So the Crews home in Avon was the next stop on our family vacation. We loved visiting with our friends and slept and ate (so!) well in their home. They knew they'd be out of town for our return trip but gave us a key and a code. "Make yourselves at home," they said and passed us one basket of clean laundry and another of divine, orange-flavored breakfast rolls. I didn't do a very good job of capturing their entire family of six with my camera, but the good news is: we're adventuring with them later this month; I'm sure to do a better job, then. Precious, precious, beloved people.
|Cade and Me with Our Friend Daleen|
|Jim with Baby Shannon and His Own (Jealous) Redheaded Wonder|
|Sweet baby Shannon|
From Avon we headed to Zionsville, where we met up with Nicole Owens of 70 Piggies and Owens to Africa: my one, true blog crush. I can't tell you what I fell in love with first: her eye, or her heart, but I couldn't stand the thought of our being so near one another and not meeting in person. Nor could I stand the thought of not hugging her before she and her family depart on July 11th to be about Our Father's business in Kenya. For four years.
In person, Nic is (and I have a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes, writing this) exactly who she is in words: a calm, quiet, small spark of brilliant-bright-white light. She's eat up with Jesus in that "still waters run deep" sort of way, and it hurt me--It hurt me!--to let her go; I tried my very best to squeeze the stuffins out of her. I don't know if she knew, but I stuck my heart real quick-like in her bag. I hope she'll take it with her to Africa; I hope she'll take it along.
I'm so grateful to her for driving down from Muncie to make a dream come true for me.
Jim's and Brandee's Travel Tips
If someone you know and love offers you a bed, a meal, a shower, a washing machine, etc., just say: "Yes. Thank you. I love you." It's taken me a long time (and a lot of kids!) to just sort of lean into the kindness of others, but honestly? I think that's an important part of the Lord's work in me. I believe God wants all of us to learn to receive love as surely as He wants us to learn to give love, and so much of all of it--of Him!--happens through other people. I'm not talking about mooching or taking advantage: just receiving with gratitude...and paying forward the kindness.
Also, if there's someone on (or near) your route you'd like to see: buck up. Ask the question. Give that person the opportunity to say: "Yes," and fellowship with you. You have nothing to lose and everything, just everything!, to gain.