I received many emails over the last week or so that I have yet to respond to because I was in Niger with very limited internet access.  I want to thank you all for keeping in touch, I love opening that inbox and seeing something from someone that I know instead of just one more piece of spam.

My friend, Lisa, wrote me a particularly wonderful email.  While there was some exciting news about what may be in her future, much of her email was simply about her everyday life.  She told me about what was going on in her job, in her church, around her house.  She mentioned a birthday party of a friend of ours that she went to recently.  She talked of things that we would have chatted about on the phone or across the table at our usual place at the Outback on Snelling Ave. 

Lynnae has sent me several ‘weekly updates’ with lists (she’s an accountant) of what has happened over the previous week.  The list is about simple things about her apt, our church, our friends, her travels, her family, if she’s had our favorite chocolate cake recently.  Her emails are similar to what I might get if I was home for Christmas vacation with my family in Kansas while she was back in Minnesota and Iowa.

I read these emails and I feel like I am home.

Home is where the heart is right?  My heart is in my relationships.  My heart is in my relationship with Jesus.  My heart is in my relationship with my family and friends. 

I admit, I read Scripture sometimes and I do not feel at home.  I’m totally confused and lost.  Wait a minute, sometimes home feels like that doesn’t it.  This letter from God is comforting in the parts that I know, reminding me how much God loves me and takes care of me.  This letter gives me hope for tomorrow.

Your letters and emails do something similar for me.  I am reminded that I am a part of something bigger than me.  I am encouraged and challenged.  I am reminded about love and grace and how God puts just the right people in my life.  I am reminded about how God put you in my life and I thank him for you.

All this to say that I miss you.  I want to hear from you.  I definitely want to hear spectacular news like the email that I received from Clint that he is engaged (yea!  Congratulations Clint and Jen!).  However, I also want to hear about your regular daily life.  It connects me to home.  Life is lived very differently where I am and I sometimes look out across the horizon and wonder in a daze what I did before I arrived in this place.  I long for a connection to home.

So, dear friends . . .

            What’s up?