James has been in East Africa for the last two weeks while Baby Jude and I have held the fort down in Nashville. While James' time in Africa is the shortest he's ever taken, it has felt quite long for all of us.
Our seven years together have been nothing short of amazing - the adventure of travel and mission, the missing each other and the reunions, the intentionality of a stash of hand-written letters for each day that we are apart or the shared book we read while away or the end-of-day emails we send to each other. I'm proud of how we've found a rhythm - a way to stick together even when we are miles apart.
But now, everything changes. Because how can you maintain the same kind of presence or intimacy with your three-month-old son when you're halfway around the world?
You really can't.
I think we knew that truth (which is one reason why it took so long for us to try to have a baby), but we didn't really know it until we have lived it out over the last couple of weeks.
We are so grateful for Face Time so that James can watch the dramatic growth and changes that seem to occur on a daily basis. But it is no substitute for cuddling with your baby in the mornings or holding him when he cries at night.
We don't know what the answer is. For us, it's a bit of trial and error. Of trying and learning. Of fumbling along the way. And of trusting that there truly is a way to live out commitment to both family and mission.