Friday, October 3, 2008

Home in a Foreign Land

2 Kings 19:24
I have dug wells in foreign lands and drunk the water there.

This past month, I’ve begun to know how it must feel to be a stranger in a foreign land.

I’m sure most of you are aware that my husband and I moved from California to Okmulgee, Oklahoma this past month. We arrived here on September 1, which at the very least makes our arrival date easy to remember. It was Labor Day, and boy-oh-boy, did we ever labor! In the days and weeks since then, we have worked almost non-stop: unloading the truck, unpacking boxes and putting the house in order – to say nothing of trying to bring some semblance of order to the wild tangle of Oklahoma plant life on our 3-acre property! Since we left our brawny boys back home – the ones who usually help when we need extra muscle – we’ve had to do it almost entirely alone. Thank God for the few kind souls who have taken pity on us and lent their time and strength to help us get the heavier stuff taken care of!

So we’re extremely tired. But aside from all the work involved, we don’t know many people. Johnny’s aunt and uncle – wonderful folks whom I love with all my heart – live about three miles from us, and have been our rocks since we’ve been here. I had met their pastor’s wife a couple of times before we came here. (LaJoyce Martin is a multi-published author of Christian fiction, very well-known in the United Pentecostal world.) Other than that, we knew no one…and let me tell you, there have been moments when I felt that we had truly “dug wells in a foreign land and drunk the water there…”

Oh, and did I mention the tiggers and chicks…ummm, chiggers and ticks? I say that in a jesting way, because I know they’re out there. The ”tiggers” had their way with my ankles when we first arrived, before we got things mowed down and trimmed up a bit. The “chicks” haven’t bothered with us yet – thank God and all that is holy! May they continue to snub California blood!

But God is good, and He’s the same no matter where one chooses to call home. He’s been a comfort when loneliness threatened to overwhelm us. He’s been a friend in those moments when we missed our family so much it hurt almost physically. He’s been a Rock of strength when ours was gone. God is God in whatever state, in whatever country, town or city. He is there, and He never changes. He is still God, and He is still good!

Margaret Daley (see her Writing Tips in this edition of The Bookshelf) contacted me with word that she lives nearby, and an invitation to a monthly meeting of Christian writers. I'm thrilled about that, and already beginning to feel more at home. Thank you, Margaret!

I hope you enjoy the October Bookshelf, which is full of good things, good people, good advice…and just plain good reading. There’s nothing foreign or unfamiliar about this newsletter! J It’s the same fun, informative, encouraging publication it’s always been…thanks to the talented authors and wonderful friends who help make it that way month after month.

Grab a cup of something delicious, curl up and get comfortable, and read on…after you check out the pics below...

Here's our place. As of this coming weekend, it will be yellow with white trim. Doesn't that sound oh-so-cozy? (I heard "tiggers and chicks" dislike yellow...LOL - just kidding)

This is Hummer, one of my new friends. He's going away for awhile, but has promised to return again next year.

Meet Cheetah, one of our three new "mousers."

We were told we'd need them out here in the wilds. She's young, and still training for her new post, but isn't she pretty? (This from someone who is admittedly not an "animal person." But if it's a choice between cats and mice...) She and her two cohorts live outside, but they spend a lot of time dreaming about being inside...see below.

I'm not giving in!

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