In moving, there comes a strange moment when you can’t remember which house you’re in, what you would see if you looked out the window, and where you would be if you stepped outside. . .

And then you realize you’re not actually in Gervais, you’re in Newberg, and you still have half a day of packing staring you in the face. But you smile anyway and reach for another fistful of Lucky Charms and another wrinkled sheet of wrapping paper, and you pull yet another mug from the cupboard and put it in yet another box and are so grateful that you have a husband and that he has brothers and that they are the ones who will carry all these heavy boxes out of your pretty little house for the last time.

I like moving. ...continue reading

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I should be packing. Or cleaning. Or at least trying to decide if dark green would really be a better feature wall color than the blue we picked out (we settled on the blue). But instead I am looking through old pictures and thinking of sweet days in the "honeymoon hut" we are about to leave.

I'm thrilled to be moving. God gave us this house, and now He's given us another house, and we are so grateful. But Newberg's been too good to us to not feel at least a twinge about leaving.

We've loved living here. The landlords are great, the neighborhood is quiet, and the coffee shops are numerous. Safeway and Fred Meyer (and maybe most importantly, McDonald's) are just down the road, and those places are important to satisfy our rampant watermelon and ice cream cravings. 🙂 Plus, our cute little house is now jam-packed full of memories, from before we were married to now.

Yes, I'll miss Newberg. ...continue reading

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I was taking pictures at my sister Dora’s birthday party on Sunday when my other sister LaVay said, “I sense a blog post coming up.” I responded negatively, which led to a few “pretty please’es” and some well-placed flattery. 🙂

So here’s your post, Vay. . . although it might not be what you expected.

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Photo credits: LaVay herself. 🙂

...continue reading

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It was a busy weekend. Full in every way, sad in many ways, happy in many ways. There were endings and beginnings and continuations, smiles and tears, firsts and lasts.

I didn’t talk to Esther a lot while she was here, though I went to school with her boys and crossed paths with her many times. I do still remember though one short conversation I had with her after an overly rebellious stint of my own when I left home for a few weeks. Her words were of neither counsel nor condemnation. They were words of encouragement. She told me that she’d had a time in her life when she felt the same way I did and had perhaps even left home because of it. And that spoke to me more than any advice she could have given me. In a way, it gave me hope.

I also remember one time when Marvin’s were over at our house quite a while ago, and Mom and Esther got out the Maranatha Bible School book from the year they’d gone and were poring over it with many memories soaked in laughter. I remember thinking how beautiful they both were then and how even though time had changed them, they were both still beautiful.

Esther is more beautiful now than she ever was here on earth. How could she not be? She is in the presence of Jesus, and no more pain can ever touch her. She is made new, and as I think of her there with James and Orpha and Corinne and others, I wonder if friendships forged on earth will be remembered in heaven. And I hope they will be. ...continue reading

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Set apart and holy. Not-too-crazy and approachable.

Does it have to be either/or?

I got stared at a lot when I worked with Jen at George Fox. No one else there looked like me, not even remotely. It kind of made me feel like I was from another planet. But one day another lady who worked there walked by me on her way out, and she said, “Your shoes are awesome.” [Or something along those lines.] And that made my day. It made me feel like a normal person. I smiled at her, and she smiled at me, and it didn’t matter that we looked different from each other. I was just a girl with cool shoes, and she was just a girl who liked them. Normal.

Those same red plaid shoes got a similar response at a garage sale that Eric and I went to. The lady whose sale it was told me I had cute shoes and wondered if we didn’t have rules about shoes. That opened up a conversation about being Mennonite, and more importantly Christian, that was both a blessing to us and to her and a couple others there. They were Christians as well, and we connected on that level and were not so different after all.

But then there was the day Eric and I were walking through Fred Meyer and one of Dora’s coworkers saw us. She told Dora later that “he didn’t match,” as in Eric didn’t look as conservative as I did. And that bothered both of us. There was nothing wrong with what Eric was wearing. Apparently though, blue jeans and flip flops and a polo shirt didn’t match a grey cape dress and flip flops and a covering in her mind. In a way, I felt judged unfairly. And in another way, it made me wonder.

Are we to be so set apart that we are no longer approachable? Or are we to somehow reveal something in our demeanor that speaks past the “old-fashioned” clothes we’re wearing and that beckons seekers to come? ...continue reading