Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Vicarious living

Another big day has come and gone in the lives of the Stockwell family. Jonathan and Katherine have moved to Hawaii. This past weekend Christopher, Katie and Bailey went up to spend time with them on their last weekend on the mainland (for awhile.) I’m told that they had a splendid time on the water and much great food was served.
They were joined on Monday by my parents and brother, Evan, at Mee-maw’s for another day of eating and memory making.

I am not jealous in the least that all of them got to love on Jonathan and Katherine before they left…I wish I could have been with them, but have learned through the years that I can live my life VICARIOUSLY through loved ones who STAND in the GAP during important moments.

I remember the first time I realized this…Several years ago Mick was going to the states around Thanksgiving. He was making his plans to rush back and be with Daniel and me. I said, “Hun, why don’t you stay and have Thanksgiving with the boys?” (I’ve always called Christopher and Jonathan “THE BOYS” and Daniel, just “DANIEL”...have no idea why…I think it must have something to do with when Daniel was a baby and stayed with me while “THE BOYS” went and did things with their dad!)
Anyway, back to my story: Mick looked at me and said, “You would let me do that?”
I said, “Let you…I want you to do that!”
He did and that is when I first became aware that I felt as if I were a part of a holiday or a celebration when at least someone from the FAM was also involved.

God has given us so many wonderful times together…Many more times together than I thought we would have living on two different continents. Mick allowed me to go and deposit each son at the college of their choice. We got to visit each one on campus while they studied. We had the joy of seeing Christopher graduate in 2007. And were home for several months before and after Christopher and Katie’s wedding. What a blessed time that was!
We were all together Christmas of 2007…Christopher and Katie’s first Christmas as man and wife!

Jonathan’s graduation last May was awesome. Several weeks afterwards Mick had a special time with all the boys on the STOCKWELL MAN TRIP (camping.) Katie and I had our own sort of FUN on our STOCKWELL GIRL TRIP (malls!)

We were in the states for Jonathan and Katherine’s wedding this past January and had the privilege of stopping by their home on the way out of the country just a little over a week after they were married. They were happy it was a STOP OVER!

During Daniel’s freshman year Mick and I were on his campus for several days during a Mission Week. Got to eat with him in the Caf and enjoyed meeting his friends.


BUT there have been those times when I was not able to be present for a major ordeal in the lives of my kids. BUT God has provided someone from the family to be a part of the celebration and in that I’ve felt connected…I’ve been there in Spirit!
My parents were with Kenny and Teri for Jonathan’s graduation. Through the years my parents have joined forces with mee-maw and celebrated Thanksgiving with Christopher and Jonathan. Daniel and a friend went to be a part of Jonathan’s graduation from Ranger School just last month.
And now this past weekend.

I am so BLESSED, blessed to have the family who has taken up the ropes in the states and been there for me…stepped in and helped me to BE A PART OF THE SPECIAL TIMES!

Thank you:
Mom and Dad
Kenny and Teri
Christopher and Katie
Thank you, for being there FOR ME!

I was contemplating these things today and thanking the Lord, again, for this gift He gives me. I wondered how that could be…how does it make me feel a part of the situation when I’m not there but someone else is there for me? What makes living vicariously through them make me feel so wonderful???
I don’t know the answer…I just know it works (for me!)

Then I was reminded of a message I heard when I was younger…about letting others see Jesus in me. The message states that Jesus only lived 33 years on earth and covered very few miles (in comparison to travel today) of that earth while He was on it…How do people living today get to see Him? Only through His children who allow Him to live through them!!!
And somehow this brings Him pleasure.

My conclusion is this: When I live allowing Him to live through me…THIS BRINGS HIM JOY and allows others to see Him…to be drawn to Him. I make Him happy.
If you know me at all, you know that I like it when EVERYONE is HAPPY!
I want to live my life in the way that makes HIM ecstatic!!!

I want Jesus to live Vicariously through me!!!

