How Lucky I Am…

We’ve been back on U.S. soil for about a day, and already, jet lag is rearing its ugly head.

I’m not surprised…really. We’ve done this enough to know that it just happens when days and nights are completely flip flopped. I have to admit that I was hoping…just a little…that Mae might defy it all and sleep through the night. She made it until about 3 a.m. and was in bed by 4 this afternoon. I’ll just take it and hope she’ll make it a little longer each day. (Says the girl who took a four-hour nap at 3 p.m. Yeah.) 😉

Oh, where to start, where to start.

After a whirlwind two weeks, spent almost completely unplugged, it’s really hard to even know where to begin.

So, please forgive the broken thoughts and sentences and the randomness. I’m hoping you’ll see my heart through the words, and more importantly, the people.

My prayer in going back to Indonesia was that God would remind me of the good there.

Friends, He did it. Over and over. Through conversations, through memory-making, through adventures and walks and chats and visits. He gave the beauty I so desperately wanted to see, and the funny thing is that I didn’t even have to look very hard to find it.

I also wanted closure. I honestly thought we were going back, once more, so I could say goodbye.

And then my feet hit the ground in sweltering Jakarta, and I realized something before we even left the airport…that while I may say a lot of see-ya-laters to Indonesia, I never want it to be over.

This place, the people…they’re in my heart. I don’t want to say goodbye and just leave it all behind forever.


We also wanted our daughter to see this place…and even love it. And she did. She may have even told her daddy that she wanted to live there… :) Really, watching her embrace it all and take the adventures as they came was something that reminded me, again, of the beauty that can be found if we’ll just take the time to look for it. And it was kind of a secret dream that we’d get to be one of those families on a motorbike, just once. Granted, we’re about twelve kids from breaking the record, but I’ll take it. I love this pic. :) (And, yes, we really did drive around like this…kind of a lot.)


God gave me a gift almost immediately upon our return in my friend, Becky. She and I picked up a friendship, one that had gone almost FIVE years without a visit, exactly where it left off. There were motorbike adventures our first morning, more coffees and talks than I can even count, early morning walks, times spent together that were good for both of our hearts. Oh, I love this beautiful woman who is living out her calling. And I count her as one of my dearest friends, even if twelve time zones separate us.

beckyandmel1P.S. Someday I’ll tell you the story of why we took this pic where we did…it may or may not be in the book. 😉 

And with Becky comes her wonderful hubby and this sweet little boy. Becky said it best…We wanted our kids to like each other. We had no idea they would love each other so much. Mae and M had two weeks of play dates and pool times and friendship-building, even though they’re young. What a gift…and I have to whisper something to you. One of the hardest things on Friday, as we got ready to leave, was watching the two of them say goodbye. They both cried, and this mama wept. My daughter is learning at such a young age how much it hurts to say goodbye.


And, yet, we choose to open ourselves to the goodbyes because we want this kind of life for her…the kind that sees beyond her own backyard and embraces the world and the beauty it holds.

There were so many people who reached out to us during our time in Indo, making time for coffee (I seriously drank more coffee in the last two weeks than I have in my entire life.), dinner, hugs, chats, adventures. Sharing life with these precious friends is a gift, and I’ll take it and breathe thanks, even if it means that years separate visits.


We stayed with some wonderful friends and so loved reconnecting with them. One of our favorite days was spent with them…they took us to the angklung show, something Tobin and I had experienced several times and were thrilled that Mae got to see. She even got to dance at the end of the show with a sweet girl, the one who beat out her friends for the chance to dance with our girl. That blessed this mama’s heart, too.


The time we spent in Indo flew…and there are stories, lots of them, to share. Stories from airports, stories from surfing, stories from pausing to breathe and reflect. As they start to spill out, I’ll post them…but Rome wasn’t built in a day, and all that’s going on in my heart feels about like the size of Italy. 😉

As we were flying home yesterday (or Friday, or whenever because, really, the days are all mushed together right now) I was just talking to God. It was a conversation I wish I could have recorded because I’m not sure of all I said, but even just a day or so later, I’m already seeing how pieces of that conversation are revealing what’s next for me and what He wants. And those plans…while they don’t look at all like what I thought they would…well, I think they might be even better.

On our last night in Indonesia, many of our sweet friends came together to love us, and as we squeezed in, trying to get one photo of all of us together, I was reminded of this.

How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye this hard.
–A.A. Milne


For all of the heartache moments and streaming tears, for all of the wishing and wanting to have it all in one place, for all of the blasted tissues I went through on this trip…

I would do it all again.

I would open myself to the reality that my life will always be a series of loving two worlds…and always missing one.

And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Selamat tinggal, Indonesia…but just until next time.



  1. Mel, I’m so glad to hear your trip was beautiful in every way. I always love reading your heart! I pray you and your family transition back to a normal time schedule soon. Welcome home, friend!

  2. Beautiful, beautiful!! So glad that it was an amazing experience for you all!! Can’t wait to hear more in less than 30 days!! :)

  3. Welcome back!! Reading this made me smile over and over again. My heart is full of happiness for you!!

  4. This is too sweet. #memories. SO happy you got to experience this again and with your little girl too :) Welcome home!

  5. Welcome home! I am so thankful that God displayed His beauty to you during your time in Indonesia. He is faithful!

  6. Welcome home !! I love that you were not just able to show Mae another ‘world’ but you were able to share a deeper piece of your heart with her. A piece that words couldn’t describe. Take some time rest and let God speak to you through it all.

    • So well said…I love that she has seen and experienced Indonesia now. :) Sending hugs, friend…hoping to catch up a little at #fmfparty if I’m still awake!

  7. Glad you made it back :) Yes, jet lag coming back to States is worse than going to Indonesia. We had that before and our 18 months baby was not happy with that jet lag.
    I love your story from there… miss my country so much! And WE LOVE that Angklung show. Always took the short mission trip teams there every year :) Such a great place to experience Sundanese culture.

    • The Angklung show is one of my favorite things ever…I just smile the whole way through. And the dancing at the end…oh! The best. :) I love having that Indonesia connection with you, friend…and I hope we’ll be able to meet soon! Praying for you and your family! :)

  8. I love this! I can’t wait to hear all the stories and what you see coming around the bend. XOXO

  9. Oh, how I love this too!! And I can’t wait to hear more!!!

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