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Saturday, February 17, 2018

Knee surgery and Whoppers with cheese

Whopper with cheese for Valentine's day.  Delicious!
Ian and I have always enjoyed Valentine’s Day.  We take turns planning it – one year Ian plans what we do and the next year I plan it. That way we are surprised every other year and we can enjoy doing something special for each other.  Over the years we have eaten in the finest restaurants, stayed in the nicest hotels, traveled to exotic countries and given/received lovely gifts on February 14th.  Our celebrations have changed quite a bit in the past 10 years, becoming much simpler (and cheaper!) as our lifestyles have changed, but we still celebrate a day of love for each other and for our children.

This year it was quite different with Ian being in a South African hospital for knee surgery and me staying at a nearby hotel on a day that the African country’s corrupt leader was forced to resign.  But really, it was possibly the best Valentine’s Day yet.  Why?  Because Ian was in pain, and the surgery would take him out of pain (who doesn’t want that for their spouse). Because the hotel I stayed in had crisp white sheets, big fluffy pillows air conditioning and I got to eat a Burger King Whopper and French fries from McDonalds!!  (We don’t have either fast food chain in Swaziland, and I love burgers).

As I sat and ate my Whopper with cheese, alone, I thought of my friends Terry McGill, Linda Howard and Sandy Wise, all who have recently lost their life partners, and who didn’t get to celebrate Valentine’s Day with their loved one this year.  What would they give to be eating a burger in a hotel in Africa while their partner was having knee surgery in an African hospital?  Just about anything, I would imagine.  This knowledge made me even more thankful for our situation, while feeling heartache for my friends.


Ian with Pete Wilkerson as we arrived back on Project Canaan.
We have been married for 26 years, have lived in three countries and have 2+178 children.  We have laughed more than we have cried.   We have played more than we have fought.  We have lived complicated lives and simple lives (and we sure love the simple life better).  I will say that the Lord could not have given me a better life partner and we compliment each other in so many ways.  He is my rudder through smooth waters and through the storms.   His faith in God is unshakeable and that faith keeps many people who know him focused on Jesus, not themselves or their circumstances.

Proverbs 3:6-12 (The Message bible) says:

Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
    don’t try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;
    he’s the one who will keep you on track.
Don’t assume that you know it all.
    Run to God! Run from evil!
Your body will glow with health,
    your very bones will vibrate with life!
Honor God with everything you own;
    give him the first and the best.
Your barns will burst,
    your wine vats will brim over.
But don’t, dear friend, resent God’s discipline;
    don’t sulk under his loving correction.
It’s the child he loves that God corrects;
    a father’s delight is behind all this.

Happy Valentine’s Day Ian.  I love doing life with you.

Live from Swaziland … I am thankful.

Janine

PS - This is day #3 since surgery and Ian is walking without crutches and is in NO pain (no pain killers).  We give thanks for total healing!   Also, check out our brand new US website at www.heartforafrica.org!
 

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