Friday, April 4, 2008

Mom and Grandma Sandy asked me to join them in a game of “Old Maid.” It might be appropriate, but I’m not finding the invitation very tempting tonight. I’ve perfected the art of the shrug. It’s a necessity, considering the fact that I’m the only unmarried and eligible grandchild on both sides of the family. But my extended family has such short-sighted goals. Don’t they realize that if I get married any time in the next few years, they’ll be out someone to pester? Both grandmas are on the verge of losing a wager with Josiah—something about me being either married or engaged by age twenty-one. At T-minus two months and one day, Josiah’s triumph is nearly secure. Considering that both of them were barely eighteen when they married, I probably am beginning to seem like an old maid. *Shrug*

Today the trip to the Sunflower State took us a little farther north than our old stomping grounds—for a friend’s wedding and to visit Mom’s side of the family. Six hours is a long time to sit still, crowded into the back seat of the Camry with Josiah and Lydia. I shifted from proper car-sitting form to cross-legged, to Indian style, to my knees, and invented a few new positions of my own. When the first sign for Kansas City announced 174 miles, I thought I’d explode with impatience. Finally arrived at Grandma’s apartment, Josiah and I escaped on a lengthy tromp through housing developments and apartment complexes. Mentally, I was measuring the lawns, figuring the best patterns for mowing and trimming the edges. Who’d have thought I’d be so anxious to get back to yardwork?

Aunt Janny, Uncle Ed and I crowded into the back side of the dinner table and swapped smart-alec comments as we ate. Correction, Uncle Ed and I swapped comments. Aunt Janny attempted to converse in an intelligent manner. Grandma tossed in a few wise-cracks of her own from across the table, while Josiah and Papa interspersed witticisms from both ends. Lydia silently ate three platefuls and went back for seconds on dessert. I remember the days when I could out eat any three healthy adults and still run laps afterwards. Grown old enough to suffer from a much slower metabolism, I learned that the dinner table must also contain conversation to give us something less fattening to chew on. As the evening progressed, Papa got Uncle Ed talking about his experiences in Vietnam. Once he was dropped into the jungle on a scouting mission to find a Vietnamese supply trail. He found it and lost his squad. Holed up in a cave, he didn’t even dare use his radio as he watched the “ingenious little soldiers” wheel supplies by on bicycles all night long. The next night when he was able to make it back to the regular pick-up spot, he discovered he’d been chalked down as Missing In Action.

Busyness is smothering me—not that I don’t enjoy being busy, but my spirit is wilting and withering, thirsting for Yahweh. And my thoughts are so full and my body so tired, that when I have a chance to be with Him, I turn away and whisper, “Tomorrow. Tomorrow I’ll find time to be with You.” That’s the sum total of my selfish part in this relationship. He never says the same to me.

Lord, Thy faithfulness is firmly planted,
Thou art He for whom I’ve panted,
Thirsting for Thy living water,
Here I stand, Thy wand’ring daughter.

Take me in Thy arms and teach me,
Where distractions cannot reach me.
Make me steadfast, as Thou art,
Bound to Thee in mind and heart.

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