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Mike and Anita James

Reaching Children – Training Leaders

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Feb '11


Home is a relative term to many, but it does invoke certain feelings.  I just spent a week in Madrid, Spain getting great training on video editing.  I met some new friends and got to see some old ones.

Living in The Netherlands, you’d think that I would love Spain more than anything – especially since we’re from the South in America where it’s warmer and sunnier.  You’d think that, wouldn’t you?  Yet, when I look out and see Madrid, I see a brown landscape that doesn’t do much for me.  There were people at the training from other parts of the world who talked about how much they loved it in Spain, and I was thinking about how much I’d rather be home.  It didn’t help that I got sick while I was there and away from my husband and daughter for seven days.  Thank God for Skype that allows me to call them while I’m away!

Yesterday in Madrid, it was 20 degrees.  For those of you who don’t speak Celcius, that’s 68 F.  It was sunny and beautiful.  In The Netherlands, it had warmed up to 10 (50 F) and was rainy.  That’s not an unusual occurrence.  I had to leave for the airport this morning at 5:45 and didn’t sleep well because I was so worried about having everything set for the flight.  Luckily I got to catch up on some of that sleep on the flight.  The pilot announced that it was windy in Amsterdam (no shock there!) and that we might have turbulence before landing.  Every bump brought me closer to home and got me happier and happier.  When we finally broke through the clouds and I could see the ground, so many things brought me joy.

First of all, there was GREEN everywhere.  I forget sometimes how comforting that color can be.  Secondly, there was water.  When we fly into Dallas, Texas, the only water I see on the ground is in swimming pools, but here in The Netherlands, it’s au natural.  Then, I saw the houses, and it made me think of our house.  After that, I saw bicycle paths on one of the streets.  Once again, it was comforting.

The Spanish people clap when a plane lands, and I thought it was appropriate.  I clapped along because I was so happy to be back. When we landed, I saw that our airplane was making tracks in the water standing on the runway.  Yep, it was windy and raining.  Home!  One man nearly fell over when leaving the plane because of the wind.  I smiled – not because I was laughing at him – but because it was somehow comforting to have this weather greet me.  Crazy, huh?

So, I went to get my bag and go by Starbucks.  That’s definitely not a Dutch institution, but I decided to get a hot chocolate.  I guess I needed even more comfort.  I got home and was first welcomed by my dog.  I had really missed him.  Then, Mike and Grace got back from church.  After sitting and talking for a while, Grace said, “Mom, can I give you another hug?”  Of course, I said yes and breathed a sigh.  I’m home!

1 Comment »

1 Comment » to “HOME”

  1. Vanessa Says:

    This made me appreciate the gloomy day we’re having right now!

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