Though all love originates in God and is for that reason God's own love, yet we are permitted to catch and reflect back that love in such manner that it becomes our love indeed, in much the same way that sunlight reflected from the moon becomes moonlight. - A.W. Tozer

Monday, May 18, 2015

From Red Dirt Country, With Love

School, pick-up repairs, and just generally spending time with family have filled the last month. There may also have been some fishing, as indicated by the picture at right. Zaya caught that gar. Mim later caught a catfish that they brought home to eat and dissect. Just in case you wondered, fish intestines are disgusting.

In the midst of all that busy-ness, we've found where we will be working next, and we're looking forward to starting a new adventure in about a month and a half.

In July we will haul our long-suffering RV down to Dunnellon, Florida, to begin work with I-TEC. I mentioned this organization in a previous post, but if you aren't sure what they are and what they do, please follow the link and check them out. It's a fascinating place, and Aaron is very excited to be working with them soon. He went down for one week already, and is eager to get started on some of the projects that are in the works. There will be more details on that as I receive clearance to release them.

We'll be living in our RV, at least for a while, so there are a few things that need a little attention before making another cross-country (cross-half-country?) trek. The pick-up, Vimes, is looking much better, or will be when the Bondo party is finished and the painting can begin. I'm amazed at the work that's been done on it, almost exclusively by Aaron, with the help of his brother and Dad when they can spare the time. I've got pictures for all the car-geeks out there and will post them soon. Maybe I'll make Aaron write that blog!

Meanwhile, the kids and I are finishing school. We hope to be done by the end of this week so they can enjoy a little summertime fun before we head down to Florida. By "done" I'm thinking something different than they're thinking, but formal, sit-down, nose-in-the-books study will be greatly reduced, which is their main concern.

Friday, May 1, 2015

One, Big, Unexpected Thump

After surviving the wilds of Mississippi, we were glad to finally arrive in southern Arkansas. As always, it had been too long since we had spent any time with my dad's side of the family. My Uncle C and Aunt B welcomed us into their home with open arms and even kicked their own fifth wheel out into the weather to let us park under their big carport. (RVport?)  

We colored eggs with the cousins and had a good time talking and enjoying the comforts of a real, honest-to-goodness house. We still slept in the trailer, as we always do, but were able to do school work at the big dining room table, cook in a real oven, and take actual baths. All the comforts of home, with none of the inconvenience of home ownership. I love visiting family.

On Easter Sunday we went to the sunrise service with my aunt and uncle, then the morning service as well. It was rainy, so there was no Easter egg hunt for the kids as planned. They instead chose prizes in children's church. This resulted in my children being the proud owners of an unwieldy sidewalk chalk toy, and an even more unwieldy set of blow-up boxing gloves the size of small electric cars. Just the kind of toys that fit best in an RV. My children were unrepentant when I pointed this out to them.

After service, we had a wreck.

It was just that sudden. We had been enjoying a peaceful weekend, making plans for our next day of travel and congratulating ourselves on having survived the tire blow-out of the previous week, when we made a left-hand turn in front of an oncoming pick-up truck. The rain-slick roads didn't help our traction as we tried to accelerate, and the truck hit directly into the front passenger door, bounced past the back passenger door, and hit the bed.

Needless to say we were all fairly shaken up. However, God was there for every step of the way. There was a succession of small miracles (are there such things?). I wasn't sitting by the door that received the most damage, because I always sit in the middle next to Aaron. (Roll eyes here, if you aren't a romantic.) The truck had bounced past Zaya's door, so he was completely unharmed as well as Mim, Aaron and the other driver.

There were tears, but they were all from adrenaline and relief once we had a chance to talk to each other. The car driving right behind us belonged to a couple from my aunt and uncle's church. They weren't just any couple, either. He was/is the fire chief for that town, and she was the kids' Sunday school teacher from that morning's class. He was able to call in the wreck immediately to the authorities and clear the road, while she was the first to give the little ones hugs and calm them.

My uncle, who is an EMT, just happened to be on his way home for lunch as well, so he was on the scene within seconds of the crash. We didn't need the ambulance, but there it was, providing comfort by its very presence. The kids and I rode back to C and B's house with the fire chief, while Aaron drove poor, wounded Vimes. Yes, it was still drive-able , but only just. (Vimes is the name of our truck. I'll explain later.)

My Aunt B was waiting at the house to give us all hugs, and calm down our frayed nerves. She's an RN, and an excellent one, so just that knowledge was soothing even though we were all fine. (Mim had a little seatbelt bruise on her neck, and I had a good headache for a couple days, but other than that, not a scratch!) She helped us to matter-of-factly get on with our day, serving a delicious meal and letting us visit with our cousins who had come for dinner. She even called my parents for me, since I wasn't sure I was feeling calm enough for the conversation.

Anyway, because of that little bump, it took us a few extra days to get back 'home' to western OK. My father-in-law and brother-in-law came out to Arkansas with their trailer to haul Vimes home, and my Uncle C pulled our camper with his own pick-up, since he had a hitch etc. I don't know what we would've done without these three men. We were so grateful for the way they came to our rescue without a second thought, each of them giving up two full days of their work week for the sake of our family.

If that's not a story about love and provision, what is?