Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Return Home

  So, being home has been overwhelmingly wonderful. OVERWHELMINGLY.  There's almost too many securities here.
Note the White Blur running to the house. :) 

  We drove in the drive way,everything was perfectly green...I don't wait long to exit and then I come in the house : THE KITCHEN! It's so cozy, wonderful, and large. (In comparison to our kitchen/bedroom for four in the motor home. My brothers think it very convenient that I sleep in the kitchen, since they think that's where women should be. [Part joke part truth] When I point out that they too are in the kitchen they claim they're actually at the table waiting for the food. Yyeeaaah....) Then, with sister at toe I run down the stairs and leap onto the bed with a shriek of joy. Sister is highly sentimental along with me and hops on, hugging and making noises of delight. I'm laughing with joy at this point, and sister's still hugging (Can you guess her love language?) then all at once, when I thought of all the securities that were absent, all the people that were met, all the nights spent in Wall Mart parking lots, days spent driving through many varieties of scenery, the eight weeks of living in forty feet with seven loved ones, and how I thought it was absolute sweetness at the time, came crashing in and I realized how much I much I missed the things that make home...home. All these thoughts going on; then, in the mists of my laughter I began to cry. It's the closest thing to Heaven I've ever experienced. Here on earth we gladly serve our King, we live with pain, imperfections, and the things that make us vunerable. We accept these things, try to live it best we can and only by His grace; but when we get to Heaven...oh...all things perfect, all things true, all things that make us entirely at home shall be there: perfection. This is how I felt! I gladly serve on the road, consider it the highest honor and try to live it to the fullest by His grace...and then home feels like Heaven: peace, rest, love, joy, and comfort.  Ever since we've been home I've wanted to use the word "Perfect" to describe life here, but I refuse to let myself since I know nothing on earth is perfect. So,if for no other reason the Lord gives us a home so as to glimpse the perfection of Heaven.
   That whole night I could have burst into tears over playing the piano or sorting through the mail, and then get all excited about unloading the dishwasher. Lord, let me never complain again about dishwasher duty. It's rather precious just because it calls for routine; a word little acted upon while on the road. 
  Let me say that these tears-bursting were not ones of sorrow or weariness, but of joy and gratitude. I remember, while on the trip, many times thinking how entirely blessed I am and how wonderful this road life is.It was the best at that time, almost up to the very end I was hardly missing home. (Though I could feel the desire coming, and there were times of weariness...they didn't last.) I almost had to pinch myself that I wasn't feeling entirely worn out. I was literally riding on the grace of God. Because, within minutes of arriving home I thought back to those moments when I thought life couldn't get better then this road life, and then I thought  "How could I think that? Home is way better!" (Though I know that was a whim-thought and not true at all.)  I should have been horribly tired of it and longing for home. But I wasn't. It was beautiful; it was the grace of God. God always gives grace when we need it, and as soon as I got home I didn't need His "traveling grace" but switched to a rather low-maintenance "home grace" and thus began to cry because looking in retrospect one can hardly imagine how it all took place and how one could do it and enjoy it all the while. And then suddenly being surrounded with all the things that make a person feel secure was a bit overwhelming. Wonderfully so. Thanks be to Jesus for His grace on the road and His faithful grace during season of rest and refreshment. I am entirely grateful that I can experience both.
  I say of a truth, I knew God like I never did before on this trip, my faith was mightily increased, my trust and contentment repaired, and appetite for adventure duley satisfied. 

Praise be the Lord.
P.S. I'm not sure how I'm going to finish up western tour pictures since I only led you half-way through. I may do a slide show, but don't know if that will actually happen...I dream of such things as taking time for a Western Miller Movie. So, do stand by. No...never mind...don't do that. Something will happen sometime...I hope. Also this has been "returned home" with Deborah, and there are seven of us, with each having different perspectives, so you only got 1/7 of the story.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Out-Dated Western Post

40 services down,(and a wedding) to go.  
 This should have been in the previous post. It's the Prince of Wales Motel admits the Rockies in Alberta Canada. Rather charming I say.
 As mentioned in the previous post, Mother and Father had their anniversary while in Alberta Canada. One lady thought we were going to Alberta FOR their anniversary and asked "OH!, so you'll be going on a cruise in Alberta?" "No mam, we're still on this trip, we'll be visiting a Hutterite colony" :) However, God blessed us  richly with this resort in the mountains for a special anniversary night for them.

 A service was canceled for Sat. evening because of whooping cough in the church. So we called ahead to friends in the area and they arranged horse back riding (oops! Horse riding. The boys say only the people that never go horse riding call it "HORSE BACK RIDING" therefore I'm given looks every time I say it. Funny thing is, I've done a substantial amount more of "horse riding" then they, so I really should have to right to call it what I want, shouldn't I?)
Here's us under the wide open Montana skies. 
Derek does this cowboy thing rather well. He likes himself some horsie time. 

