During the Christmas 2014 break, I told Hub I was missing my friend. She lives in a town bordering North Dakota and Minnesota. I told him I was thinking of heading somewhere over my summer break and inviting my friend to join me. Hub thought it a good idea and so the planning began. The summer trip morphed into several different scenarios with the final version of the trip being me heading up to the great white north to spend some time with her.
Two days on the road up and two days back meant Lisa had plenty of time to spend alone with God. It was some amazing time, too! I got to thinking we “city folk” have it completely wrong. We need to head out to the country, the undeveloped areas of our continent, to breathe the clean air, shut off all the social media, and listen to the silence.
Most important: look up and look out.
My friend has a “little man” living with her part of the week. Little man’s brother stays with his other grandmother most of the time. “Lisa, if anything happens to me …” I made the same promise to her concerning “little man” and his brother that I made concerning both her (now grown) children … and to my brother concerning the Princess. If anything happens, I’ll be there. They … ALL of them … will be loved and cared for. I immediately fell in love with little man. 6 years old and full of 6-year old little boy energy. Lots of questions, lots of talking … lots of 6-year oldishness. It broke my heart when he turned to me one morning as he and my friend were heading out the door to Summer School. He looked at me with those big brown eyes and asked, “Are you going to be here when I get home?” “Yes, I’ll be here,” I replied.
I shared my heart with my friend over dinner that night. And we became quiet. She adamant that she will ALWAYS, always, be there for this child. Me adamant that if anything happened to her, I’d be right there for him. No hesitation, no questions asked.
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I posted the following on Facebook:
Question: How do you take “foodie” pics with a 6-year old in the house?
Answer: You don’t
Love that kid!
I told my friend I wanted to join God at work in her community during my stay. I had the honor of helping to pack over 1,000 lunches for children of low-to-no income families. I cried … bucket loads of tears … as I left the building. What an incredible work these people do. Do they even understand how great their work is?
There were so many incredible moments this summer that I truly want to burn into my memory … driving through the Flint Hills of Kansas at sunrise and over the Missouri River into Iowa, soaking my feet in the headwaters of the mighty Mississippi River, watching the crazy clouds of two storm systems colliding over the plains of Minnesota. In each of those moments, all I could do was praise God for this incredible trip. And I wondered what these places looked like at the moment He created them. Did they look like they do today? Was there a freshness, a newness, a cleanness when they were spoken into existence? What an amazing moment that must have been!