We are at the airport in Auckland, beginning the long trek home. We’ve said our (tearful) goodbyes and look forward to the happy hellos ahead. We’re leaving a sweet grandbaby behind, but looking forward to seeing three fun grandchildren back at home. Kellen has fully recovered from his broken elbow. Oaks is talking a blue streak. And Olive is ready to take off walking any day now.
The last two months have been an exercise in flexibility.
I lived out of a small suitcase, leaving the big ones at Anne and James. I moved eight times, slept in six different beds. I drove four different cars (rented two and borrowed two.) I enjoyed time alone, time with Anne & James, lots of cuddles with Charlee, and then a month with John & Lizi, traveling back and forth from Monavale to the farm.
James led an Adventure Bible School from April 26 through June 3. He was able to take off extra time during the first week to spend time with his new daughter, but by the second week, work was full on. He was gone for a three day kayaking trip and again, for four overnights, tramping. We joined in when we could, and hung out with Anne during the nights away.
The students never knew what was next. The ABS t-shirts ask, “Do you really need to know?” And for the most part, they do not. They’ve heard rumors about different activities, but they don’t know the schedule and they are never sure what is coming next. Often they only knew a part of the day/evening plans, with planned surprises yet to come. They learned to trust the leaders and each other, and hopefully, their trust in God also deepened.
A few days ago, I realized that my two month adventure could be characterized with the same question: Did I really need to know? Could I be flexible about plans, adapting to the needs of others around me? It was easy to adapt to Charlee’s changing need for sleep, feeding, and soothing. As Anne waited for the baby to arrive and then progressed through the recovery period, we were constantly adapting plans to fit the circumstances. When James was busy with ABS, and John and Lizi arrived, there were even more people to consider.
Overall, it was a lovely time. This American Gramma got pretty comfortable in New Zealand, but the challenges that came with so much change have stretched me. I can’t say I always responded gracefully. As I leave to go home, I’m tired and a little weary.
And not sure that I’m really done with this particular trusting adventure. When we get home, we jump right into appointments and surgery for Lizi–and all that might entail. She will stay with us for at least the beginning of her recovery period. We’ll also have to play catch up on yard work and gardening, as well as hurry to get the pool ready. We’re not sure when we’ll actually put our house on the market, but that is a another issue that has put on hold. I will return to work to help cover for two nurses having babies this summer. I also know we will need to help get John2 back on track. And I have a lot of catching up to do with Kellen, Oaks and Olive.
Somehow, I sense God whispering, “Do you really need to know?”
P.S. A few more cute pictures of Charlee.