Stephenson Family Ties The Barn Burnt Down
And Now I See The Moon


Time is to clock as mind is to brain.  The clock
or watch somehow contains the time.  And yet
time refuses to be bottled up like a genie stuffed
in a lamp.  Whether it flows as sand or turns on
wheels within wheels, time escapes irretrievably, while we watch.
from: Longitude
by: Dava Sobel

(brian at the Grand Canyon...Toroweep to be exact. He says he'll take me with him next time.)

So yesterday was the very  last Saturday of Brian's mission...tomorrow will be his last Preparation Day, otherwise known as P-day.  Monday will be our last email transmition from his mission.  Today is his last Sunday, which will undoubtedly be spent saying good-byes at church- bidding a fond farewell to the leaders and friends and families that he has grown to love and appreciate.  I can imagine it being a very bitter-sweet experience for him. He has invested his heart and soul into the people of the California, Ventura Mission, for two years!!  And yet, my other missionary kids might not relate as well to his good-bye's; the difference being that Brian can and most likely will be seeing many of these folks again...for CA. is just an easy road trip away. My other kids had to say good-bye after their two years of service, understanding that they might not ever return...for there are great distances and expense involved in traveling back to those countries.
Brian has always loved California, and now he has even more reason to adore it...for he is leaving a piece of his heart there with the people he served and taught and 'grew up' with.
The reciprocal to this is.... two years is a LONG time for a vibrant young man to curtail his dreams and desires for the future. Im sure he is now ready to get back and begin the adventure of the rest of his life!!! Its now time to get on with the every day motions of someone young and promising; one who can choose to do just about anything in this life that he'd like to do.  He'll be happy to say good-bye to the cumbersome but necessary rules of a mission, that kept them in line. Now he can use his new-found wisdom, greater experience and hormones that will rule the days once again!!
Brian's mission has taught him  significant life lessons...about himself and others and about his God.  Powerful, good things that he could not have learned in any other way. That's why mommies can sacrifice these years, because we witness the changes that take place when service is rendered to the Lord in behalf of His children...complete and focused service, which is both grueling and full of grace.  We all know its a gift to the serveee and the served.  A win win by all counts.
  Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after
 me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. 
 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and 
whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.
Matthew 16:24-25
 So these are my last days of longing.  There will be no more wondering what he's up to..or wishing to be a fly on the wall. No more just wishing I could hear his voice or listen to his laugh. Soon I'll be feeding him again...sharing a bowl of Wheaties in the morning and hearing the door squeak as he comes home at night after being out with his friends. No more just wishing for my hiking companion..soon I will have someone to explore some of these trails here in Logan. Soon My Builder will enjoy his company as they work together fixing ANYTHING that needs fixing.  Watching him play with his nieces and nephews will be a joy as well. (He has 3 of them that he hasnt even met yet!!!)
I told someone the other day that I "sacrificed" 91/2 yrs of my kids lives for this "missionary thing." Please be assured, I have NO regrets!! But I am ... ecstatic that this season of my life is now over. I now have other "hard things" to deal with.  I am thankful I can now check this  thing off my list. I realize I may sound like Im whining...which I know isnt called for..I want to sound only grateful.  Grateful that all the kids served missions, and that they came back safe and sound and better for it.
I am grateful
so very grateful
In 3 more days I'll be even more grateful!!

 And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no
 man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, 
or children, for the kingdom of God's sake,  Who shall 
not receive manifold more in this present time, and in
 the world to come life everlasting. Luke 18:29-30

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