I always dreamed of marrying a man from a year-round warm state. Maybe the southwest, maybe Hawaii? Little did I know that God had a much better place in mind...Iowa. Well, technically my fiance is from Illinois, but his mom grew up in Iowa, and he went to Iowa for college. I think it's safe to say that without Iowa, Iowouldn't have Daniel:) catch that pun? gee whiz I'm funny. So this past weekend, I traveled with my man up to Des Moines, Ames, and ultimately Kanawha, Iowa. A land where snow drifts cover up fences and every meal is an all-you-can-eat buffet. Dan's grandparents and many of his aunts, uncles and cousins live in Iowa. We stayed at his grandparents-Don and Dee-who were just some really wonderful, godly people. I never thought I would marry a man who had an almost entire extended family of believers in the Lord. What a blessing. One of the highlights of the trip was the FOOD! Man, can they eat! I had to put my L.G.N. Plan on hold for the weekend. You would too if the salad you received for lunch was a "Snickers Salad". I'm not kidding. a Snickers SALAD. to give the salad credit, it had apples in it:) There was yummy meat and veggies and desserts galore. And my amazing soon-to-be-mother-in-law had bought me gluten-free rolls (of which i cannot find in Wichita), baked me gluten-free cookies, and cooked me a gluten-free pizza!! How great is that?
Another highlight was going to church. They go to a morning service AND an afternoon service up there. I've never done that. Their pastor was an amazing messenger of God's Word, and he did not sugar coat it like so many do today. The church had about 15-20 people, not counting our family, which tripled the size of the congregation for the day. Or at least doubled:). Also, this little country church was where Dan's parents got married, and his grandparents, too! I think that is so romantic. We took a picture in there (well duh, my cousin Taylor was along, the Queen of Picture Taking!).
One of my favorite moments was on Sunday evening, when Dan drove me out to where his mom's farm used to be. Where she grew up. Talk about the middle of nowhere! Seriously, I would have loved to be in her shoes as a kid for like a week or so. Farm life back in the day has always intrigued me, I think because of my love for Christian fiction book about prairie girls that I read when I was 8 or so. The barn raisin's and such. The sharpshooting contests:). Anyways, when we arrived at the old farm, the sun had just started to set. And boy, was it beautiful. Glistening snow, stretching for miles, and meeting up with the horizon full of pinks, oranges, and yellows. Small dots of barns and silos and windmills across the landscape. A beautiful picture of what i've dreamed early America to be like. And this is why Iowa is MUCH MORE than just corn and soybeans. Because God displays His majesty and glory in that state, and I am drawn back to the simple observance of the unfathomable complexity of a Creator God. The pictures are a snapshot of the beauty, but imagine being there! I never thought i would be saying this, but God, thank you for sending me a Northern Dutch boy! :)