Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Good Times, Hard Times

I can't begin to tell you how much fun I had this past weekend! One of the few perks of being in the Army is that you're almost guaranteed a 4 day weekend for a federal holiday, and July 4th is definitely going to be one of them. It was a weekend filled with good times among friends and family, but also some hard times because it made me realize all that I miss about being away from HOME.
The weekend actually started on Thursday afternoon, when Leslie and I casually drove over to Knoxville to stay the night with the Sr. Cragwalls. We got in around 11pm EST (which wasn't that late for us since we live in CST), but mom and dad stayed awake long enough to welcome us to town. We got up the next morning and had breakfast with them at the good 'ol Cracker Barrel before making our way over to West Knoxville to visit our friends the Denny's. Becca and Leslie grew up together in FL, and they just moved to Knoxville last summer when Steve took over as the Athletic Director of Christian Academy of Knoxville (CAK). After lunch and some cute singalongs with their boys, Isaac and Micah, we headed over to Black Mountain, NC for an alumni retreat at Leslie's childhood summer camp.
For almost a decade, Leslie spent every summer at Camp Crestridge for Girls, a fun and exciting place that allowed her to develop her own identity apart from her family and friends back home. This is a side that I've never seen of her, and to observe her in this element gave me a greater appreciation for who she was before me, and who she has become beside me. We also got to see Rusty and Sara Osborne (Leslie's college roommate and fellow Crestridge Cutie Pie alum). They, along with their two daughters, Sophie and Eleanor, just got back from a year long mission in Cameroon, West Africa. Rusty served on faculty as a professor at the local Seminary, an experience that all of them thoroughly enjoyed.
By Saturday night, we had made our way back to Knoxville for another night with the Sr. Cragwalls and got to see a few fireworks off in the distance to celebrate this great national holiday. We spent Sunday morning attending our church home at Providence and got to see some familiar places and had lunch with the Stansells and Millers at another great eatery in K-town...Calhouns!!! Unfortunately, we weren't able to see the McNairs, who were out of town, but did get to spend some time with the Purnells, who introduced us to their new family addition, William (Liam) King Purnell. He's adorable and will look great in UT orange someday! We rounded the day with some good, quality time with my family and some great golf and baseball on the tube.
Monday morning, after dropping off the Volvo for a tune-up, we dropped by the University to hob knob with some old professors, employers and colleagues. Leslie and I both had a blast catching up with everyone and the campus still looks great.
Ok, as you can see, we had a jam-packed schedule throughout our time in TN and NC. It was great to see everyone and catch up on their lives, but we couldn't shake how much we desperately miss our true home. Although we're not that far away in distance, we will never feel at home until we return to Knoxville for good. It's because of these people, and the many others not mentioned in this post, that we continue to count down the days until our return. While it's hard to think about the next year that separates us from moving back, we take comfort in knowing that the Lord has a plan and will fulfill it on his time. Our only hope is that we can conform to it and not lose sight of why He has us here. That last sentence is mainly for me!
Just FYI, I'm about to head out on a two week training exercise, so I'll be "off the net" for a while. I'll continue the Wild Heart study when I return...so make sure you're caught up by then, Wade!
Take care.

1 comment:

Claire said...

We have been really missing our "home" too-- and all I can say is be thankful yours is only a 3 hour drive away! Most likely we will only see Utah ONCE this year- at Christmas!

Glad you got to visit and relax, and so glad that you are still working to find God's purpose for you here, and contentment within that. Perhaps this can mirror our anticipation for heaven, but finding meaning here on Earth (or...C-ville :)