Back in America

Wendy and I had a tremendous conflict leaving Australia for home. We were encouraged to stay longer, but we missed our other children greatly. We returned home yesterday as planned.

Our final selfie in Melbourne, together on the back deck.

Our final selfie in Melbourne, together on the back deck.

I cannot express how awesome it was to connect with our daughter Alissa and her husband, Assad. We love them so much! Though they are literally a world apart, our hearts are one. May God bless them and may He keep our time apart from each other even shorter next time!

Parents, let me be straight with you. Pour your love into your children and don’t look back. My only regrets in life are when I hesitated or looked back in relationship. If you followed me these last few weeks of traveling abroad, you read of our mountain-top experiences. You only caught a glimpse of it. Our time with Alissa and Assad were peppered with deep conversation, loving restoration, and an indescribable joy.

Back in America, Grandma and Grandpa — our home-base babysitters — said they had just as marvelous of an experience. Grandma compared this two weeks with her few days from several years ago when she babysat for Wendy and me; this time was much better. Taking care of 12 children was a big deal for my 70+ year old parents, but Wendy and I prepared a healthy amount of activity for the entire family. I’m so thankful for their help and even more thankful that it was a great experience for them.

Here is an email from Tabitha a few days before we returned. Not all the kids participated, but this was a good sampling of how things went down at home:

Tabitha- I am doing well. The house is running great. Grandma is REALLY getting the hand of homeschooling the little ones. Noah and I are getting one lesson in math done everyday. [The cleaning lady] is doing a fabulous job. I haven’t heard one complaint from Grandma or Grandpa. I have had some fun times, we went to The Thorn, and Grandma and Grandpa LOVED it. We went to Whit’s End and to McDonald’s. 🙂 I miss you.

Josiah- I’m doing great! I’m not really doing anything huge with legos. [My friend] Asher is good. Yeah, Grandma is awesome.

Havilah- I’m having fun. I miss you. Kiss and hug back.

Joshua- Hi. I miss you. I feel like you’ve been gone forever we went to Focus [on the Family]. And it was fun were going to the park today. Love you (:

Priscilla- Yes I can draw you a picture. I love you, I love you to the moon and back.

Zech- Yes, I am playing outside. It’s really fun, it’s Saturday, we aren’t doing school. I miss you loads.

Elijah- I love you. Yes, playing with Grandma and Grandpa is so much fun.

I’d say that is a very healthy report that all went well during our stay in Australia.