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Letter to friends


Hello friend, The summer is rapidly waning and once again another year is more than half way done. It occurs to me that my life is also approaching the halfway mark.  That is if we assume I get to the fine age of 82. On the other hand if the good Lord sees fit to call me home earlier, well then I am in the late summer, or early autumn of my life. Midlife crisis is what the world calls it, but I’ve always liked the fall personally and in honor of this autumnal moment in my life I’ve decided to seize the day and evaluate my life priorities.  This sounds dead boring but it is actually like looking through old letters and pictures, a bit sad, a bit funny, but always a good time. This week the priority that has leapt to the fore is friendship. I really value my friends and realize that I have allowed our family’s post Haiti chaos and these subsequent 3 years to roll by without expending much energy in the way of caring for or investing in you, my dear friends, while simultaneously feeling lonely and cut off. Crazy isn’t it.  But blessedly, it’s never too late to tell people that you care and so I have decided to be in touch. I need prayer and I need to hear from you and I need to share what’s going on for me and how God is revealing Himself to me, so I am going to try writing a letter every week and so I can reach out to all you lovelies (that I wish I could share a cup of tea with everyday) I am going to try an experiment.  I am going to post each week’s letter on my blog. I hate to say it out loud, well, write it in black and white, because life will get crazy and I don’t want to start something and then let it fall apart, but in light of God’s grace and the fact that I feel He is prompting me to do this here goes… The weather here is moderating and it’s nice to pull out the down comforter for nighttime. (I have been praying for Ellen Huang and her family in CO since they’ve been in the epicenter of CO’s terrible flooding, but at last check they are safe.) I spent a good bit time in the garden pulling out the beans and picking basil, Pat Buddemeyer also gave me all her basil so I ended up with a garbage bag full of basil! I gave away several Ziplocs (gallon size!) of cleaned leaves and ended making 4 quarts and 4 pints of pesto for the winter.  The tomatoes are continuing at full steam and it been so enjoyable to have fresh tomatoes always at the ready.  I made great tomato bean soup from the middle east called lubiya which the kids really liked. I have a real garden this year because our next door neighbor Pat Buddemeyer moved a few blocks away and our good friends the Amundsons bought her house. I used to help Pat keep her garden up and when it was decided that the Amundsons were going to buy the house I offered to keep the garden nice for the use all that great garden space. Its been a win-win for both of us, I get all the great garden space I can handle and they get all the beets and tomatoes that they want.


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The kids are all back at school; Sam at the science and technology magnet school in 10th grade (he’ll be doing10th and 11th grade this year) Sophia is a freshman at the International Baccalaureate high school just a few blocks away, and Tessa (7th grade)and Riah (5th grade) are at Pittsburgh Urban Christian School (PUCS). They are getting back into the groove, but I still mourn the loss of time together and the flexibility and spontaneity of homeschooling.  However, for their sake I am glad that they are learning to navigate the world and all its challenges while they still live at home with us AND want to talk about everything and pray about it together. Mike only has 2 more trimesters left in seminary, so he’ll finish up classes in March, but his ordination will end up taking awhile longer. I think he may be able to get job before he finishes the ordination process, but we really are waiting on God for where and who we’ll be serving.  In the meantime, I continue to run my little cleaning and organizing business. I find that it still offers me good wages and great flexibilty for this season, though I am beginning to look beyond to what will come next. I am praying about going back to school, working in the non-profit/consulting world, and serving the church in some capacity, but what exactly I am not sure. In the meantime I am using my 28-32 hours a week working to listen to books, lots and lots  and LOTS of books. Right now I am an a WW2 and  history of Nazi Germany binge. I have listened to: The Seamstress, The Hiding Place, Bonhoeffer, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, Coming Of the Third Reich, The Third Reich in Power, and G.K. Chesterton’s Orthodoxy and Heresy. It makes for fascinating listening and it is is astoundingly timely. I want to listen to a Brief History of the Middle East again soon since I feel like I do not understand what’s at work and how to pray for Syrian and Egypt these days.  It’s amazing to have the gift of uninterrupted hours to just listen and absorb (when the kids were babies and I couldn’t do anything without being interrupted, I prayed and asked for time like this, oh God’s ironic sense of humor). When I get a chance, I am still writing for Catapult web magazine and just recently my story, I am the Little Red Hen(www.catapultmagazine.com, vol.12 num.16 Let’s Get Together 11), was the feature piece, yeah!  We have also been working to get some of the unfinished projects done around our house, so now our powder room is done (almost, the doors to the cabinet are going on tomorrow!) Okay okay I know this is getting long, but it’s the first letter in awhile so there’s a lot to catch up on 🙂 So I am thinking of you, praying for you and look forward to hearing from you, you can leave a comment if you want or you can email me. Always your friend even when you don’t hear a peep from me,



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