I opened my email to find this.
This is her dad and I. We think it was taken the summer before my senior year in high school. This would be the summer that we moved from my "hometown". That would be the "hometown" that my dad had pastored in for 14 years. The same "hometown" that I had gone to school since kindy.
That summer we went to youth camp with our our previous church. I got to spend some quality time with lifelong friends.
This picture reminds me of the best part of being in ministry...the people. They are the family you create when you don't live next door to your family. Pops (as all his girls called him) was a second father to me for years. He probably thought I lived with him when I was in high school. When I went to college I was actually closer to Pops and Mom Marilyn's house than my own parents. Mom Marilyn did more of my laundry in college than my mom did and they always had an open door for me (and usually gas money).
This picture is bittersweet. Pops passed away in 1998 just a couple of months after we lost Josiah. I left my childhood home from his funeral to bury my first son's ashes. The comfort came in knowing that because of his faith my son and Pops were together. Eternity will be so sweet.
So while ministry is hard...I so want that for my children. I want them to share the joys of creating a