Thursday, December 11, 2008

The last thing.....

This is the last and final thing we have been waiting for. It is Marks visa so he can enter into the country of Africa. He received a FedEx package on Wednesday with his visa, passport, name tags, and all his other travel information in it. They even included a pass along card--you know, just in case a missionary opportunity presents itself on his 20-something hour flight to the other side of the world. :)
Mark leaves in 5 days.
I have really been doing good.... emotionally, that is. There were some quiet times that I let a few tears fall, but I have resolved myself to the fact that he is leaving and will be gone for 2 years.
Right before Ragan got out of the car this morning at Seminary, she changed her Ipod over to some church music. She said, "There Mom. Now you can listen to your favorite songs." As I started for home, the song, "I know that My Redeemer Lives" started to play. I started thinking about Mark and the opportunities he will soon have to testify to others the HE knows that his Redeemer lives. The spirit touched my heart and I, once again, knew of the truthfulness of Christ's Gospel. I had the sweet peace of knowing that Mark's desire to serve a mission is a righteous desire and the Lord is happy with him.
I found this poem on a website for missionary parents. Grab a tissue--it's a tear jerker.
This Year for Christmas I skipped the sales after Thanksgiving. The thrill just wasn't there.
No pictures taken with Santa Clause, my decorating has no flair.
His presents are shoes, shirts, and ties; two suits and fun.
I’ve bought him all white clothes because...This year I'm giving Christ my son.
I’ve spent more time in the temple, Felt strength come from His words.
I’ve reread November's Ensign, and my testimony stirred.
Our family prays are more fervent, My tears are quick to run.
The Lord seems closer because, this year I'm giving Christ my son.
I wonder how those Lamanite mothers, gave their sons to war?
Or how the pioneers chose Zion, their sacrifice was so much more.
My loss will be his presence, I’ll miss his smile a ton.
For two years we will pray for him. I’m giving Christ my son.
I stare at his face when he's not looking. I memorize his eyes, their shine.
He’s always hungered for the part of him that makes his soul divine.
The stories and lessons he has always heard. His choice and mine are one.
I’ll put my faith in God's hand. This year I'm giving Him my son.
Past gifts have lost their glitter. I think I finally understand.
Christ’s birth should be celebrated by giving Him a hand.
It’s because I know Christ lives and reigns that all his packing's done.
My gift has taken years to make, this year... I'm giving Christ my son.


Gail said...

I know you will miss him, but he is in good hands and doing something he wants to do. You are an amazing woman and the months will go by faster than you think. Love ya

Julie said...

What a tender post, Jo-Anne. What a blessing your son will be to the people of Africa. The general authority over that area is from our stake--we used to be in the same ward. Before his retirement, he was the secretary to the first presidency. He and his wife are Elder and Sister Watson. I hope your son gets to meet them. They are fabulous people. I served in the RS presidency with Sister Watson. They are devoted and loving disciples of Chris. I wish you are your family many blessings at this sacred and tender time. May you have Heavenly Father's choicest blessings. Julie

This Country Girl said...


I didn't realize Mark was leaving before Christmas. I know it has to be hard, but knowing the reason he's there and his desire to reach the people of Africa and the fact that God is with him there every step of the way will sustain you. I'm praying for Mark and for your family.


Kris said...

How wonderful. For you, your family and your son. I know that we were blessed in ways I didn't expect when our daughter was serving. I tell you this not because you will be seeking blessings or that somehow the Lord needs to make it up to you, but because they come. In surprising and unexpected ways. Like they do when your husband serves in a calling that takes him away from you. Hope you are having a wonderful time preparing!

Gayle said...

Whoa Jo-Anne! Thank you so much for sharing that poem - it really hits home for me too! I'm assuming Mark will meet up with his travel companion at the airport?

familywithfivekids said...

I love that poem, thank you so much for sharing it.
Although our paths do not cross on a weekly basis anymore I want you to know you are thought of and so very loved. I know you have to be experiencing a mixture of emotions at this time. Please tell Mark we are thinking of him and wishing him well. We are so excited to hear from him as his experiences as a missionary begin.

Andrea said...

wiping away some tears. you are in my thoughts and prayers.

Sindy said...

I love make me proud!

TaraB said...

You have been in my thoughts today as you have sent your son far away. I know that he will be a wonderful missionary and serve faithfully.

You as well will be blessed while he is serving. Remember that it is through Christ that we find our strengh (Philippians 4:13)

debbie said...

Ugh! Sorry i couldn't read the entire post. I cant cry today!! My mother heart feels for you sending one of your babies away.
What a blessing he is to share his faith with the people of Africa.
Hoping the two years goes by quickly! What a joy it will be to see your child come home.