|A view of the cottage from the boat.|
With a couple of days to connect with Dana's brother and his family, and uninterrupted time with her dad, this was a great opportunity for our kids to connect with Dana's roots. It was great seeing our kids experience so many new things, and build new relationships that will matter long into the future.
From learning to fish and swim, to sleeping together in a bunk bed, enjoying pancakes almost every morning, squealing with glee at the frogs, snakes and minnows, and spinning around in the "Sky Chair" (a canvas chair hanging from the ceiling), our kids definitely made the most of the experience. It was a joy just seeing them have so much fun.
|By the time Dana & I also got in, this was a full boat!|
As I think about our commitment to serving God in Bolivia, this wonderful extended family reminds me of the importance of relationships. For me, it can be far too easy to get wrapped up in the race for success, the rules of engagement, the practicalities of each situation, and the search for continued improvement; that relationships can easily be lost in the process. Yet, relationships are absolutely integral to serving God's kingdom. We are to be known by our love, and without relationships that go beyond basic interaction, it's impossible to really exhibit such love. Additionally, it's impossible to build solid relationships without putting some time into it. Two weeks of almost constant time with my family did wonders for my relationship with my own daughter. Stori has always been Mommy's girl, and probably always will be, but getting to spend so much time together really seemed to help her bond with me in new ways. In the same way, we can't expect to have a true relationship with God if we don't prioritize spending time with Him.
|Picnic and music.|
I look forward to building new relationships in Bolivia, but for right now, I'm reveling in the wonderful relationships we have right where we are. I look forward to seeing our kids grow and develop in wonderful new ways, but I sure enjoyed seeing them have fun and develop their own relationships in the meantime.
Sometimes I feel a bit narcissistic writing about myself in this blog. But with looming distance and time constraints, I hope this helps build and maintain existing relationships. If you have the time or inclination, feel free to drop us a note letting us know what is going on in your lives, or even comment below. But in the meantime, I hope you enjoy some more photos from our vacation!
|Dana's cousin and her husband. Truly great people!|
|McCoy cousins teach our kids to fish.|
|With some success!|
|Yes, it did rain a couple times, but it doesn't seem to have dampened the enthusiasm!|
|Breakfast on the porch.|
|Thanks McCoy family!|