A Life Long Nesting Season

Yep, pretty much our house!

Dr. Suess wrote a book called The Best Nest where the daddy bird sang “I love my home. I love my nest.  In all the world, my nest is best.”

Last fall the day that we never really believed would happen descended on his like an eagle swoops down on its prey. The Empty Nest was here. For over 27 years Cliff and I had been consumed with four kids worth of chaos and now it was quiet.

And we like it!

I remember being quite disgusted when a new empty-nest mom would confess this with a glint in her eye and joy in her voice.  How could any woman who was truly a mom  be happy about her own flesh and blood leaving her home?  If she really loved her children she would be draping the house in black and doing death wails as her kids rode off into the sunset.  Bless the children of a mom so selfish and uncaring.  They would have been better off being raised by wolves!  When my kids left I would be proud of the gaping hole in my chest where my beating heart once pounded.

Once the little birdies started leaving the nest it wasn’t long before a couple came back temporarily.  One was employed in town and started out in her own house, but was constantly at ours.  She moved back for 2 years before she caught a current for the excitement of the city life.  We were just getting used to having one child at home again, and here flew in Miss Misty.  Due to a birth defect mysteriously coming to light, she had to have her spine rebuilt last spring.   We nursed her back to health as Cole came down with a mild case of senioritis.

In August, we lost both to halls of higher learning.  They all landed at least 100 miles away if not farther.  They were so ready that the door didn’t slam until they were half way to their destinations.  We had such a wild year, that we were just ready for a rest from life in general, not necessarily from them.  My biggest adjustment was cooking.  Going from roasting 1/2 a beef for a meal to looking at Cliff and having the “are you very hungry?” “no, not really” “then let’s just fend for ourselves’ conversation was a huge jump.  After cooking for a boy with the appetite of a T-Rex, when I would cook, I would whip up enough for a small country.  The job of the laundry was like an April fresh breeze in the areas of volume and aroma.  Evenings have had the option of if the weather is absolutely gorgeous, then we can go and enjoy ballgames.  My social life is back on track as I don’t have to work to keep track of #75 in the wad of football players anymore.  When there is a nip in the air we have the choice of just staying home by a roaring fire and not freezing our tail feathers off on bleachers, drinking lukewarm hot chocolate.

Do I miss them at all?  Absolutely!  There is something to be said for holding a child’s head as they are getting stitches in their eyebrow, attempting to fix prom hair gone wrong, and having your calendar completely booked to the point you don’t even remember what you did or where you are going next.   All these experiences is what cements the fam.  When they come in the door to light for a weekend, nothing thrills our hearts more.  When they leave we realize our bestest friends ever are leaving once again and our hearts ache a little bit.

But, not for long!  We are now the receiptants of classic phone calls.  These I have picked from the buffet of the last couple of weeks.

“Dad, I just got out of football practice and I think I lost 10 pounds in a day!  What do I do?  The coach is not going to be happy.” ( “you did not lose 10 lbs.  The scale is off.”)

“Mom, how do I cook this turkey?  Do I have to really stick my hand in there and pull the stuff out?” (“Yes, you do, Robin.  Turkeys are one of the easiest things you can make.  You are Paula Deen!)

“Dad, my car just did something not good and I am stranded on West Street in Wichita. What should I do?”  (“I have  a friend with a car dealership I will call.  I still owe him a steak from the last time he rescued you.”)

(Sobs) “Mom, I have something to tell you and I really don’t want to disappoint you.” (Immediately my imagination raced as what she had gotten into.  Most had to do with knocking off convenience stores to support her crack baby we didn’t know she had as she ran off with a guy named Ferret that she met in a hooka lounge.  Instead, her crime was merely being naive and all worked out with lessons well learned.)

In An Arrow Pointing Heavenward about the life of Christian artist Rich Mullins there is this great summation of families.  “The home is the most powerful place on earth.  It is the cradle of the soul.  Our minds and personality, our love and our hate, our fears and our dreams are all molded in the home.  The home is the workshop of God, where the process of character-making is silently, lovingly, imperceptibly carried on.  The quest for identity will always lead us back to our families.  They are the ones with whom we discover our potential, as well as our limitations.  They are the ones through whom and with whom we learn how to live.  We have families because we are weak creatures and God knows that we need them. Throughout our lives those people who knew us first are a part of our makeup even if they are difficult to live with. Jamming seven people into a car that seats five may not be comfortable, but it is family.”

