The happiest I ever am..........

Joy and Sallymama--my children's name for me--I love it when she leans on me

God has blessed me with a very full life. Because of starting out in missions, by God's plan and design, we have been an internationally traveling family all of our children's lives. We have seen sights and been places. (Europe, Russia, England, the Middle East, the Far East, Australia and New Zealand) and are so blessed by the many friends we have made. We love trekking on mountains in Austria, and training through big cities and drinking coffee at international cafes.

I have had the wonderful privilege of being in ministry and speaking at conferences and in famous places. It has been a privilege to write books and blogs and articles and speak in places I could never have imagined. I told Him I would be a steward. But I don't always understand the phenomena. In crowds my shy comes out. I am just a mama, who loves home.

Yes, I have lived a varied and wonderful life and for it I am indeed grateful.

But I am the happiest when I have my sweet family all sequestered in a room together sharing life in the privacy of  our own home. Just us at home. This is what I love the best, what comforts me, gives me rest .

Every morning, Joy goes in to put the tea kettle on, I am usually up, be-gowned,  having a quiet time. She comes and sits in my big chair close to me and sometimes leaning on my shoulder and we talk about life, our thoughts, dreams, what the day holds, who hurt our feelings, what we feel, and then my soul is so very content. I have this sweet friend who is intertwined in a deep part of my soul--we belong together. I am deeply happy.

Joel, who has generously moved home to help us this year for the conferences to take some strain off of Clay's back. He washes dishes and goes grocery shopping and shares in our lives. We talk and encourage each other all day long. He drives me places just so we can be together. Meeting for lunch and coffee, even though we see each other every day, we talk faith, possibilities, and all things future--marriage, teaching, redeeming culture. We do not deserve this grace that Joel has given.

In evenings, He mans up his dramatic voice as Clay, Joy and I snuggle on couches and listen as he reads us the familiar stories of the Chronicles of Narnia, and makes us giggle, on cold nights with fire burning and hot chocolate in mugs. This makes my soul smile.

Nathan shares his latest blog, his days, his auditions, his hope and dreams. We talk almost every day for long and for heart.

Sarah emails, skypes, shares the humor of Oxford, the newly discovered hikes and tea shops and I kiss the screen when our talks are ended.

These are my pleasures--what keeps me going.

Yes, God indeed had a good idea--give us a place to belong, a place to be loved, flaws, quirks and all.

Family, his idea for giving us comfort, love and soul friendship.

It is with these, my very own children and husband-this place of belonging, where I can be my real self,  and closeness is the happiest I ever am.