Thursday, May 31, 2012

Chapter 13. In Which They Finally Meet Again And The Stage Is Set

It was July when Bethany travelled to IN, along with her parents and Miss T, for the Youth Fellowship Meetings. These meetings were divided into districts and Bethany knew quite well that OH and AR were not in the same district. Still, she hoped Chris might show up. And he did! His trusty FBI agent, Mr J, told him Bethany would be there and so he went. They didn't spend a lot of time together but did manage one long talk in the hall while their friends walked by and pretended not to notice them. In the course of conversation Chris shared his plans for going to Faith Mission Home. In surprise, Bethany shared her going to Faith Mission story! And, at last, the green light spun and blinked. No way was he going to FMH if she was going too! The time had come to ask, and soon. There was one person he needed to talk to, Miss T. You see, Chris wasn't quite as dense as Bethany had thought. He didn't want Bethany to have to tell Miss T, so he took her aside and informed her of his plans. And so, the stage was set.

Go here for Chapter 14

Chapter 12. In Which We Sing A Familiar Tune And A Matter Is Settled

It so happened that Chris' trip to AR coincided with VBS. Thursday night Miss T took Bethany aside to fill her ears! She had been shopping at Walmart that day when who should appear but Chris and Mr K!! AND they had told Miss T they might come to VBS that night! All evening Bethany waited...but in vain. As her house was only a stone's throw from Mr J, she observed their porch party as she finished packing for her departure in the morning. It would have been so easy to MAKE seeing each other happen, but Chris was quite content to leave it to the Lord. And so, the morning found Bethany on a plane to Belize and Chris attending the morning session of VBS. Once again, so near and yet so far away! Bethany enjoyed her time in Belize and returned home wondering what the future held for her. Imagine her surprise to find a letter waiting to confirm a dream! It contained an application for Faith Mission Home, a place for mentally handicapped children. With her parent's blessing she made plans to go there for a year.

Go here for Chapter 13

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Chapter 11. In Which Chris Has A Birthday And Bethany Receives A Surpr ise

Spring sped on toward summer and one day a green light appeared in Chris' mailbox! It happened this way. Miss T remembered that Chris' birthday fell on June 1 and proposed to Bethany that they send him a card. She agreed hesitantly, knowing her parents might frown on the idea. Miss T drafted a poem and Bethany produced a photo. They signed their names and Miss T sent the greeting on it's merry way! Weeks later, the phone rang at Bethany's house ... not unusual. Her sister answered it ... also, not unusual. Seconds later she handed it to Bethany, "I think it's Chris Eicher!" GULP. This WAS unusual!! Sure enough, seeing an excuse to contact Bethany, he had picked up the phone and called her. They proceeded to have a "friendly" chat and all the while Bethany's mind was spinning "what am I gonna say when I get off of here?!" Much to Bethany's relief, no great fuss was made. She did glean one noteworthy news item. Chris and Mr K were planning a trip in June which included a stop in AR at Mr J's house! Hmm.....

Go here for Chapter 12

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Chapter 10. In Which They Nearly Meet And We Learn Of The FBI

And so, the 2 individuals in our story returned to "normal" life. Although neither could forget the friendship that had budded in the most unusual way. To tell the truth, they missed each other! And when Bethany went to OH to visit her sister, she really did miss him. By a whisker. You see, Bethany was spending several weeks w/ her married sister. An acquaintance from CBS called her up w/ an invitation to a volleyball game one night. An evening of so many strangers was too much for Bethany's shy nature and she stayed home. Weeks later her sister's letter revealed that Chris Eicher was at that volleyball game!! If only...but she had missed it! Meanwhile, Chris spent his summer working and searching for green lights concerning Bethany. He had what he called his FBI-friends who knew of his interest in Bethany and gave advice and information. These included bishops, ministers, CBS teachers, CBS roommates of both he and Bethany, and of course Mr J, Chief Of Information Himself. One day a green light appeared!

Go here for Chapter 11

Monday, May 28, 2012

Chapter 9. In Which Miss T is Offered A Ride And They Say Good Bye

Now Miss T had a brother in IN whom she wished to visit. She had a way to return to AR in a few weeks, but how to get there in the first place? Enter the kindhearted (but dense!) Chris Eicher. Seeing as he lived in OH, it would be a simple matter to drop Miss T off on his way home. When Bethany heard of his offer, she was fit to be tied. Of all the things Chris had done concerning Miss T, this was by far the dumbest yet! But, again, what could she say? Why should she care? So, Saturday night found Chris at Mr J's house, a room mate of Chris' from Bethany's church. After church Sunday Miss T had dinner at Bethany's house and waited for her ride to arrive. He came presently and Bethany, after saying her goodbyes to Miss T, found herself on the porch with... HIM. It felt awkward, suddenly, to say goodbye. They shook hands and stood there, as if there should be something more than merely goodbye. But what? And so it was merely goodbye. Then Chris drove away w/ Miss T as Bethany forlornly watched them go.

