Saturday, December 20, 2003

December 20, 2003

8:09 PM Meghan Keating writes from Ireland where she has recently gone to spend a year as a nanny with an Irish family. It wasn’t that many days ago that we prayed together before she left. She is off to a good start:

Tonight I’m proud to report that I’ve successfully survived my first week in Ireland. Quite nicely in fact. Minus a slight case of food poisoning early this week, that kept me in bed for a day and a half, but I’m back on my feet and feeling fine. Fine, and busy. I am here to mind four wee ones. The eldest is six, going on twenty five, but she’s been a big help, in showing me around. I have my own room, and find that I definitely took peace and quiet for granted. When the kids are awake their favorite thing to do is ask me questions, usually the same question over and over until they are satisfied with my answer (which is never less that ten times). Considering the younger three are boys, their second favorite thing to do is wrestle, but I’m sure you know that all too well. In a nutshell I’ve settled in quickly, and comfortably. The scenery is amazing. I’m in a small town called Portloaise (pronounced Port leash). It’s about an hour outside Dublin, so enough into the countryside to see the real beauty, castles, sheep, endless green and all. I’ve never been to Europe, so I’m learning a lot about the culture still. Not too different, but enough to keep me on my toes. For now, I’m keeping my eyes wide open, and taking in all in… . Craig Hammond once said, “God isn’t calling you to a place, He’s calling you to himself”. Very wise words in my opinion. They are a reminder for me that no matter where I am I am to be seeking God…and that is my hope.

11:45 AM Renovation update … The glass in the new portico is being installed, the roof is almost enclosed. Many of the new rooms have been carpeted. Lots of painting in the gym. The stonemasons have finished their work… . Howard Duncan has gotten to know many of the workers. Earlier this week (following Howard’s suggestion) we gave each worker a gift from the church—a copy of An Anchor for the Soul, with a “bookmark” that is actually a $5 gas card. 11:38 AM We’re moving slow this morning. Marlene has been fighting some kind of bug for over a week. She’s doing better but I’ve been slowing sliding in the wrong direction. I woke today with my ears stopped up and it sounds like I’m hearing things from inside a cave. We’ll see how things go tomorrow—and whether or not my voice will hold up. Meanwhile we’re sitting on the bed watching the St. John’s-Mt. Union football game for the national championship of Division III. I wouldn’t normally watch this game but the coach of St. Johns is the legendary John Gagliardi (77 years old, and the winningest college football coach of all time), and one of their players is Drew Slagle, who last year was the quarterback for Oak Park-River Forest. Drew and Nick are good friends, they graduated from OPRF together, and his family attends Calvary. I don’t think Drew will see any playing time today but it’s fun to watch a game when you have a personal connection. At the half St. John’s leads 7-6. A Johnnies victory would be a huge upset since Mt. Union has a 55-game winning streak.

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