It has been a little over a week since my last post. Our house is still for sale despite a flurry of showings right after we listed it with the realtor. I continue to have moments of great anxiety and also moments of grace and peace. I am sure this will be an ongoing reality for me in the coming weeks.
Yesterday I spent some time reading The Seaboard Parish by George MacDonald. It is the sequel to A Quiet Neighborhood. Our family read the latter last summer aloud, and enjoyed the story even if it was a bit wordy and quaint in some respects. If anything, The Seaboard Parish is even more wordy and cumbersome at points so I am giving myself the liberty to skim over parts. However, one of the elements that I appreciate about MacDonald’s writing is the way he sprinkles the truth of the Gospel throughout his story. His characters are individuals striving and struggling to live faithfully in their everyday lives—much like myself! The main character, Harry Walton, is a pastor and I particularly like how he interacts with his parishioners. The scene that has stayed with me from yesterday was about a pastoral visit Harry makes to a local woman who is ill. She thinks she is dying and she feels the need to confess her sins before she dies, yet she is a proud woman and finds this task difficult. Fear is preventing her from coming clean with God, so to speak. Harry is persistent in reminding her that she will feel better once she has confessed. As an aside, he recognizes some fear in his own life and realizes he must confess his fear to God just like he is urging Mrs. Stokes to do. He says, “For surely, all fear is sin, and one of the most oppressive sins from which the Lord came to save us.” Those words hit home with me, and I confessed to God that I was allowing fear to fill my thoughts regarding the sale of our house. I know this won’t be the last time I need to confess my fear to God. Yet, just like Mrs. Stokes, my heart was lifted as I prayed and asked God to replace my fear with his love and light.
On a completely different note, one of my favorite things about summer is the freedom in my schedule. On Monday I got to have coffee with a friend, and it felt so good to be out in the morning when I would typically be teaching, and enjoying good coffee and conversation. Yesterday I had breakfast with a colleague and friend, and enjoyed going out for breakfast (a rare treat), while savoring good food and meaningful conversation. For me, the pleasure of these times is heightened because they are not part of my normal routine.
Finally, as our family winds down our time in Waco, we are making sure we hit all of our favorite local restaurants before we leave town. I am very much looking forward to the dining experiences I know I will enjoy living so close to New York City, and living on Long Island. So far, we enjoyed Italian food at Baris Pizza last week. I wish we would have eaten there more often during the past five years as the food is good and the prices are even better. Two nights ago, Brad and I enjoyed Uncle Dan’s Barbecue since we have a hunch that finding Texas barbecue will be harder to locate in New York. Tonight we will enjoy some Tex-Mex with friends at Ninfa’s. These dining pleasures may not be the best on our pocketbooks, but we sure are enjoying some of our favorite local spots in the process.