enjoy life!

imageI’ve written before about the hardest thing to experience on the mission field: goodbyes. June is crazy here – school is over, so people think it’s a good time to leave for furlough or permanently. It seems like half of our population left (including lots of my favorites) last month, but then the group that left a while ago comes back to fill those holes in, and new people are coming in all the time.

This was my third June here, but the first one that I’ve really experienced the mass exodus (I had just gotten here the first one, and I was in the US for last year). I got a lot of advice on how to deal with it better, even though I’ve been warned that it really never gets easier. I never want to become indifferent to it.  Goodbyes are important!

One piece of advice was to go away for a little while once they leave, just to get away and come back renewed, and I took it! I jumped at the opportunity to take 10 days off to go to Cairns, a very touristy, tropical city of Australia, only a 1.5-hour plane ride from Papua New Guinea’s capital city.

My friend, Jude, and I were able to stay with a lovely couple who have spent the last 25 years opening their home for missionaries. I was so happy that my friends, Sarah and Evan, were also in Cairns for most of the time we were there. Together we got to enjoy the beauty of Cairns, the amazing food of restaurants, browsing through all the shops, and checking out the new fashions (hello, shortest-shorts/dresses-ever, printed pants, messy hair, and leggings-as-pants!).

Jude and I snorkeled on the Great Barrier Reef! I’ve never seen such beautiful fish. Next time, if there is a next time, I’ll try diving.  And I’ll buy an underwater camera so that I can share the amazingness with you!

So I’m glad I took the advice… it seems to be working so far. I don’t miss my friends any less – there’s still that hole they left in my life. But I find it easier to enjoy what God has kept in my life, and even added to my life. He has given me a new housemate, so I’m not so lonely without Leah. I do have great new friends who I am so looking forward to getting to know better. And I’m energized and ready to finish up my last few months in the Finance Office well.

I try to come up with a “word of the year” for myself each year, but I never did for 2014. Better late than never, I guess, so for the remainder of 2014 my word will be “Enjoy.” As I mentioned, God has given me so much. And I want be intentional about enjoying it all… the beauty of this place, the people in it, the work that God’s doing in and through the people of PNG, and most of all falling in love with Jesus more and more each day.

I hope that you are enjoying wherever God has placed you, and the people and opportunities he has put in your life!

2 thoughts on “enjoy life!

  1. Beatuiful thoughts, Brandy. No, saying “goodbye” is never easy but as you said, God continues to give us new friends and experiences with each passing day. “His mercies are new every morning, Great is His faithfulness.” Over a year ago, I started a project which has blessed me immensely. I created a photo album (actually I’m into my second year), which I call “Days of My Life 2014”. Everyday I add a photo to it and post it on Face Book. Sometimes it will be a picture of myself at a special event. Other days I post flowers, birds, trees, funny signs that I see, old cars, and the list goes on and on. I give each photo a description and often will add a quote, poem or Scripture verse that fits with the subject. I have had sooooooo many people write and tell me what a blessing this has been to them. I write back and say that it has been one of the most fulfilling things I’ve ever done. It truly is like being on a perpetual treasure hunt and I never know what is waiting around the next bend that is photo worthy. It has opened my eyes to see how much beauty and variety there is in the world. You might check out my album on FB and see what you think.

    Have you met the Jones’ quints yet? I went to Dallas for two weeks in December 2012 just after they came home from the NICU. That, too, was an amazing experience and one that I won’t forget for a long time. It was a lot of work but how sweet to pick up those little ones and love on them, put them down and pick up another one.

    Thanks for all you’re doing in PNG. You’ve come a long ways since you hosted my table at the Shower of Love back in – can’t remember the year but it’s been a while.


    Gail Boemker

  2. Brandy, I could not help but shed tears when I read your blog. You are a true servant of God and one day God will give you a “Crown” for listening to Him and going. You are a woman that changes my life every time I read your blog and blesses my heart to know the happiness that you have to be a missionary in PNG. God Bless you always and thanks for touching my heart from many miles away.

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