Outpost Theology and Another Reason to Read Tolkein

Why is it that we never need much of a reason for doing something fun? A friend of mine asked to take me out for my birthday recently. I didn’t text back to say, “Wow. I’m going to need to pray about that one.” I didn’t need a reason – or, at least, I didn’t stop to think of one. I just knew it sounded fun and I wanted to go. No need to pray, no need to come up with a good reason, no need for a robust theology, for a vision of a better world.

If someone tells you they are going to “need to pray” about something you can bet they don’t want to do it. I think, after all, we are hard-wired to protect ourselves from difficult things. Hard-wired indeed for the fun and the happy and the joyous, created to smile and laugh.

And, no matter who you are or what your life is like there is already plenty of suffering at your own front door and in your own spirit and your own family. The fall has had its effect on your own life, from beginning to end and in the middle parts too. No need to go looking for extra suffering.

So when someone asks you to bring someone else’s suffering into your life, and not only that, but your own home, you better have a good reason for doing it. Why deal with suffering you have nothing to do with and probably can’t fix anyway?

God says to care for the orphan. He also says to serve the poor. Surely there’s a way of doing that without bringing all of that suffering into my home especially when I have enough of my own crap to deal with. Especially when my home should be a place of peace and nourishment for me and my children and my husband.

I am realizing that if I decide to pursue someone else’s suffering – suffering we had nothing to do with – then I need to want to do it all the way down. I need to feel it in my toes. I need to know the theology behind the action inside and out and I need to feel the force of its truth reverberating in my core.

We had two 7 year old guests stay with us last week for a few days. (If you are unfamiliar with Safe Families for Children please take a look – you won’t be sorry.) They brought their own heartbreak and tragedy and dysfunction right into our family circle. It was pure hard work – the kind of hard work that made me ask myself many times a day, “Why in the world are we doing this?”

Josh took them home Monday night and then we sat on our patio, under the stars, beverage of choice in hand, and I asked him again what he knew was coming, “Why are we doing this again?” “What if it makes no difference to these kids in the long run?” “What if we are simply enabling poor choices?” You know, all the standard questions asked by Christians ever since the Church existed.

I didn’t want him to pull out the Bible. I know the passages. I didn’t need verses read to me. I needed a vision. I needed to be pulled into a world that is bigger than me and my small life. Because he’s a preacher and because he’s my husband he knew exactly what I needed.

He painted a picture for me of the Church as an Outpost of New Creation, a base of operations that signals greater and better things, a concrete place that is safe and beautiful, full of people who actually believe that one day the world will be made new and whole. And full of people who are willing to spend themselves to share that vision with others. I guess you could call it Kingdom. I’m liking Outpost these days – it’s what my imagination needed.

And as I was mulling over these thoughts and picturing what this kind of place is supposed to look like an analogy came to mind that I’m loving more and more. It’s Rivendell. Don’t you think? Frodo’s place of safety and nourishment and rest on his terrible and heartbreaking journey. If Elrond had insisted that somehow Frodo demonstrate change as a result of staying at Rivendell the whole purpose of the place would have crumbled. He welcomed the hobbits, even though they carried darkness and evil with them; welcomed them into his own safe haven, his own place of beauty; gave them the rest that they required, strengthened them for what lay ahead and then sent them on their way. Because, in the end, only the elves could give that kind of nourishment and strength.

I guess in other words, Rivendell was the cup of cold water we have been told to give to others.

That’s my working vision these days. It’s that picture that makes me sure we will do this again and probably again and again. You know, after we have dealt with our own mess for a while.

Posted in Christian Ritual, Suffering, The Daily, Uncategorized | 7 Comments

Tickle Monsters and the Narrative of Fun

ImageMy dad was brilliant at crafting a narrative for us kids that spelled fun. I’m not sure how he did it, but he managed to tease the silly and the funny and the happy out of a whole lot of mundane, tedious moments. 7 people plus one dog squeezing into a small, crummy, stinky hotel room on our annual roadtrip? A total blast! Getting caught in a rainstorm in the mountains that left us drenched and miserable? A fantastic adventure! Going to MacDonalds? Oh my word. It just didn’t get any better.

Of course as a child I had no idea why he did it or why it was so important or what it did for me in the coming years. I just loved it, plain and simple. Getting our grump glands massaged (being tickled until we couldn’t stand it) was a frequent occurrence. And often we would sit at the dinner table watching our parents laugh hysterically at each other, having absolutely no idea why they were laughing, but loving the moment anyway.