Whether our nest is full or empty, we are blessed and we are family.  I would hope our greatest gift to them would be a strong faith so they can fly where ever God has in mind for them to soar.

This weekend is the McPherson College Spring Football game, where I fully intend to contract bleacher butt as I cheer for the kid who refuses to wear shocking pink socks so his mama can keep track of her little buzzard.

Photo credit http://www.furrytalk.com/tag/feeding/

An Easter Flip-Flop

Many years ago, we were headed home from Pratt.  Robin and Casey had been doing the high school-sister bicker-a-thon all day long.  Nothing really serious, just doing whatever it took to annoy the other one.  Our three angelic girls could fight like hell-cats at times.  Their little brother’s life ambition was to know what buttons to push to get his sisters to scream, so I was pretty immune to any ruckus.   It had to involve blood, broken bones, or fire to catch my attention.

Back and forth these two went.  If things quieted down, the other would fire it back up.  No one was innocent. Casey started putting her feet up on her older sister.  This drove Robin to the edge and she took matters into her hands by grabbing the black flip-flops off Casey’s feet and throwing them out the window at 65 mph.   Robin shouted a triumphant ‘Ah-Ha!”

I happened to glance in the rear-view mirror as Casey calmly and coolly told her sister, “It doesn’t matter to me.  Those were your flip-flops…”

Robin’s expression was priceless.  It was a mix of shock, anger, and the wind being completely taken out of her devious sails.  Her shrewd plan had been foiled and her own flip-flops had been used against her.   She was defeated and she knew it.

Today is Easter and I can’t help but think of how Satan (not to be confused with Robin by any means) had rallied every force he could against God’s own Son.  He swayed over the government, convinced the crowd to yell ‘crucify”, and even snookered some of Jesus’s own friends to betray and deny him.  He used a cross, tomb, and 24 hour guards to seal the deal.   Oh, the satisfaction of successful plan going down.  How he had to have gloated and strutted!  He had won!

But, Sunday morning dawned.  The wooden cross meant to put the stake through the heart of God turned into a symbol of forgiveness, redemption, and the greatest love ever given.   The classic flip-flop of all time.

God made you alive with Christ.  He forgave us all our sins, having cancelled the written code with it’s regulations, that was against us, that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross.  And having disarmed the powers of authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.  Colossians 2: 13-15.

Happy Easter to all!

The Gift for a Wounded Heart

That’s my Jesus and could be one of our kids as our bunch is always cracking up about something.

Have you ever had a wonderfully unexpected gift come out of the most dire of circumstances?  I mean one that sticks with you for a lifetime and changes your whole perspective and attitude?  One that breathes life back in to deflated situation that you can’t move past. Earlier this week I was reminded of one that I will be forever grateful.

I am the mother of 4 wild, wonderful, and very unique kids.  Three girls and The Boy.  Only one was planned, which when Casey found that out, she has never let the others live it down.  I love to refer to them as ‘surprises”.  While we were always rattled as they always came at the worst times, we are blessed beyond belief. What many do not know is that there were more.

Tucked in our child line up are babies that we have never had the opportunity to hold and get to know.  While our children know no different, as parents we feel the holes and wonder everyday who they would have been, what they would have looked like, and how these precious ones would have added to our family dynamics.

Mourning these sweethearts was never an option as I either didn’t have time to or it was too hard to allow myself.  It was much easier to just stuff the pain away as I chased their siblings around.  One of the little unborn darlings left us on Mother’s Day.  Physically I rebounded very quickly and wandered down the hospital corridor to see a fresh little pink bundle in a basinet.  Not even a tear was shred.  I hurt, but I put one foot in front of the other and marched on with life.   Cliff said, “I feel like someone hit me in the stomach with a baseball bat”, but clammed up after that.  Once I got home and on my feet again, we didn’t talk about it.  When it happened again, life went on as the hurt festered inside.

About 10 years after the first baby left us, God started peeling back the layers of my heart to unearth the wound I refused to deal with.  I was sewing Easter outfits for the kids and listening to a cassette tape of Frank Peretti’s Tilly.  While Frank is known for his creepy Christian Fiction, this one is totally different.  It tells the story of a mom, who years after aborting her baby, gets a glimpse of that child in heaven.  It’s an amazing story of hope, forgiveness, and redemption. My heart wound started to be washed out as I sobbed my way through putting in sleeves and zippers.  Miraculously, the Easter duds held together that year only by the grace of God.

