It's been tragic this week to contemplate the suffering that's been caused by the "Katrina of the Midwest"...the devastating flood in Iowa and surrounding states. When last the national eye was on Iowa, it was for a very different reason. And although I did tire of seeing the seemingly eternal run-up to the Iowa caucuses, I'd be glad to endure the deluge of campaigning once again if it would avoid this kind of deluge...
For several years there's been a lot of speculation about how high gas prices would have to rise before the American public would begin to change their driving habits. I'm sure the answer is different for every family, but we've certainly seen the tipping point around our house. About the time we got over $3.50 a gallon, we sensed a distinct shift in our own habits...being careful to combine errands, meticulous scheduling to avoid doubling trips, and elimination of all unnecessary driving. We'd all like to think these changes are temporary, but my gut tells me otherwise. And it also tells me we'd better be prepared for more than just gasoline costs to skyrocket.
We did part of our Father's Day celebration yesterday (see pics below), but this morning before church we got up earlier than usual and the eight of us went out to breakfast together. I'm not sure when that happened last, and it was very nice. You can tell, though, when your kids are growing up: the waitress asked if we wanted separate checks :-)
Last August we started planning our family vacation in Tennessee, and we've talked about it excitedly for ten months. Now we're under two months and the anticipation is building, even with the littlest ones who are saving their nickels and dimes for spending money. What a joy it will be to have all the kids/grandkids/cousins/aunts/uncles AND Granny and The Papa together for a whole week in the same house!
Our little church, now four years old, is bursting at the seams! We have several logistical challenges now that might be an annoyance to some groups; though we'd love to have a larger facility in which to meet, we are thrilled to have to be figuring out what to do for seating and eating and little ones!
Books: A Thousand Splendid Suns is NOT overrated. It's heartbreaking, but it's worth every tear...and I did shed some. The plight of Afghan women, before, during, and after the Taliban, is difficult to comprehend and this book reads like a medieval tale in many ways. Sadly, it takes place in our own time, reminding us that the injustices and horrors women experience are not a thing of the past.
Bethany is enjoying a summer internship with the firm Frost & Sullivan, exploring different aspects of the marketing world and at the same time getting a taste of office life and a 5-day work week. I miss having her around the house but am thrilled she's getting this opportunity.
From our morning service, a snippet from one of my favorite hymns...
and tumult of her war,
she waits the consummation
of peace forevermore;
till, with the vision glorious,
her longing eyes are blest,
and the great church victorious
shall be the church at rest
~~from "The Church's One Foundation," lyrics by Samuel J. Stone (1839-1900); music by Samuel Sebastian Wesley (1810-1876).