My Dear Readers,
You will quickly notice that there are no pictures included in this post. Last Wednesday we headed off to Western Nebraska for our annual fellowship convention at Antioch, NE.
I forgot my camera.
Shocking, I know.
I take the thing everywhere. I poke it in every one's face at frequent intervals...
But I 'for-dod' it.
I'm such a weirdo. I never forget that.
-- Except once in a while on a Monday when I think the world is sunny and that it is actually possible to get all the things on my 568-page list done in a single day.
The absence of my camera made everything I saw more beautiful and more photogenic. Antioch Convention 2010 was suddenly colored by the fact that I couldn't take pictures of it. My memory is bursting with the scenes I wish I could share with you...
The magic of little girls running around with umbrellas and darling rain-boots.
The sky's reflection in a rain puddle.
My baby sitting on our friends' baby -- He's a weirdo too.
The strange, wonderful, delightfully scary storm clouds billowing above the sand hills.
The cotton falling from the giant cottonwood tree, so thick it looked like some freak Summer snow.
The smile on my girl's face as she embraces the age old practice of friend-making with childlike ease that always makes me marvel.
The giggles. The candy. The tired tears.
I wanted to share it all.
Some things I saw in our four days there could never have been recorded, even on my camera. There was just no way to fully capture them...
The familiar sight of my mama taking notes. Her hands moving across the pages. Her handwriting, something I've spent a lifetime coveting. I have her hands. I wish I had her grace.
The glaring and guilty absence of my boy, Latham, on the bench beside me. His daddy couldn't come this year and I simply couldn't manage the three of them by myself. I left him at his grandma's. He was much less torn-up by the decision than his mommy. There are lots of puppies and fun things for a boy to do there. At least that's what I told myself 486 times as I packed his un-convention bag and prepared to drop him off.
A old man tapping out the rhythm of the hymns for his wife who can no longer hear well enough to stay on track without his help.
My baby's fat little feet peeking out from under his blanket as he snoozed through the afternoon meeting, finally allowing me to take a few scattered notes.
The thrill and suspense in singing 12 or so hymns in a row because the rain and hail was coming down so hard we couldn't hear the speaker.
The taste of convention cocoa, convention cereal and convention stew.
It just tastes better there.
The thankfulness for provision, privilege and the joy of seeing faithful ones arriving at this special place year after year.
The unity, harmony and amazing grace in the meetings.
There is no way to transfer the breathtaking music of those days into this post, the songs of Zion escape my words.
It is truly a mountain-top experience.
Life is back to normal now that we are home again.
There are mountains here too.
Piles of laundry.
Stacks of paperwork to catch-up on.
But my personal favorite,
heaps of intentions to do better in the coming year.