Then, God aired out the gaping heart hole by breathing in the gift of identities.  He gently whispered names for them in my heart.

Not long after that, I knew I was to tell the kids.   Cole was just a little whirlwind and too young to get it, but the three girls would.  I sat them down and with tears rolling down my cheeks began.

Misty’s reaction was so unexpected.  She was so excited!  Her blue eyes danced and she could hardly contain herself.

I was so shocked.  What was this child thinking?  She had always had a unique spin on life.  A couple of weeks before had been her 4th birthday.  She asked for a Craftmatic Adjustable Bed.  She had seen them on her favorite tv channel-The Weather Channel!  Not Disney. Not Nickelodeon or the Cartoon Network.  The Weather Channel.  There were days we just kind of wondered about her….

Right now she was pegging out the concern meter.  Maybe I hadn’t explained this correctly.  Maybe she was just too young.  Maybe…

She flew into my arms and said “Oh Mama, that means I have brothers and sisters just waiting for me in heaven!”  The joy in that child’s voice and celebration on her face breathed healing on the incision of my heart.  Yes, I knew where those babies were, but I was blinded by loss.   In an instant I went from “Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted for her children are no more” (Jer 31:15) to God turning my ‘mourning into dancing”.  He gave me “comfort and joy instead of sorrow.” (Jer 31:13).

That day our heavenly children became a part of our family.  We have feathered angel wings that grace our Christmas tree to remember our children that have just beat us to our heavenly home.   We will always imagine and wonder, but for now this is enough.  No one do we trust more to keep an eye on our kids than Jesus.

As we focus on the events that Good Friday brings, can you imagine the hurt the disciples must have felt?  How they could see past that moment and the circumstance?  They were blinded by loss, sin, grief, disappointment, guilt, confusion……-everything that keep the wounds on our hearts from healing.

But, Easter morning came!  Jesus rose and with joy and celebration we all can dance again.

Photo credit: http://www.desipainters.com/jesus-2/

When Worries Erupt

I think this is the one in Edla’s backyard

Dante’s Peak is an early 90’s movie of destruction, adventure, and survival.  A viewing of it last night brought back the memories of when we first watched it.  My kids’ feet didn’t hit the floor for weeks as they hopped across our furniture, dodging hot lava.  Since my mother-in-law lived on Mt. Hood, outside Portland, Oregon, I jokingly called, her insisting that she “Flee!  Flee!”

Experts say Mt. Hood is the Oregon volcano most likely to erupt, although chances are very unlikely.  Still, I have memories of those Mt. St. Helens images and the juice bottle of heavy gray sand-like ash we collected from a huge drift that summer of 1980.   Once in a while there is talk of a rumble, but most generally Edla talked about the flooding of the glacier fed Sandy River that ran close to her house.  Oh, and did I mention about the bears that would wander through on occasion?  And how about all those Oregonian serial killers that kidnap folks to disappear in the mountain wilderness forever?

Well, this summer Edla Bushman-Mountain Woman made a life change to the beautiful climate controlled paradise of Hawaii.  She is soaking up the sun and melting away the chill of mountain living by floating  in hot lava pools.   Life is good as she enjoys the scenery of her island that has the variety of every land form possible.

A while back we got a call.  “Oh, if you hear the volcano in the back yard blew up, we are fine.”  Volcano?  Yes, there is one about 20 miles from her, so no worries.  A few days later we were amazed to get through to her so quickly after the recent Japanese earthquake.  An alleged tsunami was headed straight for the islands, but we weren’t too fearful as they live on the opposite side of where it was expected to hit.   Her new challenge is the wild pigs.  I asked “are they like ‘hogzilla’ pigs with the tusks?”   She didn’t really know because evidently the hunting show gene that her son got did not come from her side.  ‘They black and big,’ she said.  The scary part is one broke through her neighbor’s screen door and got in her house.  They are now on code-red-hog-alert.  Her new past time is sticking her head out the window and yelling ‘Sue-ey!”  Hey, when life hands you pigs, you make Ona Pan Lau Lau.

