Summertime Visitors

July.

The month of heat, work, and a visit of a certain family from Cali. That’s right, all of the Rhodens came to visit and live with us for a week during their long summer road trip. They took over the upstairs of our home, and my bros and I camped out on the first floor with the rest of the siblings. The Rhodens must have brought their nice Cali weather with them, because we were blessed with amazing temperatures during that time.

Cassie arrived a few days ahead of her parents via plane, as she had been visiting some friends, and one of the first activities we did was go to a Cardinals game. What made it even better than going with Cassie was the fact it was a “Star Wars” night and to top it all off… Josiah, my best and most trusted friend, joined us for an evening to remember. The super long wait times at the restaurant and how we eventually got the food to come… Seeing people dressed up as Jedi sporting Cardinal gear at the same time…  but really, simply hanging out with some of my favorite people in the world. I could hardly believe it to be honest.

We did all kinds of fun stuff that week. Originally we had some tentative plans to go see some stuff in St. Louis, but eventually just decided to keep things laid back and low key. This was actually really nice. All the younger siblings played in the yard, and the older ones talked, played music, frisbee, and whatever else we thought of doing. We celebrated Drew’s and my birthday, with delicious suppers to boot.

Once thing which I really enjoyed from the visit we had was going fishing down south in my mom’s childhood town. There I introduced Cassie and her family to Grandma, and we had an excellent laid back evening of food, fishing, and fellowship. Amazingly, no one got (seriously) hooked and everyone caught a fish. It was so peaceful and happy an evening it stands out in the week past as one of my favorite memories.

So much went on just in day-to-day happenings it was in some ways just a normal kind of day, and yet, with Cassie and her family there, was altogether much more festive and unique. Like the time all the guys spent a solid afternoon trying to get the frisbee out of a tree… Or being obnoxiously serenaded (?) by Drew and his Saxophone…. Or working on the tractor… Or playing fetch with all the little kids… (yup- happened). The boring things, which made that entire time go along so smoothly and quickly.

Of course, I had another thing on my mind that week. A thing which I had decided it was time for the next step, and a big one it was.  I had decided it was time to ask Mr. Rhoden about dropping a knee. I had prayed at length, discussed with my parents the ideas, the timeline… everything. I had that same peace, that knowing that yes- next month would be the best time.

And so, the night after we got home from the fishing trip, Mr. Rhoden and I went on a walk. I just shared where I was in this whole process, where I truly saw it going, and how I believed it was time for a more permanent step. We talked about many other things as well, and while it was a conversation that took immense amounts of nervous guts for me, much easier than that first call back in March.

I remember him telling me he would need to sleep and pray on it. Which I expected, so I went to sleep that night confidently assured, this was still in all God’s Hand. What I did not expect, to wake up on my Birthday the next day, and the first thing to hear was Mr. Rhoden discreetly walking up with some coffee, and casually saying “You have my blessing. Happy Birthday.”

Happy Birthday indeed. :)

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