Sunday, June 26, 2011

On The Road Again...

I'm leaving today to spend the week in Maryland as a ministry leader with the Difference Makers Church middle/high school F.U.S.E camp.  I can't belive it's been a year since I dressed up like Lady Gaga and wrestled with my seething ball of disgustingness!

Yes.  I'm wearing a space suit and a giant yellow comb in my hair.
If you're asking yourself how Lady Gaga could in any way be related to ministry, you're asking the right kinds of questions, my friend.   Through the gift of song (or more accurately, the gift of lip syncing), I instructed the campers not to use their "telephones" during camp.  Let this be a lesson to all parents: kids will listen to someone in a space suit.  (If you want some additional parenting advice from another person that doesn't have any kids, check out Tony's guest post about the parenting tips he learned from watching the Dog Whisperer.  Compelling and rich.)

After F.U.S.E camp, I will be picking Tony up in Baltimore and we'll both come back to Buckhannon together to get my Uhaul loaded up for the 20 hour ride to Southern Florida

As I sit here typing on my parent's old Dell desktop for most likely the last time, I am overwhelmed with how amazing these last 5 months in my hometown have been.  Over the last week I have gone from someone that can't cry  to someone that cries every five seconds.  Of course no one has actually seen me cry, because that would be like seeing a leprachuan riding a unicorn, or Ashley from the Bachelorette not crying, or Blanche Devoroux turning down a gentleman caller, or Luke Skywalker joining the dark side, get the picture.

You'll just have to take me at my word.

Even though I'm excited to be with Tony and look forward to this crazy adventure God has lined up for us, I'm going to miss so many things here. 

It's hard to leave.

I'm going to miss lazy days spent out at our camp on the river with a beer in one hand and my feet in the cold waters of the Buckhannon River.  West Virginia is one of the most beautiful places on Earth.  No wonder people refer to it as "God's country" and "Almost Heaven".   I love this place so much.  It's so hard to even put it into words.  One day when I meet God in Heaven, I am sure He'll walk up to me holding a handfull of WV wild flowers and lead me through the pearly gates and into a land where the green covered mountains echo the distant sounds of the fiddle and banjo, and the rivers sing a song that my heart has always known. 

I'm going to miss my dog, Bailey.  She's been my little buddy.  I will especially miss her coming into my room in the middle of the night and curling up at the end of my bed.  Waking up with her dog breath in my face always makes me laugh and smile.  Don't worry, I'm still going to talk to Bailey over the phone so that I can continue to keep all of you informed about A Dog's Life

I'm going to miss hanging out with my friend, Dionne.  I feel so blessed to have had this time to get to know her better.  She has talked me down off of some pretty high ledges over these last few months.  I love being around people like her that don't worry about what other people think and just go out and be who they are.   I am pretty sure that the amazing folks down at the  88 Restaurant & Lounge thought we had moved in as much as we were down there.  I've had the opportunity to make new friends since I've been home and each one of these amazing people have changed my life.  I wish I would have had more time to get to know Katie, Jill, and Bethany. 

I'm going to miss hanging out with Heather and Kylie.  The three of us have spent a lot of time together over these last few months.  I've learned so much from being with them. I've learned to play Ring-Around-The-Rosy for 45 minutes straight without passing out.  I've learned that to feed a 2-year-old you have to make eating into a game.  I've learned that kids love being naked.  I've learned that 2-year-olds hate the word "no" more than they hate nap time.  And I think that Kylie has learned a few things from me.  She learned how to "cheers" with her sippy cup.  She learned a few choice words and phrases that will hopefully be forgotten before she goes off to school.  She's learned that I will play with her until I fall over just to see her smile.  She's learned that I love her with all my heart.   I think the hardest of all is being far away from Heather.  She is my cousin, but really, she's my sister.  She is one of those people that will do anything for anyone at any time no matter what.  She loves to laugh and smile and even when she is tired to the bone will stay up all night talking to me about my problems even though they are tiny in comparison to the worries she carries.  Heather always believes in me, watches out for me, and loves me no matter what I do or have done.  I know that we'll still talk on the phone, but I sure am going to miss her hugs.

I'm going to miss hanging out with my Aunt Debbie and my Uncle Ronnie.  They spent quite a few nights and one memorable 16 hour drive to Florida getting to know me better and sharing their hearts and time with me.  Luckily, they have a place in Florida that is only a few hours away so we'll get to see each other.

I'm going to miss my Grammy.  She's lived 89 amazing years and has the stories to prove it.  I've loved hearing her stories about she and my Grandpa and how much they loved each other.  She's always given me amazing advice.  The first time I showed her a picture of Tony, she looked up at me with her jaw hanging open and her eyes wide and said, "Well, Katie....He's the ONE!  The one I've been praying for.  It's him!!" 

I'm going to miss my Mom, Dad, Kirk, Dana, and their future little Baby McNemar, Bella Grace.  This will be the furthest I've ever been from them and makes my heart hurt.  I've been trying not to think about it, but I can't help it.  I lived near Kirk and Dana while I was in DC and was always lived just a few hours drive from home ever since I left when I was 18. 

Kirk and Dana are the most amazing two people you could ever meet.  I've always looked up to my brother and am so happy that he has someone as loving and fun as Dana by his side.  They are going to be amazing parents.  It's going to be hard to be far away from them, especially after they have little Bella.  I am excited to be spending this next week with them at F.U.S.E camp right before I head south.  They have always been there for me, supported me, prayed for me and with me, and loved me.  I can't wait to see how God uses them for His kingdom.  He has already used them in so many amazing ways. 

My Mom is my best friend and my biggest cheerleader. It's been so great living in the same house as her again.  Especially when I got really sick a few months ago and needed my mommy.  For years I've had to take care of myself and be strong.  But sometimes you just need your mommy to make you tea and cinnamon toast.  Without her support and encouragement I don't know where I would be.  She has rescued me a million times in my life and most of the time I've paid her back with nothing more than a short thank you.  She has always given to me and never expected anything in return.  Not even for me to pay attention to her.  She is the most selfless, giving person I've ever met and I pray to one day be just like her.  I already look just like her so I'm starting off pretty well. 

I've always been Daddy's girl.  My dad and I are a lot alike.  Over these last few months I've grown closer to my Dad than I ever have been.  One of my very favorite things to do is to sit and talk to my Dad.  I love hearing his stories, debating and discussing things with him, and getting his advice even when I don't like what he has to say.  I realized that all the years when I was younger and rebelling that I ignored my dad's advice and pushed him away, he was trying to love me and steer me in the right direction.  It's going to be hard to be far away from my dad.  He doesn't like to talk on the phone and when I tried to explain Skype to him he looked at me like I was speaking Russian.  Even if I don't get to see him much, I feel so blessed that I had these last 5 months to spend with him and get to know him better.

I could go on, but I think I'm getting dehydrated from all the crying. 

The next time you hear from me will be from the sandy shores of Southern Florida.  Please be praying for our F.U.S.E. camp this next week, as well as for Tony and I as we both make some really huge transitions.  I know I need all the prayers I can get. 


Ramblin Woman

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