Now that I’m a mommy and know what my childrens’ laughter and smiles do to my heart I am finally understanding why my dad worked so hard to make our lives fun, even as he carried very heavy burdens and devoted himself to his calling as a pastor.

Fast forward 20 years and imagine my surprise this summer when Josh discovered that tickle monsters live in the tunnel on the way to our cabin. I had no idea! A whole new world opened up to Judah. It’s about a 30 minute drive from town to our valley. As soon as our wheels hit the Gold Camp Road we had to talk about the tickle monsters and how they lived in the tunnel and we were almost to the tunnel…almost…almost.

And then we finally arrived at the tunnel and, what do you know, every single time the tickle monsters were waiting to pounce and our car would ring with peels of laughter. Of course I was encouraging Josh to get out of there as fast as possible, not wanting the thing to collapse on us, but I was blatantly ignored.

And then we would turn onto the last stretch – just wheel marks on grass winding through the valley to the cabin and Judah would have to sit on Daddy’s lap so he could help drive. Very slow through the ranch yard where the horses lived. Stop at the gate so Mommy can open it and then close it. Careful over the bumps. Turn right towards our yard and then over the cattle guard. Our two-year-old is already such a good driver.


We had some rough moments on our vacation – another ear infection, a few colds, some traumatic potty training moments, general difficulties from being away from home and out of routine. But I think the ritual of the tickle monster will stick more than the other things. Throwing rocks in the stream will form his narrative more than the disrupted sleep. Mostly because he thinks his daddy is the most fun ever.

It seems to me that holy fun will go a long way in helping our kiddos to love Jesus.

Posted in Christian Ritual, Mommying, Uncategorized | 12 Comments

Absorbing the Fall

Yesterday was pretty sucky. Not a nice word, but there you have it. I took Evangeline (who has yet to be properly introduced here!) to the Social Security Office to apply for a social security number.

When we emerged from the building the first thing I saw was our Ford Fusion bearing a spectacular dent on the front passenger door. This was not a scratch folks. It was the kind of smash that prompted colorful language from the cop who came to file the police report, and then confirmed to our autobody people that we now need a whole new door. Yay.

Needless to say there was no note and no one had come inside to confess. An employee had seen a red car driving away and thought the license plate had the numbers 8-8 in it. The kind of information that will, no doubt, lead to a full scale manhunt all across the entire Twin Cities metro area. Because our law enforcement officers have nothing else to do with their time. Right.

It was interesting to me how visceral my reaction was to the obvious injustice of the act. I felt myself so wronged…so aggrieved. Anger. Frustration. The desire to speak to the first person who would hear me – someone who might do something about it! And I wasn’t the only one. The employees at the office; the passersby; the policemen. They all expressed the same sentiment on my behalf. My favorite was an elderly African American woman who was obviously quite the character. She had a head full of white cornrows and a t-shirt with a cross on it. She told me she had once backed into someone else’s car and had gone into the building to find out whose car it was so she could confess because, well, my goodness, that’s.what.you.do. She said it turned out well for her and she gave the credit to God. I saw my cue and was grateful for it. “God is good all the time,” I said. Her face lit up. “Yes, He is!” I needed to say the words and the Lord provided a witness.

Which got me to thinking of all the others in that parking lot who could have been hit if they had been parked where my car was and, at the end of the day, it’s ok that it was me. Sounds kinda stupid, but there you go. I have a theology of hit-n-run that a lot of folks don’t get to have.

One of the women who walked by my car as I was waiting for the cops to come shook her head and said, “This is ridiculous. This is why I never drive into Minneapolis.” She used that word, “ridiculous,” over and over. As if it only happens in certain parts of the city that simply can’t manage to be more civilized. I disagree. Wrong? Yes. Ridiculous? No. And certainly not confined to Minneapolis.

I had a mental image of the world as a gymnast, doing its routine, messing up royally and landing in a mess, but instead of breaking everything only a few bones get fractured because it lands on the soft cushion of the Church’s life and thought, welling up from the Spirit inside her. It seems to me that the Spirit in the Church is what keeps the world from breaking altogether. We can take the hit-n-runs; we can absorb the impact. It doesn’t surprise us and it doesn’t break us. But it does hurt a lot and sometimes the wounds leave scars.