When we hear something out of our control is going on in her world, the temptation to freak out is strong.  She is precious to us.   On those days Oregon and Hawaii are a zillion miles away from Kansas. We can’t jump and run like we can with the rest of our family.  Besides who can stop volcanos, floods, and tsunamis?  (My guys would be all over the bear and wild pig hunt.  This is when I’m kind of thankful for the distance as we don’t need anymore fur/hair/tusks/claws in our interior decorating.)

Yes, our confidence is that she is in the palm of God’s hand.   “If I rise on the wings of dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.” Psalm 139:9-10  Knowing that God’s palm is also big enough to hold her Ring of Fire dwelling husband, her sister and brother-in-law helps us sleep nights as well.  We’d be a wreck if we were worrying about all of them!

Meanwhile, we go peacefully about our business as we dodge lightning, plow through blizzards, watch for rattlesnakes, and keep one eye on the sky for stray twisters.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matt 6:34.

photo credit-http://www.hilo.hawaii.edu/~csav/gallery/decker/hawaii_puu_oo_cone.php

Learning to be a Trophy Wife

Forever a Proverbs 31 wannabe

A friend of mine told me that I absolutely must catch one of the highly popular “Real Housewives” episodes.  It really didn’t matter which location, as they were pretty much the same.  I kept shrugging her off because I was just too busy with life.

The other afternoon, when Cliff’s exciting and riveting golf tournament (insert ‘yawn’ here) was over, he found something else to do in the other room.  I snagged remote and started scrolling until I hit “Real Housewives of Orange County” with 15 minutes left in the episode.  I settled in to an education I hadn’t expected.  I guess all this time I thought I fell into the ‘housewife’ category.  I was terribly wrong.  I am confessing the error of my ways.  Here is what I learned.

1. One must wear a bikini 24-7 everywhere you go.   (Today snowflakes are flying, so I don’t think I will be getting out today—if ever. Like weather would be theonly  reason for the Bikini Ban of 2011 in this house.)

2. One’s job is to lay by the pool all day and I imagine does not have ‘folding laundry’ on the list.  (No pool and we are kind of fond of clean clothes around here.)

3.  On a trip with your bff girlfriend to Cabo, one must write vows to pledge to each other and share them.  (Call me crazy, but I think my friends and I know where we stand with each other.   We have been there for each other through the happy dances and the mourning wails of life.  Our unspoken vows are voiced through actions.)

4. When your friend has failed to share her vows with you, you throw a huge pouty hissy fit.  (???? )

5. When hubby is wrestling the kids at the pool, you are totally aloof and oblivious to the family activity.  (water+kids=Mom’s senses on code red alert the entire time.)

6. When child has a paper cut that the child doesn’t even know she has, one totally freaks out and rip the pool people from pillar to post, throw the child at husband and demand that little Buffy is run to the Emergency Room, while you sit pool-side and call your friends with the story of how this has traumatized you.   (like I said before, we don’t have pool or pool people, so in my disqualification I bypassed all the rest.)

7. When upset, you claim postpartum depression no matter the age of the child.  (Hmmm…I have been missing out on this treasure for 19+years, but now that I know, plan for me to whip it out at a moment’s notice.  I can feel Cliff’s sympathy flooding over me now.)

8.  You mess in everyone else’s business.  For some strange reason drama seems to ride shot-gun with this concept.  ( I have enough problems with my own, I hope I never measure up in this area, either.)

9. Most I saw were blonde. (ok, finally!  A match.)  and tan with perfect manicures and a list of plastic surgeries (just hit the gong now and get me off the stage.)

All those nuggets in just 15 minutes!   Cliff walked in and caught a few minutes.  He gently shared the revelation with me that “these aren’t real housewives”, much like when I tried to convince him pro-wrestling was not real when we were first married.  These gals are real people, but much is contrived for the cameras.  I already had this figured out, but it thrilled my heart that none of this attracted him-even the bikinis.  He’d pick me on cleaning day in old purple sweatpants and red sweatshirt, looking like a bedraggled red hat lady over Cabo Barbie.  Who would have thought?

Most of these characters’ problems are because they are bored and don’t know what to do with themselves.  Their only purpose is to look good existing.  Even that falls kind of  fakey-flat. Somehow they have become so high maintance that it is everyone else’s job is to maintain them.  It breaks my heart.

