Intersecting Life and Faith

Tag: travel (Page 2 of 5)

Dreaming About A Day

June 24, 2015~~I just returned from Rochester, NY where we dropped off Lauren to catch a flight to visit her brother Justin and his wife Melissa. Yes, she is flying alone, having to make not one, but two connections before she can land in Casper. Would you expect anything different from a Gates kid? Taking off on their own? Last night Kelsey surprised us by coming home a day early, last we heard she was stuck in St. Thomas I sat down at my desk to work on something else, and began reading last year’s posts. This one is worth re-posting as I write another post about ‘the dash.’

2014~~A very long time ago I dreamed about a day.

A day like yesterday.

Twenty-five plus years ago I was a twenty something mom of two babies twenty-one months apart. A vivid memory of wanting those days to rush by so I could have a day like I had yesterday. Justin and Hannah were great babies, but I felt like I had twins. Need I say anything else? Would June 3, 2014 every be a reality? As a single college student I floundered because all I wanted to do in life was be a wife and mother. Now that I was, with a third baby on the way making our family with three under the age of four, I wondered if I had chosen the right path. I love(d) being a mom but there were days I wanted to trade in my title for something…more. Several years later Lauren is the joy of my old age as she was born in my late thirties.

The day in and day out of mothering is not for the faint of heart. To be the mom God has called you to be takes courage, perseverance and faith. Whether you stay at home as a mother, work full-time or part-time outside the home, parenting is a full-time job without many rewards you can put your hands on and feel. The trenches of motherhood are often dark, muddy and lonely wondering if the war will be won in the end. (as a side note Rob and I are watching Band of Brothers in honor of the 70th anniversary of D-day, so trenches are fresh in my mind). Trenches are where the real work is accomplished, often for long periods of time, and I often wondered if I would ever emerge, leaving the mud for good.

A day like yesterday began when on the spur of the moment I  took off for Albany to visit one of my babies who will turn 23 in a couple of weeks. Since my older three no longer live at home the times of one on one conversation are limited. We ventured into a food co-op where all the food is grown locally and freshly baked or made. Off to Trader Joes to scope out a store my daughters love, I sure hope it’s true there’s one coming to Syracuse. Lunch was at a an out of the way coffee shop where we were able to take our time, having an adult conversation. Before I turned my car in the direction of home we made a quick stop at another coffee shop where she bought me iced coffee for the road.

I really do not like the saying that is said to young moms far too often…The quote is far too cliche’ for me and does not begin to encompass all that motherhood is.

You better enjoy your kids while they are home, because you blink and they are adults.

I did enjoy them while they were little, the teen years were fun but….and the college years kept me on my knees. But the reward I spoke of earlier in this post, of emerging from the trenches, took the form of a day like yesterday. Those days do come to an end, and the sun is shining on top of the hill of motherhood with a day like yesterday possible for all moms.

So press on mom with three little ones, press on mom who is running a taxi everyday, press on mom who has two full time jobs, press on mom whose last child is making you an empty nester. Press on mom…

…a day like yesterday is in your future.

Why Do They Do That?

I have been asked on several occasions where my kids get their

wanderlust=a strong, innate desire to rove or travel about

I stutter and stammer, trying to explain why Kelsey went to Italy as a nanny several years ago and is presently in St. John living and working.  Why Hannah has travelled throughout Europe and Southeast Asia and moved to Arizona to live and work, and why Justin ventured to North Dakota a couple of years ago to work in oil fields and now lives with his wife in Wyoming. My guess is Lauren will do the same, not work in oil fields….wander!!!

While reading a book on third culture kids I came across why I think these children of mine do what they do.

Rob and I gave them wings.

Literally, *“they all flew in airplanes before they could walk.”

With the exception of Lauren who took a 21 hour car ride before she could walk. Our kids have spent their lives flying or taking very long car rides to visit grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.  The roads we have travelled have been many. They have lived in Kansas, Indiana and Kingston, and Lafayette, NY. They will tell you our move from downstate to upstate was one of the hardest things they’ve done. That move shaped who they are today, which is a subject for another post.

We started them on the road and airplane when they were very young which, I believe, *“taught them to look beyond the obstacles of their dreams and look at the benefits.”We gave them the desire to rove or travel about because that is how we have lived. We have followed our Friend Who sticks closer than a brother, looking beyond what we would be leaving behind, which in most cases was dear, dear friends and church family and our extended family and friends. We looked ahead to what God was calling us to do, confident He would give us everything we needed as we packed up. We want to “see the world through the lens of hope and opportunity”*, which I’m guessing we have also passed onto our kids.

So now I have my answer the next time you ask me why my kids live where they do…blame it on the parents.

*Between Worlds: Essays on Culture and Belonging

I Am Rich!!!(Part 4)

For most of the trip I could count on Hannah to give me a smile whenever I wanted to take her picture. It takes a lot to get Hannah riled. We had been warned by her dad and grandma coming down from Flagstaff, AZ at 7000′ the road would twist and turn and in some places would be straight down. How bad could it be? I thought. I had been to the area in years past, but I had forgotten.


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unnamed (34)This look says it all as we descended the mountain…in the rain…in a Honda Civic.

There wasn’t much talking while truckers rode the bumper of the sardine can on wheels, cars going 90 mph flying down the mountain, trying to navigate rain slicked roads. Since I’m here writing this post you know we made it to my mother-in-law’s home in one piece. Hannah did say if she had to go back to Flagstaff she would be flying.

The rain stopped and the sun came out. I spent four more days with a daughter I had traveled close to three thousand miles with. I wish I could have this type of trip with all my kids. I still can’t believe I almost didn’t make the trip. Words fall flat in this space when I attempt to express what Justin, Hannah, Kelsey and Lauren mean to me…and Rob of course.

We enjoyed Octoberfest with family.

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Also a couple of days with Rob’s brother Rich, wife Judy and their son Cody. Sad to say I didn’t get a picture of Rich.

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Cody melted my heart when he laughed, created masks with Hannah and gathered everyone together before we left to lead us in prayer. What a sincere, unhindered talk He had with our Heavenly Father. Oh to be more like this boy who brought me to tears of joy and happiness.

Contentment has not been attained in owning things, or having a lot of money in the bank. Joy has not been gained in having my home in order or fancy meals on the table. Happiness has not been realized in setting my heart on the things of this earth. Joy, contentment and happiness are mine in abundance because I first set my heart on loving God and His Word(Psalm 119:1) even in the midst of pain, discomfort, sadness or death of a loved one. The blessings of family and friends, of coffee with those dear to me, of a church family or whatever He has chosen to give me are just that, blessings that make my life rich. Yes, I am rich.


Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

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