Sunday, July 24, 2011

A Thankful Heart

I found myself telling Rob this week that while I wouldn't have made this choice, a farm, a rural life, I am thankful for where we are and what we are doing.  This time last year, our life now would not even have crossed my imagination.  If I'd gone to a carnival fortune teller and she'd told me that she saw one hundred chickens in my future I would have laughed at her craziness and called myself a sucker for wasting my money.  Yet, here I am with one hundred ten chickens and a cow.  Don't forget the cow.

While we live near a city that we lived in five years ago, because of our new location, many of our old activities are out of easy driving distance.  For me, forty five minutes is too far to drive for daily activities.  Especially when you multiply the activities times four.  We've are part of two 4H groups and we have orthodontist, sports and church within twenty minutes.  Of all the transitions, church has been the most challenging.

Our old church is a forty five minute drive.  We debated about returning there as members but the drive and the desire to become part of this community led us to try some congregations closer to home.  We've always been Presbyterian so we started there.  Several of the towns near us have small Presbyterian churches.  The one closest to us has services that begin at 8:45 on Sunday morning.  We put that church at the bottom of our list for potential churches.

I don't know about  your house but at my house spiritual warfare is at it's strongest on Sunday morning.  Tempers run short, outfits don't feel right, one shoe is always missing and no matter how early we get up we always seem to be running late.  If you've experienced a Sunday morning like ours you can understand why 8:45 is not appealing.

We visited two other churches near our home.  The congregations were warm and welcoming but our children more than doubled the youth of the church.  Not really what we wanted.  Definitely not what our children were desiring.  After skipping many Sundays and returning to our old church several times despite the drive, we decided that getting up early one Sunday was a sacrifice we needed to make.

Incredibly, we arrived at church early.  The congregation was small and welcoming but the best thing was the number of children.  A congregation of twenty adults had ten children, not including ours.  The kids loved the children's church time.  When they were served donuts all of them were hooked.  The four mile drive  was a bonus.  There has been a congregation in Watertown since the early 1800s. We've been attending the Watertown Presbyterian Church regularly now.  It feels good to join that community of believers.  It feels like a part of this life and this place.  It's certainly not what we would ever have expected or chosen before but now it fits.

So much of our new life is unexpected and delightful.  And for all the unexpected blessings my heart is truly thankful.

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