Thursday, January 6, 2011


Have you ever thought much about that word?  Missing.  It is one powerful little word.  It can bring to mind all sorts of connotations.  Missing what?  Missing home?  Missing someone special?  Missing a foul shot?  Missing piece to a puzzle?  In the fabulous book I'm reading right now (Cutting for Stone), Missing is the name of a hospital in Ethiopia, the setting for the story.   I hope I don't miss the point.

Tonight, I find myself missing my friend Rick Campbell who passed away this afternoon.  In tribute to Rick, I have to share the impact that he had on me.  Back in 2001, just after Addie was born, we started visiting a new church called WestLake that was meeting in the gym at Lotts Elementary School.  Tom and the pastor had hit it off when they chaperoned a fourth grade field trip to a Smokeys' baseball game.Chelcie and the pastor daughter, Ashley, were good friends in Ms. Crossley's 4th grade class.

Pastor Rick aka "Ashley's dad" soon became a regular fixture in my life.  He needed someone to run the children's ministry in this new church and he was convinced that I was the one to take on the challenge.  No way it's for me, I told him repeatedly, but he would not take no for an answer.  Finally, the Holy Spirit of God, speaking through Rick Campbell, convinced me that leading this ministry was something I needed to do.  I accepted the position while protesting and declaring loudly that I was not "a church worker!" and "you don't even know me!"  etc., etc. Persistent doesn't even come close to describing Rick's boisterous and jovial personality.  He would not quit.

My three years at WestLake were filled with challenge, heartbreak, celebration, and the cultivation of many treasured friendships.  When a church "train wreck" occurred that led Rick and his family away from WestLake, I stayed to help pick up the pieces, but it never felt the same.  No one was as transparent with me as Rick had been.  No one poured spiritual truths into my life the way Rick had.  No one put his hand on my shoulder and told me that God had a plan to use me in a powerful way like Rick did.

And I miss him.  I miss the fact that there are so many people in the world today who need those words whispered (or shouted) into their ears - people are aimlessly meandering through their days as their days turn into weeks; the weeks to months; months to years.  Before they know it, they look around and life has passed them by.  This will NOT happen to me!  In honor of people like Rick who invested themselves in me, I owe it to him and others to invest MYSELF in the lives of others.  This is an opportunity I will not be "missing."

Ummm, missing.  I hope the meteorologists aren't missing the forecast for tonight because that would disappoint a lot of east Tennessee students and teachers.  Sorry, parents, it doesn't sound like you'll be missing your kids tomorrow 'cause they should be HOME with you!

Tom and I went to the 9PM game last night with Suzanne and Grant.  I've missed her so much! The game was late, but  I didn't miss my sleep (got an hour late this morning - Thanks Dr. Mc!)  AND the VOLS didn't miss many three pointers! They dominated!

Our seats were fabulous!  We were worried we might miss the tip-off, but we arrived just in time! 

I miss SUMMER!

These are my CHAMPIONS!  Boy, did I miss them over the long break!  They said they missed me too.

I wonder if my birds have missed having their feeder full...

Here are the champions preparing snowballs to throw at each other.  Thankfully, most of them missed!

Can ANY teacher forbid children from enjoying the snow?  (I love the two kids who have BOTH hands lifted in the air) - Don't miss these moments.
My pictures tonight have a theme.  Missing.  Surprised, aren't you, beloved reader?

1 comment:

  1. Good, good thoughts. I sure don't want to miss anything either. I'm missing the magical moments of my 8th grade reading class! We need teachers like you in high school to remind us that we can absolutely always dream big even if it feels like childhood and innocence is slipping away.


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