The Gambian people begin every encounter with greetings.
How is the morning/afternoon/evening?
How is your family?
How are your animals?
How are your home people?
How are you?
And then they repeat the greetings again.
And repeat again.
Many times you’d see two people locked in the cycle of greeting one another. Their bodies moving back and forth in time with their greetings. A rhythm created between them. Their words almost on top of each other as they continually ask their questions. A litany of greetings on their lips.
There is no rush.
Nowhere else to be.
With each greeting comes an answer.
A two word response.
Peace this day.
Peace in my family.
Peace with my animals.
Peace with my home people.
Peace with me.
Then, and only then, when you’ve exhausted the questions and gone through them three or four times, and when you’ve shared your peace, then you move into conversation.
So that’s where we are now, dear reader. Imagine, you and I, the reader and I, having gone back and forth in a litany of greetings. And we’ve shared the words: Peace only.
Now we can talk. Now we can dig a bit deeper. Now we can get to know one another.
Thanks for dropping by my website and learning a little bit more about me.
My home and heart reside in Cole Camp, Missouri, where my husband Stephen, daughter Charlotte, son Isaac, and rescue-dog Lars live. Cole Camp is a town of 1,000. The best small town you could ask for. Our Mayberry. A park across the street from our home, festivals and events almost every weekend, and local shops and restaurants. A place where you are known.
My heart yearns for travel and meeting new people and places. I’ve been privileged to live in great cities such as Columbus, OH, Washington, D.C., Milwaukee, WI, as well as The Gambia, West Africa as a Peace Corps volunteer, where I learned the importance of greeting. I even hiked across Northern Spain one summer for 33 days along the ancient pilgrimage route, the Camino de Santiago. Yet my first home and deep sense of place belongs to Toledo, OH where I grew up in a suburb just outside the city. My mom still lives there and now I can share the city’s goodness with my children. Love Letters to Toledo.
Questions of vocation and who I am called to be and how I’m called to serve led me to study religion at Wittenberg University in Springfield, OH and attend seminary at Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, OH.
I met my husband in seminary even though we both vowed never to marry another pastor.
My first call as a pastor led me to Sedalia, MO where I served for five years.
Ever since I can remember, writing has been a way to make sense of myself and this world. Scrap paper, journals, snail mail, stories, and poems. Tucked into each and every word, I became a writer. Hope blossomed.
Now, I’ve stepped away from serving full time as a pastor. Cherishing time with our children. Cherishing time to write.
I’m looking for the extraordinary in the ordinary. Savoring each day. Each gift. Each challenge.
When I’m not at the park with my kids, attending church, out around town, or tending to our garden, you can find me with a pen and paper. Or a good book. And a cup of tea.