Showing posts with label tiny town. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tiny town. Show all posts

Monday, January 18, 2010

Upcoming Giveaway...

Can I just say that the de-lurking post blew. me. away!

83 comments and I didn't even give anything away. You made my day(s) and I'm going to start making the rounds to visit you. Yay for lurkers!

I do have a little preview of an upcoming give-away. Now, listen...I'm not giving it away yet...but it will be coming soon!

Lisa at The Preacher's Wife is going to be sending me her new book, You Can Still Wear Cute Shoes, that will be available February 1st!

Lisa's blog was one of the first I stumbled across when I began blogging. She runs the Married to the Ministry blogroll (which is a great way to find blogs written by wives of guys serving in all sorts of different ministry capacities.) As she was in the process of writing the book, she would occasionally put questions out there for ministry wives to share their opinions or experiences on. My opinions tend to outweigh my experience. But...

I'm even quoted in the book, during the round table discussions. I think that makes me a little bit famous. At least according to my low standards it does. Oooh...I could even give a copy to the tiny town library! Oh wait...I'm the only pastor's wife in tiny town. Three churches in town, one has a woman pastor, one has this pastor's wife, and the other doesn't even want to be called a church but rather an "assembly"...they don't like the term pastor either...I digress.

I had a point. The book, I'm quite sure, is going to be fantastic. And when it's available (February 1st) Lisa is gonna send me one to read, and one to give away.

YAY!

And I'm going to give it away to you. And if you're not a pastor's wife, you can give it to your pastor's wife and then you will be her favorite parishoner (I never use that term, by the way. In real life I would say "lady in her church.")

There is something you can do in the meantime. LifeWay has an excellent description of Lisa's book and a super fun giveaway for you to enter your pastor's wife into. I checked it out (no, I did not nominate myself...I promise) but it is SUPER easy to enter her into, and trust me people...your pastor's wife deserves it. For real.

Did I mention I'm quoted in the book?

Excuse me while I go let God deal with my pride issues...

Happy Monday!!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Significant

We had a new kind of Memorial Weekend this year. If you were reading this blog last May, you might remember the ginormous tornado that went through part of tiny town the day before Memorial day.


Last year we spent the day picking through what little remained of our friends home. I remember feeling like I was in the middle of a bad dream... that surely I'd wake up any moment and find everything back to the way it should be. Instead, I woke up to this.
This is our friends house today. They moved back in a week ago. It's beautiful and even better than before! I took this picture from here:
This is the cemetery that was leveled during the tornado (Ben is in the suit:) Headstones were knocked over and all the big pine trees...gone. Since last year, new trees have been planted and the cemetery restored. It was an experience I can't put into words...standing there this year, remembering those who've given their lives for our country, so that I have the freedoms that I enjoy, and at the same time take for granted...I am so thankful for their sacrifice and for the country that God has placed my family.

He is so faithful. Tiny town is being restored. Despite a tornado and massive flooding, this little town, that many view as insignificant is moving forward...growing stronger. Because God views it as significant. The lives of the people here are significant to Him. I am thankful for a God that doesn't need the high and mighty, but shows Himself powerful through the seemingly insignificant.

It's interesting how after we've talked about life-devastating events for so long we can talk about them with little emotional reaction. I see it all the time. People mention, in passing, circumstances that at the time rocked them to the core...disasters, loss of loved ones, betrayal, sickness.


During the trauma we can barely think of it without the pain overwhelming us. But as time goes on, and healing begins, we begin to talk about it as though we're now removed from it a little bit. Yet, when we allow ourselves to really go back there...really remember it, the emotions tend to come back.


Yesterday was a day to remember. And the emotions came back...but now, instead of just hurt and loss, there is hope and progress and healing.


Sometimes, we need to be completely weakened in order to become stronger. It's not how we like it to be done...but often it's true.


Today we are stronger.

Friday, September 26, 2008

A Tiny Town Give-Away!

So...if you've read my blog at all this summer you know it's been quite eventful in tiny town over the past several months.

All that God is doing here in the midst of it...just continues to take my breath away. Sometimes to appreciate today, one must go back and remember where they were.

Here's a little journey down memory lane...

May 25th 2008: An EF5 tornado came through the and devastated the West side (just outside of town) and the North end of town where the cemetery and new housing development stood.

