God Gives me a Present

Packing all our earthly possessions in a moving truck and our babies in the car, we pointed it in the direction of middle America where we would begin our second pastorate in Indiana. I jumped in with both feet as we spent the next six years raising our young family, adding Kelsey while we were there. I was now the proud and tired mother of three children 4 1/2 , 2 and a new born. We lived on the outskirts of Lake Michigan, with days on end of no sun and lake effect snow. Can't seem to get away from these great lakes!! The people of Indiana are like those of central New York, always ready to make you feel at home. In 1996 we knew God was calling us to the East coast, much to the dismay of family who lived within a day's drive and our church family whom we loved...very much. Several families made the very long trip to visit us when we pastored downstate and we would visit as we made our way through from here to central Iowa. With the growing up of our older three kids...why do they do that?...our trips through the midwest were few and far between. Oh how I missed so many who have been tatooed on my heart. How was I to know that God was working behind the scenes to give me a present beyond my wildest dreams? Last fall I made the trip to Indiana to go to Revive 11 with one of the girlfriends who live in my heart. I also met some other girlfriends on a bright Sunday afternoon. Many I had not seen in...too many years. I haven't asked Lisa's permission to use her name, but am sure she won't mind. She is the mother of a little boy I babysat for 2 years. He isn't little anymore and will soon be graduating from high school. Lisa and I first bonded as a couple with our husbands, sharing the same year we were married, then as mothers loving the same boy and then as sisters who love the same Jesus making us friends forever. A couple of months ago, her husband emailed us wondering if they could come visit for a weekend. We did not hesitate to say yes...then I emailed them asking if we could tag along with them to their next destination, Washington D.C. They of course said yes, what else could they say come to think of it? 🙂 We have not seen Lisa and her family for 15 years. As her husband said so well
Who would have thought after all these years we would be vacationing together?
We couldn't have orchestrated it better...God providentially has brought us together to enjoy each other's company and catch up with too many years that have passed. I know we will see each other and pick up where we left off. God does that for His children whom He loves more than we will ever know. One of His presents this summer. If you know me well, you know I jump in with both feet loving and serving wherever I am. Yes, it takes me awhile to get acquainted, but once I know you, you're in my heart forever. You're stuck with me in other words. I love people, I love God's people and I love God who has put that love in my heart for those He puts in my path. ( 1 John  4:7-12) As I said in Radical Living...I want to love God with all my heart, with all my soul and with all my mind and love my neighbor as myself. Celebrating today God's love for me in bringing together families in Christ. Pictures in the coming weeks of our time in D.C.  

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