This world is an unmitigated disaster. Everyone knows it. From the weather systems in Oklahoma to the sweat shops in Asia to babies who will not survive pregnancy to the international adoption scene the entire thing is broken. Christians aren’t surprised by that. We’re told to expect it. It has always been this way. And as long as the world has been broken the Church has been absorbing the impact. When Christians take in an orphan suffering from sin committed by someone entirely unknown to them what is that but absorbing the impact and consequence of a hit-n-run? When the church extends itself to help the poor, the disabled, the suffering what else is it saying except, “We know all about the Fall. We’ll absorb the impact of its smashing into your life and your mind and your spirit.”

And, of course, sometimes we don’t have to reach out to absorb someone else’s hit-n-run. Sometimes it means our own children and our own family. Today it meant our car, our deductible, our carefully saved pennies. But it’s the same thing. We can absorb it. It’s not going to do us damage. Not in the long term.

I remember a conversation after our first adoption possibility fell through in a terribly painful way. A friend who had experienced the same thing told me that she and her husband had decided after the fact that it was a good thing it had happened to them because if it hadn’t, it would have happened to someone else. They could take the impact and they could bear the resulting scars. I remember thinking that was a pretty amazing thing for her to say. I also remember thinking I had a lot less spiritual gumption to absorb my own hit-n-run as graciously as she did.

Maybe yesterday was just a small reminder of what life is actually like on this side of the Resurrection. Maybe I can take one more step to absorbing the impact of the Fall graciously and courageously…so someone else doesn’t have to.

Posted in Suffering, The Daily, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Mother’s Day: Gumption, Entitlement and Holy Discontent

I have always felt ambiguous about Mother’s Day. It’s not on the Christian calendar and feels overly-Americanized to me. And I know from experience that although it makes a good number of mothers happy, it also pours salt into the gaping wounds of those women who have lost babies or cannot get pregnant or will never have the chance to mother. It can also be a hard and sad day for Birthmoms, a fact I am increasingly alert to.

But before you roll your eyes let me quickly add that this does not stop me from feeling perfectly entitled to being pampered and loved on and generally admired and petted on this day of the year. I am after all a mother. I work hard. I love hard. I spend myself for two little people who never seem to get enough. I am entitled.

Today the Lord had other plans in mind. With a pastor husband I wasn’t going to get much of a break anyway, but a flare up of Judah’s ear infection that has been our unwelcome guest for a few weeks landed me with my little ones in the waiting room of a walk-in clinic. Exchanging much-needed worship and fellowship for jeans, flip-flops and the prescription process. The hours following were difficult. I will spare you the details but when my babies were finally napping I found myself in tears, feeling all kinds of sorry for myself and whining to my heart, “Some Mother’s Day.”

The long and short of it is I lack the gumption I need to mother my children with courage, unconditional love and a self-forgetfulness that simply must be on the menu if I am to ever reach their hearts. I am ashamed to admit that I felt much more sorry for myself than for poor Judah who has been suffering for some time now and can’t seem to get better.

The long and short of it is I feel entitled. I feel entitled to an ordered life, obedient children, healthy children, a beautiful home, a quiet home, the opportunity to be in worship every Lord’s Day. I feel entitled to the way of life that I can picture for myself. Because, simply put, the things I desire are good things and will surely lead to righteousness.


The long and short of it is that if I felt more holy discontent with myself and my own heart I would be much more willing and able to seize each moment to kill my sin, to die to my own desires and to spend my strength for others.

I remember my dad talking about his own life in a sermon a while ago. He was detailing the sorrows and the joys that have marked his own journey. But, when all was said and done, his greatest sorrow was and would continue to be the sin that lived deep within, that was impossible to kill, that polluted his motives, his choices and his whole life.

I’m starting to realize how this feels. When the going gets tough I automatically feel like there must be something wrong with my circumstances. I feel lonely – then surely I don’t have what I need and must work to change it. I feel tired – then I must sleep more. I feel worn out with mothering – then I must have a break. I feel discouraged about one thing or another – then I need to find something to encourage me. I feel frustration with any number of situations – then I should avoid those circumstances. Entitlement says I really should not have to feel lonely or tired or worn out or discouraged or frustrated. (And it doesn’t help that our culture tells me that too.)

