1. It’s okay to stop and start again. It’s also okay to stop and not start again. It’s perfectly acceptable to start something entirely new as well. But I think I’ll just pick up the old thing and keep going like I didn’t check-out all summer long. Any of the above is fine, though, really.
2. Surprising things happen during VBS week. We had a Safari themed VBS in June complete with a giraffe, a giant savannah tree, and a waterfall. And tons of kids. We also had a funeral. A dear saint from our church family passed away and we had no choice but to send him off with a safari themed memorial service. Someday I hope I graduate to heaven during VBS week, maybe with a Beach Party theme.
3. The best thing about summer is green beans. Well, one of the best things. We grew Blue Lake Bush beans in the garden and we had beans coming out of our ears. Many bags are safely tucked away in the freezer for winter suppers. There is a certain delight in walking through the backyard, picking a handful of produce and eating it while still warmed by the sunshine. Makes me feel extra healthy.
4. Peaches would normally be my best thing about summer, but, alas, the peach truck came with no peaches on board. I huffed and puffed and stomped my way across the parking lot back to my car. As soon as I got home, I wrote an email to the company expressing my displeasure. A few days later, a box of 12 gorgeous Georgia peaches was delivered to my front porch. I forgave the company and ate the peaches.
5. It’s a long road from China to Wisconsin. I ordered a new MacBook Pro and that baby spent six days in transit. I tracked this much-anticipated package and was amazed at the journey it took: China to Hong Kong to Taiwan to Anchorage, Alaska to Louisville, Kentucky to Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Florence, South Carolina to Baraboo, Wisconsin. That side trip to South Carolina threw me a little bit. The laptop arrived when promised, though, and in one piece. Good job everyone!
6. Junk mail sure can be funny. This landed in my mailbox one day and it made me hoot out loud. Even if a cruise was in the budget, I’m not sure I’d go with a bunch of pastors’ wives and leave PB behind. I’m also not sure people in ministry want to go on a cruise as much as they want faith-filled parishioners, prayerful support and enthusiastic service. But then, Jesus did take the disciples on several excursions across the Sea of Galilee, so I guess you could make a case for a Pastors’ Wives Cruise. In February.
7. The Family Talent Show never disappoints. This year we had a wrestling demonstration, sleight of hand card tricks, a dramatic reading from “Ten Apples Up On Top”, a puzzle reveal with the last piece set in place before our very eyes, Opa’s magic tricks, a beautiful song, colorful artwork, and a rockin’ dance party. And I made my ukulele debut with “You Are My Sunshine”. There were no surprise announcements this year, but there was much applause.
8. I spent my summer studying seals and trumpets and bowls in preparation for a fall Bible study on the book of Revelation. It’s the most exciting, beautiful and mysterious book I’ve ever read. I absolutely can’t wait to go on this wild ride with my Bible study friends. (Spoiler alert: Our Jesus rides in on a white horse at the end. There is fire in His eyes and a crown on His head and a tattoo on his thigh. Then he invites us to supper. It’s gonna be awesome.)
9. You can go back, but it’s a mixed bag of emotions. In August, PB was invited to preach for an event at the church where his dad served from 1972-78, when PB was a teenager. It was fun to see the high school football field where he blew out his knee with 50 seconds to go in the last game of his senior year. It was entertaining to hear PB and his brother reminisce about old friends and mischief they got away with. But the best part was sitting in the audience listening to my man preach a grace-filled gospel to people who only knew him as a goofy adolescent. The second best part was remembering the day we first set eyes on each other in that church in 1974. I was a 14 year old farm girl and he was a 16 year old pastor’s son. It was the start of something good.
10. I read some great books this summer (“Letters to the Church”, Francis Chan; “It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way”, Lysa TerKeurst; “A Tale of Two Cities”, Charles Dickens), but they were all written with the same 26 letters of the alphabet. I listened to some wonderful music (“Parallels + Meridians”, Jess Ray; “Music for the Lifegiving Home”, Joel Clarkson; “Hymns Live”, Shane and Shane — especially “His Mercy Is More”) but every song was written with the same 12 musical notes. I guess there is still room for more creative words and tunes in this world. I’ll try to do my part, for the glory of God.