This post is coming to you from NW Arkansas. Any of you ever make dumb statements like "I will never..."? You can fill in your own words. Well long ago...I guess 30 years or so ago when my mom chose to marry my stepdad and then they moved to Arkansas, I casually said, "Please don't tell people when you come to Texas that I'm from Arkansas". I am a Texan in every sense of the word. Heck, I bleed red-white-and blue Lone star flag blood! Then several years ago I went to Indonesia and fell in love with Muslim people and their culture. So fast forward to my opportunity to go and teach in the AD school system...and I wanted to be in the most remote part of the emirate, Al Gharbia. A lot like where I grew up in West Texas...hot, dry, nothing but sand! Well, then my mother-in-law was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and passed away in only 18 days after going into the hospital. I screamed in the shower the day that she went home to Heaven, "WHERE ARE YOU GOD? THIS IS SO UNFAIR!" The day of her funeral, my mother had a stroke and the prognosis was not good. My stepdad has Alzheimers so he iS not going to be all that is needed. Al (my precious hubby) and I dropped everything and rushed to Arkansas. Now it is clear that while my mother will recover, it is going to be a long slow process and she is 80 years old and still fiercely independent. Dad's disease takes him away from us a little more every day and it is difficult to understand how a loving God could allow this to happen to a man who is probably one of the smartest people I've ever known (with the exception of my oldest son, John). However, now he is much less serious and lots of fun, especially when we're looking for something and trying to figure out where the most logical place is that my mother would have put it! One example was the other day when my mother (by phone of course) was absolutely sure there was a package of bacon in the freezer and dad and I were "diving" head first into this top load freezer trying not to make my mother any more angry than she already was! We found the bacon and I even cooked it for breakfast! It's official, I stink at cooking! Thank you Lord for the husband you gave me who not only loves to cook but does it VERY well. I have so much to be thankful for that this little detour from my going to Abu Dhabi seems challenging but I know that while I don't know what the future holds, I know WHO holds the future! So while my new adventure is Arkansas not Abu Dhabi, my brother pointed out that, "Hey, they both start with A" and at least I am headed the right direction, EAST. So please stay tuned for more stories that will make you laugh and cry as I am finding this process of living has a great deal of both. Blessings to all who follow Him because they know where he's going...and also to those who like me, haven't a clue but we are held in His hands!