Some weeks I can’t think of what to write about because my life is exquisitely boring. Other times, like this week, I can’t think of what to write about because SO much has happened I can’t choose. My brain is still groping for quietness after a round of social overstimulation. My stomach is still finding its happy place after a ride on the roller coaster of Lancaster County country roads. My heart is still processing the inspiration, encouragement and refreshment I received at the REACH ministry conference put on by Faith Builders.
So, in lieu of an intelligent and cohesive blog post, let me share a few scattered highlights:
- Marnell and I and our two nephews listened to Killing Kennedy
by Bill O’Reilly as we traveled the nine hours of road between Elkhart, Indiana and Lancaster, Pennsylvania. (I had never read the book, but just so you know, Kennedy’s morals give this book a distinct dark side.) We drove Marnell’s brother Lowell’s newly purchased van which they let us take halfway across the country the day after they bought it. Now that’s high-end generosity!
- I was served a custom low fat crab omelet at 6:45 am at my cousin Laura’s breakfast table. Now that’s high-end hospitality!
- In the ministry displays room at REACH, I introduced myself as the writer who can’t help doing surveys. I haven’t compiled my informal data yet, but I was inspired by the deep hopes and dreams of the staff who shared about their struggles and triumphs. I also met many long lost people who I hadn’t seen in years (Bev, Katrina, Sarah, Shari, Danette, for example). What a great thing to run into old friends and find that they are serving the Lord! And several people who read this blog said hello. (It was nice to meet you Lois, Sarah, Rachel, Regina, Lysanne….I’m sorry if I am missing someone who introduced themselves.)
- I smelled an aroma of cedar wood, giant drill bits and construction dust while one of the managers of the Ark Encounter project showed us blue prints and talked about timber framing and meting out good measure.
- It was quite an experience to spill out the sanctuary doors at REACH with the other thousand or two people, like kernels of grain falling through holes in a barrel, bumping against each other as we flowed forward. Marnell and his nephews Verlyn and Darl were part of the team to record the audio of the many different breakout sessions. I mostly got to relax and absorb encouragement and challenges from Paul Yoder, Merle Burkholder, Rick Rhodes, Johnny Miller, John Coblentz and others. I missed a few of the main sessions, including music by Faith Builders and SMBI, due to my timber framing excursion, which made me quite sad.
- I got to slip over to the Coffee Station and attend the author meet and greet of Dorcas Smucker and Emily Smucker. We had a nice chat, and now I have some great books to read and learn from!
- I laughed helplessly with my cousin Sara during some untoward events that ALSO occurred in connection with the timber framing business.
I collapsed into bed exhausted each night, my limbs aching. I longed to be fed through a mythical human wringer washer as a massage treatment. (The flattening effect would be welcome as well.) Some people may thrive on social activity. That’s not really me, even though I enjoyed each item on the packed schedule.
Yes, I know its really weird that I mention timber framing in the above list. It is a little hard to explain at this moment. However, there is a piece of the story I really must share with you.
As we motored west on I-80 over the temperamental PA landscape and then over the boring Ohio landscape, I verbalized my dilemma about what to write in my blog post tonight.
“I might write about the three robins,” I said.
I thought I would share it with you tonight, but I think I need to unpack my bags first. We just got home. So keep an eye out for What-Not-To-Do-Wednesday next week, because the robin story would never have occurred had I not done something stupid.
And while I have you, can someone tell me why, to go north from my cousin Sara’s house to my cousin Laura’s house in a short eighteen mile journey through Lancaster County, did I have to make 12 turns? In Elkhart County, if we want to go 18 miles north, we go straight. We don’t turn TWELVE times. I felt like I was a red blood cell driving inside a varicose vein.
But pardon my whining! Lancaster County was very good to us. I am hoping to share more about my experiences this week once my brain, stomach, and heart are better sorted.
God bless the remainder of your weekend!