I require courage, but I prefer using the word gumption. Ever since Gone With the Wind entered my world that word has become a central part of my narrative. Perhaps because I love the sound of it. Perhaps because it feels more exotic than courage. Perhaps because I feel like our culture is not encouraging it or recognizing its value.

I require gumption to face the real, foundational, serious problem – really, the only problem I face and the only thing I ever need to fear. Gumption to face it, gumption to feel the full weight of holy discontent with myself. Gumption to feel all those things that I don’t want to feel. Gumption to press for holiness more than comfort.

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Reflections on Four Years

photo-16We haven’t been out to Hillside for months. The snow and our busy lives kept us away. But standing at the grave it is easy to open the flood gates. Suddenly four years disappears and it all happened yesterday. The darkness, the emptiness, the fear, the grief – it’s all right there – like a blanket engulfing me. I have my baby wrapped tight to my chest, impatient with my stillness. I watch my toddler’s exuberance in the big, wide open space that he has all to himself. Life – so much life – right before me, and death too. Death that left a big hole in my heart.

A mommy doesn’t get much time for reflection and that’s not a bad thing really. Life goes on in Heaven and life goes on here on earth. Reflection is done on the fly, in between the peanut butter and jelly and during the diaper changes and in the middle of a quick chat with a sweet friend on my front porch.

In my fly-by moments of reflection it has occurred to me today that in all of God’s dealings with me over the last years I have been totally, completely, utterly helpless. He is the One that has shut doors, opened others, led us down the path of Sorrow and then opened up the way to Joy. I am struck by God’s decision to give us these two and then take them away. I have no idea why He did it, but there was nothing I could do.

It’s easy to believe that a mother is the one who gives life to her children. I could not do that and so two children died. But that is a whispered lie. A mother doesn’t give life. God gives life. God takes life. God sets the lonely in families and God keeps the lonely out of families.

And God gives life to mothers who cannot nurture and sustain it. That was me and that was Judah’s birthmom and my sweet baby girl’s birthmom. There is very little difference between us three women – all of us are helpless to sustain the life that has been given us. God created these lives anyway.

photo-17The children whose voices fill my home and my head and my heart these busy, crazy days; whose little chocolate hands pull and prod; whose little spirits are never satiated but always want more. These children will one day realize what I have seen – they are helpless before their Maker. He gave them life. He brought grief into their hearts before they were born. He gave them to me – to Josh – and in that act created a new family. He did it all.

There is nothing else to do but bow and say what I am teaching Judah to say, “OK, Jesus. I love you.”

Posted in Adoption, Ebenezer and Hannah, Mommying, Suffering | 10 Comments

Judah and Jesus

Today was hard. Not hard in the “I-hate-my-life” sense but hard in the “when-is-it-bedtime?” sense. Josh was out the door before anyone was up this morning and then home for about 30 minutes for a quick dinner before heading off to a meeting. Baby is not taking good naps so more time holding her and she’s grumpy because she’s not rested. Judah…well, more about him later. Spring will.not.come.ever. And there is so much to distract even though it’s Holy Week and supposedly this week of all the year is when I’m supposed to be thankfully occupying my mind entirely with remembering all that has been done for me.

Why is it that the discipline of the mind is the hardest thing? What is it about the mind that somehow manages to be anxious about more things than I could possibly give words to? I can somehow think about 10 different worrying or frustrating or depressing things all at the same time, but I can’t think about one thing – One Person – who is willing and able to give the kind of peace my little tiny brain could never even imagine possible.

Why do I sabotage myself like that? I shove off the easy yoke because, really, it just takes too much effort to pick up that cross. I run after the heavy, the burdensome, the anxiety-ridden thinking that somehow there is rest for me if I live there instead. Lies, lies, lies.

One of the things that I am working on – rather, trying to work on – is patiently giving myself to Judah minute after tiring minute during the day. He keeps up a steady stream of conversation from the second he opens his eyes until he collapses into bed in the evening. He hates to be away from me. Being left alone in his room to play (where there are all kinds of wonderful things expressly laid out for his amusement) is tantamount to torture. No matter how often I give him room time it is always a showdown. By the end of the day my mind is so tired from interacting with him I feel like there is nothing left.

