“Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.” This is what God said to Abraham in Genesis 1:21. So we are in the land God has shown us. Home can be a strange place and a strange place can be home.
Here I am at “home” and each day flows past and only at odd moments does it overwhelm me that I have left, “my land, my people, and my community”. I’m glad that this isn’t a constant sensation, because it is disorienting at best. I am still learning my way around Sharpsville. I don’t know the librarians, the pharmacist, or the managers at Home Depot and most everybody here does not know me. But when I took Riah to middle school orientation, I ran into a young mom who goes to our church, the middle school principal works closely with our church on a hunger relief program, and whenever we go to the $4.99 spaghetti night a the local Italian restaurant we see Rosemarie, who is the neighbor who took an ailing congregant to the hospital. Do you see the contact point? God is making a place for us through His people. This should never surprise me since Pittsburgh became “my town” as a result of working for the CCO and Bellefield church. I was able to welcome many newcomers over the years and usher them into the community because I felt so loved and known and I am seeing how God is going to do the same for me here.
Tonight we are invited to an end of summer party at a friend’s home here is Sharpsville. It is especially for Sam, Sophia and Tessa to meet some other high school friends of a young lady that goes to our church. Pray for all the kids as we seek to connect in a small town community where most people have known each other “forever”, pray that each kid will find 1-2 good friends that they can trust and spend time with in rich and soul-satisfying ways. School starts on Monday and to be honest I am feeling nervous, but I know that’s because I have so many unhappy school memories, Pray for me that I will not communicate my fears to my kids, but instead lean into God for courage and trust that He loves Sam, Soph, Tessa, and Riah as much as I do.
One way to ease the transition was to connect with old friends. The week after we moved up here dear friends, Martha and Scott Britton, that we have not spent time with in two years journeyed out from Philly to spend several days with us. WHAT a TREAT! We spent time swimming in the pond
We bought the farm! On August 10th we closed on our twenty acre property just north of town. When we sold our house in Pittsburgh, this property was already under agreement to someone else and we figured we’d lost our chance. However, the night before we closed the Pittsburgh house sale, the executor for the new property called and said the deal had fallen through and if we wanted to make an offer to go for it! So we did and they accepted. It comes with an old red barn (not too big, not too small)
a new 3 car garage and office space, and a tiny, very old, and tired farmhouse with a bad septic system. Ten acres are wooded with a dense maple grove,
eight acres are field and 2 acres is lawn. We are just beginning to figure out what exactly we are going to do with the place. To start, we’re renting our fields to our neighbor who runs an organic dairy farm since we are not ready quite yet to try to re-hab a fallow farm and build a new house all at the same time. So we are looking, praying, and buying lawn equipment in preparation for the next season of home-building (literally and figuratively).