Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Twenty-five percent

At the time we moved, I'd lived a quarter of my years in that house in the field.

ten years
Ten years. It didn't seem like it was that significant--that amount of time--maybe because it went so fast. And yet when I considered it in the scope of my entire life at the time, it was twenty-five percent. And that was a good (substantial) slice of pie.

If Erin brings up the other place, it's mostly to say that she misses being able to watch TV from the kitchen. I suspect Lanie would lament over a (former) prettier room and a bigger closet. Shane would laugh that he thought that yard was work--until he got here. I'd laugh at that too. I never had anything to do with the yard outside of my 8x8 herb and veggie garden. Now I'm sporting yard arms and a do rag.
We are wrapping up our fourth year here. Half of Erin's life, here. A third of Lanie's life, here. Sometimes I wonder why there would seem like such a fracture in my life--field life before, woods life after. Maybe because it was ten years. Maybe because the experiences are so vastly different. Maybe because it was a faith walk I thought would/should be joyful and turned out to be difficult. Fractured--and even though healed, not the same. And I'm glad.

this past year

Shane cut around the pool and did the edging last weekend. I was so grateful. I spent all of Saturday cutting the field and front/back yards, weeding the house/walkway gardens. I haven't even touched the big front garden. I usually get into it about half, and then get pulled away. So now one side has some touching up to do, and the other side scares me.

The breeze was wonderful in the shade. The kids were yelling "Cannon--" and jumping into the pool with big splashes. Over and over. A summer song.

"I think I will always say it: I love it here," I told him. "I think I will always love it here. Even if you don't love it as much as I do."

We talked about all the places we'd like to live (mountains, lake, farm)--wishing that there was time and energy to do it all.

(I worked with a guy named Bill a long time ago. We were still in our twenties. He was telling me about his five-year plan. But it didn't happen. He didn't live to see thirty.)

(Four years ago, David was directing our yard's landscaping makeover. Last week he was here using a cane for support. He can no longer drive a car. He turns eighty-one on Saturday.)

(Linda just retired this year. We hear of her plans, of the things that bring her joy and how she wants to spend her time.)

We talked about who we want to be. What would people remember us for (were we kind? were we generous? were we forgiving?), and what kind of contributions were we making into the lives of others (did we reach out? did we show up? did we include?)? How many opportunities does God give us to affect the quality or course of another--and what do we do with those opportunities?

Already passed the halfway mark of my lifetime, though I don't know how far past. What will I make of the remaining piece?

Reading with Erin last night, this from Nate Saint: On a Wing and a Prayer by Janet and Geoff Benge. "Missionaries constantly face expendability. And people who do not know the Lord ask why in the world we waste our lives as missionaries. They forget that they too are expending their lives. They forget that when their lives are spent and the bubble has burst they will have nothing of eternal significance to show for the years they have wasted."

While I probably won't get to experience many of the things I'd like, I want to fully experience the life and relationships (this race marked out) in front of me.

This Friday--a table for sixteen.

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