As many of you know, Nathan recently returned from a trip to Africa. While I normally like to travel with the kids while he is away to see my family and friends, this trip was different. We have a kindergartner in public school. He did not have nine days off of school while dad was in Zimbabwe. The five Linos stayed in our routine and continued on without him. Toads' school schedule worked out perfectly prior to the trip for us to have the afternoon together as a family. School released early the day before departure, so we ventured down to Discovery Green in downtown Houston. We had the green all to ourselves in the midst of the skyscrapers and then shared the water feature with a school field trip. It was a nice afternoon together as a family before the 9 nine days with only two emails as our only form of communication. I have many thoughts regarding a trip like this, so here is a short list:
---Nathan should go every chance he gets. The Lord always uses these times to work in and through Nathan for His glory. I don't ever want to stop that!
---Satan could easily use me and the kids to stop the Lord's work on these trips. He most often attacks in the health arena. (This time we narrowly avoided an asthma-related hospital stay and had two ear infections that made for really long nights.)
---I miss him while he is gone, but know the time apart is good for all of us. We certainly appreciate him and what he does more when he returns.
---I always feel safe while he is gone.
---I have a great respect for single moms and military wives - at least I know there is an end to going solo and we can count the short days until his return.
---We stick to our routine. Keeping everything as normal as possible makes for happy kids.