Looked a little like this:


This was my friend Shanon's home. It has been bull-dozed and the new framing of the house should start going up this month! YAY! Many of the other homes that were hit are also in the process of rebuilding.



This was the cemetery. All of the big pine trees that lined it were totally gone and head stones turned over. The headstones have been put back in place, and this fall new evergreens will be planted.

Then, during the midst of the tornado clean-up, on June 8th 2008, tiny-town experienced one of the worst floods in its history. This is a town that is used to flooding...it's just part of life...but this flood covered most of the town in water and it was devastating...to say the least.

As I went back to find pictures of it, I realized that at the time, every time I went to get my camera, I was just too sad to even take a picture of the devastation. I have some of our basement, which was so very minor compared to the rest of town, which if probably why I have a pic of it.

Here was our basement:

We've since gotten a new water heater, and a new furnace will be installed soon. BUT, it's dry...and still smells a little like bleach :)Rubber boots were the staple for quite some time...I have to say, I miss them a little.


OK, now starts our journey through tiny town. I was trying to be discreet and take pictures (from my van and yes those are stickers stuck to it, imagine that) while driving around...yeah, that doesn't work so well :) AND in tiny-town you can't do anything without someone you know seeing you...my friend Connie ran into me when I was down by the CO-OP and said "what are you doing?!?" ...because generally, I don't hang out at the CO-OP...although I might start...


I digress...the above picture is what several homes in town now look like. Many had to be burned down.


While others:




Just got jacked waaaay up in the air...whatever works.



Many are trying to sell what's left and move on, and others (below) have decorated their house before it's scheduled destruction...



And we also have some good 'ol FEMA trailers...which by the way, I have NO IDEA how a family fits in there.




This was our Kwik Star that...hmmm...how shall I say it....totally abandoned us in our time of need. I do not heart kwik star anymore.



We did lose the gas station, but the car wash re-opened! And, for the record, it has a pop machine...which I've visited on more than one occasion ;)


And last, but certainly not least...the beloved post office! IT'S OPEN!!! In it's honor...I give you a pic of our PO Boxes...exciting, I know.



So, for my very first give-away in honor of the post office, I'm giving away 3 of my favorite things...





  1. A $10 gift card to STARBUCKS

  2. Some Aveda Conditioner

  3. And a "green" bag from Target that folds with velcro tabs into the size of a wallet...SO CUTE!

Leave me a comment, tell me anything, and you'll be registered in my little drawing! It'll be open through Saturday and I'll post the winner on Sunday! If you're not a blogger or are a blogger without an email address listed, please leave me your email in your comment so I can get ahold of you!


HAPPY FRIDAY! It's Homecoming Game for tiny-town tonight...GO BIG BLUE!!!!!

PS - if you're interested in reading more about tiny town you can go to the left side of my sidebar and click on tiny town under "things I blog about".

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Post Office: I love You...

First off: Your comments yesterday were so incredibly encouraging to me, thank you, thank you, thank you! I'm feeling better about walking through that fear, realizing that it's going to feel scary, but maybe that's how walking in faith is supposed to feel...

Second: This bloggy friend had such a clever post yesterday...I'm totally wishing I'd thought of it...oh, and it mentions my name in it...and it's funny...and you should just listen to me and go watch it :)

Third: Guess what openes in tiny-town TODAY?!?
Did you guess?
THE POST OFFICE. Yiiiippppeeeee!
No more driving into the bigger city just to get my bills mail. But, it really was an excellent excuse to drive thru Starbucks...so for that reason, I might miss it a little.

Or not. I can still hit the Starbucks on the way to Target ;)


So, tomorrow, in honor of the post office re-opening and tiny-town (and me) recovering from this and this and this and this...I'm gonna have some pictorial updates and my very first GIVEAWAY (which I can send out from my new fixed up post office!)


I'm not entirely sure what the give-away will be yet...but it will certainly involve some of this super smelling stuff ;)


So...come back tomorrow and visit and enter yourself and then I can have a good 'ol time drawing names! :)


I have now resorted to bribing you....wow....it's kinda like you're my children now.

Monday, September 1, 2008

It's All I Can Think About...

