Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Nichelle's Journey ...

Tomorrow is a big day for us -- our oldest daughter, Nichelle, leaves for her discipleship training in Youth With A Mission. She'll be training in Maui for the first 3 months, followed by another 3 months of service in SE Asia. We still don't know exactly where in Asia she will be going. She'll fly directly from Hawaii to Asia, so she won't be home until November.

This is a bittersweet thing for me as a mom. I think about the things she's going to miss like Father's Day, the 4th of July, her dad's and brother's birthday, her sister leaving for college, even sharing her own birthday with us. Then I think about all the experiences she's going to have on this adventure. She will definitely grow as a person. Her life will be changed and I'm sure she'll have an impact on other people's lives as well.

Most of us have heard those voices telling us to do something -- something that could change our life and the lives of others -- but few actually follow through with them. I am so proud of Nichelle for taking this path. It takes a special person to do something like this, especially in the world today. This is a huge deal for Nichelle and there's no way she won't come home a changed person -- and for the better, I'm sure.

Being a parent is weird. I still see Nichelle as this little curly headed girl, bouncing happily around the house, without a care in the world. Then I see this lovely, young woman, driving off in my car to go see a movie with friends. It's hard not to say, "Who are you and what have you done with my little girl?" No parenting book or magazine prepares you for that -- none.

We're going to miss Nichelle. We're going to worry about her. We're going to pray for her training, her experiences, and for her safe journey back home. She leaves tomorrow at 6am and probably won't have access to the Internet for awhile. If you have any comments for Nichelle, please leave them here and I'll make sure she sees them before she leaves. Also, if you could keep her in your thoughts and/or prayers as she embarks on this journey, I would appreciate it more than anything. Thank you.


  1. Nichelle,
    I'd first of all like to say,your Mom's blog today is awesome. You can tell she really loves you,and is proud of you. I admire what you are doing so much,and wish I could have done something like that. God bless you on your jouneys,and keep you safe.May He use you for His glory. I will be praying for you.


  2. Congrats to Nichelle for accepting this incredible journey and congrats to you for raising such a brave, independent girl!!
    Hugs to you Rena! I know you are full of love and so proud of your daughter, but I know you will miss her so! Good luck to Nichelle-what an adventure and life experience she will have!

  3. What an amazing experience Nichelle is going to have! It takes a big person with a heart of gold to go off into the world to help others, especially when she is leaving so many loved ones behind! Congratulations on your decision Nichelle, you're a very inspiring young lady. We will absolutely keep you in our thoughts and prayers and we look forward to hearing updates from your Mom. Safe travels, sweetie!

    BIG HUGS to you Rena, I cant imagine how hard it must be to let your "little" ones go off into the world! Thanks for sharing her :)

  4. Being a Mom is the toughest job you'll ever love.

    I hate it when the kids go back to college, or travel - cause I miss them so much. But . . . it's the way it's supposed to be-I tell myself. They've got to grow up. And, heck my kids are 24, 21 and 20 and it's still hard for me.

    Great big cyber HUG!

  5. Congratulations and good luck to Nichelle. It sounds like an amazing experience.

    I'll be thinking of you, too Rena - transitions are so tough. My heart breaks a little every time my daughter even mentions college. I'm sure I will not be ready for it.

  6. Good luck on your endeavours, Nichelle. I have no doubt you will do your parents proud. :)

    SE Asia...if you're sent to the Philippines, make sure you find yourself a sampaguita (jasmine) plant to care for. It's their national flower and it smells heavenly.


  7. Nichelle ~ You will definitely be in my prayers everyday you are on your mission. You are going to make a difference in the lives of so many people which makes a huge mark on the world. You are a very special woman.

    God bless you darlin.


    Love you Rena and HUGS to you.

  8. What a beautiful blog - I get teary and started thinking about my daughter and where her life will lead her... and she is only 2!

    Seriously though, I wish Nichelle all the best. A wonderful time, an educational time, excitement (but not too much!) and most of all a safe, happy time. Good luck. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.

  9. I will definitely keep her in my thoughts and prayers! Yes, being a parent is weird. You explain that so well. I'm kind of scared to watch my little one grow up so fast.

  10. Wow...kudos to her. I could not imagine traveling away from family I was close to, let alone, out of the COUNTRY!! Whoah! Best wishes and many good thoughts head her way.

    Hope you had a good Wednesday!!


  11. ((Hugs))

    It's tough to step back and let them go. It sounds like a fabulous adventure, though. Hopefully, she'll be able to get to the internet and give you lots of updates. I'll be sure to keep you both in my prayers.

  12. It is "tomorrow." Must be about time right now where you are for the saying of good-byes. She will take your love and hugs with her. It's a good thing those items don't need to be packed in luggage, else she'd be charged a bundle for taking so much with her.


    hi Rena... raising responsible thriving adults is our most rewarding job...
    mona & the girls
    that doesnt mean we don't worry...
    mona& the girls

  14. Wow! What an awesome opportunity for her! I'll keep you all in my prayers!

  15. Thank you, everyone! Nichelle read most of your comments and I can always send her any others. She's on her way to Maui right now and should be there in a few hours.

    What an emotional day!