Just now I went into his room to tell him to stop calling out for me after he had been put to bed. He knew I was angry, but that didn’t stop him from saying, “hand? hand?” He wants to lie in bed holding my hand for just a few more minutes. He doesn’t care that I’m frustrated or angry. He just wants me with him. It’s the fellowship he wants – it doesn’t matter what kind of a mood I’m in or even really what I say.

I wish I was like that with Jesus. I wish my mind went to Him automatically, every free second available. I wish I worked harder for the fellowship of the Spirit, which, as I know from experience, is the sweetest thing on offer. I wish that I cared more about being with Christ in my mind and in my heart than anything else. I wish I was more like my two year old son. And the difference is Jesus will never get tired of me or bored or irritated. He will always be glad for the fellowship.

Posted in Mommying, The Daily | 8 Comments

Lenten Musings


I love small comforts. I mean, I really love them. Being a homebody means I don’t go in for the big bangs. I don’t want to spend my Saturday skiing or going to concerts or boutique hopping. I would rather be home, reading to my kiddos or watching Judah kick the ball with his daddy in our backyard.

It’s the small things I love. A glass of wine when it’s time to make dinner. Nursing my first cup of coffee before it’s time to get babies up. Sitting outside on a summer evening waiting for the sun to set. One more episode of our current favorite TV show. A family breakfast that lingers into the morning. I would choose these things over a camping trip or a concert or an amusement park any day, hands down.

And now it’s Lent. A time to remove one or more of the small things for the sake of denying ourselves. Facebook, alchohol, coffee, comfort sleep, desserts. The theology is pretty straightforward. We worship a Jesus who denied Himself for us. During this time of year when we remember His Passion it makes sense to deny ourselves something tangible. We walk the same road He walked. We take up our cross like He took up His.

I get the theology. I understand it. I want to take up my cross. I want to show my Jesus that I love Him and I am willing to walk His path. Surely giving up my glass of wine is a pretty small thing to do and surely I can do it for the weeks of Lent.

But there’s a problem. I really don’t like to give up my small comforts. I love my small comforts. I love to live in the present. I love to enjoy each moment that I live and I love each moment to be just right. I see my life as a string of wonderful experiences that shape who I am. Seeing the Eiffel Tower for the first time; performing the first movement of Schumann’s piano concerto; climbing around in the Catacombs outside of Rome; those first awakening moments of falling in love with my husband; walking down the aisle on my father’s arm; waiting for Josh to come out of the room where he successfully defended his PhD thesis; holding Judah for the first time; handing him over to be baptized. These moments are tastes of Glory and I want the tastes of Glory all the time. The small comforts are small tastes and I love them and cherish them.

But it’s not time for Glory yet. This is what has struck me this Lent. God gives us tastes of joy – He fills our lives with good things, but I must live in the future too. Jesus is waiting for all the evil and heart break and human suffering to end. I need to wait too. This present day is not Glory. It is not perfection. There is joy to come that I can only imagine. Denying myself a small comfort is to affirm the coming joy – the joy that is not yet.

I am glad for Lent, glad for its self denial, its reminders of the way of suffering, the opportunity it gives for me to re-focus my purpose. But self denial by itself is pretty lame. Lent is good. Easter is better. On Easter I’ll pour my glass of wine and say, “To the coming King!”

Posted in Christian Ritual, The Daily | 4 Comments

Here is my heart

A couple Sundays ago a storm hit and we had to re-arrange a number of things that had been in place for quite some time. It was very frustrating and I balked at the tedium and disappointment of it all, wanting to blame anyone except the One who actually makes the weather. I said to Josh that morning that I felt able to surrender the big things to the Lord (our twins, our fertility, the growth of our family), but I struggled to surrender the little things – the tedious things, the things that don’t feel heroic.

But of course this was a dumb thing to say because it’s not true. Yes, I have surrendered all those things to the Lord, but it took years of work and sometimes I have to surrender them all over again. And there are other big things in our lives that I don’t surrender. I just don’t. I stew over them. I worry over them. I feed that ravenous pit that sits deep in my stomach.

The big things might seem heroic after they are actually surrendered, but in the moment it’s not heroism. It’s just plain hard work and it’s work that I don’t want to do. And when it comes down to it, it’s all the same work – the big things and the small. It’s the same place in the heart that says, “Here I am.” Or, “Please leave me alone, God.”