I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. Galatians 2:20 (New King James Version)

If you only look at us, you might well miss the brightness. We carry this precious Message around in the unadorned clay pots of our ordinary lives. That's to prevent anyone from confusing God's incomparable power with us. As it is, there's not much chance of that. You know for yourselves that we're not much to look at. We've been surrounded and battered by troubles, but we're not demoralized; we're not sure what to do, but we know that God knows what to do; we've been spiritually terrorized, but God hasn't left our side; we've been thrown down, but we haven't broken. What they did to Jesus, they do to us—trial and torture, mockery and murder; what Jesus did among them, he does in us—he lives! Our lives are at constant risk for Jesus' sake, which makes Jesus' life all the more evident in us. While we're going through the worst, you're getting in on the best! II Corinthians 4: 7-12 (The Message)

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Mother's Day 2009

I bet you thought I was DEAD…well, I’m not. Just takes a lot more out of a 50 (Okay, I’m 51) year old to move than a younger more able bodied woman!
We are here…in my TANGERINE HOME. Yes, it is already home to us.
We will be attending a Russian church start so all that Russian language study was not for naught!
I’ve made new friends already (not that they replace the old…and NOT that the old are OLD!)
I’ve met both IMB personnel and nationals who are very sweet and helpful. Our location is fantastic and I had no idea…I guess the Lord knew and gave me this handful on purpose. I love it!
Excited about the days ahead…language study, learning more about the culture here, making more friends, ministering to Russian and Czech alike, and the seeing all my friends who tell me that they are coming to visit!

These precious people make me a MOM

Well, tomorrow is Mother’s Day…how could I not write about that?
I love being a mom…the best job in the world!!!
For some reason the Lord saw fit to give me the BESTEST sons in the world…and now they have brought us home two of the BESTEST girls in the world.
MOM is a wonderful, wonderful word.
What a joy to be called MOM (or MIL (stands for mother-in-love) by my daughters-in-love!)

This year I’ll not be with my children. It isn’t as hard as it might sound because I have magnificent memories of Mother’s Days past.

I could share so many…
My first Mother’s Day when Christopher was just eight months old. How thrilling it was to actually finally be a mom celebrating the day!
All the Sunday mornings when the boys would wake me up with breakfast in bed (with the help of their dad!)
The heart shaped crystal studs (that I wore just the other day and still love!)
The perfume (we will not talk about that Mother’s Day gift!)
Home made cards.
Home made jewelry (from Christopher…he has always loved making me things!)
The Mother’s Day when Daniel stayed up into the wee hours of the morning making me a special Mother’s Day program on the computer.
The first Mother’s Day when I got a card from a girl (Katie Girl!)
Many, Many marvelous memories…

But the one that stands out the most is the Mother’s Day when I received a ragged African violet. We were in Kharkov, Ukraine and going to have a worship time with the missionaries on Mother’s Day evening. I bought an African violet for the kids to give to each mom. They all were in perfect shape.
At some point during the SHORT time when the kids left the room to get the plants for their moms and come back in one of them got turned upside down and smashed.
This smashed plant is the one I received. I had no idea what had taken place…just minutes before all the violets were beautiful and now this one was dying in front of my eyes and my sons had chosen it to give to me…what was up with that?

I caught Christopher’s eye with a questioning look and could tell that I should say nothing until later. On the way home I asked the boys about the plant.
They explained that one of the girls had turned the plant she had picked for her mom upside down…they quickly gave her mine to give to her mom.

Jonathan explained further…
He said, “Mom, we knew you wouldn’t want her mom to have a messed up plant and we knew you had us for your gift!”

Yes, the Mother’s Day that the boys realized that they were GIFT enough was my best Mother’s Day ever…so far, NOW if they wanted to all come and see me at one time…that might take precedence over this memory and become the BEST MOTHER’S DAY EVER!!!

I’m so thankful that God allowed me to be a MOTHER.
I’m thankful for my mom too. What a blessing she STILL is to me daily. The best!!!
Also thankful for a wonderful Mother-in-Love who loves me like her own!
Thankful, too, for the "MOM friends" the Lord has given me. They have taught me much about “mothering!”

I’m one blessed MOM!!!

I've enjoyed every stage and age...
now we get girls in the mix!!!