Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Home is where the heart is (April 17-20)

Several years ago I remember watching a video series by Dr. James Dobson titled something like “Turning your heart towards home” I looked on his website but couldn’t find it so either my memory is faulty (I don’t think that is possible but you would get a different opinion from Linda or anyone else that knows me!!) OR the series is no longer available. As I recall, this series is about turning our hearts towards God using the comparison of how a young soldier and his family would feel when he returned home after being away for a some time.

The reason I thought of this wasn’t so much about our need to be turning to God – although we do have that daily need to surrender our will to His. It was the idea that, during this last week of our trip, we were casting our minds forward to our return home and how we could apply our experience in Pascagoula to our lives in Sault Ste. Marie. Both Linda and I are committed to “improving our serve” (to change metaphors) and we have been talking a lot about practical ways to do that – time will tell how well we let God lead us to the opportunities he can supply.

The other saying that comes to mind is “Home is where the heart is” – and by that definition we were in a lot of places simultaneously last week – As our grandson Will (age 30 months) might say “It’s a miracle” (echoing his grandmother’s assessment of the fact that we were able to have our whole family together at Christmastime –but that’s another story).

Anyhow as we travel – we are at home in the BBB – wherever we are is home . We are at home with our kids and grandkids because our hearts are always with them and increasingly we were at home where our house is because our hearts were there with other family, friends and most importantly our church family.

With that “cliché ridden” but nonetheless true introduction – let me fill you in on our week of traveling from Little Rock to Aurora (Chicago).

Monday morning before leaving Little Rock we took care of some business left over from last year. When we visited Elwood last year we had a leaky valve in the cooling system of the BBB. We took it to Williams Automotive, 20825 Arch St, which was nearby. They ordered a replacement part – however it turned out that, because Airstream had made custom modifications, the valve would have fit but it had a vacuum “actuator” rather than an electrical one. We ended up ordering the correct part through Airstream and had it UPS’ed to Abilene. However, I had kept the valve just in case the slow leak turned into a torrent before I got the right part in Abilene. It didn’t and I did get the valve replaced (old news and another story).

To cut to the chase, I still had this unused part that wasn’t any good to me so I went back to Williams (without the receipt which I had somehow misplaced) and they refunded my money. If you are ever in need of mechanical work in the Little Rock area –I’d recommend these folks.

Monday afternoon we entered Missouri (the Show me state) and spent the night at my favorite place – yes a WALMART in Poplar Bluff Missouri. Westopped on the way into town and bought a door fasterner at the Home Depot to fix a broken latch on the closet door. I tried to install it Tuesday morning but was unsucessful because I needed a drill and the batteries were dead on mine. I eventually got itdone Wednesday morning when we had power.

Tuesday we stopped in Cape Giradeau and visited Cape Rock which looks out over the Mississippi.
I realized that I couldn’t remember when we had crossed the Mississippi going west- I knew we had stayed east of it on the trip down. Anyhow, I had to check and it does enter the at New Orleans (see map) although I understand that 25-30% of the flow now goes out through the Atchafalaya delta a little further west.

Being at the Mississippi made us think of our new "home" in Pascagoula - our hearts memain with our friends and church family there. It made us wish the the miracle ofbeing in several places at the same time was indeed possible.

There is a lot of information about the Mississippi watershed on the INTERNET - see for example and Mississippi_River_Delta (Note: Wikipedia is NOT an ”official” site so it is possible that there are inaccuracies – but it looked OK to me)

Anyhow – we crossed the Mighty Mississippi into Illinois and traveled to Wolf Creek State park on Lake Shelbyville.

This was very isolated quiet place where we got to enjoy God’s nature and the spring scenery for 2 beautiful days. There was a thunderstorm during the night and it was beautiful to watch the lightening fill the sky. We heard in the morning that the storm had beenvery severe to theNorthwest - near Lincoln - about 60 miles or so away and the wind had actually blown a semi-trailer over onto its side.days.

There were herds of deer in the woods that we could watch from the window of the BBB. It was a great way to close out our meandering –to sit quietly listening to the birds and meditating on the wonders of God’s creation –wanting to be able to share that peace of knowing Him with others-

While we don’t feel guilty about taking this recreational time - it is agift from God - , we do feel a renewed sense of urgency to be back in our home “mission field”. We pray that we will remember how Katrina hurt so many people and how the Christians in Pascagoula are reaching out to help repair broken houses and broken lives without regard for who the people are or what they believe—Our prayers go with those servants of God who are being the best friends that Pascagoula ever had.

Thursday morning we packed up and made the second last major leg of our journey arriving in Aurora (one of our homes) in time to have dinner with Chris, Tammye, Hunter & Camdyn. – parking in our “curbside” lot (picture from the outbound trip in February)

God Bless
Charlie & Linda

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