During some of our dates, Jeff and I order tacos from one of the local taco carts and sit in the car and eat them--a cheap date, but one that brings back fond memories of our years in San Diego and the taco runs we would go on to Tijuana. And sometimes we try one of the other food trucks that have sprung up around our town.
Sometimes we splurge a little more and go to a "real" restaurant. :) We much prefer to eat at locally-owned places, eschewing the chain restaurants in favor of establishments owned and run by members of this community, some of whom are immigrants from many different corners of the world. They bring the tastes of their native lands with them, and our dining experiences are enriched tremendously by that.
Sometimes on our dates, we end up at Goodwill, looking for bargains that will clothe our growing family as the children move into new sizes.
And sometimes we have to do a little shopping at Walmart. Those dates are NOT Jeff's favorite. ;-)
One time on a date, we drove off to a remote little welding shop in the countryside to pick up a part for one of Jeff's barber chairs.
Several times, we've hiked up Mole Hill.
Once, we've walked the trails at Wildwood Park.
But tonight on our date, we did something we had never done before. Want a clue before you make your guess? ;-)
Jeff thought I might want to take a picture of my target. OK, sure. I will. I don't want to forget this night...or how good it felt to see that hole appear right below the Q in the middle of the target. :)
Since the light was fading fast, we headed home and got there early enough that Jeff could keep the three younger kids while I took Josiah and David to a concert/worship service at one of the Mennonite churches in town. A group of five musicians from Switzerland was performing there; and although we enjoyed very much all of the music they shared with us, the most exotic for us Virginians was either the alphorn or the yodeling. Yodeling for Jesus--who would have guessed? But the Bible does command us in Psalm 150 to "let everything that has breath praise the Lord!" Even yodelers. ;-)
On a serious note, however, I am particularly fond of and moved by events that remind me of the cord of true faith that has connected untold followers of Christ through different times and places. My spirit takes flight when I think of faithful Christians in the year 1232 AD, for example, who met together to hear God's Word and worship Him in song. My soul rejoices when I consider the faith of my brothers and sisters in Christ who are right now living in places of intense persecution, and yet they hold tightly to their faith, no matter the cost. Ordinarily my mind is so occupied with the here and now: the USA in the year 2014. But what of the countless others who have loved and served God with their whole beings throughout all the years of human history? And what of the Christians who live in places I will never see with my earthly eyes, yet at the same time that I am considering the great things of the Lord, they are doing the same? How marvelous it will be to meet them in heaven! How small of a speck I am in the great sea of those who love the Lamb!
THAT is what was running through my head while I listened to songs of faith being sung in German, and I watched two men who were each playing an alphorn and a guitar at the same time, and I heard the yodeler move so effortlessly and quickly from his chest voice to his head voice, and I wondered what the range of the alphorn was and how they managed to produce such a variety of high and low sounds without any valves on the instrument, and I saw the piano player's fingers gracefully glide over the keys, and I admired the harmonies of the two women singers, and I smiled at the girl who was translating the German to English, remembering the challenges of living in Israel and dealing with constant language issues. That was all happening on the surface of my brain; but deeper than that was the profound stream of connection with God's true church through all time and space.
I sat in the pew, but I was soaring!