Go here for Chapter 10

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Chapter 8. In Which Miss T Hitches A Ride And Bethany Protects Her

The last big event of CBS was a trip to Hillcrest to give a program. The Clarion staff planned to return immediately afterward to work on the yearbook. Now it happened that Miss T learned of the plan and obtained permission to go w/ them as she had alot of homework. Bethany was indignant! Homework indeed. But what could she say? The ride included only her and 2 boys. Neither could she argue when Chris opted to sit in the back seat w/ Miss T. But she was furious. What an idiot! Had he never heard of leading girls on? The ride back was less than merry. They drove along in silence only to realize they'd majorly missed their road! After procuring a map and stopping for gas the atmosphere suddenly changed. You see, Chris was in the driver's seat now and Bethany smugly kept her spot notwithstanding Miss T's imploring looks! Now that Miss T was protected there was laughter and chatter and singing. And to ensure her further protection Bethany made certain she went straight to her room to do homework upon arrival!

Go here for Chapter 9

Friday, May 25, 2012

Her little hand

Someday this little hand might cook or clean or sew or tend a garden or busily can fresh vegetables for a hungry family. Someday it might touch a firstborn child or hold a husband's hand or smooth a sick child's brow or wipe pain filled eyes. Someday this hand might feed the hungry in africa or fold in prayer for the lost. And someday this little hand will fold in death. But today? Today this little hand needs mine. It reaches for mine to go on a walk, it pats my back when i pick her up, and when she's tired or hurt this little hand searches for mine and her fingers caress my familiar skin. This nap time ritual is made sweeter by the fact that once it was my little hand that needed my mother's. My little hand that searched and felt for the familiar skin. Someday this little hand won't need mine anymore but today? I treasure today.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Chapter 7. In Which Bethany Writes Chris an Astonishing Note

The many indications that something more than "friendship" was developing between us is truly interesting to recount. There was the way we "ended up" in nearly all the same classes 4th term, then the way we'd both end up in a classroom 15 min before class time to "study". The volleyball tournament where Chris watched Bethany all day and she wondered if he was ok, and picture night when Bethany claimed a seat beside Chris where there was no room for Miss T. There was the group Chris organized to sing at a nearby prison. He asked Bethany, of course, to choose the girls and poor Miss T didn't meet the age requirement. There was the ride back to CBS from gospel team (but that's another chapter!) And then there was Bethany's note of encouragement she dropped in Chris' lap. The note that made his eyes bug. The note that said she was praying for whatever was bothering him, never dreaming that marrying HER was the problem bothering him! Funny, really. So she was praying about marrying him and didn't even know it!

Go here for Chapter 8

Chapter 6. In Which We Learn A Secret

There was one small detail in his friendship with Bethany which Chris never told anyone. Sometime between the first Clarion meeting and the Saturday boat ride, the Lord told him he would marry Bethany. It wasn't an audible voice and it didn't happen in a single moment. But one day he knew. Knew as plainly as if God had voiced it from Heaven. And the realization startled him. Why her?!? He wasn't even sure he LIKED her and she was going to be his WIFE?!? Sure he had to admit she wasn't the stuck up person he had first thought her to be, but that didn't mean he wanted to MARRY her! Yet he KNEW, and there was a strange peace about it that he couldn't describe. So in many ways he spent the rest of his time at CBS as one might who knows that someday he will inherit his family's fortune and so must prepare for that day. An earlier heartbreak he didn't care to repeat caused him to proceed with caution. He sought advice from anyone he could think of in an effort to make SURE his crazy "knowing" was real.

Go here for Chapter 7

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Chapter 5. In Which We Are Introduced To "the Triangle" and the Plot Thickens

4th term arrived and with it Bethany's best friend (hereafter referred to as Miss T). She and Chris shared an earlier friendship built mostly on the soft spot in Chris' heart for those like Miss T who joined the Mennonites. And so began an interesting Triangle. Sharing a mutual friend who was struggling to make her way in the Mennonite world allowed Chris and Bethany to deepen their friendship. It was all in the name of helping Miss T of course! Besides, the YUCK factor was still there. There wasn't any possibility Bethany would ever fall for that know-it-all! Still, Miss T's prescence put Bethany between a rock and a hard place. She watched Chris and Miss T and their discussions and saw the good he could do her. At the same time she watched (and listened to) Miss T and knew Chris' attention was giving her other ideas besides advisor. She did not want to see Miss T get hurt. How could Chris not see what he was doing? Dumb, blind boys!! And yet...there was something else there too...but what exactly?

