six days

Sep 10, 2015

Six days left with my girlie. It is hard to believe we are at this point and she is about to walk out of our home and embark on her adventure of serving the Lord as a missionary preaching the gospel and loving and serving the people of California.

I want to savor these last few days with her, but the truth is I am grumpy and overwhelmed at how much we still have to get done. I’m not that much fun to be with right now – every day I tell myself I am going to be cheerful and kind and helpful and every day this week I have failed. Every day I pray for help, pleading with God to help me have a soft heart and kind words and even with His help, the grumpiness comes out.

Part of me is grieving. This is the loss of our family unit as we know it. I know the next phase of life is going to be wonderful in its own way, but I am still grieving the loss of this time, this sacred time I have had to be a homeschooling mother of four precious souls. Earlier in this mission process, I mistakenly thought we wouldn’t really miss her, that since she has been working so much the past year and not in our home for many hours each day, we would be fine without her. But I was wrong. My heart is aching with pain at the thought of her being gone from our home. Giant alligator tears pour out of me every single day. Our family is changing. Forever. It will never be the same again. And while I am so, so excited for her and for the future, I am also deeply sad.

Part of me is worried…is she really ready? Will she be able to handle all that is thrown at her in the next 18 months? Have I failed her by not teaching her better? Will she get along with her companions? Will she turn to God? Will she thrive?

Part of me is overwhelmed. We still have so much to do, to buy, to find in our home, and to figure out how to make do with what we have. I think getting a missionary out the door is an expensive, stressful experience for everyone who does it. I think it has been a bit more challenging for us…but I could be totally wrong on that since I have no idea what it has been like for anyone else.

Challenge #1

We have a small and quite limited budget and we haven’t spent much of that budget on Blythe’s wardrobe for the past several years. She has survived just fine with hand-me-downs, thrift store finds, and the occasional super cute outfit bought by her grandma. But when we inspected her existing clothing options, none of it was mission appropriate, especially for the wealthy, professional area of California she is serving. Her clothes were faded, worn-out, looked like something a fourteen year old would wear, or were simply unattractive. She needed all new clothes, not just dresses and skirts and blouses, but everything. Her only pajamas were heavy, warm fleece, which is not quite what she will need in sunny California. Her exercise clothes were men’s basketball shorts which were once again not long enough to cover her knees while both standing and sitting, a mission requirement. Her robe was falling apart and not long enough to meet mission standards, her jeans were too tight, her bras were lacking in the support department, and her shoes were filthy, holey, and stinky. So she needed new everything. Quite the task to completely outfit her for her new life.

Challenge #2

Blythe has never lived on her own, so she didn’t have any of her own stuff. We all share clothes, curling irons, straighteners, makeup, hairspray, socks, etc. We have had to get all of that stuff for her. Well, to be honest, we still have to purchase some of it and some of it I am just sending with her from my things and will have to live without for awhile until I can afford to replace those items.

Challenge #3

Another budgeting challenge is that we have been getting her ready for her mission during the four months of the year that Richard doesn’t get paid from his regular job and we have to live off of savings and the small check he gets from his part-time job. There isn’t room for extras in our budget, so anything we have bought for her has to come out of our grocery budget and anything she has bought (which is the vast majority of the purchases) has had to be bought as she has earned the money. She didn’t go into this with a huge nest egg of money, so she has had to work hard earning the money she needs to outfit herself and to save a big chunk to pay towards the $400 monthly fee required of missionaries. So, she wasn’t able to just go out and purchase what she needed as she needed to earn a little, shop a little, earn some more, shop some more. I think if we could have just had a week of big shopping days, we could have kicked this out of the park back in June. For the things we are purchasing, we spent everything we could back in June and then have had to wait until now to get the rest of her things because we chose to take our annual camping trip in August. We survived on eggs for the entire month of August so we could save grocery money to buy items on her supply list and throw her an Ice Cream Fest the day of her farewell. This little bit at a time approach is working, but it is harder than just having a big list and checking it off. It’s all good and I am proud of her for working so hard to earn the money she needs, it’s just that our lack of ability to help much has complicated things.

Challenge #4

Between her work schedule and my body’s limited ability to shop for very long, it has been difficult for us to go shopping together. Endless phone calls, sending pictures back and forth, buying things and then returning them when one or both of us vetoes an item has been our life for the past 4 months.

Challenge #5

Blythe has many strengths, but getting stuff done in a timely or orderly fashion is not one of them. I really do wonder if I will be sane by next week as the packing and room cleaning jobs have been put off till the very last minute. I am much the same way and must have driven my mother absolutely bonkers with my procrastinating ways. Being the one waiting on the procrastinator is about the most frustrating experience ever and is playing a huge part in my grumpiness.

Somehow we will get it all done…or maybe we won’t and she will end up in California without the things she needs and will figure out a way to survive without them. Today is clean the room and make the list of anything we still need to beg, borrow, or buy. In the meantime, I will be singing hymns and trying to remember to smile and laugh and enjoy this girlie I love so much.

Related Posts


  1. Kate

    Yay for Blythe! She’ll be such a great missionary! I just sent you an email.

  2. Tasha L.

    I know how you are feeling!!! We had many of these same challenges with Jace’s preparations. He paid for almost everything from his paychecks while working two jobs. I wanted to spend lots of time with him, and it seemed like he was always working and then getting everything together for the mission. But now those times of shopping together are great memories. Remember, you can mail some things later, or put money on a debit card for her needs, but I KNOW. It is very stressful. Jace’s sandals fell apart within a few months, and he’s still waiting for us to replace them. Somehow they make it through.

    I was so impressed with Blythe’s talk. She will be a great missionary, and things will work out somehow. It will feel like your heart has been torn out when she leaves, but there is also so much joy and so many blessings as they serve. You are doing a great job.


  3. Liz Andrade

    Hi: Could you email me Richards’ treatment info. I could really use a special treatment and could definitely budget 50. towards that now. Hope to hear from you! Thanks, Liz : )

    • tracy

      Sure thing, Liz! Sorry about the slow response, life has been full. His website is Energy work is so lovely!