Finally… I’m getting back to the Oklahoma trip. The past two weeks have been crazy busy, y’all. Bear with me!
(I tried to find a good picture of WHBC via Google… and this is what showed up. Wes Faulk, circa 2010. Too good NOT to use!)
So, after we baptized Wes as thoroughly as he’s ever gotten baptized back at the hotel pool, we woke up early in the morning and got ready for church as a family of four. We don’t get the opportunity to do this very often since Wes is usually out of the house and on his way to church at 6am on Sundays, and we… well, we don’t get up that early, frankly. We did back in our first pastorate when the girls were tiny newborns who kept those odd hours anyway, but they mercifully sleep now, so we let them. Glory!
Emma told us before we got to Oklahoma that she had only two items on her to-do list while we were in the Sooner State. 1. See Mrs. Lisa. (Which we did the night before.) 2. Eat at the donut shop. We made the second happen as soon as we were all ready for church, and the owner recognized us, remembered us, and said, “Long time, no see!” This tells you how often we would visit the donut shop back when we lived there, doesn’t it?
We went on to the church where Wes was supposed to practice with the men’s quartet… which turned out to be a seven man quartet. I’m told this was preferable to their three-man and one-woman quartet, which they’ve done in the past. As soon as we walked in, it was like a time warp where everything was essentially the same, except for the kids. The teenagers had turned into grown adults, and the babies were walking and talking! It took Ana all of two seconds to leave us behind when Jonathan showed up and invited her to go to Sunday school with him. Which is not surprising since she smooched him right on the church lawn not all that long ago. (Well, it’s been probably three years. But the heart doesn’t forget, y’all.) After Wes was done with quartet practice, we went (along with Emma) to Sunday school, then onto the service. It was all very surreal, being in the church and at the service after all this time.
Afterwards, there was a big lunch in the fellowship hall, and we were able to visit with friends who’ve moved on from the church like we have but who came back for the celebration. One of them has since gotten married, and it was such a blessing to watch her with her husband, both of them smitten with one another. God is so good! Our other friend is shoulder deep in seminary and planning a summer trip to Africa with the intent to possibly move there long-term. We were so excited to get to visit with all of them, and as being back at our old church reminded us anew of some of the harder times in ministry, it was refreshing and encouraging to see and affirm again that God does indeed work all things out for good and all the good that He does far outweighs any of the bad that we’ve ever encountered on this ministry road. So thankful for great friends and loving church members, y’all. Very truly.
Because it wouldn’t be a trip to Oklahoma if there were no Braum’s milkshakes, we made a stop on our way out of town, and Wes got me the largest chocolate milkshake I’ve ever had in my life. Honestly. And because I was so appreciative of his kind gesture, I made him stop for a potty break at the Dairy Queen in Bowie, Texas, which has always been and always will be his most loathed stop on that route. (You go in, and people stare at you because they ALL know that you’re not from there. For real. And they sometimes tell you that you should have more children because us white folk are getting “outnumbered.” Oh, yeah. That’s actually happened to us in Bowie before, and we’ve never forgotten how horrified we were by the implication. I was half hoping the same gentleman would be there, and the Faulkettes could break out their Spanish for him, lol!)
We hit the road again and didn’t stop until Burleson, where we had a quick dinner before making our way onto Alvarado for the night.
And the rest of the trip the next day? Wasn’t exciting enough to blog about. The only truly exciting part was when Wes got so bored around Madisonville that he began singing through the Baptist Hymnal. And that was only exciting because I started screeching and proclaiming that I was about to throw myself out of the car as we rolled down I-45. Which I didn’t.
We love you, Oklahoma! Thanks for letting us come back for a visit!