Summer Elation

I know everyone is getting into the groove of school now, but I just wanted to share with you all an event that happened over the summer. After one of our mission trips, I came back home for a couple of days, and as I was cutting the yard, I noticed a gargantuan pine tree in our backyard had died over night. It was hovering over some utility lines so I thought, “why not give it a shot.” I called the utility company just to see if there was a possibility of them removing the tree. THEY DID…cut it down at least, but they dumped the entire 100’ pine tree into massive sections into our backyard. Ugh. I thought, “Surely, they will come back in a day or two and remove it.” They said that they only cut them down now and aren’t responsible for removing it from the site. It was cut into 10’ sections and was a jumbled mess of pine trunks. I couldn’t budge it out of the grass but knew it would have to wait until after we got back from Kentucky.

At night, I wrestled with thoughts of how to remove it. The professional tree cutters wouldn’t call us back, so I was resigned to the fact that I would purchase a commercial grade chain saw with an extra long blade and spend the next month or two cutting it up into manageable sections. Then, I would drift off to sleep and have nightmares.

When we returned from Kentucky, my family greeted me at home and Whitney was all smiles as she said, “Come into the backyard, I have a big surprise for my honey.” I thought the surprise was a brand new chainsaw. She said, “Now, close your eyes and I’ll point you in the direction of where to look when you open your eyes.” Do you know what I saw? That ginormous pine tree and every scrap was TOTALLY gone. Even the pine cones. Honestly, I nearly burst into tears of elation. I asked how much she had to pay to get a professional to get that done? She just smiled and said, “there are a lot of people that love you.” A host of teens, a few youth group dads, several neighbors, and one of her former 1st graders and entire family spent hours to accomplish a job to perfection. They all begged Whitney not to tell me who did it, because they would refuse any gift I would try and give.

I owe you all a lifetime of steak dinners. You all make my heart swell with unending joy. Love always. I will never forget this incredible act of service.