Go here for Chapter 6

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

9 for 9: Finishing the "In Which" Series

In true "Bethany" fashion, I'm getting a little tired of stringing our story out over a hundred Thursdays. So.....since there are 9 more days of May and 9 more chapters of our story. And since I know you're all sitting in suspense from Thursday to Thursday just dying to know what happens next. Beginning tomorrow I will be posting a chapter every day! :)

Monday, May 21, 2012

Little pleasures...

Who would have guessed that a pipe cleaner family could give 2 little girls so much fun and pleasure? i made jennifer and lillian each a little family and they played and played taking them for rides in their shoe "cars" and making them do different things. Interesting that they started with one little person who they said was themself, then requested a mom and dad and then a grandpa and grandma! Hmmm... Might that have something to do with our living arrangement these days? :) every so often they get brought to mom to repair squashed arms and legs and a bit ago i found lillians family in one gigantic "hug" after they had been stuffed in her purse :) these pipe cleaners were originally part of jennifer's 4th birthday gift along with a container of beads to string on them. They've played hours with those as well! Dishes await... Too bad these little people don't help with the work :)

Friday, May 18, 2012

I'll take the Beautiful, but why the Ugly?

Anyone who is married knows the feeling, at least I think so! You have this lovely sharing time together, you and him, and your hearts are so close you almost feel like you're pumping each other's blood. The next days there's this glow and all you have to do is look in each other's eyes and that close warmth returns. You feel like life just couldn't get any better and how did I ever get so blessed? And then, it happens. It's the smallest thing that starts it, you're feeling down and want a little sympathy and he wants you to listen to something he's saying when you're busy and not interested. Before you know what's happening it's all about big things, your selfishness and his not understanding, and where did it all go? There's tears, avoiding eyes, backs turned in bed and words. Too many words. Thankfully w/ God there's also redemption. There's slow opening of eyes to truth, apologies, strong arms that hold. And slowly I'm realizing that w/o the ugly and the redemption, there would never be the beautiful!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Chapter 4. In Which The Opinion Changing Begins

The 1st Clarion meeting found Bethany feeling clueless about her role and uncertain how she would relate w/ the other members. She must have decided to just be herself, for Chris came away from the meeting in wide eyed amazement! He never dreamed this stuck up girl could talk and laugh and, in short, act so crazy! Hmm...they both left wondering in bewilderment which person was real-the one they thought they knew or the one they had actually had a good time with?? Then came Saturday. Bethany joined a small group with plans to go motor boating. Upon arrival at the boat dock, they were met by 3 boys, 1 of whom was Chris Eicher! And, they shared the same boat. Whatever. Sunday brought ANOTHER surprise. Bethany planned to attend her own church w/ a group of students from CBS. But who invited Chris Eicher? And who rode in the same car, in the same backseat? Uh huh. Looking back it is amazing how they ended up together that week end. Neither one knew the other was going along either day until-there they were!

Go here for Chapter 5

Monday, May 14, 2012

Hand me that Gold Star!

I need a big, gold star for bravery: I accomplished a first today! Jennifer, Lillian and I drove to the mall all by ourselves! :) I am not good with learning how to drive to new places. And driving on interstates scares me silly. Well, everywhere I wanna go here is a new place and most of them you have to go interstate to get there... I'm learning, slowly. The best way to learn is to just go do it by myself! I'll never remember the way to a place just by riding with someone! So, I did it!! I won't tell you how many times I was on the phone with Chris or how carefully he explained the map he drew for me :) The point is I did it and now I think I could do it again...maybe even without my phone! Maybe. In other news? Work on the house. Work on the house. Work on the house.... It's coming! I can almost taste it!! I don't even know if I'll know how to act! And opening all those boxes that have been stored for 9+ months? Christmas, y'all! I can't even remember what all I have anymore!! Happy Monday to all....

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy mother's day!