 Daddy took some pictures before we left for the trail, but you can't even understand how perfect it was to be up in the mountains and hills..entirely more enchanting and awe-inspiring.
We even saw a mother Mule Deer and baby. She litteraly JUST had her baby. We also spotted some elk on the ride. Oh...it was just glorious...I wished for a camera and was glad I didn't have one all at the same time. (You know, so I could just sit back and take it all in.)
 I choose this blurry picture among other clear ones because it's the only one that you don't see someone holding Gracie's rope, and since Grace doesn't need someone to hold the rope anymore she would be quite displeased if the picture would say a different story. She rode the horse all by herself around the field, an accomplishment she talked about for the rest of the day.
Mother is captivated by the rainbow and takes my camera to capture it. 
  Highly random picture taken on the church porch while Mother was telling  us the  faith-booster that a woman shared during testimony time story.The story was "so Montana" of  how the Spirit had led her to pitch an extra pair of jeans and a shirt in her truck that morning only to realize He had known of the newborn calf  she would find almost immersed at the creek bottom.We were all waiting for Daddy to have the ending prayer before we go in and greet people. That service stood out as the sole most interesting church we've ever been to. We had many a laugh.
We're still rather amazed that everywhere you go...it's so beautiful! The majestic mountains right in your back yard. 
I enjoy taking pictures of the motor home in all the different settings it's parked and we proclaim "home" whether for two hours or overnight.
Playing with the Little Girls while their family sings. 
  They capture hearts every night. They are rather comfortable on stage and occasionally decide that it's a perfect place to have an argument as to which song they would like to sing...which varies form night to night. So even for us, it's new entertainment. :) 

This was one of those "highlight nights" for all of us. Perhaps it was because chairs were lined up to the back of the gym, or that there were so many neat people to meet, or even that the product tables were wiped clean. But mostly because you could feel the huger, the drinking taking place, and the Spirit which we feel most honored to have in our mists.

So then, we have old friends that moved out west and we haven't seen in years, we do lunch at their darling Montana home with breath-taking mountains surrounding.

Fun Fact: The county in which the Old Friends live is larger then the state of Delaware and only has one stop light. 

They're neighbors take their horses for walks...no..not rides...walks.
The bridge over which one has to cross to get to The Old Friends house could not safely hold our rigs, so, we parked beside the road nearby and they picked us up. Across this road was a never-ending spring which locals get their water from...so we filled our jugs and water bottles. I took off my shoes, held up the skirt, dipped toes in the too-cold water and held stainless-steal under the high-pressure water. When you practically live in Walmart parking lots, and get exercise by running around gas station parking lots, such touches with nature bless my heart. Honestly, I think it's the things I miss the most: Waking up, looking out my floor-length window to see the lush green yard that calls me to worship and pray. Somehow nature makes me feel most secure, clean, refreshed; for I feel I know Him more by knowing it. So even though one sees nature as we drive by it at 70 mph, it's not the same as the dead-end roads where one takes walks amist Mill Spring, NC mountains. Just something I miss but will gladly live without for these weeks.   

Hello Seattle 

We loved doing two nursing home services. Such a blessing and privilege.
Flowers are always to be picked.

Derek's soft heart leads him to" stop wrapping up" long enouph to greet and listen to these dear ones.
I admire they're workmanship...
She usually doesn't like pictures of herself...but because she had a flower in her hair she wanted one taken. :)
This picture would come to life if you would turn on Gospel Express music obnoxiously loud, have a little one trying to play violin with it above the noise of the sweeper, try to iron or sew, give a haircut,  and cram all of this into the smallest room in your house. "One of those mornings" on the motor home. 
She asked me "Do you ever get tired of all this?" As I was folding up a table cloth from one of the product tables. I look at mother to see what expression was written on her face at that questions.."Sometimes the flesh is weak but the spirit is willing" is the only way I could explain it  in short. (I was wondering if Eugene was really that tired, but supposed he might be since it was a forenoon service. So I shot a picture from the hip, then realized later that his Ipod is in his right hand...OHHhhh! So just imagine he's fallen asleep because the picture was cooler that way. :)) It's rather amazing, actually, how that we are in no ways worn out. His grace, your payers, and days off are our strength. 
     So, I started this post about week three or four and we are now at week seven. I do hope that absence makes the heart grow fonder in the blogging world. :) These pictures seem like...well...a month ago...for that they were. :) In any case, lots has transpired since then. I don't feel like trying to add more pictures to this post, but hope to start a new one soon. (maybe not until we get home. WHICH IS IN LESS THEN TWO WEEKS! I really don't know that that's sunken in yet.) We're all ready to see home, and I've been writing a song during The Red Tie Resort about  how we're missing our home, but we also can't fathom that only three services remain! It's almost sad, and yet I AM VERY GRATEFUL TO BE ALMOST HOME! I do feel it though: it's time. Energy to talk to people each night is slowly becoming less and less, though still an honor. 
    Last night we had a delightful service. Each one is, really. Today is a day-off (our last one on the trip!) spent near Kansas City. 
  Alright, I'm done now, and have only to say I'm sorry for the out-dated post when there's much recent to post about. It shall come soon.