Ready for another freak fest? If A Final Lesson In Faith was just whetting your appetites for knowing exactly how weird we all are, the Vicks and the Bowermans, and all that the bond includes, then I sure as heck have more where that comes from. I think these are turning out to be the story build up for what this blog was really all about: Dirt and Lanny's personal journey with God, 'Building a Future of Purity for Generations'.
What Happened on the Way to a Book of Sorts
Instead I got all caught up in telling you more of the Farming and Funny Stories aspect of our lives with a few of God's lessons for Dirt and I, mostly me (you know those slow students), thrown in. Then I had a great idea to have an extra blog to put my long stuff on. Yeah, I know, you are wondering how long the long stuff is if what is written here isn't long stuff. But its for long, consistent stuff. Mostly I had abandoned it when spring rolled around and I was having difficulty getting my work done. And some people who were encouraging my writing were now wonder where their dinner was and who was going to move the tractor out of the middle of the field cause a thought had struck the person using it.
Well I'm back in the saddle, again, I think this time I know where the stirrups are located so that I can confidently take off. This and the post I wrote on Monday will go there, the Stories_From_Dirt_&_Lanny blog along with my feeble attempts at some rather lame non-fiction (they get to stay there and maybe I'll add more) and it will begin my long awaited start on my book, well long awaited by about four people in my life that is. Maybe you'll enjoy it, maybe you won't, it will quickly take a strong turn that quite a few folks don't have the time for.
Building a Future of Purity For Generations to Come was originally a "class" Dirt and I put together for a few people who often asked us how we got to where we got. There were just a couple of folks who wondered how we managed to have sweet, non-mouthy, non-hussified, hard working girls, that didn't date and didn't hang out, but still managed to get married. We would always answer with, "it isn't us, it is God, we just try to listen and do."
People wanted to know what we had been listening to, what rules we had come up with. That was the hard part. There weren't very many "rules", hardly one really. Mostly it was understanding what the end result of direct parenting really is and what God means for us to be doing with our lives and our gifts. And really, it is more than how we got to where we got 'cause we're still gettin'. And it may appear to some folks that the title and what the main theme of most of Dirt's and my yapping is all about sexual purity. But purity is about way more that what the bathing suit covers. Way more. And our purity in God continues to develop, hopefully not degrade, the further we run the path with Him.
But as far as rules for it, so you can just follow a set of check off-able rules, it doesn't really work like that. It's kinda like a blob, hard to hold onto from the outside, but if you could just crawl into "it" you would be surrounded by it all the time.
Where to Start
It is hard to really pin down when this journey started for Dirt and I. We could start at our own marriage, but then when we came together we were bringing two stories together that really weren't even identifiable at that time and we really didn't know at that time what we were doing and how much our very lives were setting up.
So we'll just go with Anne's birth to the Bowerman family and the bonding and increased family building that scenario all began for us and we'll work backward and forward from there and see how it goes.
A Helpful Tool
This is a telling of a people's history and how God moves in their lives, and it is told from one of the more random, seemingly disjointed people in the group. You know full well Dear Reader that you almost need a road map once I get started talking. Okay, yes, you need a road map. That's a great idea. But you'll have to draw it out yourself as we go along. So get out a big sheet of paper and write "God" in the center.
Actually lets make sure we are all on the same paper, write, "Triune God." As you write it you could hum the hymn lines "God in three persons, blessed Trinity." I did just now, so maybe you can too.
Now, anywhere you want to, you can write Dirt and Lanny or if you want to be all formal like, you could put Phil and LeeAnn Vick. Then after you read A Final Lesson In Faith you can put down Mike and Rebecca Bowerman. None of our entries will be in chronological order, if they were you might not need this road map. So don't put them in a nice straight line vertically or horizontally. Come on you left-brained engineer students, you can do it, just close your eyes and stab at the paper, now open your eyes and just start writing.
You can draw a line from the center, God, to Dirt and Lanny. And you can draw a line from the center, God, to Mike and Rebecca.
Now that you read A Final Lesson In Faith you can draw a line between Dirt and Lanny, and Mike and Rebecca. You could even illustrate this line. Lets see... you could draw a horse, or a cider press, or a microphone, a hospital, an ultrasound, well heck you know what your capable of drawing and you read the story, no skipping stories, they are all important, so you know what you can draw there for now. I might say, don't fill in the whole line because there might be more things you want to draw there.
Now lets see what do I want to tell you next.....
Oh yeah. Lets have a little humor and some launching points for concepts. Lets talk dating.
Not, I repeat, not one of my favorite subjects. It's true, I have major issues with dating, and all of them will unfold soon enough, but one of the foundations to having problems with it was that in high school I sort of wasn't allowed to get my own dates just in case one of my brother's friends might be short a date and they would need me to fill in. He was a senior and I was a sophomore and he ran my life. Oh, by the way this is actually the one brother that doesn't have huge issues with me now, it pays to have at least one other black sheep with you in a relationship circle.
I don't know how dating went for Dirt, he was at a high school out in the booneys well not as booney as he could have been, but definitely in a different school district and different sports league, no reasons for our paths to cross at the time and besides he would have been my brothers age and in order to date him they would have had to be friends. So I really have no idea how dating went for Dirt. Beings that he was the oldest I'm thinking no one told him who he had to go out with on Friday night no matter what plans he had made Wednesday afternoon.
