Things back home were complicated to say the least, but the Lord blessed me during the trip in so many ways that I would never have expected. NOTHING turned out the way that I (or anyone else for that matter) had planned it to, but thankfully the Lord works out all things to the good of them who love HIM and are called according to HIS purpose.
I was able to visit with my good friend Mrs. Willie for a couple of days! I really have missed her so badly over the years for so many different reasons. Now that we have again laid eyes on each other and shared the news both good and bad from the turns in the road of life we both feel better. How much fun we had sitting together and with tears of joy pouring down our years worn faces tell of the countless blessings from the Lord in our lives from the last few years! I left well hugged, well fed, and nearly out of preaching tapes and cds but full of joy and thanksgiving for the unexpected opportunity to fellowship with one of my all time favorite people.
It did make me really sad to see how badly the little town I used to live in is looking though. All the buildings are falling apart and nothing looks loved and cared for anymore, it used to be such a sweet little place and looked well tended and was a wonderful representative of all the things that folks hope for in a small community but apparently none of those good things are in proper working order anymore. It's sad that the people in my generation and younger just don't see the need to simply pull together and do those things that are so very worth the doing! Willie had told me that there are no young mothers who are willing to bring their children to the afternoon young people's meetings anymore so they don't have them and there is no one who is willing or able to help with the vacation bible school anymore so they don't have those either. I actually found myself saying to Caleb over and over "aren't you glad we don't live here anymore?!"
I also got the opportunity to visit with some of my other old friends and was even able to give the gospel to a man who had refused to hear it for as many years as I've known him. What a blessing to go back all these years later and see so many people who had told me that time and age would change my mind about the Lord and let them see that I still stand for the same things all these years later! My favorite part of my visit to our old hometown was the opportunity to take Caleb and show him the house that I was saved in 15 years ago tonight.
I was able to visit with Troy's dad and his wife for awhile too. Troy's dad is amazingly talented especially when it comes to growing corn and tomatoes. I came home armed with seeds for the garden and plenty of instructions and ideas for a better crop this year. Caleb had a great time visiting his grandfather and even got to watch his older brother and sister on an old family video from before he was born. We hadn't realized until I was there that Troy hasn't seen his dad in nearly 10 years. We got so busy with life and raising the kids and trying to work and pay bills and DO so much that we just got terrible at keeping up and maintaining those relationships. Troy and I are praying praying praying about making a second trip to Missouri within the next few weeks so that we can spend a little time with family and friends that we love and care about but have been displaced from by time and distance.
I thought I would have some great pictures to post but there was a minor accident with my camera as we came through the mountains and the pictures were lost. Caleb says he is very sorry.
There is much more to tell, but I'm so tired I can't even see anymore. Have a wonderful night everyone!