On Memorial Weekend, the kickoff to summer, we spent the holiday dealing with this.


Two weeks later, it was this.



Summer flashed by and now it's Labor Day weekend...the unofficial end to summer, and three four of my dear bloggy friends, who live in Louisiana are dealing with Gustav.


Last night, as we lay in bed, glued to Fox News, I confessed to my husband that I didn't really even remember hurricane Katrina very well. Oh, I'm fully aware of the aftermath, but I don't remember watching it happen. Turns out, it's probably because we had just moved to tiny-town and Jake was only 3 months old...and truthfully...it just didn't affect me or anyone I knew personally.


My how my perspective has changed! Funny how a couple natural disasters of your own will do that to ya ;) When I imagine tiny-town enduring the same disasters again in three years, I feel sick. Yet, this is what is happening in LA.



My heart is heavy today for my bloggy friends Mama Belle, Tracie, and Rachel and Jodie (sorry Jodie, I forgot you live there too!). I heart them like my real-life friends...praying for them today, and for all those being affected by this storm.



I'm so thankful for a God who works all things together for good...and for friends whose faith is strong in times of trouble, knowing He will see them through.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Almost Makes is Worth It...

Companies have been donating a bunch of stuff to tiny town to help with disaster relief. I have avoided getting anything because the water in our basement was nothing compared to much of what the rest of the people in town have endured. It turns out though, that there is more than enough for everyone in town to get stuff from the loot.

I did not intend to take 17 bottles...but my neighbor (who's helping organize the donations) forced me. FORCED me. (love you Marlas :)

If you've read for any period of time, you know that one of my FAVORITE things is to get my hair cut at the Aveda salon...I love the smell, and my stylist...anyways... the conditioner is called deep penetrating hair revitalizer to reconstruct and hydrate fine, dry or treated hair. My hair is none of those. I think it means its time to start treating my hair so I can use my free conditioner to its fullest potential.

Try not to be jealous. Someday, you too, might get to experience a EF5 tornado and major flood within 2 weeks of each other...I'm sure Aveda will come through for you too. You'll just have to wait your turn.

Citizens of tiny-town may not have the homes they used to...but they are going to have some fabulous hair during the rebuilding process...and really, isn't that what really matters in life? *wink*



(I also got other good stuff like vitamins and beans and corn...but they're just not quite as bloggable, ya know what I mean...oh, and there's plenty of boxes of Aveda conditioner left for the entire town...I promise.)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

I Tried...

I tried. I really did. I tried to come up with something other than tiny-town to blog about...but I just can't. It's weighing so heavily on my heart today...


Ya'll know I love tiny town... I can't explain it, but I do.


After this post, I've been feeling really, really good about what God's gonna do. Even after some set backs, I've still found hope. And then, last night, someone mentioned that maybe FEMA would decide to declare tiny-town, "not a town." And at just the mention of it, my balloon of hope was popped.


And I realized that I was allowing the fear of man to overcome my hope and trust in what God is doing. Note to self: Quit forgetting that FEMA is NOT bigger than my God.


This morning my mom called and shared this article about tiny-town from the newspaper. I read it, and again, that sick feeling overwhelmed me...which brought me to my knees...to the only one who has any control over anything. I want His will. I want to trust Him, even when all the circumstances around me seem to go in another direction. I need His wisdom, comfort, and peace that passes all understanding. I want that unfailing faith, that even when absolutely everything indicates hopelessness, it's the faith that holds steady, unwavering.


I am still believing that He has mighty plans for tiny-town and for our little church...I feel it deep inside my spirit. But doubt so easily wants to creep in...it is a constant battle to replace the doubt with truth.


Today, again, I'm remembering where my help comes from...and praying for the opportunity to share with those in tiny-town who may not have that same hope...I so want them to know that they have a heavenly Father who wants to carry this huge burden for them, that they're not alone...

Saturday, June 14, 2008

It's a Trend...

First things first: Black rubber boots are now the staple fashion accessory in

tiny-town...and most of the rest of my state, for that matter. This is me and my little bro totally making the boots work for us before heading out to clean up sludgy stuff. Be glad that my vocabulary is so small, because I can't come up with words to describe to you the smell...give me time, it will come :)





The last time I drove into tiny-town I had a slight melt-down in my van. You know the kind...it involves hiccup-like stuff and lots of snot. (no need to thank me for the visual) BUT, tonight as I drove back in, I heard God speak to my heart.