Lucky for them I have a solution.  Whenever I whined to my mom that “I’m bored”, she always shot back “well, then I have some things for you to do” and would rattle off a list.  I am going to offer for those gals to come and paint my house trim, steam clean some carpets….well, I am my mother’s child and can crank out a list a mile long in a heart beat.  Actually, I bet they are creative enough to find things on their own to give them a purpose and something they can take pride in.  Meanwhile, we can explore the example of the Proverbs 31 woman.  We can work at it together, because it is filled with challenges to keep us all plugged into our families and our God for a lifetime.

After all, the best trophies a gal has going for her is the joy in her heart and the smile on her face that glorifies Him.

Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.  Proverbs 31:30

Photo credit-www.flickr.com

‘God-cidences’

This is an example of a mat rolled up. Want more info-leave a comment and I will get back to you.

Do you ever feel you have hit a dead-end, a road block, the end of the trail, but deep down inside you know there has to be a way to get around it?   While my no-man’s land is not monumental to most, it could make a huge difference to some.  This story got resolved in the slickest way. 

Saturday as I headed to a meeting in Wichita, a plastice crocheted sleeping mat rode shot-gun with me. Last summer during Vacation Bible School we challenged the kids to build a trash mountain out of plastic shopping bags.  Their response was overwhelming, which is good since it takes about 500 to make one.  A few gals volunteered their gift of crocheting to whip out these mats for the homeless in Haiti.  Before long our outlet to disperse them fell through for some unknown reason.  I searched the Internet for anyone who would take them.  Nothing.  No emails or calls were returned. This boggled my mind.  We had been told Third World countries desperately needed them.  Not only were they waterproof, lightweight, and durable, the bugs hated them.  It was also an opportunity for a chosen instrument of God to share the love of Jesus.  This dispersal hurdle had to be flown over, but how?

Time marched on while this mat set in my office for months, and I felt guilty for not getting it into someone’s hands. 

 Should I just take it downtown and leave it on a park bench for whoever passed? The wind was incredible, so who knows where it would fly to.  Maybe someone at my meeting could help.  But, if they didn’t what then?  Would I even have time to go on into Wichita and be able to get back for another event I was to be at?  The closer I go to the city I realized I was stewing way too much.  Throwing up a haphazard prayer, I said “Lord, I know this needs to go somewhere and I need you to work it out.” 

Little did I know that prayer flew out the Blueberry’s window and was waiting for me down the road. 

I got to my meeting spot too early, so I ran to a very crowded Dillion’s grocery store to pick up some matzo for a children’s sermon.  Medicine Lodge’s Jewish population sets at zero, but I learned that evidently Wichita doesn’t have much of one either.  After I tromped through aisle after aisle, I found something sort of like it and ended up in the 12 Items or Less lane.  A stranger in a crumpled black cowboy hat was chatting it up with the cashier.  “You know, I work with a homeless ministry…”

Ding! Ding! Ding!  I have a winner!  My head snapped around to his direction. 

 “Have you ever read Under the Overpass? by Mike Yanowski? ” I engage my ‘talk to a post’ skill that my husband and son find frustrating. “It’s a fascintating book about two affluent college kids that went to live with the homeless. One of my top five favs.”

What comes next is a great conversation.  The cashier starts to get impatient, but then chimes in when I bring up that we have a crocheted mat ministry.  She does floor mats, which had nothing to do with our convo, but a glimmer that she was tuned in, listening, and open.   He is thrilled and says “I will drive and pick up however many of those mats that you have.” 

I say “Well, I just happen to have one in the car, if you would like it.”

Zorro and I ironically have parked very near each other.  He educates me that this mat will go to a guy under a specific bridge in Wichita.  “Every bridge you cross here, someone lives under”.  He cradles the mat like it is gold and runs his hand over it as he marvels are how tightly woven the multi-colored plastic is.  I go on to say that after spending some time at various homeless ministries in Seattle, I have a daughter who would love to get involved, but has no contacts.  We exchange addresses and phone numbers, both us in awe at how we were brought together and needs met. 

Coincidence?  Nah….God does not work that way.   I have recently picked up the name ‘God-cidence’ for these encounters.  Sometimes it’s obvious, and sometimes there is no way we can get the significance this side of heaven.  You just know at the time or something strikes you later that God was up to something cool.

