It’s been six months since The Big Move, and I’m doing so much better, y’all!
You wonderful people who read my scattered thoughts last year know that I struggled emotionally with the impact of retiring from two beloved vocations – pastor’s wife and book publicist – while simultaneously selling two homes (ours and mom’s) and relocating all three of us to a new part of the country.
You were sympathetic to my somber post about loving, leaving, and letting go, and poured out support when I tearfully wrote about relocating when you want to take everyone with you except yourself.
Your comments were so helpful I shared them for others who might have difficulty moving on after moving in.
But the point of sitting down with you a few minutes on Tuesdays has never been to talk about my life but to share thoughts that might strengthen yours. When a publisher read them, he suggested we give you something more useful than a blog – a book.
So these days I’m writing pieces about finding peace in the midst of pain, putting the salsa back in marriage, coming in second, finding joy when it’s elusive. Those and about 52,000 other words will tumble into the market in the spring of 2020.
But for now? When I post thoughts online? Your comments have been the next best thing to you simply showing up here at Peace Ridge.
Have you ever thought you were alone until you turned around and, surprise! a friend was standing there? That’s what your comments have been – surprises. Warm hugs of encouragement. Mini-visits.
So today, right now, this minute can I just say you were right all along when you said it would get easier? We would make friends, find a church, make a life?
Like today, for instance. An ordinary Tuesday.
Unremarkable except each place we’ve been today has been an answer to your prayers.
7:30 am: Mike attends a men’s Bible study. (A group of guys serious about Jesus and serving the community? Thank you Lord!)
8:30 am: I gratefully use my friend Connie’s study on Galatians for morning quiet time.
9:15 am: Mike runs into our pastor, Chris, at the local Chick Fil-A and gets a warm hug. (We are involved enough now at the church we’ve been attending to get hugs. And little Waynesville has a Chick Fil-A. Can you even?!)
9:30 am: I finish essay #40 out of the 52 contracted for the book. I miss my former colleagues but how amazing to finally have time to write. Mornings at Peace Ridge are a wonderful time to do it.
10:30 am: Mike has a rigorous workout with his master’s swim group at Waynesville Rec. He’s thankful to have found buddies to train with.
11:00 am: I drive mom for a medical appointment with her doctor, Jessica, who loves the Lord and is a darn good listener. The receptionist calls out, “Well hello, Miss Eunice!” even though we’ve only been there once before. Friendly is the language they speak here.
12:00 pm: Mom and I share sandwiches at the Coffee Cup Cafe. They have homemade chocolate mousse pie, the servers are super perky and patrons wait politely in line. This is the South, y’all.
1:15 pm: With time to spare, Mom and I stop at the Dollar Tree store down the street. Truth in advertising; everything really is $1or less at this one. I snag 24 items for $19. I LOVE DOLLAR STORES!
2:00 pm: I attend a women’s Bible study at church with video teaching from Priscilla Shirer. I’ve done this one before but no matter. There is community to be found here: women who love Jesus and seem to like me too. #Grateful
3:30 pm: Dentist visit! After 16 years under their care I knew my doctor and dentist in Wheaton by their first names and was sad to leave them, but through our church we’ve found a great dentist here who’s accepted us as new patients. I need a crown, ugh, but the view of the mountains from Eric’s office window distracts me from the drilling!
4:00 pm: Mike coaches his team at SMAC – Smoky Mountain Aquatics Club. He comes home at 6:30 glowing.
5:00 pm: Home myself to read email including new blogposts from two of my favorite New England writers: Cindy McDowell and Linda Anderson. (If you don’t follow their posts, you should.). You’re not alone when you read the wise words of friends.
Some days are hard, and maybe that’s what yours has been today.
But others? When the winter wind is unexpectedly warm and someone hugs you in public and others care for your body and your soul?
There’s no such thing as an ordinary Tuesday. Not when each place we’ve been today was an answer to your prayers.
I can’t wait to see what Wednesday will bring.
How can I pray for you today?