We went to England to be part of King's Church. The pastor is Gareth Benton. Chris and I had met Gareth and his wife, Audrey, while living in Radford, VA but we didn't really KNOW them. Now I can say that we KNOW them!! We stayed in their home all week long, stayed up until 3:00am talking and laughing most nights, ate their food, played with their children, and by the end of the week felt like part of the family. How do you describe a couple who brought out such life within you? Chris and Gareth clicked immediately and were together all week long having deep theological conversations entwined with going to football games, goofing off, creating inside jokes, and truly allowing each other's life experiences to change who they are today. I know, it sounds crazy to say all of that happened in one week, but it really did!
For me, I know that God spoke to me all week long through Audrey. Sometimes it was things she actually said, but other times it was her action, her style, her interaction with people, her love for her children, her enthusiasm for life, and her deep, deep love and longing for God, to experience Him in her daily life, and to be right where He is. Audrey is SOOO full of life......and it's FUN LIFE. We just had fun. It was natural and easy and fun, plain and simple. She even made my hair appointment when I got it cut and helped me pick out the hair dye in the store.....the whole time acting as though it was just as much fun for her to be there with me as it was for me to do something daring!! I know, hair isn't a big deal, but the point is that we are now part of each others' lives. I tend to take life seriously and Audrey reminded me of how important it is to enjoy life, embrace it......to enjoy hobbies, to enjoy our children, to soak up every fun thing that there is in our lives. Because there are always things to be serious about, but not always things to enjoy. So I am so thankful that God gave me Audrey to remind me of that.
Audrey does something that I love. It seems odd that this would strike me so strongly, but it does. She sings. She sings throughout the entire day. She sings songs to God. And I noticed that it's easy for her to quickly come to God at a moment's notice to thank him or pray for something. A lot of times I have to spend time clearing my mind of my own thoughts before I can really be focused on God, but Audrey didn't seem to have that issue. And I truly believe that part of the reason is that she sings to Him all day long. So, being back home, I've been practicing. I've been singing out loud a lot throughout the day. And I'll tell you, so far it has really helped to brighten every day and to lift the "weight" of responsibility from my shoulders. I'm finding myself being more carefree. I know that it's for several reasons, but one reason I believe is because I've been singing......so I encourage each of you to sing out loud for a portion of everyday and see if it fills you with energy, love, and life. It has me, and I thank God and Audrey for that reminder.