Monday, May 24, 2010

Down a Long Dirt Road

Several miles off a North Dakota state highway, down a dirt road traveled only by farmers and ranchers, sits this church, long left to the prairie elements and wildlife.

It first stirs inside me a feeling of adventure, of discovery. Other than the neighbors, scattered as wide as the rolling hills and buttes, who has laid eyes on this building, this testament of faith? Even the sight-seeing ghost-town hunter would likely never find this spot, completely unmarked except by the building itself.

As I peer inside, questions greet me from every corner. What kind of merriment was had here? Weddings, certainly. Baptisms, potlucks, worship, of course. Likely funerals, too. Who were these people who prayed here and sang here? What became of the people who built it, with their weathered faces, rough hands and faith that could survive the prairie elements? Why did they leave, and where did they go?

At first, there seem to be no answers here. Only a tattered Christian flag, crosses on the walls, and broken windows are left of what was surely once a vibrant and useful church. Sadness at what has been lost begins to subdue me.

But slowly the story -- patchy and lacking particulars -- begins to show itself.

The Spirit who stirs the perpetual prairie winds stirred the hearts of would-be pioneers to leave home and family for this vast and relentless place. He provided faith and food for their souls and bodies. He enabled them to construct a house of worship in a barren place, much like the Israelites in another strange and harsh land. And today, as the evidence of his care and their faith stands broken by the wind, I believe that He holds many of them in his hands.

Those who seek him will still find him here. His door will open as easily as the battered and broken door unsuccessfully latched with a length of rusty wire.

I leave, not with mere excitement, nor sadness, but with comfort. Comfort that when I am as broken and worn as this building, my God will be here still. Peace that my life will tell the story of His love and faithfulness, even after my body's usefulness is exhausted. I know that he who enables me now, will never abandon me. He will hold my soul forever.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Quick Takes

1. Thank-you, Dad and Mom DW, for the birthday gift of two blueberry bushes and a pot full of non-blooming beauties for the picnic table centerpiece. I quite enjoyed the greenhouse shopping spree!

2. The garden is planted! Yea! Corn, beans, tomatoes, carrots, cukes, cantaloupe, pumpkins and flowers are in, and the potatoes planted last month are finally coming up!

3. How is it that I, with my "less is more" philosophy, have at least ten times more bathroom stuff than Wade? Perhaps in the bathroom, more is more?

4. Grammar question: Is it proper to say we are cannibalizing the deck for the fort? Can a fort "cannibalize" anything other than another fort? Or are they similar enough that the saying works?

5. Check out this bottle of syrup, or more specifically, the lid/spout.

Cute enough idea, until you start pouring and your children notice, "Hey, it's puking on my pancakes!" Good grief.

Monday, May 17, 2010

On the Bright Side

I confess. I don't wash the boys' sheets nearly as often as I should. I despise making bunkbeds! I should teach them how to do it. But, on this particular laundry day in which I did wash their sheets and hang them out to dry, I was treated to this beautiful rainbow that made it all worthwhile.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Friday, May 07, 2010

April Showers Bring May... Snowmen

Last night, about 10 minutes before bedtime, the boys decided the pull of snow was too strong to resist. They donned their coats, hats and gloves and headed outside. Bedtime was delayed an hour, much fun was had, and as a result I got to sleep an extra 20 minutes this morning.

Can you believe this stuff? Seriously, it's MAY!

In less interesting news, this is my 200th blog post. The first was published (published -- doesn't that make it sound important?) nearly four years ago on May 23, 2006.