One of the best parts of our trip to Wisconsin was the time we got to spend with my Grandma Violet. She is now living in a Hospice House, and she will stay there until the angels come to take her home. During the 48 hours that we spent in her hometown in central Wisconsin, we visited her 3 times, and I even got an extra visit in with her by myself. It was wonderful to talk and visit with her, and her sage advice that she gave me continues to buoy me up, despite my sadness about leaving my family behind in Wisconsin.
Being around my family was such an inspiration for me. When I was growing up, my father’s side of the family got together frequently for birthdays, anniversaries, and “big” ocassions like that, but they also often got together just because they enjoyed being together and because they could. JJ, the girls and I had the fun of attending a number of family get-togethers while we were in WI, and being around my family again reminded me of what I’m missing by being out in California. My Grandma Violet had 4 children, 14 grandchildren, and so far is up to 25 great-grandchildren, not including one great-grandchild already waiting for us in heaven, another great-grandchild currently in the process of being adopted from Ethiopia, and one great-grandchild still a bun in the oven, due in December. Perhaps that’s not as big as some families, but that’s still pretty impressive. And when we’re all together — well, it gets pretty loud … and fun!
Being around my family, especially my parents, aunts and uncles, was inspirational to me. They are all examples of mature Christians who have lived through various difficulties and hardships, yet are still able to find ways to serve their families and others while remaining cheerful and positive about the future. That’s a powerful example to witness, especially for someone who’s been struggling with feeling overwhelmed and anxious. Yesterday as I went about my tasks, I felt as if I were somehow channeling their example. I tried not to be overwhelmed, but instead to keep focused on the task at hand with a cheerful attitude. Despite being so far away from WI, having their example fresh in my mind made them not seem quite so far away. I hope I can continue to channel that positive energy today. It made the yesterday go a little easier mentally, and I think it also helped me to not be anxious.
It also helps to remember that most likely, someday we will move back to Wisconsin, and I will be close to my family once again. Don’t get me wrong: I love our life in California, and I have made many wonderful (and hopefully lifelong) friends. My job here is great and likely unmatch-able in WI, and I love being close to Whole Foods! Yet there’s no substitute for family, and it will be good to someday be back in Wisconsin, too. But until then, I am happy to be where I am, knowing that God wants us here for a reason and that his plan for my life is perfect. In my less than 48 hours back in California, I can already see blessings from being here. We are exactly where we need to be, and God is taking care of all of us in his own perfect way.