In the Jewish Passover Feast, called the Seder Dinner, matzo bread is key element.  For us Gentiles, it is cross between a tortilla and a cracker.  It is made with no yeast, just as God ordained back in Moses’s day.  Pharoah would soon be on their tails, and the Hebrews were rushing to hit the road out of Egypt.  It had to be made quickly resulting in piercings and distinguishing grill mark stripes in the matzo.   Ask a Jew, and they will say “that’s just how it’s made. Oy!”  The “God-cidence’ here is this unleavened bread points directly to our Bread of Life-Jesus the Christ.  He was pierced for our transgressions and his back bore stripes that shed precious blood to cover our mess ups.  Goosebumps are quite common as many more masterfully crafted mysteries are uncovered in this feast.  God had it all planned out in Alpha and Omega fashion. 

So thinking back, can you think of any ‘God-cidences’ that you have seen or experienced?  If not, ask Him to show them to you.  I know they are there, because I know He’s itching to thrill you. 

 They might even be as obvious as the matzo ball in your soup.

But there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries…..Daniel 2:28

 photo credit: http://ardreamcenter.wordpress.com/

By-Passing Blessings

Saturday I went to Wichita a different route than I normally do.   As I headed on Highway 54 east out of Pratt, the traffic was pretty heavy on this two lane highway.   It is common to see near death accidents unfold right in front of your eyes as impatient drivers try to slip around semi trucks.  In return these Kings of the Road seem to think they are currently being challenged for the title.  In all honestly, it is probably just as nerve-wracking for truckers as it is for the driver of itty bitty Chevy Cavalier they are trying to keep from smushing like a beer can.  One never knows what they might innocently get caught in the midst during of this 65 mph roller derby. Will I meet my demise by becoming a sandwich between ol’ Farmer Joe on his 1953 John Deere tractor and CW McCall singing Convoy in his monster Peterbilt, complete with the custom chrome-plated teeth forming a menacing mouth on its grill as it flies up on my bumper like a hungry beast?  Mix in the Kansas wind sucking vehicles all over the road like a game of tug-of-war, it was not a good day on Highway 54.

Suddenly, the traffic fanned out in front of me like the parting of the Red Sea and the road took on the smoothness of dutch chocolate.  “This is nice,” I say to myself as the tension melts from my shoulders.  I take heed as I am gliding through the almost obsolete construction zone.  I do not want to add to the ticket I aquired from speeding in one a few years ago.  I take in the new curves with caution as the Blueberry (my car) and I wind up over an overpass.  I glance to the north and there is a town.  What?  Who put a town there?  I don’t know this town—until I look to the sign below the overpass with an arrow pointing north that says “Cunningham”.

My heart falls.  For quite some time, we knew this day was coming as we watched the dozers and trucks remold the landscape.  In fact, before I knew the State of Kansas’s plan I had joked about the “Cunningham Fly-Over” as the berg is a little bigger than a if-you-blink-you-miss-it town.   Why bother when all one has to do is slow down a little bit to get through it?  Like most Kansas communities the highway was giving this struggling community some of its life blood as travelers stopped for a little gasoline or a burger at the mom-and-pop diner   On the flip-side, travelers will miss out experiencing the quirkyness of the old gas station turned Antique Shop, where rusted relics capture the imagination on the driveway.  Beside the road is the vintage motel of cabinettes concealed in a groove of trees that is a history lesson in itself.   In the hustle and bustle of getting from point A to point B, we will glide right past a slice of the charm of this Kansas version of Mayberry.  Funny, how we all crave that magic, but don’t have the time to embrace it.  Hence the highway bypass was born.

I vow at that moment if I am too busy to reroute through Cunningham, then I am just too busy!  Hurrah for Small Town America!  Aunt Bea would be so proud.

Then I realise that I probably won’t.  The convenience makes it so easy to slide right around as I focus on my agenda.  I will fly by it and probably not even notice.

My thoughts take me deeper than I wanted or had invited them to go.  If I do this with a town, then how often do I do this with people?   How often do I blow by them in the fast lane and not stop to experience their uniqueness?  When do I take the road less traveled that ends up at the door of a shut-in?  Or striking up a conversation during that awkward wait in the grocery store line because getting to know someone might slow me down?  How much am I missing of a friendship that may satisfy a craving with its magic all because its an inconvenience?   Am I truly that busy?

Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue with actions and in truth.  1 John 3: 18    If being intentional about our actions was natural, we wouldn’t have to be told, huh?

So, who wants to go for pie?  You can invite that person in front of you when you were buying stamps.  I hear there’s a real nice little diner in Cunningham……

Photo credit: http://shields.aaroads.com/show.php?image=KS19260541