I know very little dating incidences of his, and I'm betting you won't get much out of him either Dear Reader if you asked directly. He has one or two stories he repeats. So I'll tell you the one he tells most.
Dirt had a restored 1954 Ford Victoria that he drove around. And he had a girlfriend with long blond hair (who didn't in 1974 in America?). He was driving down I-5 one afternoon when he glanced over to his "girl" as she was finishing up brushing her hair, (probably for the fiftieth time in the hour) and caught her pulling the hair out of her brush and tucking it under the seat.
I'll just let you absorb that scene a moment.
Dirt's brain lit on fire. (It doesn't do that very often) and he immediately pulled over to the side of the road and demanded she get out, remove the hair ball and dispose of it properly. We don't need to mention her name, she doesn't belong on our road map. This is just one of two of the only dating stories heard from Dirt. Not much to go on.
I'm thinking that this isn't the incident that made him go all crazy, mad scientist crazy, when he noticed his first little girl getting a little older, not so little girlish any more, starting to look like the little girls he found himself hanging around for no apparent reason. I'm thinking his crazy was based on thoughts that look a lot more like my dating stories, the ones where someone in the car needs to be taken to the hospital for door handle and window crank extractions and it wasn't the boy. I'm just thinking that maybe just maybe he had scenes like that in his head when he started to go crazy. He hasn't shared any. But I'm thinkin'.
Dirt, the Mad Inventor
I'm thinking that that is what he was reflecting on as his first baby girl was rolling through the years of eleven, twelve, thirteen... He could see a trend and he wasn't liking it. He knew what was down the road and like he always said to me when I thought adult guy friends for me were harmless, "I (Phillip Vick) know how guys' minds work!"
He began to invent all sorts of surveillance and protective devices for his daughter. Polishing up a rifle on the porch swing was not enough for him. Sure he thought that whole, "so you want to date my daughter" contract was funny and so right, but he knew no piece of stupid paper was going to protect his daughter. That was his job. Only he thought he had to do his job and insist that she date. "Normal people date, I want my daughter to be normal, therefore she must date".
Not right away mind you. Dating could and should be held off for as long as possible, most likely sixteen, 'cuz after all what was the sense in dating if you couldn't go in a car. Yeah, you'd miss those fun door knob extraction moments, that's worth waiting for.
So he began to invent, well in his mind anyway, nothing went into actual prototype development. Mind you this was early nineties, no GPS, cell phones were barely on the scene, PCs were slooooooooow. But yet Dirt figured he could put a device on the guy's car and go inside and watch the little red dot on the map and see when it stopped and if it was a preapproved stopping spot and if it wasn't he would run out to the helicopter pad and take off, I would stay in radio contact and let him know what was going on.
Realizing of course that there would be some delay in his arrival at the scene he knew he needed some back up technology. That is when he began to actually hope for the need for expensive orthodonture work. He would supply the orthodontist with his very special braces. These braces would have sensors that could detect external pressure. On receiving that impulse, a magnetic pulse would be activated slamming shut the top and bottom braces and locking them in a closed position. He was also working on some sort of clothing connection.
But before he could work up the clothing concept and get it all off to the workshop for prototype development a friend of ours handed me a book one day.
A Book and Author Come to Us From a Friend
I sat there at her house reading it and almost finished it on the scene. If I'm interested I can usually eat a book in one sitting and this one was relatively small and I was very very interested in it. The title was, I Kissed Dating Goodbye.
Now I grant you, it was written by a youth for youth, not necessarily for parents. It was a young man's perspective on why dating is essentially stupid, unnecessary and potentially very harmful.
His, Joshua Harris', thoughts on the subject blew the doors off of my brain. Most of what he said struck very familiar cords and the new thoughts were pretty fascinating.
I handed the book to my then approaching thirteen year old daughter. She too nearly read it in one sitting. And when she was done she said, "the rhinoceros that was in the middle of my road is gone. I will not be dating."
Holy Cow Patties that was way too easy.
But we, Dirt and I didn't question it, Dirt was just happy to put away the graph paper, resin mold, and electrical conduit. I was just glad.
And we rested, got on with the other parts of life, continued to talk openly about what we thought marriage was all about, in God's eyes, and how a young person might prepare for it. But mostly we were free to focus on sewing, sheep raising, gardening, chicken management and stitching up ducks torn up by dogs. God was good. We often thanked him for sending a book like Josh Harris' into our world just in time for the sake of our daughters.
Sometimes late at night I would lie awake crying to myself, wishing I had had that book. My life would have been so different. So much black and stormy, soul crushing stuff could have been avoided.
But then I started thinking, and I think some thoughts were stirring in Dirt's mind too. What if a teen (hate that word) couldn't get passed the rejection of the concept by their peers? What if they weren't brave enough to risk doing something different even though convention (just since the beginning of this century any way) was proving not to be such a hot way to start life? What if they were willing to risk a baggage car load of baggage that they would carry into their marriage just so they wouldn't look weird? Every day having to chalk it up to growing up?
There's More to the Path
Those thoughts got Dirt and I thinking and searching for some answers from God. And sure enough He was faithful to bring us some more information. More information came in concrete form from the same friend who handed me the first book, my dear friend Terry. And some stuff was coming out in Dirt's and my thoughts that were stirred by Scripture and biblical principles.
But that will be another day's story. I guess today's story isn't all that freaky for some folks but not everything that goes into the pot roast pan looks like meat.
Have a great day Dear Reader!