It was clear.

He whispered, "I know it will never be how it was...watch me make it even better! I am the creator of everything, do you think restoring tiny-town to 1000 times greater is not within my power?!?"

And then I sobbed for a new reason...I heard Him. And I believe Him. He reminded me where my help comes from...and it's not FEMA...it's the Maker of Heaven and Earth. Period.

I knew, three years ago, when we began to hear His whisper directing us to tiny-town, that He had big stuff in store. Today, I can see some of it, and I am still looking with eager anticipation for what He has next.

I wanna Praise Him in this storm because He is with us. Someone left me the words to this song in my comments, and my friend Beth reminded me of it here. Go listen... and whatever your storm happens to be, run to Him.









Friday, June 13, 2008

Enough Already...

I've been muttering Enough Already to my Jesus, all week long. But life around me reminds me that He alone decides what enough is. My understanding is small. My heart is hurting for my tiny-town and surrounding communities...so much so, that at times it feels debilitating. I find myself fighting against what is...and longing for what was. My emotions are literally all over the place. One minute I'm laughing, the next I'm sobbing, then I'm encouraged and ready accept the changes, and the next I'm grieving over what was, longing to just turn back time...I know that's part of the whole process...but it is exhausting!


I had big plans for this summer. I spent the long, freezing winter planning and dreaming of summer. The summer I dreamed of did not look like this...life changing forever was not in the plans. The thing that is bringing me the most peace right now, is worship music. It brings perspective back.

We're back at home now...we have electricity and the air conditioning works (YAY) but no gas...so no stove and no water heater = no hot water...but we can deal...I am so grateful to have a home to live in...many, many around me do not.


So...that's the update. Now, I should get on to the really, truly important stuff ;)



Here I mentioned the hair. Turns out, I threw caution to the wind and told her to chop it so it would be curly this summer. My stylist assures me that my the time fall comes around, I'll be able use my beloved hair straightener again. It has given me a bit of an identity crisis, knowing that I can't straighten it...it has to be curly for the next 3 months...I am embracing the curl...sort of.



My basement. Do not feel bad for me...I may have been a little giddy carrying all that junk out to the curb.


Ok, just one more...



Oh, but wait! In the midst of the flood...look what has poked its little head through....

No...the weed is from before...look at that little stemmy thingy...its the elephant's ear! Ben wanted to know if I wanted him to pull the weed before I took the picture...I told him definitely NOT, that my dear bloggy friends needed it as a point of reference :)

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Life Today...

Remember this post? Notice the date...since then we've had a EF5 tornado, and now the rain will not stop, meaning another flood. In that picture, the flood stage crested at 13.1 feet...today, they've announced that they expect it to crest at 14.5 feet by tomorrow afternoon...yikes. Rain is in the forecast all week long.


Are ya'll wondering why any of us live in tiny-town?!? *smiles* I have the reason...but I'm afraid it's a secret just shared amongst tiny-town citizens...if it gets out, then every ones gonna wanna come, and then I wouldn't be able to call it tiny-town anymore...and then everything would just be....ruined :) No worries tiny-town, your secret is safe with me ;)


Because of the flooding, most people were not able to make it into town for church, including two of our Sunday school teachers. As Pastor's wife, I'm a perfect fill-in...just give me a devotional book, old VBS coloring sheets, and pipe cleaners and I'm totally good to go.


As the kids were creating masterpieces with their pipe cleaners, I asked my son Eli, what he was making.


Here's our very spiritual conversation:


Me: "Hey Eli, whatcha making?


Eli: "A gun."


Me: "I'd rather you not make a gun in Sunday school"


Eli: "A gun for God?" Pause..."to fight Satan?"


Me: I figure that if he's witty enough to come up with THAT...then by all means, fire away my dear boy, fire away :)

Friday, May 30, 2008

Balance

I'm learning that, on my own, I have a bit of trouble balancing my life. When I jump into something, I JUMP in. Sometimes that's good, and sometimes...not so much. I could list many areas in my life where this has/is true. It's not a surprise, I've kinda known it...but this tragedy in tiny-town has made me so much more aware of it.


