they not become obstacles, idols.

And remembering that HE gave up His own Son for me. Can I do less for Him?

To God be the glory.



  1. ach, painful. Sounds like a good book. May God use it to draw you closer to Himself! I often find myself thinking very selfishly in regards to the children that God has given us. It’s a struggle. I’ll pray for you. Big hug!

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