A friend recently painted a picture for me. An oak tree is so tall that it stands above all the other trees. It is so big that it ends up shielding others from the elements. Because it stands so tall and is so big the roots have to go down, down, down and spread wide, wide, wide. If they didn’t, they could not support the weight or the bulk of such a massive tree.
The oak can’t say, “Ummm…I’m not liking the oak thing. What about a birch? Or a maple?” The oak tree is an oak tree and it always will be. And when those roots start to grow they just keep growing.

I am not an oak. I am not a maple. I’m a sapling and when the winds blow I need stakes in the ground to support me because my roots rip up so easily. But I know oaks and lately their presence in my life has been so wonderfully powerful. You know what I mean. The kind of powerful conviction that is also encouragement because you think, “Yes. That is what I want to be and maybe, one day, I will get there.”

One of these women said to me recently, “I just want to obey.” Wow. OK. I guess all this other stuff doesn’t really matter. And another talked to me of the glorious Christian view of God’s great power moving all things to completion – our little lives are but a tiny part. Well, I guess if you put it that way…

As a wife, a mother, a sister in the church, a teacher, a musician, I alternate between the big things and the little things. It doesn’t seem to matter – they all have the power to knock me flat, ripping out the roots and killing faith in the process. Whether it’s the daily dying that my toddler boy requires of me or the big huge world of orphan care that leaves me feeling heartbroken and overwhelmed. It’s all the same battle. Do I believe the truth or the lie? Sturdy, strong, God-knowing faith does not suddenly appear in the heart. It is a gift that is won. I see that sturdy faith in others – the kind that says, “It is well with my soul” and I want it. But it’s not enough to want it. It has to be won with blood, sweat and tears. My blood, my sweat and my tears.

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The weary world rejoices?

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This picture cracks me up. Judah is obviously so done with the picture taking party. The look on Nanny’s face says she is too. But Mom and I remain determined to get just one more before we end the photo shoot.

These days it’s one of my favorites. Nanny went to be with Jesus on Monday, quietly and gently. Like the Lord came softly into her room, said it was time to go, took her by the hand and she was gone before anyone realized it. In Heaven her Lord welcomed her to Rest. Then, at the front of the line were her husband and her daughter Bronwyn. And after them, so many others. People she had missed for many years and was anxious to see again. I love to think of her meeting our twins and her granddaughter, Samantha, who died years ago. Can there be anything so joyous as the reunions that take place in Heaven?

As news of her death has spread, my dad has received emails from friends around the world, expressing condolences, recounting memory after memory and bearing witness to the wonderful legacy Nanny is leaving behind for her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. And nearly every email and story centers around her hospitality and the openness of the home she and Papa kept for years and years. They hosted countless numbers of missionaries, pastors, college and seminary students, friends, strangers, the poor, the rich. Their home was a rotating bed and breakfast (and lunch and dinner) for so many years, living right on the seminary campus and welcoming anyone and everyone for a meal, a place to stay, a home for the holidays.

Papa had the vision for that way of life, but Nanny was the one that made it possible. She was at home all the time. Her life was cooking, cleaning, changing sheets, doing laundry and, of course, raising four children. She was the hub of their home, the warmth of it, the energy for it. Without her it wouldn’t have worked. And people from all over the world benefited and are now bearing witness to the powerful influence her hospitality had in their lives.

I wonder how many of her guests knew that she ironed her sheets every single time before making the bed again. (Did you get that? Ironed the sheets!) Or that her beautiful furniture was gathered meticulously from their travels, every piece carefully selected. Or that her spread at the table and her wonderful meals came from a strict code of ethics regarding manners, table etiquette and meal hospitality. (No label on the table!)

I loved nearly every meal that she made (nearly). But my favorite was lunch. She was not a PB&J kind of girl. Her lunch spread (just for herself!) would include toast, a delicious wedge of cheese, a side of pickles and olives, some salad dish and of course, a cup of tea. Sharing these lunches made me feel like a queen. Still today when I make myself a plate for lunch I find myself putting a little extra effort into it, thinking of Nanny. “It’s just what you do, honey!”

She practiced her hospitality as an art and a science and she devoted her entire life to it. Her whole ministry was her home and that ministry stretched across the country, to Europe, India, Australia and China. This legacy is more precious to me than words and will remain in my heart the perfect example of what good can be accomplished by a lowly housewife. I add my voice to all those who are rising up and calling her blessed.

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