I need God to show me what to do, where to go, when and how much. Does that make sense? On my own, I'm excessive in some areas, and completely lacking in others. Exhausting.


As I re-read my last post, I realized that one of the reasons I want "normal" back, is because I am having trouble balancing the tragedy that has occurred with every day life. Focusing on all the devastation leaves me feeling empty and depleted, yet enjoying life makes me feel guilty. My family lost nothing in the tornado. So many friends, lost everything. In order to make up for that, I've taken some huge burden upon myself to grieve over all of them...to want to help all of them...in the meantime, I've found myself utterly frustrated with myself and others for not doing enough.


Yesterday afternoon I found myself complaining to God. Wish I could call it prayer, but it wasn't...it was more like a combination of whining & begging. But God, ever so quietly, has been speaking to my heart. Here's what He's shown me...
  • He took me to the book of Psalms *sigh* what better place!?!
  • I am feeling overwhelmed because I am taking on burdens that are not mine to bear. I repeat: NOT MINE TO BEAR. Some of them are...but I have excessively heaped loads of stuff onto myself that I CANNOT possibly handle. I do it out of guilt, I think. This does no one any good. I need to rely on Him for the who, what, when, where and how much questions.
  • He is willing to teach me how to live joyfully amidst chaos, if I will just LET him.

I know that these issues were there, for me, long before tragedy hit. I know many others struggle with the same problem of balancing...it is not new or unique to me. But I no longer want to deal with it like I always have...I want to learn to allow Him to show me HEALTHY ways to deal with life amidst chaos.

One little verse that really grabbed me was Psalms 90:12

"Teach us to number our days and recognize how few they are; help us to spend them as we should."


Here's to that!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Bring Normal Back!

I miss normal. Normal, boring, everything in its place life. All talk in tiny town(s) revolves around the devastation left by the tornado...which is okay, because we're all in it together. It binds us together. It's almost therapeutic. It will continue to consume much of my life here in tiny town...but in bloggy land, I need my normal back. I need to write and share other stuff.


So, from now on...I need to blog about other stuff. I'll update you now and then, and feel free to email me and ask how it's going...SO just because I'm back to blogging about....hmmm, whatever it was I blogged about before...just remember that in real life...the tornado talk lives on :)


OK, so for some completely useless information, you should know that I have not put make-up on or done my hair since Sunday morning. I have turned into a grungy slob. BECAUSE, red-patent shoes are not tornado-clean-up friendly...and if I can't wear cute shoes...who cares about the rest of the outfit. Seriously. I really could use some cute gloves or something! A HA! NOW I remember what I blogged about!!! So glad to have normal back :)

Today...

This song sums up life in tiny town today...




I'm sure I looked like a crazy woman as I belted this at the top of my lungs in my mini-van. Life is good.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Update On Tiny-Town

We have electricity again! We spent the day at Shanon's house, salvaging what we could...which was not much. It's physically and emotionally exhausting for everyone, but especially those who have lost so much. People here are amazing. EVERYONE coming alongside their neighbors and working together. It truly is inspiring.

Also, for as much devastation as there is, the stories of God's mercy in so, so many lives brings me to my knees.
Thank you for your words of encouragement and especially for your prayers! Here are a few pictures...

This is all that is left of the front of Shanon's (very large) house...the entire roof is nowhere to be found.


This is part of the back...but what the whole thing looks like.





There were lots of pine trees lining the cemetery as you enter tiny-town...this is what is left.



The clean up has just begun. It's the first time I've ever experienced something like this...praying it is the last.

Tiny Town Will Never be the Same...

We had a tornado hit our tiny-town, last night around 5PM. The boys and I were in another town for a graduation, but Ben was home, and in the basement. I was able to get back into town around 8 last night, and just sobbed driving through town to get to our house...trees are down everywhere. Our home and everything is fine.


A few minutes after I got home, my friend Shanon, pulled into our drive, still in her Dr. Scrubs...she wanted to make sure we were alright....her big, beautiful house that sits on the edge of tiny-town is completely gone. We are so thankful that she was at work, and her husband and 3 little ones were in WI visiting family...no one was home. I will never forget that moment when she said, "It's gone."


