© 2019-2020 Maggie Wallem Rowe

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What Were You Doing This Week When You Should Have Been Doing Something Else?

[This is my last post from the US.. For a few months, anyway!]



“Are you still here?!”


A question like that generally means you’ve overstayed your welcome or are nine months pregnant. Here in the hospitable South the first never happens, and I’m a few decades past the other possibility.


But three different people grinned the same question at me at our weekly church supper. I should have been home shoveling clothes in a suitcase or cleaning the cats’ litter box, but Mom and I couldn’t see sense in eating alone when friendly folks were gathering nearby. Our Wednesday church dinners are dubbed Acts 2:42, but the apostles didn’t have anything like the honey-glazed pork loin with roasted peaches that had my name on them last night. Especially with lefse and lutefisk looming large in my future.


Mike’s been joyfully serving as an interim pastor in Norway nearly two weeks already, and I’m itching to join him. Once family members arrive to stay with Mom, my friend Kay will drive me to Charlotte International. After a few random stops in Chicago and Copenhagen, I’ll set my feet on Norwegian soil for the first time in my life. Might just weep. Maybe even kiss the ground my grandparents walked on.


I’ll have stories from the motherland for you for sure, but what else have I been doing this week when I should have been packing?


- Wondering how to vet my granddaughter’s intended. Last year, at five, Libby had plans to marry her friend Maurits. A move back to the US later, a new little boy named Avery is saving her seats on the bus. The following text discussion ensued yesterday between Libby’s mother and her Mormor. It’s never too soon to worry about your grandchildren’s future.



- Instead of cleaning the house pre-departure, I spent an afternoon having a leisurely chat with my new friend Gina, a tattoo artist with a master’s in medical science. Gina’s my age, give or take, with the most extraordinary art on her walls and her arms. She’s totally up on Christian contemporary music (I got the latest scoop on Toby Mac), and she gifted me with Lion of Judah notecards made from one of her pencil drawings. (Isn’t this amazing?)



As to why I had so much time to chat with her, that’s a story I’ll needle you with another time. It’s never too late in life to try something new.


Because you know what? Scripture is full of God’s promises, but a long life is not one of them. There are no guarantees when it comes to the number of years we’re given. Life insurance only pays off when you don’t need your life anymore. We might think we’re lolling around in late summer or early fall, and then the doc looks up from the test results and that one word – “abnormal” – sends your heart straight into winter. That’s been part of my week, too.

But here's the thing, friends. Someday my Libby girl will likely get married, and I’m going to start praying right now for the boy who will win her heart. I hope to dance at her wedding in maybe twenty years or so, but if that’s not in God’s plans, my prayers can go there right now.


And sometime I might just get inked so I can continue my conversation with the smartest tattoo artist in all of North Carolina.


As for that weirdish heart condition I never knew I had? I’ll sniff around and see how the rest of the 3% who have it are faring. Abnormal or not, it’s brought me this far, and on Sunday I’ve got a plane to catch.


So what can you be doing this week when you should be doing something else?


Lob your prayers into the future whether you’ll get there or not.


Learn about someone’s life that’s totally unlike yours.


Love what you’ve been given – this precious, unpredictable, epic adventure we call LIFE.


I’m still here. You, too?


Copyright 2019 Maggie Wallem Rowe. If you enjoyed this post, please consider subscribing to future posts by leaving your email address on the home page. No spam, ever. I hate it too!

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