Friday, August 16, 2013


It's hard to say goodbye.  Our last days in Bismarck were sad, but they were laced with goodness, too.  

It was sad to say goodbye to our swingset, but good to remember how God answered our prayers and how we got to enjoy it for eleven months.  I'm grateful for those final days playing with neighbors in the yard, when school was done and summer was just beginning.  It occupied them, built memories and gave me time to pack, pack, pack.

Our last Sunday at church, Theia graduated into Kidzone and our older two girls got to experience children's church together for the first time and the last time.  They had some sad goodbyes, but a happy discovery when they realized their shoes matched Sophias,

Theia, Xandra, Sophia
We were glad to see Siri, she was much loved in our time in Bismarck and we were sad to say goodbye.

Xandra, Theia, Siri
While moving and packing and watching our house go from full to empty is sad, those moving boxes brought unexpected joy to our home.

The neighbor girls would come those last weeks and say, "Lets go play downstairs in the boxes."  Those big boxes were homes and pet shops and rooms and ice cream parlors and any number of other fun, imaginative things a group of kids can dream up while playing together.  Everyone was sad whenever I had to "steal" one to use it to pack. 

The last day is always difficult, but so good when a friend shows up with three kids to play, help and say goodbye.

Joey, Xandra, Miracle, Theia, Aliyah, Matthais, Malachi
 I'm grateful that in the sad, stressful moments, when we're silly enough to line up seven small children for a picture, that this guy peeks out from windows

and pillars and makes us laugh, so we don't cry.

Though we landed in Bismarck a short while, God gave me a friend.  I needed her.  Many times.  I needed her that last day, too.  I'm glad she came, that she said hello in the library the first day when she heard my voice, that she pursued a friendship she knew was bound to have a goodbye.  Although my kids were sad, they were glad, too.

I'm grateful for one last evening to enjoy popsicles on the porch


with Addison and Daysha,

to celebrate the sweetness of neighborhood friends amidst the sadness of saying goodbye.

As I pulled away from Bismarck on my final afternoon, I texted my friend, Elizabeth and said, "Goodbye Bismarck."  She replied, "Bittersweet.  Bitter for me and sweet for you."  I agree.  Not necessarily about the sweetness of leaving Bismarck, but about how endings are bittersweet.  It's just another glimpse of His grace that He would give us goodness amidst the bitterness of life. 

His mercies are new every morning.

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