4 on the road
Blog Live Life Now

“There and Back Again”

…a McClelland tale by Bilbo Baggins…

Uh, close but no…

But, indeed we made it home!

What a trip and what an incredible experience!

Thank you, thank you, thank you for your prayers, notes of encouragement, and support!

Here are a few of the highlights that we are so excited to share with you as our friends and partners:

It was an interesting travel arrangement for our first official international trip as a family of 4, but despite the tiring itinerary we now have 2 new countries on our passports, Ireland and Scotland!
Screen Shot 2022-06-17 at 8.29.52 PMThe travel home was difficult, and we ended up missing our connection home and got stuck in London overnight after wandering around London Heathrow airport, being sent from desk to desk and line to line, for over 5 hours; but the more we thought about it, the more we were glad that the Lord allowed a little adversity on our trip…
After such an amazing and refreshing time in the mild Scottish summer, we realized in prayer that like most of us, we are so incredibly blessed, and when you have little ones that need to learn how to thrive in life, too much comfort can sometimes allow us to take our eyes off what is most important – those things that are most precious to us, right in front of us the whole time.

Traveling like this was above all a refreshing reminder that we actually need very little to be happy, and the gift of our family to each other is priceless. Even more importantly, the love and acceptance of Jesus that we carry inside us is so desperately needed!

The time away undistracted from our normal fast paced schedule also allowed us to gratefully remember so many of you…again, THANK YOU for your support!

So, was Scotland amazing? Absolutely!
After a few days in the UK, we did miss our automatic – right-hand drive vehicles and our local American food stops (South Texas Tex-Mex or “Tacos” are hard to beat!!!)

The girls greatly missed our two cats, Fluffy and Furball.Iona Abbey
So, what did we NOT miss?

-House repairs-Stresses and pressures about continuing to launch our new business-Homeschool demands-The heat-Fast, “microwave” ready, American culture.

Please hear us that we really do love our home and are incredible grateful for our country and our citizenship in America, but we also realized interacting with the Scottish people that life over there is a little more laid back. It’s a completely different pace, with the average work week being much closer to a standard 40 hour schedule which includes a highly encouraged solid month of “holiday” time off per year.

The rural areas are also lined with sheep that casually walk across the single track (think “single car width”) highways. And of course, there’s the amazing climate which was a dramatic change from the Texas heat! About this time of year they have cool arid temperatures of about 57-60 degrees with frequent rain, and yet there were so many people walking and riding bicycles and even running around in shorts!ObanRainbow(We saw the biggest FULL rainbow ever on our ferry crossing from Oban to the island of Iona)

Regarding the trip itself, we could see the Lord reminding us that our love for other people of different countries and cultures really began about the ages of our children, so for them to take this trip with us NOW was really timely in that the Lord beautifully awakened this passion in us at the same time he allowed our children to experience life abroad for the first time.

The Lord had been speaking to us before we left that He is right now awakening things in the past for many people!!!

So, after sleeping in our own beds and taking in the comforts of home, we are left with so much gratitude and wonder for all that the Lord allowed us to experience on this adventure, and we are equally grateful for each of you as our partners!

Your many prayers and notes of encouragement were a tremendous source of comfort to us.

In reflection, we now realize that any time we can spend to engage life outside our norm is often prescriptive to a balanced life.

The Lord has promised to release His glory across the globe just as the “waters cover the seas” (Habakkuk 2:14), and sometimes the disruptions of life actually work out to be blessings in that they REMIND us of what is truly valuable in life – how to find our true NORTH if we ever need to confirm our bearings.

For our family, we know that music of some sort and worship and prayer will be a large component of how we continue to engage with people in our travels in the future (just like our Busking outing in Paisley earlier in our trip)…

We are so excited that NOW is the time to make His name great and take His message of love to the nations!StirlingCastle(Stirling Castle – view from the castle wall, overlooking Stirling, Scotland)

Please do let us know how we can love and support YOU – partnerships are two ways!

In the interim, may you know love, peace and rest in the arms of our beautiful Savior…and may all that needs to be awakened in you come forth in this season!With Love;Michael, Tonya, Daniel and Rebekah