And then my dear husband just smiles and nods, offering no objection.
Then late Spring, Summer, and Fall hit and again I'm complaining to my husband, "We are NEVER home. Our lives have NO order, structure, or routine! The house is too messy, the laundry is so behind its not funny, and if I could just stay at home for ONE day without interruption then I could get this all done! WHY are we so interesting? WHY are we constantly running from one adventure to the next? We just need to slow down and take life easy!"
And again my husband simply smiles and nods.
So here we are, with Summer in full swing. We have gone to the Renaissance Festival THREE TIMES this year, which is a first! Usually we just go once. We still have towers of boxes here and there but the towers are slowly shrinking. We've had out-of-town guests in our guestroom - even though a week before they arrived there was no room for you to walk INTO the guest bedroom and no bed for them to stay on! But thank Heaven for little miracles. On a whim Kyle called an old friend and mentioned our need for a guest bed, and the friend said that if we wanted to DO HIM A FAVOR and take his old queen sized mattress so that his wife and he could move their NEW queen sized mattress into the house, he'd appreciate it. I love symbiotic favors!
And somewhere in between preparing the guest room and the guests arriving we did what most people with common sense and out-of-town guests arriving do: we ourselves went out of town! We helped our old church in the City with their Youth Camp. It was a clash of worlds, because the camp was hosted at my old college. So lots of de javu moments! It was really fun to see a lot of my old coworkers and get updates on their lives and update them on my life. However my husband and I worked our fannies off and got very little sleep while there! God was moving and working hard, so of course the devil was working hard to try and stop it! The last day I finally looked at the youth leader's assistant and said, "You know, there has been more Spiritual Warfare on this youth camp than I've experienced on most of my Mission Trips to unreached people groups! What the heck!!" But that just goes to show you my professor was right: The Youth of America are one of the most unreached people groups of the world, and anyone who tries to work with them had better prepare themselves for lots of spiritual activity! And the scary thing was that the #1 thing these kids craved was just 1 on 1 time. The girls just wanted to be held in huge bear hugs and rocked like they were babies. Seriously. After the anger and biting words and tears, they would sheepishly grin when me or the other woman volunteer told them to give us a hug, and then they would CLING to us. So we'd pull them next to us or (in the other woman's case, who is blessed with height) onto our laps and rock them like they were little babies. And they wouldn't move! The boys just wanted the youth minister and Kyle to just sit and talk. One kid WOULD NOT talk to anyone, just kept wandering off. So when he tried to do it after hours, Kyle said the kid couldn't go unless Kyle went with him. So they went for a walk in the rain and the kid really didn't stop to take a breath the entire time they walked because he was talking so much. All Kyle did was listen and at the end of it said, 'Kid, you're worried about EVERYTHING. I get it. But you gotta give this up to God! Only He can handle all of this. You can't." and then prayed for him. Later on the kid walked up to Kyle and made some awkward small talk and then out of the blue said,
"Thank you, Kyle." and walked off. And that was the only time any of us heard that kid call anyone by their name!
It makes me so glad we were there, but also so mad because these are 'bad' kids from very BAD situations and backgrounds. But they are good kids! Just no one gives them the time of day or listens to their hopes, dreams, fears, or insights. And they have a lot of all of those. And the thing is, this youth group is NOT unique in that sense. But people are too 'scared' of youth to get involved. Our culture has really messed the teenage years up. Ok done with my rant - for now.
The awesome thing about this trip was that last night one of our best friends called. He works with that youth group on and off as a volunteer, and last night was the first time the group had had a chance to update everyone on camp.
'What the heck did you and Kyle do? Y'all were the talk of the youth group! And geez, girl, did you know you made pretty much EVERYONE cry in the group at one point or another during the trip? But they were all THANKING you for it by the end of their testimony! What did you DO?!"
Why yes, yes I am well aware that there were several 'come to Jesus' moments in which I had to get in people's face and tell them they were being stupid, and then they cried, and then I went to my room and cried, because contrary to popular belief I don't LIKE getting in people's faces and telling them that they are stupid! But apparently God thinks I do a good job at it because He keeps telling me to do it!! And apparently it had GOOD results this time, which is a first for me! Usually it ends in getting disowned, or rumors spreading and THEN getting disowned.
SO then we came home, crashed, woke up the next morning and whirlwind-cleaned, out-of-town guests came, and just as I was about to set the table for dinner my husband came into the kitchen with a funny look on his face. Some people our age from our new AWESOME church had texted asking if we had dinner plans because they had all miscommunicated and were hungry. The thing is that we all now live in a small town where everything closes at 5 (no joke) and so getting food meant driving at least a half hour into one of the neighboring settlements that more resemble cities. SO I looked at our guests, one of whom is Persian and the other has done mission work in the Middle East and they both grinned and said they loved a party! SO we had five adults and a one year old over for dinner instead of two adults and a one year old for dinner. It was wonderful, and I felt like I was overseas again as people were dragging themselves away after midnight, and the food was fresh and savory and delicious and the HOT tea flowed with unending amber delight. But that began our weekend of hosting and hanging out with friends and all around NOT RESTING from the rather intense mission-trip-youth-camp-week we'd just had. We took them to the Amish General Store (and Mr. Yoder [that really is his name] was VERY appreciative of my guests because they spent a lot of $$!) and the farm-to-table restaurant and the family owned butcher shop and the goat-farm-milk-and-pottery-gift-shop and some local clothes boutiques where we found out more about the farmer's markets. It was soooo much fun, but by the end of it I was so tired I couldn't remember my phone number or do simple addition when counting out change!
So yesterday all our company was gone for a few days. And we did a glorious NOTHING til about 1pm. Then we ran a few errands together and came home and did a little bit of laundry but mostly did NOTHING.
Not that you wanted all of the ins and outs of our daily life, but I'm mostly writing this so that in January when I'm bemoaning at how boring we are I can come back to this entry and read how insanely busy and social we always are once it gets warmer. And then instead of griping at my husband I can grin and say, 'Just a few more months of rest, baby! And then the whirlwind of summer will be ours!'