Thursday, July 29, 2010

Peculiar, Missouri: Where the "Odds" are with You

Many things have changed in Peculiar since I shook the dust of this sleepy ol’ town off the boots I never owned, and left for greener pastures (well…Columbia, MO if you can consider that greener). The house, for one, is in complete disarray as my family renovates with a firm belief that things must get worse before they can get better. My parents are preparing the house to go on the market by September and will proceed to shake the dust of this sleepy ol’ town off their New Balance tennis shoes and move down to Louisiana. From Peculiar to New Orleans, talk about culture shock.

One thing that hasn’t changed is the quiet, serenity that moves in and out of pastures, over ponds, through trees and into my backyard, always to accompany me when I look at the land that is and will forever be my childhood. Such a breathtaking picture of God’s creativity and a marvelous reminder of His majesty!

So tonight, BJ and I decided to cook dinner for my family. This was a daunting task since our Dad is the head chef and hardly EVER allows anybody else in his kitchen to utilize his fancy schmancy cookware. I was feeling ultra self-conscious and thought “He’s totally going to judge this meal harsher than a judge on Iron Chef…” It turned out to be a blast though! BJ whipped up his buffalo dip appetizer, Dalton stirred the dessert rum sauce, Brandon cut and arranged fruit on a platter, while I made a huge mess with everything I touched. Bon appetit!

While I knew I was suppose to go to Peculiar to do more support raising, another big reason I came back was because all of the males in my family had birthdays. Brandon turned 28, Dalton turned 18, BJ turned 21, and Dad turned 50. (Talk about pivotal birthdays: 18, 21, and 50.) We had many a conversation about how my father is older than dirt and how BJ is finally 21 so he can taste his first sip of champagne (TEE-HEE)!

I’ve had time to think here in Peculiar. Time to sit on my parent’s front porch and talk to God as the butterflies fly by (sure to get heat exhaustion from all that flapping in the July heat). Time to work on letters, make a few face-to-face appointments, and learn to trust that all of this humble toil will equate to my ability to labor for the Lord on Mizzou’s campus in the fall. What an honor!

To be completely honest, my heart has not been in a good place since I’ve been home. It’s always difficult to be in Peculiar for multiple reasons. For one, I’m constantly reminded of my “old self” here and I am constantly battling old habits and thought patterns that I don’t really have to deal with in Columbia. In addition, I’m not exactly surrounded by Believers all the time, so my best friends/accountability buddies are not here to lean on. It’s been tough, and I’ve had to reread scripture dealing with spiritual warfare and all that jazz.

But WOW do I have some praise reports. For one, God has showed up in HUGE ways since I’ve been here. People’s hearts have opened up and my support raising has finally started picking up. Best believe that for a while, I doubted God’s provision, as it seemed completely hopeless. But I should have known better! I will continue to work to please the Lord and not man and trust that His plan is perfect.

A few of my favorite stories include meeting with a gym teacher that I haven’t seen since elementary school. What a delight it was to share my life with her and have her do the same! My brother BJ also surprised me with a hand-written note stuck in the bathroom door.

“Dear Jackie,

Here is a little mula-moo for your fundraising. Continue to do God’s work. We need at least one successful person in our family. Uhhh…that’s it. Bye-bye.



I’m not a crying gal, but shoot...

1 comment:

  1. That was sweet and kind of your brother. I am thrilled to hear that your support raising efforts are picking up! God always provides for us. It's so amazing and I'm just blown away at his greatness.