Catching up

How nice to sit beside you at this table again. Care for some sugar in that coffee? I have flavored creamer if you’d prefer it. I appreciate you bringing scones – my, they are tasty. Homemade?

I’ve missed you too.

What have I been doing? Well…

I had the loveliest mother-son banquet with my Boys Camp boy. He has grown, and not just his hair. He’s bigger and beefier, and his cheeks are rosy with the air and exercise. We sat at an elegant table eating fine food, and he gave me a wooden spoon he’d carved me, and a rose, and the nicest letter, rolled up and tied with string.

He spent a long, good weekend with us and after I said goodbye and dropped him off, such a strong urge came over me to drive over the bank into the Susquehanna that I said NO out loud, without thinking. NO! And I cried out my grief instead, and treasured the weekend’s memories, and drove the quiet miles home.

No, so sweet of you to ask a good question but I’m not suicidal. I just miss my son.

I know I am healing because YES was nowhere in my heart.

How are your children doing?

More coffee?

Oh, we loved REACH, by far the biggest Anabaptist gathering I’ve ever attended. I was surprised over and over to see people I knew from long ago, or from other places. I was blessed, spanked, challenged, built up, laid low. Conversations blossomed everywhere, in every corner, in every slot of time. Efficient meals appeared before us. One night I heard His voice in the singing, and felt His word to me hanging in the air. Strangers prayed for us, unasked.

My parents in law were the most gracious of hosts – good food, conversation, babysitting.

Photo credit: Ryan Zook

My oldest son sang at the Choral Fest with his high school. He is thirteen, the only male alto – which he hopes changes soon. I felt unspeakably proud of him. Yes, despite the fact that he stayed up till ungodly hours and drank pure sugar in quantity, repeatedly. And on the off chance that his hostess is sitting with us at this tea table, THANK you. You win the prize for most amazing mother of teens ever, providing the ultimate rec room/ sleeping space/ stocked fridge/ amazing snacks/ and then treating them to Shady Maple on top of it all. God bless you. When I grow up, I want to be like you.

Oh dear. May I have a napkin? I didn’t – That’s what happens when I talk and drink at the same time.

What did you do this weekend? Where did God meet you? How did He care for the people you love?

Can I pray for you before you leave?

I’m glad we had this chat. No, I’ll wash up the cups afterward – you get your babies home. Do come again.


PS – You forgot the rest of your scones. I am sorry to say I ate them all.

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5 years ago

after I said goodbye and dropped him off, such a strong urge came over me to drive over the bank into the Susquehanna that I said NO out loud, without thinking. NO!

I know it’s terrible but I laughed out loud.

5 years ago

What did I do this weekend? I sent the rest of the family off to church ahead of myself and made potatoes in an empty house during the Sunday School hour. Just because I needed space and had a headache. I obsessed over my not-enough-ness, and felt guilty over things that aren’t my fault. How did God meet me? On Monday morning I made a phone call to the mother of last summer’s house fire victim, to tell her we had made a blanket for her son’s family. Ashamed of my senseless procrastination in not getting it done sooner… I discovered her son had just bought a house 2 weeks earlier and they are now moving in and setting up the bedrooms. God can use even senseless procrastination and not-enough-ness! He amazes me.

Danette Martin
5 years ago

This visit with you was just lovely, like our impromptu one at REACH. And those tears you saw sliding down my cheeks when I went out the door? Pure mix of joy and ache.

mary yoder
5 years ago

The comment by Travis and Shari’s response left me laughing too !

How refreshing to see someone who is genuine and real !

Mary Yoder

Kendra Sensenig
5 years ago


5 years ago

This makes me happy. Even though I don’t know you. Or not really. 🙂

Bethany Flokstra
5 years ago

Two friends prayed over me Sunday morning, just because they thought God wanted them to. Prayed that God would meet me that day. And He did, in a quiet, beautiful way. He reminded me of a job he’s given me to do, one that I’d let go of for a while, and one that brings me so much joy. Also, the world is just so beautiful and it’s spring where I live and I’m so, so happy about that.

Aimee Stauffer
5 years ago

That was a sweet visit . . . ?

Jennifer Jantzi
5 years ago

You made me laugh and cry in the same visit. You can definitely pray for me, and I’ll do the same for you. I’d love to make coffee for you in real life sometime. ?

5 years ago

We sat across from you and Ryan at REACH on Thursday during lunch!!! I didn’t know you were THIS Shari!!!! I’ve been reading your blog since… well, a long time ago and met you in person and didn’t even know it- till now!!!? I admire your honesty and strong spirit!!!

5 years ago

I too, was at REACH (one of those TI students that’s had a chance to teach all three of your in-school students at one time or another). So at REACH, they gave me blue name tag that said Staff and a few things to do, but I will confess that I was very tired, although the Good Lord kept a smile shoved on my face somehow.
But when we were singing Thursday night, I saw your face in the crowd beyond the conductors waving hands. Your eyes were closed, and suddenly, I was just very glad to be there–glad to serve all the people who minister in big and small ways and need their cups filled up. It carried me through the next day of crowds. Thank you for allowing your worship to reach your face.

5 years ago
Reply to  Yolanda

These words bring tears to my eyes. That music was one of my favorite parts of REACH – equal parts pain and joy, overshadowed with the amazing presence of Jesus. Thank you.

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