Benjamin and Charity Noethe
The Bride and Groom
People ask me all the time, "How often do you come home?"
It seems to me that I am always at home. I am in the United States right now and I am home. When I am in Honduras I am home. When people ask me in Honduras "Where is home?", I say "Georgia". When I am in the States and ask me, "When do I go home?", I know they mean Honduras. It is kind of cool that where ever I am I am content being at home while longing to be at home. It is just the life of a missionary and a child of God.
If you ask a child, who is in a missionary family, where they are from they will respond with "What do you mean"? But home is where their families are.
People also ask me "How many kids do you have?" Well I have 5 grown grown children here in the States and over forty in Honduras, that I have been mothering for the past 18 years and that call me Mom. Being a Mom is not something that you just turn on and off. It is not what you do it is who you are and your calling is from God. I also happen to be a missionary which also by definition means that you don't lay aside that calling either like so many car keys on the coffee table at the end of the day. That calling is 24/7 and rightly so. You shouldn't be able to take it off and say that you are a missionary or a mom between the hours of 8:00 -5:00. You are always "on", it just goes with the territory.
When I was called into the mission field I was concerned naturally about my
"natural" children. God assured me that if I would take care of his kids he would take care of mine. Scripture tells that God is not a man that He should lie. He has been faithful to His promise to me. I now have three of my five children married to the most wonderful christian spouses here and I have girls in Honduras who have married godly men. I have girls who have graduated from college and are attending college here and there. I have children in Honduras who are not exactly where they want to be and kids that are struggling with a lot of things. but I stand on God'promise to me that they will all come home
Moms and Dads have the amazing task of making s child understand what "home" is. With the holidays cranking up this month, many people are already speaking about their plans to go "home" for the Holidays. Somebody had to create that sense of home in their hearts. Sometimes home is a physical place and sometimes it is just a sense of being, but we all have that longing to be home. We have that feeling lodged in our spiritual DNA placed there by God. Everybody has it.
I work with girls who have come from fractured homes. They come in to our mission and we encourage, instruct, and love on the girls, who have been placed in our care. The hard part is that their sense of home carries pain. It is all they have known about a place called home. So many of our girls who have come out of dangerous situations still want to go home, because it is home. It makes no sense why they would want to return, but the desire to have their home is ever present.
I am thankful I got to come home for my daughter's wedding. We had a great time with family and friends at her showers, and making plans for her big day. She did really well getting all her arrangements made with only having a small meltdown over her limitations on invitations.
She had a lot of wonderful help from her future mother-in-law and a group of her friends, as well as a bunch of help from the groom and his dad along with his friends. These folks made decorations, planned showers, cooked for the multitudes, and worked like crazy to help pull everything together to make this wedding all that Charity and Ben had dreamed it would be.
One of the things I was asked to do is to help Anna Robertson, the decorator. We went around scoping out people's yards that I knew, to be able to cut flowers and greenery to put in the arrangements for the wedding. The day came for me to start cutting. I borrowed my mom's clippers and took the borrowed car that a great family always provides me with while I am home, and loaded it up with enormous black trash bags that I borrowed from my Dad's shop.
At first I was clipping nicely away at the hedges in my yard. Then I found out I needed a lot more of everything. So I was asking people from Moultrie to Thomasville for clippings from their yards and their neighbors. I had no shame about it I was walking in the woods with my boots on, ever mindful that there were snakes out and about. I was in the roadside ditches cutting wild flowers ahead of the DOT tractors who were cutting down the grass in the ditches. I was on a mission. I stopped at one house of a family I used to know to ask if I could cut some of their pampas grass flowers. I thought the young couple must be her grown-up son living in her old house. The coupled assured me that they thought if would be fine. I grabbed my long handled cutters and was on my way when they said, " I am sure the owners wouldn' t mind. I got nervous about that last little comment. I went to large houses with manicured grounds. I went to mobile homes that had wild pyracantha growing in their overgrown hedges. Towards the end of my clipping fiesta, I ran out of containers and bags and I was just cramming the clippings in the trunk of the car and slamming the trunk. The last time I closed the trunk , surveying all of my labors, I wondered how all that bunch of twigs, branches, and seed pods could be arranged to look worth a flip, but I was just doing what I was asked to do by the decorator.
When I arrived with my last load of cuttings, the Master Decorator had already been at work with the stuff from the big black bags and buckets. The arrangements she made were magical. I just was amazed at what she had done with the what she had asked me to bring to her. I realized at that moment is that is what God asks us to do. He asks us to go to the hedges and the highways and sometimes in the ditches where the snakes are, to bring those things to Him that he asked for so that He can arrange them into something we could never imagine. He is after all the Master Decorator.
So I now have a married daughter. They ceremony was beautiful and everything was perfect, the food, the flowers, the bride, the groom. They now will make their home together. Every time we get participate in a wedding it should remind us of the great preparation that God is making for His bride. He is trimming some of us and collecting others to be a part of something that will be so amazing .
I want to thank God for everybody he sent to help us with the wedding, or prayed for us before the wedding . Thanks to Joe Reynolds, Angela Serritt and my interns for watching over my Honduran home while I was away. Most of all I am thankful that I got to come home to be a part of something that I have prayed for a long time. Blessings, the Hedge Clipping and Snipping Honduran Mom