Last weekend I set out on a new adventure. I went away all by myself. Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve gone away without the guys before but this time no one went with me. It was just me, my cell phone and God in the car for about 6 hours on a Friday night and about 6 or 7 hours on Sunday.
Friday I drove from Columbia, MO to Hutchinson, KS. With my impecible timing, I hit Kansas City traffic at 4:30 pm. Did you know I LOVE driving in rush hour city traffic when I’m not sure what exit to take? Yeah, me neither. But I survived. It was just me and God and the music on my cell phone. Then about an hour or so southwest of Kansas City I got a call from a new calf customer. I visited with him for a few minutes about how our sale works and set up a time for him to visit with the guys the next day. Then I realized I should call my good friend, Karen, who recently lost her oldest son. I wasn’t sure how long my cell signal would last but I simply sent up a prayer and hit dial on Karen’s number. My cell signal lasted long enough that Karen and I got to have a good visit and she shared with me a lot of what’s gone on spiritually in the life of her family over the last year. I was strengthened by the faith of this woman of God and her godly family! Just as she was needing to take care of her family my signal starting breaking up. God is amazing. He knew what I needed and what Karen needed.
From then on I rolled on to Hutchinson, found my hotel, found a McDonald’s across the street, visited with Mike a bit and then fell into bed exhausted. I don’t know what it is about hotel rooms, but I never sleep well the first night.
The next day was spent with the Small family at the Kansas Jr. Livestock Show. I got to see bits and pieces of the sheep show and part of the heifer show. We’ve really gotten to know this family well over this past year or so. We sold Dexter his heifer for this year and Nicole has been one of my “imaginary computer friends”. That’s what the boys called my internet friends when they were little. Maddix finished 3rd Overall Limmi Heifer. Dexter finished 4th with his Mainetainer Heifer. I was completely out of my element in the sheep barn. I’m used to the noise and excitement in the cattle barns and it was a lot quieter in the sheep barn.
I also met another computer friend, Amber, and her 3 kiddos on Saturday. Amber may well be one of the sweetest women I’ve ever met. And her 3 kids were so very well behaved amongst the chaos of the livestock barns. Eli loved the animals, and her two daughters were happy to get to see the lambs up close and personal.
Saturday night, the Smalls and I went out to supper to celebrate Nicole’s 40th birthday. I had so much fun just visiting with her family about everything from the Pope visiting the US to breeding calves. You never know where the conversation will go when you sit down with some well educated young men in agriculture. We enjoyed a lot of pasta, salad and breadsticks. We enjoyed a lot of joking and laughs. Mostly, though, we enjoyed a lot of good fellowship. I headed back to the hotel for the night and visited with Mike for a bit. He had quite a day while I was off having fun and I had a twinge of guilt, so I decided to head back home a little earlier on Sunday.
Sunday dawned bright and beautiful. Mike, Chris and Jesse were heading to our new church, Genesis Church, and asked where I was going to church. I quickly dialed yet another internet friend and asked if I could go to church with her. Julie said certainly. I asked about the dress code, because we all know every church has a dress code, and was told “We’re a traditional Lutheran rural church. What do you have to wear?” As I had only packed for the stock show, all I had were jeans to which Julie replied, “I’ll wear jeans too.” Julie was going out of what was comfortable and the norm for her church family to make me feel welcome. I drove to this rural Kansas church and was welcomed not only by Julie but the other parishoners as well. I was raised going to church occasionally to a Baptist church. I then went to a Methodist church while I was dating Mike and when we were first married. Then when the boys were in early elementary we began attending a Baptist church again. I had never been to a Lutheran church and had no idea what to expect. What I found was a congregation who loves God and seeks to serve Him and those in their community. I heard a great message from the Pastor. As a matter of fact, I saw those notes this morning and they tied into our message today at church almost seamlessly. There are a lot of churches I have been to, but few have been so accepting of a stranger dressed so casually coming in to worship with them. Special thanks to Immanuel Lutheran Church for welcoming a weary traveler. You refreshed me in the middle of a long trip and got my spirit soaring again. Thank you!
I had gotten to Canton just a little early for church so I explored the neighborhood with my camera in the passenger seat. These are a few of the scenes I got to capture.
I spent the rest of the day singing along to the music on my phone. No one told me how off key I was. I had a great weekend away enjoying a lot of time with friends and their families and hearing a lot of messages from God straight to my heart.