Summer Training Programs with Littles

I so want to jump into your conversation, dear ones—fellow Navstaff moms. I’ve been where you are … and I’m there again. It’s all coming back.

Who would have thought?

Our two sons are grown, married, and have children of their own making me a gramma.

I’m penning these words from the PICU at the UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital. Six month old Ezra (our #5 GRAND) is waiting patiently for his surgery date at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. It will be sometime in early July.

When I’m not at the hospital, Judah who is 5 and Naomi - 2 ½ are my first priority.

As I write Bill is loving his days of interacting with the staff and students at JAX. On Saturday he’s off to SMS. Our original plans included me joining him. He’s in the thick of ministry. Am I?

I admit, at first I was feeling side-lined. Now I love my GRANDS, but … is this ministry?

Honestly, there is a sadness of not being with Bill. The memories of my nine summer training programs, the last five after we were married, the last three toting an infant and a toddler, and all their stuff, are good memories. I was on the front lines; I was there. These memories create an ache to be there again. I love partnering with Bill. And in those days, summer training programs defined our partnership.

Our now reality is surfacing memories and causing me to re-visit.

Running parallel to the sadness is a great peace. A peace that is deeper. A peace leading to contentment. It is strange; it is new. And I’m kinda’ liking it. Not the missing the training program part, the new peace and contentment part. I’m thinking this is God’s training program for me.

God is developing my understanding of truths I’ve known for years.

"He leads me in paths of righteousness..." Psalm 23
Am I willing to trust that?

"All things work together for good..." Romans 8
Will I trust these words in this situation?

"I am my beloveds and His desire is for me". Son of Solomon 7
Does this apply now?

My answer is yes to all three … and many many more. Yes for me. Yes for Ezra. Yes for the rest of my son’s family. Yes for Bill traveling by himself. Yes for the other staff wives I won’t be with. Yes, yes, yes.

And in the process, God queries, what difference does this make in your living today? What does trust look like?

Side-lined – no.

Opportunities for developing my friendship with God – abounding. And isn’t that what training programs are all about?

As I sing little kid songs to the children, I hear God whisper, Sue, do you believe these words?

When my mashed potatoes lead to a near nuclear explosion at the dinner table, I hear God whisper, Sue, do you believe these words.

When I say yes, I see new implications; I see new aspects of the wonders of Gods’ character.

And I think God is enjoying our conversations.

What about you? How do you see God working in your character during these seemingly side-lined days?

Bill and Sue have been hanging around the Navs since college days. Perhaps that is why we love ministry to that generation so much! We have been married for 42 years and on staff for 42 years. I love penning my weekly blog, Echoes of Grace, and facilitating Sabbath-Living retreats, both designed to help women grow in their friendship with God. We have 2 married sons and 5 GRANDS and 1 faithful Golden Retriever, Lexie.


  1. Side-lined? No! thanks, Sue, for sharing this, and for your faithfulness to serve... whomever and wherever and however you can. Your ministry is a worthy example.


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