Yesterday we ‘broke out’ of our little corner of the world to run some (what I considered to be) essential errands. Important stuff like laundry and coffee filters! The grocery store was reasonably stocked (no Clorox wipes or anything like that, but food was available), the laundry wasn’t very crowded (point of interest – it’s really hard to determine if your clothes are dry when you are wearing gloves), and our quick run into the post office for stamps was easy-peasy. To finish out our excursion, we even tried to find the actual town of Middleburg (not just the commerce strip where the stores are). We located Main Street and while we drove past some lovely old homes, we never found what we would consider to be an old town square. But we did find the boat access to the North Fork Black Creek, which at least gave me a little walk and a lovely view of the river/creek.
It was good to be out and about!
While still keeping in step with the “Stay Home” directive, we stayed home, but moved the house.
We had committed to serving at the First Church of God in Middleburg, FL several months ago, and since we would be working there alone, we felt we could still honor our commitment while practicing “social distancing” and self-isolation.
This is a small congregation and I’m not sure exactly what we’ll be doing, but I do know that we won’t have a long walk to work!
Middleburg is located fairly close to Jacksonville, and it’s a new area for us. I’m not sure we’ll get to do much exploring (given the #stayhome directive and our general bad touristing), but we’re still anticipating a good productive month.
Even as we wash our hands, stay out of crowds, and keep our family and country lifted to the Throne!
I slept in this morning (all the way to 7:30) and then took my cup of coffee and walked around the campground to give (and collect) hugs from folks as they were packing up to leave. Some of us are staying until tomorrow, but many are on their way to their next destination. Even as the campground emptied out, we were all stuck with how wonderful that last couple of days have been. When over 40 SOWER couples get together amazing fellowship is bound to happen!! And it did!
There was worship
(Check out that form!!)
A long standing SOWER Reunion tradition is the Auction. Gary has been the auctioneer for several different reunions, but this is the first time we did it for the Florida Reunion. Not sure they knew quite what to expect! First he had them all do bidding arm stretches and then he made them hold up their checkbooks!
Although he’s the auctioneer, he lets me play along with him!
We have so much fun!
While there were lots of activities, there was also plenty of time for connecting with friends, old and new! We haven’t served in Florida for 8 years, so there were lots of new faces to us, but also many friends that we just don’t see often enough. The whole thing, from start to finish, was a delight! In a very real sense, these folks are our “Church Family”. And there was almost something sacred about these last two days filled with songs and stories, praises and prayers, and maybe just a little bit too much food! How thankful we are for these dear folks that are part of our life!
So many memories! So many blessings!
Thanks for stopping by!
P.S. Here’s a link to a couple more reunion pictures if you’re interested!
Usually when I’m putting together something for my “Mondays are for Memories” posts I just chose a post from the past (whether randomly or not). But today I wanted to wrap up the “Sisters’ Winter Getaway” series and since that is still such a fresh memory, brought back so many memories, and was so memorable, that I figured it would work. (Plus, I pretty much make up the rules here at RvThereYet, so who’s to say I’m wrong?)
Before I go any farther, though, I want to give a word of encouragement to any Mom out there who has young daughters who are NOT as close as you would like. I’m sure there are days when just keeping them alive makes it a good day! Do not despair! We three sisters were no exception to the hormone angst of tween and teen girls.
As the youngest of the girls, I know I went back and forth between being on “Team Elna” or “Team Joie”, and these days it’s pretty hilarious how each of us remembers certain events. But although our growing up years were pretty sister-typical, our adult years have been blessed with a steady increase of affection. I believe a large part of that is not only do we share parents and a brother (Hi, Dewey!), we also share a deep and abiding love of Jesus. Those two things, familial ties and faith, have bonded us and kept us close through babies, health crisis’s, the loss of our parents, and the bumpy road we call life. We are so blessed to call each other sisters and best friends.
We do not take our treasured relationship for granted. We are reminded often that no one is promised tomorrow. Those 10 no-plan, low-stress, laughter filled days in January were perfect for us, and we will be forever grateful for them. I think my brother-in-law said it beautifully when I thanked him for being willing to let his sweet wife be gone for so long. His reply –
“I am surviving and will see Joie soon, so all is well! Those times are so precious and important to you all. I am actually thrilled that the LORD worked it out in such an unexpected way. His ways and thoughts are always far above ours and why should we be so surprised when He blesses us in unusual ways?”
We have indeed been blessed in unusual ways, far above what we had imagined when we first discussed a mid-winter plan. To Andi and her family for allowing us to stay in such luxury, to Gary who willingly let us use that shiny red truck (leaving him car-less), to the husbands who survived pseudo-bachelorhood so we sisters could be together, I offer our heartfelt thanks. And for our kind God who worked all things together for our good, we give Him all the Glory!