The way that our missions organization works, we serve four years on the field and one year in the States raising money to come back. Sometimes it’s a bit of a hassle going back and forth, but there are some pros as well. For example, we don’t get to see family too often. It’s not cheap to fly back to America all that often, so we usually do about once in the middle of our term. That means that it’s been two years since we’ve seen most of our family. Skype and Face Time are good, but they’re not quite the same thing.
The last time we were in the States for the year, we had someone who lived in our house, so we came back to the same place. This time, we’re putting everything into storage. At the moment, we have boxes in every room. In 13 days, everything will be taken away to storage. When we packed up everything to move here, I remember how important everything was to me. When you have to camp out or borrow furniture, you realize that people are important. The other is just stuff and can be replaced. As much as I don’t like moving for only a year, it always helps me to keep a good perspective on what is really important and what I can easily live without.
This year is Grace’s last year in elementary school (basisschool) here. I’ve seen several lasts. She’s gotten her last book from the library. She will have her last gym day soon. She is sad about leaving friends, but it helps to know that we will be back, and she will continue on to secondary school with many of them.
I’ve seen a lot more “lasts” while I’m packing up the house. For example, I’ve bought the “last” of several items i.e. toothpaste, toilet paper, etc. I need to use up the last of the food in my pantry as well.
Today is the last Queens Day in The Netherlands. Queen Beatrix will step down, and her son will become the new king. It’s an exciting day, and you can’t believe the amount of orange things that have been for sale here. Orange is the official color of the royal family. I bought these donuts for Grace. I usually get them for her every Queens Day. That’s pretty much the only time she gets donuts, so she always enjoys Queens Day!
People are allowed to put Dutch flags out on special holidays, but for days like today, you’ll also see an orange streamer hanging from the top of the flag. Since I really can’t handle huge crowds, we’ll be gathering around our television to see all the events.
Even though it’s a season of lasts, I’m excited to see what the future holds. I’m sure I’ll be able to make a list of firsts coming up. So much of our lives have been spent trusting God to take care of us through every season of life. I’m so glad that I can depend on Him to always be there – no matter where we live or what we’re going through.