Why Love

"You sure are brave." "Wow, you look busy." "I'm tired just looking at you." --A few of the comments we received this past week at Hartsfield Jackson, San Diego, and Los Angeles airports.

Prior to rising from bed at 5:30 am to leave our home and 4:30 am to leave our hotel to return to our home 6 days later, we battled a warfare of sorts, including but not limited to, my survival of the stomach bug, Silas' deep inner ear infection, Levi's head cold, and Roman's simple baby adjustments. Why on Earth would anyone want to travel with three small children on a four-hour plane flight knowing the time change and fast pace would exhaust everyone just after such a week of illness? Well, not only were two of my three kids free, and my husband had a work conference to attend, but the real reason boiled down to simple act of love. My grandma, Jaj, as we call her, lives in San Diego, along with my wonderful dad (plus my sweet brother came down from San Fran to visit us), and the last time I saw her was exactly two years ago just before we unexpectedly welcomed Levi into the world. Jaj had just entered a "Memory Care Facility" because of a dementia turned Alzheimer diagnosis that no one could have predicted. The disease had been thus far absent from our family lineage, and Jaja's physical health was immaculate for a woman in her 70s. Because life gets crazy, and Levi hadn't been strong enough to travel, I've rarely spoken to her these last two years. So when the opportunity to visit her came, we decided to jump at the chance to take the whole family to sunny San Diego. Just before we left, Silas started antibiotics and Levi started throwing up mucus, but I wasn't going to let a little illness hold us back. It is not out of pride or bravery that I can lug a lot of luggage, but truly a drive of love.
Jaj may have had glimpses of recognition or moments of clarity during our short visits last week, but she will no doubt never remember that we came so far to see her, nor will she hold onto the memory of her three great-grandsons. That doesn't matter.
Jesus died for people that would never acknowledge Him. He suffered for those who spit on Him. He loved us before we ever loved Him.  One of my favorite chapters in the whole Bible is 1 John 4. John writes simply, "Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God, but if we love one another, God lives in us, and His love is made complete in us." (8-12)
Patiently caring for screaming babies, pouring into thankless teens, or providing for aging adults are all images of the cross. Even if you are not a parent, it is the under-appreciated, unremembered and unrecognized acts of love that bear witness to what Jesus poured out. To love those who will never fully understand your love is the closest we can get to understanding God's love for us. We must continue to let go of the comfortable in order to find purpose in this life. Being able to sit and love my Jaj for a few moments made the uncomfortable travel worth it, and seeing my family enjoy Francis Chan at the SEND conference was icing on the cake.

Four generations represented! My wonderful momma came along to help me wrangle these boys each day and fly home without my hubby.
Love them taking each other in...

We had to have a little fun while in Cali

Thanks to Papa for all the great pics!

Dee Dee and Uncle Matt were great teachers too.

Something about the Pacific Ocean feels like home. Maybe cause Jaj always took me there.

A playground at the beach- nothing could be better for these boys than to be surrounded by sand.

Roman was there I promise, he just liked to sleep on mommy most of the time.
Thanks to everyone who helped make this happen. Even though Matthew and I may be the only ones in this picture that will remember the moment, it was a moment worth making out of love. We love you Jaj!

~Love Buster