We returned home from a cross country drive to find our (my) gardens invaded by three baby armadillos. I’ve seen them here before, and I truly believed after we chased them with the water hose several times they would understand they are not welcome. They have the sort of persistence that I wish my children had with their chores. Armadillos are so ugly they could maybe with enough compassion and mercy be almost cute. They are purely Texan, which our family is fast on its way to be wholeheartedly given as Lone Stars, so how could we object to pet armadillos? They eat bugs, not plants, and they are good cultivators. I hope they don’t eat my compost producing worms. We’ll see about their welcome, it hasn’t been extended yet. Three? Why couldn’t I just get one? Why doesn’t my dog care they are in her yard? She bumped into one and sat on her butt looking at it. I felt sorry for her ranking among canines at that moment.
We were gone five days, and we spent thirty-four hours driving, that’s seventeen hours each way. We had a wedding to attend in Indianapolis, and if it was anyone but Emily, we would have altered our plans. The plane tickets were $700 each, by seven, ouch, we chose to drive. This was Princess Kira’s first cross country adventure in the car. Across the midwest when she saw the vast farms and discovered circular shaped silos she gasped. “Daddy, there is my tower! Take me to my tower!” We played along, but when we didn’t actually deliver her to her tower her stormy eyes glowed and she wouldn’t speak to us for an hour. Movies saved us, but honestly, it was reruns of the Cosby Show that we enjoyed the most. We’ve all decided that Kira is just like Rudi, sassy, smart, and cute enough to keep herself just off the edge of trouble.
Some of you, a rare few, may remember long ago when we spent our first six weeks in Uganda to adopt our saucy Kira, we invited Emily to come help us and to do school for Kevin and Jack. It was an outstanding bonding experience for us all, and we adored her then, and more over the years. Emily was at my side when we recognized our call to work with orphans in Uganda. She was my partner in every way during those first days and it was fabulously exciting to share this intimate connection with her. Kira was nine months old, and honestly, after six weeks with the old busy mom, and the young pretty doting mom, Kira wanted to go home with Emily. Who wouldn’t?
Emily fell in love since those days, and as I write she is enjoying her honeymoon with Josh, her new husband. It was the first wedding for the LaTorre cousins. And I suppose if you read those blogs about our adoption you also knew about our LaTorre family reunions at the beach that occur annually in the Outer Banks. We are absent from those reunions by excuse of death alone. Craig grew up going to the beach every year with his family, and as wives were added we were invited, now it is full with sixteen cousins and that’s the ultimate purpose of these excursions: so they make memories with their cousins. This will be the first time a cousin brings a spouse. I hope he knows what he signed up for when he said “I do”.
Emily was eight weeks old when Craig and I got married. I remember greeting Carol at the airport with her new baby girl so she could be in our wedding. This makes me feel old. We were among the older crowd at this wedding for Emily. That’s weird. Weddings make Craig cry and I get nostalgic, lost in thought, deeply thankful for the 23 years withmy beloved. I know, using the word beloved proves I belong with the older crowd. The best part of aging is I could wear the prettiest shoes I’ve ever seen. Consolation for wrinkles. Emily was the antithesis of Bridezilla. There couldn’t have been a bride more relaxed, fun, and happy in her moment. It doesn’t surprise me. She has a sense of humor second to her faith in Jesus. It was an elegant occasion where the focus was on purely how Christ’s bride is the church and the example for marriage. Emily and Josh are both so ministry minded they instinctively understand that with Jesus at the head of their family they are a strand of three tightly braided and impossible to undo.
Taking a few days break from “work” was good for my mind and soul. Even though I was stuck in the car, it was good to separate from my office. I have renewed my energy for the cause, and I’m feeling eager to seek God’s direction for our work. It is my pleasure to follow him where He takes me because I know the safest place on earth is being inside the will of God. Sometimes I feel like Noah who was asked to do a ridiculous thing. When people looked at how he spent his time they were surprised and it didn’t really make sense. But Noah had a peace in his heart that I share and treasure. I have a peace-o-meter, and I require to be topped up at all times. I can’t bear to be low on the peace that comes from obedience to a call, however unusual it may be. There are some who like a good head to head debate about spiritual matters. That’s not my thing at all. I’ve devoted my adult life to a particular verse, and it has served me well.
1Thessalonians 4:11-12 “Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life to mind your own business and to work with your hands just as we told you so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders so that you will not be dependent upon anybody.”
As time passes through my life these verses prove more trustworthy and an excellent lighthouse to guide me to shore through storms of opinions. Only one voice matters in my life, that’s the will of God whispered carefully to me in a variety of ways, if only I am tuned into Him and not the busy bodies with selfish motives. I treasure the intimacy of knowing how to obey and follow our great God. And he is showing me a glimpse of what is possible with Kirabo Seeds in Uganda for our future. I have no fear of what seems impossible. I am ready to mind my own business and put my hands to work.