Change of Address

We left Kansas on Sunday morning, and I was more sad about it than I had expected to be. For months I’ve been so excited about moving back to SC and living in our own home, so I didn’t anticipate the sad feeling in my stomach as we said goodbye to KU, our beloved camp, and our dear friends from church. Our years in Kansas were wonderful. I’ll never forget the beautiful farmlands, the unpretentious dear people who call Kansas their home, the simple country life we enjoyed, the friends who became family at Amazing Grace Baptist Camp, Dan’s wonderful experiences with the students and faculty at KU, or the culture and incredible food along Massachusettes Street.

But here we are, back in SC, renewing friendships with our dear friends we hated saying goodbye to three years ago. Their kids are strangers to me now, but we’ll catch up. Things are going great. We love our new home and all the closet space we have (Wow!). We love having the summer free from camp responsibilities to do do “summery things”–gardening, swimming, sleeping in, playing in the water hose, visiting the ocean… We love having family one mile away. Overall, it’s wonderful to be back home. But still, there’s a part of me that will always call Kansas “home” too.

Published in: on May 25, 2007 at 6:11 pm  Leave a Comment  

They Called Her Mom

Everyone called her “Mom Steel,” though the only ones in our group who could really claim to be her descendants were Matt, Shannah, Ruth, and John Mark. The rest of us were college kids excited to have a home-cooked meal and a place to fellowship on Sunday nights. Mrs. Steel’s motto was, “All are welcome. I can always add another cup of water to the soup to make it stretch farther.” And, although I never recall actually eating soup at her house, her actions and attitude showed that she was willing and ready to accommodate any strays who showed up at her house without advance warning on a Sunday night.

As a new bride, I was excited for the opportunity to show hospitality to others, as Mrs. Steel had, but I worried about the details. I wanted to make my very best meal each time. I wanted the house to be spotless. I felt like I had to plan entertainment. I worried about mismatched serving dishes. I fretted that my furniture didn’t seem nice enough. And as a result, I don’t think my guests felt entirely comfortable in my home. My anxiety over wanting everything to be perfect translated into guests and a hostess who weren’t entirely at ease. I wanted to be a good hostess, but I just didn’t understand what I was doing wrong.

Published in: on May 14, 2007 at 1:11 pm  Leave a Comment  

God is My Protector

On Friday night a town on the other side of my state was almost completely obliterated by a tornado. I was sobered Saturday morning as I read the report of the devastation in Greensburg, Kansas: 9 people dead and 90% of the town destroyed. No church was left standing.

As I was heading to bed on Saturday night, a storm was brewing outside, so Dan turned on the weather radio: Tornado Watch until 5am. Oh no. The tragedy of the previous night was too fresh on my mind. I felt seized with panic. After all, we live in a mobile home–one of the worst types of shelter during a tornado. Dan was planning on staying up for awhile, so I asked him to wake me up when he was ready to go to bed, and I would stay up until the Watch was over. Although it’s a good idea to keep tabs on a storm so you’ll know if you need to find more suitable shelter, I knew that I was not placing my trust in the Lord–the One who controls the winds and the rain. I was relying on my watchfulness to protect us from a possible tornado. Thankfully, I had recently meditated on a verse that came to mind: Psalm 127:1 “Unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman keeps awake in vain.” I confessed to God that I have no control over our safety, and I prayed that HE would keep us safe.

Dan checked the weather radio on and off until about 12:30 am and then he felt satisfied that nothing was going to happen here, so he went to bed. I still got up every hour or so (more often when I thought I heard strange wind outside) to check the weather radio and to look outside, but it gave me peace to remember that God is my Protector and my Safety.

Published in: on May 7, 2007 at 4:42 pm  Leave a Comment  

A little confused…

My poor daughter just doesn’t understand the purpose of chewing gum. She was given some at a birthday party she attended last weekend, and I’ve given her some as a potty-training reward over the past few days. She has the idea, though, that the real joy in chewing gum comes from spitting it out. She doesn’t realize that she’s supposed to enjoy actually chewing it. When I first gave it to her, I stressed that we don’t swallow it; we spit it out when we’re done. Well, she’s taken that instruction to the extreme. As soon as she gets it, she says, “Can I spit it out?” I encourage her to chew it a little bit more, and then five seconds later she asks, “Can I spit it out?” I tell her she can spit it out whenever she wants to and she goes over to the trashcan, bends over, and gracefully spits out the gum.  Maybe, instead of calling ours “chewing gum,” we should call it, “spitting gum.” Sounds like fun, huh? 🙂

Published in: on May 2, 2007 at 5:41 pm  Leave a Comment