What an incredible weekend it was. I got to spend time visiting with my Momma back home. My husband even took me for a ride on the four-wheeler at the farm down to what what my Dad always called "the bottom." I suppose it was so named because it is the farthest acreage nearest the creek bottom. He ran cows on the land for years except during hunting season when they were brought to the front acreage where the old home place once stood.
The wind in my hair and the contrast of the clear blue sky against the trees created the perfect setting for letting go of all worries and cares. Once we reached the creek Charlie killed the engine of the four wheeler. I closed my eyes, inhaled the scent of pine and allowed the warmth of the sun to bathe my face. I drank in the sound of birds singing a symphony to our good Lord, and I allowed my body to relax to the sound of gentle breezes blowing through the surrounding tall trees. I couldn't help but smile at the fact that no human sounds could be heard. Only birds singing, squirrels running across the carpet of pine needles and moss, and ducks flapping their wings as they quickly scattered from their previously undisturbed spot where Rocky creek meanders past a clump of trees and brush. For the first time in a long time I felt calm and free.
I sat quietly watching the leaves dance slowly to the ground and stared in amazement while a woodpecker kept perfect rhythm as it pecked away at an old tree trunk searching for breakfast. Oh how it soothes the soul to return to one's roots. There is nothing more peaceful than pure and simple country life. Everything moves at a slower pace. Priorities seem to be better aligned, and people tend to regard the value of other human beings by remembering to say thank you, hello, and you're welcome. Gentlemen tend to still open doors for a lady allowing her to pass through first as they tip their hats as a sign of respect.
Within hours we were headed back to a vastly different way of life. I closed my eyes remembering the serenity of the woods as we crossed over the ship channel bridge, the landscape filled with oil and chemical plants as far as the eye could see. To be fair, I owe a debt of gratitude to one such plant since it has provided a decent paycheck and numerous opportunities for me since moving to the area. I have also met wonderful individuals with colorful personalities, generous hearts, and diverse backgrounds. However, I could not help but ask myself the question, why here?
Three reasons came to mind right away. It took this journey to meet the beautiful girls who have loved and changed our son's lives for the better. It is through them I've had the honor of becoming a grandmother. These precious babies have brought so much joy to this very different phase of my life. In fact, we were returning home in preparation for a special Sunday at church - our newest little grandson's dedication service.
I walked into church the next morning feeling as if I had walked into an intersection in time. Hearing the welcoming voices of my church family today reminded me of those at Chesswood on the Sunday my Dad held the dedication service for my little brother. I looked around at the presence of aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents...the same roles, but different people filling these roles. I thought of my own son's dedication service, allowing my heart to absorb the fact that today it is my son who is once again the Dad, and me the grandmother.
It was then God reminded me of the special heritage this day represents - a heritage of faith. No matter where we are, no matter the number of miles between us, on Sunday as I sit in church I can rest assured my Mom, my brother, my sisters, their families and I are all in one accord worshipping the same Heavenly Father to whom those birds at the farm sang their songs of praise. We may be in different towns, singing different songs, and praying different prayers, but we are under one heaven singing and praising with the angels in heaven, including my Dad, Randy and Tripp's Poppy, and our grandparents. This heritage of faith must be taught and lived before these new little lives entrusted into our care.
So why here? Only God knows for sure. All I know is I want to be faithful wherever I am placed for whatever length of time God sees fit for me to be there, and for whatever purpose I am given.
"Nevertheless, each person should live as a believer in whatever situation the Lord has assigned to them, just as God has called them." I Corinthians 7:17
"These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates." Deuteronomy 6:6-9