(This is Lisa writing...)
There is no way I can keep up on more than one blog, and so when A.J. gets his call, no matter where it is...I will keep up on all of them through this blog. And if he gets a call to the South, I won't have to tweak the name of the blog! I was going to wait until A.J. got his actual call, but decided to mention it now that his papers are in. He has his final interviews with the Bishop and Stake Pres. this coming Sunday, after that, they'll be submitted to Salt Lake. We'll keep you posted on this blog when he gets the call.
Many people have asked how we feel about having 3 missionaries out. It's hard to describe. I've been feeling a whirlwind of emotions the past few months, after Jonna told us she wanted to serve one too. Never in a million years, did I ever think we'd have 3 out at the same time. We didn't even think we'd have 2, actually. But because Hank left when he was 19 1/2, A.J. and he will wind up overlapping about 5 months. And Jonna could have gone 2 1/2 years ago when she turned 21, but didn't feel right about going at that time. Instead, she finished college, graduating from ASU last May...something we're very proud of her for accomplishing. So when they were young, it never crossed our minds that any of them would be out at the same time. And so to have them all out together, brings a flood of feelings and emotions. Without question, I feel very blessed. More than I can describe. How could I not? But I'd be lying if I said I wasn't sad. I guess sad isn't even the right word. My heart is very heavy. Just with the knowledge and reality that our family...will never be the same. As it should be. Why would I expect or demand that it be the same when they all come home? It's not how it should be. As my sister Julie described it when her 3 children all left within a few years...it's the "Landslide" that I knew would be coming. In a few short months, we'll have 3 children left at home, and even they are growing up fast!!
I remember very well the night before Hank left, after the house was quiet and everyone had gone to sleep... and I came in to look at Hank, asleep (I'm such a mom!!), and as I watched him sleeping, that is when I felt the intense heaviness in my heart, as I knew that the changes were here, and I had to accept it. It was intense. I don't know if I will feel those same intense feelings each time one of my children leaves...or if it gets easier? I'll know soon enough. Jonna leaves Feb. 8th. It's coming so fast.
I'm just grateful that this is even a possibility. Blessings beyond my imagination have been bestowed on our family, and I will be eternally grateful to a loving Heavenly Father who saw the desires of our children's hearts, and ours too, and allowed ways to open up for our children to serve Him this way. Gratitude. Thankfulness. Humbled. We feel them all.