Blest be the Ties that Bind

I have a good reason why you didn’t hear from me this spring – the last couple of months were spent planning the details for a trip to Indianapolis to surprise David’s parents and I couldn’t talk about it!

It had been 4 years since our last 6-week marathon visit and David’s mother in particular was feeling it. So after friends here reminded us that God cares about our family connections as much as our missional life, we overcame our own reluctance.  We decided to believe that God would cover the finances needed, that our kids and parents needed real hugs and that we could still survive 15 hours of travel with 2 layovers, jetlag and high security pat-downs. We timed it around Memorial Day weekend for David’s mother’s birthday, the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 and our kids’ move to a smaller rental in town. We limited the trip to 2 1/2 weeks in one city to keep it simple, praying that my parents would be able to fly out to see us from New Mexico.

We wrote to our intercessors in April to keep us and my parents covered and started preparing a 30 min. video of family memories to show at the surprise birthday party that also honors David’s parent’s 60th wedding anniversary this year. It was a wonderful heart exercise to go through 30 yrs of photos and videos and see the generational blessings that have come from a drama-free family of faith.

At the church, David was organizing a HOP conference for the weekend before we left. I deep-cleaned 2 large renovated bathrooms we needed to open in order to host a larger group of people for the Friday-Sunday event. We also housed a member of the team that came from Geneva. So when we got on the plane on Tuesday, we were definitely ready for a long, boring sit, reassured that Olivia had the house covered in our absence. Here’s the 10 biggest highlights:

  • The travel day wasn’t nearly as painful as before, and it was good to leave our cold, rainy weather behind. Summer arrived here only yesterday!
  • David’s mother’s reaction upon laying eyes on us was priceless, and she’d also always hoped that someone would create a memory video for her.)
  • We got to love on David’s dad, who is losing his memory but not his dignity, and made sure David’s mother was coping well as the caregiver.Leigh reunion 2016
  • In return, David’s parents rented us a new Chrysler to make the hours criss-crossing the city a lot less stressful, and I got to bond with my 2 amazing grand nieces up close and personal.
  • Rachel was grateful for our help with the last minute push to get their previous rental cleaned, painted and the basement junk cleared out, and David got a break from the work when he was given a great seatAirport reunion! and chauffeured to the race by an old friend.
  • And another friend’s mother, who was still missing her husband taken too soon by cancer, graciously welcomed us to sleep in her basement after we moved out of Rachel’s house, perfectly located to be near my parents, who were staying at my brother and his wife’s house.
  • My parents did make the trip, despite physical attacks, and were so glad that they did, and my dad got on Instagram to strengthen our long-distance connection!
  • Glasses repaired!And when I broke the frame of my glasses, my brother was right there able to weld them back together perfectly with a laser machine at the jeweler’s where he works, saving me $800 for a new pair.
  • We got to experience Rachel’s art world first-hand all together and we were treated to lots of artsy, healthy meals in funky restaurants all over town. (And David was totally pain-free the entire trip, despite not keeping to his diet!)
  • Sweet vulnerable conversations were had with several family members, local supporters and friends that don’t communicate well at a distance.
  • And finally, our spirits were also ministered to during visits to three small congregations that were pursuing real intimacy with each other and the Lord, giving us an encouraging view of a shift in American church life!

Fun news about Olivia’s world next month!

Happy summer,

Angela

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