Another small town, 8 miles west of tiny-town was completely devastated. We have 2 families from our church who live there...they are all physically fine, but one is missing their roof, windows, and their dog was killed. 2 people are confirmed dead from our tiny town and 5 people from the other small town. It is devastating.


We were evacuated last night because there is no power, and stayed the night at my parents. We're hoping to be able to get back into town to help clean up. Please pray, bloggy friends.



Here a picture of my good friend, Shanon. She's the one in the front, with the red sweater. Please keep her and her family lifted up in prayer as they face the coming days. Praise God they are all safe!




I will try to update once everything is up and running again...I have no idea how long that will be...I knew I had to post, because I have such amazing prayer warriors out there, who've come to love tiny-town without even knowing it's real name :)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

You're Gonna Wanna Come...

God sometimes gives me great revelations or breakthoughs...in the bathtub. It may have something to do with the fact that it's one of the only rooms that I can LOCK everyone else OUT. Here's what happened last night...


I've mentioned before that I happen to love my tiny town...and the tiny-towns folks. I was thinking about all the different faces I'd seen today...wondering what was really going on in their lives...wondering how many of them need hope, or a friend to talk to. Praying for God to bring them across my path, and for the courage and discernment to know what to say and how to say it.

Ben and I spend lot's of time wondering how to get people through the doors of our tiny church. We know, ultimately, it's God who brings them...what I mean, is figuring out what it is God wants us to do in His plan for bringing them. Much of our first two years here has been spent just getting to know people...and trying to show them we're not as weird as they may think we are (ok, we are weird...but ya know what I mean.) The more I get to know people...the more I love this tiny town...and the more I want them to come to our church...not for the mere fact of attending church...but because I know they'll encounter Jesus...and I know how He changed my life...and how He can change theirs. That's all.


All of this, led me to the "Top 10 Reasons" people in my tiny town should come to our church...be prepared, these are highly spiritual reasons.


10 - We have orange pews. Who else has orange pews?!? They're quite comfy, and I'm pretty sure, eventually, that particular shade of orange is going to be a rockin color again.

9 - We have "First" in the name of our church...which means we were first, and obviously, First implies best. *wink, wink*


8 - If you live in tiny-town....we are totally within walking distance from every.single. house.


7 - We are the only church in town with a parking lot.


6 - You are free to drink coffee or pop or whatever (non-alcoholic) drink you would like to during Sunday School.


5 - If you even have a smidgen of musical talent, you will be the super-star of our worship team...ok, so we don't really have a "worship team" yet because we need some more people who can sing...but still...


4 - You can sit in the same pew & same spot every Sunday. Consistency people, consistency.


3 - The Pastor is very attractive. Ok, scratch that one...that one's just for me ;)


2 - There are so many kids, that your children being naughty in church will not even be noticed!


1 - Those of us already there, consider ourselves to be "the chief of sinners," saved by His grace...I promise you'll fit.


Seriously, I should have made it a top 20 list, because there's so much more! HA! Love this little church...love the people in it, and love this tiny-town!






It seems that my mind is totally preoccupied with the terrible loss that Steven Curtis Chapman and his family are experiencing. It's hard for me to wrap my mind around. It does remind me that life is so full of great joy and terrible pain...and time is no guarantee...I need to love those around me today, because I don't know what tomorrow holds.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Is it Monday Yet?

It has been an eventful few days for us. So much so, that I don't know how to post about it...except for a bullet point list, with pictures, of course.

  • It has been raining A LOT. We are all tired of it...but can't seem to stop talking about it.
  • Saturday at 4:30 AM we awoke to the sounds of sirens. They were meant to notify our tiny town that it was filling with water. As I peered out the front windows of our home, in the dark, all I could see was water. Not touching us...but surrounding our neighbors homes just one block south of us. I, of course, did the most helpful thing....I cried. Like a baby. For them...and the mess...and the feeling of helplessness. So helpful. After a cup of coffee I was finally able to pull myself together enough to pray (while crying.)
  • The sun is shining today...and the water is receding, and the amazing people of my tiny town will clean up, and go about life as usual. I have much to learn from them.
  • We helped my parents move to a new home this weekend. It was a long, tiring day, but lots of fun too...all hanging out together. There was lots of laughter...especially when my sister told me that she heard from mom that I signed up for a marathon. WHAT?!? My mom had read on my blog about the race, I signed up for....she apparently missed the FOUR mile part of the race :) HA! She now has to go back to work and tell everyone that her daughter is NOT running a 26.2 mile race...but a FOUR mile race! It's OK, it's happened to her before. Once, when my teenage brother bought one of those little Fiaro cars...she told the ladies at work he bought a "Ferrari." Once she realized her blunder, she understood why they had all looked at her so strangely :) What teenager buys a Ferrari?!? Cracks me up...love you mom :)

More proof that boxes are better than toys.

