Hello, friends.

It’s been a while since I’ve posted.

We are six months into retirement, and five months of those were living with my inlaws. We’ve been renovating our 21yo house since June (5 months so far) and have several big projects still to do. The HHG arrived in Atlanta in July, and we could extend for 90 days so we had to be in the house by October 31; that was the deadline. Just this week we have moved into our home with HHG and storage items delivered and with internet in place. We have not yet committed to a church but have visited a few options, and our youngest son, a high school junior, has connected with a local youth group. We have some friends in the area, having lived here twice previously.

I write to you among many boxes and 30 years of memories, 28 of those active duty around the world. We entered retirement in our 1997 starter home and love being back, even though those of you who know us know we loved our ten years total in Europe and three in Asia.  Each memory is connected to some location, PWOC group, and neighborhood of friends from assignments. Point: the things we own remind us of relationships, of real people.
Even in the process of adapting a minimalist lifestyle (hard to do when HHG and storage arrives a week apart), today I received a fun treat.  Literally, a package was delivered to my home; this is a big deal because overseas the mail only comes to the APO mailbox unless sent to your local (German) mailbox. This treat is in the style of pottery that has become the inspiration for our tiny kitchen. Gray and blue pottery called salt-glaze in Germany. Light gray on the walls and a stone-like pattern on the floor. Perfect for us. The gift was a salt-glaze coffee mug with a newly designed MOCA logo with the words “Wiesbaden – Moms of College Age.”

I bawled.
I mean, I cried hard.

In a second, ten years of praying for college students with like-minded,
same-seasoned moms flashed before my eyes, and the memories of “begging God”
for the literal lives of our kids came to mind. And evidently through my leaking eyes.

So here’s the deal.

Do you have a small prayer group yet?
Do you have a young adult in college or working somewhere or in the military?
Are you praying with others for their physical, spiritual, emotional, and academic lives?
Find a buddy. Petition the God of Heaven and Father of us all on their behalf.

Grab a cup of coffee and join a friend in this most holy of ventures.

Our fourth child, a college sophomore, comes home tomorrow for ten days.

He’ll be coming back into his childhood home for the first time since 2011, and a few days later, we’ll be sharing a Thanksgiving dinner together with his grandparents and some siblings. The blessing of God has followed us just as His word has promised, and we wish for all of you a very blessed holiday season with your loved ones. I’ll be getting together soon with a new small group of like-minded, same-season moms, my “civilian friends,” as we lovingly joke, and start a new MOCA group.

Much love from rural Georgia,
Melinda Hemphill