This card melts my heart.isaac came up with that little rhym all on his own! Sometimes having my children grow up scares me silly. What if i'm doing all the wrong things? What if that opportunity i missed was crucial? What if that reprimand was too harsh and unnecessary? I wonder sometimes, what will my children look back and say about me? I can think of a lot of not so good things that they could say!! Thats why this little card this mothers day means so much. My children really do love me....and i really do love them...and thats the most important point!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Chapter 3. In Which Chris Needs An Assistant And Menno Finds One

Now Chris was the only student who came for all 4 terms that year. Being the Editor of the Calvary Clarion he had several assistants. As one of his assistants departed at the end of 2nd term, he said unto Menno, "Get me another assistant for the work is too great for us." And Menno said, "How about Miss Yoder?" And Chris replied, "She will be fine." After 3 days had passed Chris inquired of Menno whether he had asked Miss Yoder concerning the matter. And Menno replied "I have asked Bethany Gingerich." And Chris went forth from the office in surprise saying to himself "Well, at least I know who she is!" Now Bethany was in a turmoil, for being on Clarion Staff appealed to her but some members on said Staff did not! And Chris met Bethany in the hall and said unto her "I hear that Menno has asked you to be on the Clarion Staff?" And she replied snippily "Well I dont know whether I'm going to or not!" And he went his way puzzled and thought "What was her problem?!?" But after much thought she agreed to help.

Go here for Chapter 4

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Faithfulness, Acceptance, and Peace

I took a drive yesterday, all by myself. I opened my heart and vented all my feelings and tears to God in the silence. I pulled all the ugliness out of the depths and shared it with Him, out loud and with much feeling. Know what? He listened! Isn't God amazing? He brought to mind something I'd read recently and I pulled over to look it up. I don't have room here to share it but the gist is that God wants me to want Him and only Him not all the things I've been wanting, begging for and hanging onto. It became crystal clear to me that all these "bad" things I've been fighting against ARE Him and if I want Him, then I have to want these things! I can't explain to you the feeling of saying, "I want You and only You and because these things ARE You, I accept them", and naming each one! I know I'll struggle again but you know what else I know? I know God will be faithful to meet me again in that moment with exactly what I need so I don't need to worry about that! For now I'm thankful for Peace.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

I've started this thing and deleted too many times... There's too many things tumbling around in my mind. Things that hinder me from writing but aren't neatly sorted out and written in a blog post. It's a rainy, cloudy day. Jasmine is home from school with pink eye. (That vicious bug has struck nearly all of us now) I have a raging headache. A combination of sinus stuff, a poor night of sleep because of Lillian's cough and possibly the aforementioned tumbling things in my mind. Not really my idea of a great day but then, who needed my idea? To be honest I'm feeling pretty much a navy blue. And, to be even more honest, deep in my heart I know the answer but I don't wanna hear it. Does anybody else get in this place of knowing you're not really happy where you are and you know what the answer is but somehow you wanna wallow in it and fight against it rather then give up? No? I thought I was probably the odd one! I think I'll go back to bed!

Friday, May 4, 2012

On Why and How we follow our Father (the post I started Monday...)

I'm married to a man w/ endless illustrating ideas. One day he illustrated WHY we follow Jesus- Holding Crunch candy bars, he told the children to groan and grunt before they may have any. They thot this was strange but finally even Jennifer obliged in order to get the coveted chocolate! Once the chocolate was all he asked them to groan and grunt some more. Jasmine did it but Jennifer? No way! Then he explained that often we're like that with Jesus. As long as there's "chocolate" (personal gain) involved, we'll do it (dress different from others, stand up for truth, etc). But take the "chocolate" away and do it just because we love him and He asked us to? No way! This connects to his illustration on HOW we follow. As parents what pleases us is children who do what they know we would want because they love us, not just because we have a list of rules. However, them saying "I love you" then doing things we wouldnt approve of doesn't cut it either! Perfect picture of what our Heavenly Father desires from us!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Chapter 2. In Which Procrastination Nearly Ruins Their Destiny

So, after an enjoyable time at CBS in 1998, Mr Know-It-All and Miss Stuck Up returned in 99. Being the adventurous, decisive type, He returned for all 12 weeks and took on the position as editor of the school year book (The Calvary Clarion). She, on the other hand, couldn't decide. Should she go for more than one term? If so, which ones? And, dallying thus, she procrastinated until the only term with space remaining was 4th term. Upon learning this fact she immediately KNEW that she indeed desired to go more than one term! So, she joined the 3rd term waiting list. But as time passed, and her name remained buried on the list, she resigned herself to her fate with grief. And so, the Saturday for arriving for 3rd term dawned and all hope was gone. But, BEHOLD! Her father received a call from Menno Kuhns, the principal of CBS. Some young lady had fallen sick and could not come. Seeing as she lived only an hour from the school, would she be interested in filling the vacancy? Would she?! That would be yes!

Go here for Chapter 3