This is my sweet little niece, Maddy...just had to throw in the pic so you can all see how cute she is.

That's our weekend in a nutshell. Now...I seriously need a nap.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Tiny Town

Yesterday's post on the quirkiness of my tiny town has got me thinking. Every tiny town has its quirks...its part of what makes them so wonderful. I am, of course, biased, but I happen to think that my tiny town is one of the absolute best.
I grew up is a small town (only about 20 minutes from the tiny town I live in now.) The town I grew up in was about 10,000 people. It had a private college, Wal-Mart, 2 grocery stores, fast food and lots of pizza places. I loved growing up there...until high-school...when I decided in all my infinite knowledge...that I was meant to live in the city. I came to this conclusion after endless nights of sitting around with friends, trying to think of something to do!
After Ben and I got married, we immediately moved up to Minneapolis, MN so he could go to seminary. I loved the city. I especially loved shopping in the city. And then...it happened. I had my first baby about 3 years into our stay there...and I was ready to head back to the small town.
It's not that there was anything wrong with the city...it was the simple fact that I am a small town girl, through and through. Little did I know how small town I really am!!! Had you told me, in high school, that I would eventually live in a smaller town, I would have given you a hearty "what- Ever." It turns out, I'm not just a small-town girl...I'm a tiny town girl. A "population of 637 people" tiny town, (according to the US Census Bureau.) I happen to think that the town is a tad bigger than that...but who am I to argue with The Bureau.
What on earth can possibly be so fantastic about this town?!? (I know you're dying to find out)
Here are just some of things that make it great...
  • My neighbors. Especially Marlas (& her fam.) We car-pool, swap kids, and she even puts up with having to look at all the toys that get left all over our yard :) She also grew up in this tiny town, and was kind enough to introduce me to lots of people. I still call her to ask who is who and how they're connected to so and so (because everyone here is connected somehow!) She helped me, in all my weirdness, to feel like I fit in, and that it priceless!
  • Everyone that lives in town has a PO Box rather than getting mail delivered to your home (unless you live on Main St. I think) Anyways, everyday I go and get to run into people at the post office...usually the same people, because, apparently we're on the same schedule :)
  • The post office is closed from 12-2. I'm not quite sure why. It just is.
  • We have a bank, library, tiny cafe, and a hardware store (which is run by my other neighbor.) People can smoke in the hardware store...but not in the bank or library.
  • We did have a bar...but it closed. I don't care for bars, so it made me *smile*
  • On Main St...you park in the center of the road. But only on Main St. I really need to get a pic of that...
  • 3 churches. Ours is the little one, across from the big one...that's generally how I give directions :)
  • The school system is AWESOME! We combine with another small town and so far I love it. I had always told Ben, that if we were within an hour of our home town, that I would drive our kids to that school :) Well, we're 20 minutes, but I have no urge to open enroll, and that says something :)
  • The town floods. It used to flood much worse...but now there's a dike so its not as bad. People from other towns like to joke about it...I like to launch into a lengthy explanation of the dike that was built :) We live on "Water Street"...but we don't get water...Praise God!
  • We're only 10 minutes from a small city...and 20 minutes to get into the city to Starbucks. That is important.
  • I frequent the gas station on a daily basis, for bread, milk and cheap bananas. And donuts, but lets not talk about that.
  • The people are just...kind. Everyone waves to everyone, and you chat like you're friends...even if you've just met.
  • There's so much more...but this is getting way too long...you get the idea!
In the end...I know that my true love for this town is something supernatural that God has done in my heart. There are no logical explanations for the love. It is simply that this is where He has called us to minister to His people...this is where He's made us fit. I am so crazy-thankful for that!